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But a study published last year in the journal posits a theory as to how and why the exception to 'assortative mating' occurs, and it's all about the 'friend zone'.The study, carried out at the University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University, looked into the causes of 'mixed attractiveness' relationships.We may all have a "type" — but women are more likely to adhere to it than men are.In one 2011 study, researchers found that both men and women rated opposite-sex faces more attractive when they closely resembled their current or most recent partners. Literally — fill up the physical space around you with hand gestures and an expansive posture."We found that women born to 'old' parents (over 30) were less impressed by youth, and more attracted to age cues in male faces than women with 'young' parents (under 30)," the authors wrote.
It's also worth noting that, even though the men wanted the woman more when she played hard to get, they liked her less. Happiness is generally attractive on women — but not so much on men.For the same study, researchers set up profiles for men and women on a GPS-based dating app, showing them in both expansive and contractive postures.Sure enough, people were selected more often when they were pictured in expansive postures.Then, participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their dates.The participants who were more attractive were harsher in their judgments — even if they were both equally attractive.