A new study suggests that by looking at someone's facial features you can tell whether they're in it for the long haul or are just after a quick fling.
Next time you meet a prospective partner, look closely do they have a strong jaw, small eyes and are classically beautiful? According to a study by researchers at Durham University in the UK, a new mate who fits this description might not be looking for love, but a one-night stand.
The research suggests that just by looking at someone's face you can tell their intentions. Not surprisingly, according to this research women tend to be more interested in the men who look like true boyfriend material, while men are immediately drawn to faces that scream "one-night stand".
Macho, macho man
In guys, a square jaw, smaller eyes and prominent eyebrows and nose tend to belong to the more promiscuous, while those with softer features were more likely to be looking for a long-term love.
More than a woman
Men were unable to pinpoint any exact facial feature that attracted them to a woman, but they all thought it was the "hotties" that were more likely to have a fling. Lynda Boothroyd, a psychology professor at Durham University and lead author of the study, agrees, saying the more attractive you are, the more opportunities you have to get some action. In other words, attractive women often like to keep their options open.
Caroline Keating, a psychology professor at Colgate University, New York, says the fact that attractive people tend to have more partners may also have something to do with other people's expectations. Basically, the more attractive you are, the more partners other people will expect you to have and more often than not we feel the need to fulfill those expectations.
"The way we think of ourselves is a reflection in part of how others see us," says Keating. "So when we go out in the world, we're looking at ourselves through a reflection of other people's views."
Because of the effect those expectations have on our behaviour, our first impressions of people often turn out to be right. "Physical appearance cues tell us more about people that we're even consciously aware of," Keating says. "So in fact, we do judge a book by its cover…"