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"Is she really going out with him?" -- Joe Jackson

C C Offline

EXCERPT: You’re at a slumber party with your friends. One friend asks “if a guy at school asked you out, but you weren’t really attracted to him, would you go?” You laugh and shake your head no: “Why would I, if he’s not my type?”

Or imagine you’re at school, sitting in the cafeteria. A guy who you think is attractive but who has some unsuitable personality traits comes up and asks you out. You say yes, even though what you really meant to say was no. “Why did I do that?” you wonder.

According to new research from the University of Toronto and Yale University, rejecting unsuitable romantic partners is easy in hypothetical situations, but not so when considering a face-to-face proposition.

“When actually faced with a potential date, we don't like to reject a person and make them feel bad, which is not necessarily something that people anticipate when they imagine making these choices,” says the study’s lead researcher, psychology PhD candidate Samantha Joel. “The fact that we underestimate how concerned we’ll feel about hurting the other person’s feelings may help to explain why people's dating decisions often don't match up with their stated dating preferences.”...

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