Rome visit, June 2008 - 57

“There are two ways you can make an error as a man,” says Perilloux. “Either you think, ‘Oh, wow, that woman’s really interested in me’ — and it turns out she’s not. There’s some cost to that,” such as embarrassment or a blow to your reputation. The other error: “She’s interested, and he totally misses out. He misses out on a mating opportunity. That’s a huge cost in terms of reproductive success.” The researchers theorize that the kind of guy who went for it, even at the risk of being rebuffed, scored more often — and passed on his overperceiving tendency to his genetic heirs. The casual sex seekers “face slightly different adaptive problems,” says Perilloux. “They are limited mainly by the number of consenting sex partners — so overestimation is even more important.” Only the actually attractive men probably had no need for misperception.

The research contains some messages for daters of both sexes, says Perilloux: Women should know the risks and “be as communicative and clear as possible.” Men: “Know that the more attracted you are, the more likely you are to be wrong about her interest.” Again, that may not be as bad as it sounds, she says — “if warning them will prevent heartache later on.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene or story about speed dating from the point of view of a man.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a dating experience where you misread the intentions of your date.

Art Prompt: Speed Dating
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about a date you went on.

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon on Flickr

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