Undergraduate Honors Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 4-30-2014


Ideal Mate Preferences and Relationship Initiation


There is currently a debate in literature pertaining to the degree to which ideal mate preferences influence actual mate selection and relationship initiation. Some research show that ideals influence relationship initiation, whereas other research suggests that ideals do not influence relationship initiation. The goal of this thesis is to resolve this debate. Specifically, the present study investigates the extent to which individuals initiate romantic relationships with others who more closely match their ideal mate preferences. To test this question, 450 single participants’ ideal mate preferences and perceptions of themselves on across three categories of traits were measured via online surveys over a six-month period. If participants became involved in a romantic relationship during the six months, they were asked to provide the contact information for their new partners and these partners were then provided an opportunity to join the study. If they agreed, they were asked to provide self-evaluations on the same three categories of traits. Comparisons between the original participant’s ideal mate preferences and their partner’s self-perceptions will be analyzed. This will determine whether individuals initiate relationship with others who have greater consistency with their ideals and their partner’s self-perceptions.