So how do you break through romantic superficiality? A recent study provides some useful insight.

The Setup Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University brought in dating and married couples and asked them how long they had known their partner and how long they'd been romantically involved. The difference between each length of time was considered the period during which couples were friends or acquaintances before dating. After that, the couples were interviewed on camera so that a team of coders could "scientifically" rate how physically attractive they thought each person in the couple was on a scale of -3 very unattractive to 3 very attractive.

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To make sure one partner's attractiveness wasn't influencing the coders' perceptions of the other partner, the researchers had a second team of raters judge each person while one half of the screen was covered so that they could only see one person at a time. Both methods of rating attractiveness yielded similar results, and coders tended to give comparable ratings for each person -- thus, the subjective ratings were considered to be reliable assessments by the researchers.

Should we be friends before dating

Presumably, these people were "conventionally attractive," since they received more or less the same reaction from a large group of people. The Findings Couples were divided about evenly between those who were friends before dating 40 percent and those who were not 41 percent. The other 20 percent of respondents either didn't answer the question or gave different answers from their partners about whether or not they were friends before dating free advice: The main finding, however, was this: Couples who were friends before dating tended to have a bigger attractiveness gap -- aka one partner was clearly the good-looking one, according to the coders -- than those who started dating soon after they met.

The couples who started dating sooner, on the other hand, tended to consist of partners who were comparably good-looking. Is that how you treat your friends?

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You have recognized you are not being the person you want to be in your relationship. You are the only one who can change that. Your partner may notice and respond accordingly or she or he may continue being exactly the same. Put the friendship back in your relationship now! To stay in touch with Kim, go to The Relationship Center, sign up for her email list, and receive her free report on Relationships from the InsideOut.

How long should you be friends before dating?

This article originally appeared on YourTango. I liked my girl, before loving her. Have had no problems at all!!! I didn't need science to figure this out though. I just listened to my heart. Did I also mention that getting your loved one some candy on the first date bizzarely works???

A Very Good Reason To Be Friends Before Dating, Courtesy of Science

We started out as friend's, and gradually grew together. You sound like someone who has had more than one bad experience with the opposite sex, going way back in your life. Without being insulting to you, when this experience happens repeatedly, you must reconsider your choices in women. Perhaps, you are looking for traits in a person, that really won't matter in the end. By Kim Olver for YourTango.

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