Your guide to dating guides

Most people end up with someone who’s about as good-looking as they are.“People might prefer attractive people, but they often end up pairing off with people who are similar in attractiveness,” Leslie Zebrowitz, a psychology professor at Brandeis University and an expert on face perception, said.

“You might shoot for the moon, but you take what you can get.”Twenty years ago, Christina Bloom was in a committed relationship when she met someone who “knocked me off my heels.” The two embarked on a fiery romance, during which she noticed that friends and strangers were always telling them they looked alike.

This trait game, along with Royzman’s review of the literature on attraction, hints at some of the endless quirks of the online dating marketplace.

You might like someone online, but they put 100 on income, and unfortunately you’re about a 10.

For women, however, "It's a more complex choice,” he said.

“What tends to matter for females is that the overall package is good," meaning that women might accept a less-attractive mate if he was outstanding in some other way.

As one columnist who used the service put it, “There’s a short bio, age, and mutual friends listed, but who’s really paying attention to that stuff when your Tinder flame is wearing next to nothing on the beach?

Tinder offers a one-sentence tagline and a selection of five photos, including the all-important first photo, or “calling card,” as the writer Amanda Lewis put it.

I think for a second, and then I write equal amounts (70) next to both hotness and kindness, then 40 next to income and 20 next to fidelity.“Oh wow,” he says.“What? Usually women allocate more to fidelity and less to physical attractiveness.

Maybe you think fidelity is something people can cultivate over time?

Edward Royzman, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, asks me to list four qualities on a piece of paper: physical attractiveness, income, kindness, and fidelity.

Then he gives me 200 virtual “date points” that I’m to distribute among the four traits.

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