Dating mate selection

First dates are social phenomena of sexual selection.

Successful mating depends not only on assortative mating, but also on interpersonal and situational factors that lead to a positive result in pre-mating encounters.

To examine the factors that influence the success of pre-mating encounters, this study analyzes public texts on the success of first dates.

Themes were identified in five accounts of ordinary people found online using keywords.

How we choose mating partners may be largely determined by assortative mating, that is a tendency to choose partners with similar genotypes or phenotypes (appearance), rather than random mating (Botwin, Buss, & Shackelford, 1997; Buss & Barnes, 1986; Thiessen & Gregg, 1980; Vandenburg, 1972).

However, while assortative mating may be able to explain initial attraction, successful mating also depends on interpersonal and situational factors that occur, most typically, in pre-mating encounters (i.e., dating).

An interplay of an individual’s inner and outer worlds, that is intrapersonal factors (mate selection, mate choice, goals, personality) and interpersonal and situational factors (communication, behavioural scripts, location, time frame) is primarily resposible for determining the success or failure of a first date.

Possibly the best documented theory on human mating is assortative mating (Botwin et al., 1997). Individuals choose other individuals that show more similar characteristics to their own over individuals with less similar characteristics (Botwin et al., 1997; Buss & Barnes, 1986; 1976; Thiessen & Gregg, 1980; Vandenburg, 1972).We tend to choose partners with similar genotypes or phenotypes rather than to mate randomly.Previous studies have shown positive correlations between partners’ phenotypes.Bartoli and Diane Clark (2006) found going to a movie or dinner and taking the woman home with a goodnight kiss to be scripted by college students across sexes and age groups.Sexual expectations and the variety of scripted events increased by age.

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