Pairing up with a good-looking partner makes you more alluring to the opposite sex, a new US study has found.
The scientists found that women tended to be pickier however, as men are more likely to find beautiful women attractive, regardless of their partner.
While the findings might also be helpful for singles, the researchers were interested in discovering why animals often choose a mate by imitating the choice of others, LiveScience reported.
To find out whether the same was true for humans, scientists from the University of California, Davis, asked 30 male and 30 female heterosexuals to rate how attractive they found photos of 36 men and 36 women.
The volunteers were then shown 144 pictures of the men and women together and asked how desirable they found the person of the opposite sex in the picture.
When paired up next to attractive partners, the people in the photographs were rated as more desirable by both the male and female volunteers than when they were pictured alone.
By using cameras to track eye movements, the researchers found the volunteers spent more looking at a person's unattractive partner and were less likely to rate that person of the opposite sex as a potential mate.
"Even though people were only asked to evaluate the potential mate in each photograph, they all spent a significant amount of time looking at the mate's partner," researcher Jessica Yorzinski, an evolutionary biologist at the university told LiveScience.
"Women spent more time looking at the partners that they found attractive, while men shifted their gaze back and forth more."
The researchers said these results could be helpful to those unlucky in love.
"If the single person was previously seen with an attractive partner, this could still boost their chances," Yorzinski said.
"Or perhaps if women doing online dating websites are pictured with attractive boyfriends then that would help them get more responses with their ads."
The findings appeared in the online journal PLoS One.