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Mar 26, 2017 12:18 PM EDT

University of California Students Prove That Distance Matters In Relationships

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Students from the University of California proved that distance affects our attraction towards other people. The researchers have examined the romantic behaviors of over 1,000 current and former couples. Interestingly, people do not fall in love by choice alone as external factors also impact our relationships.

According to Today, Paul Eastwick and his colleagues conducted three experiments for their paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In the first test, the University of California students required 97 respondents to reveal the Facebook profiles of their exes. The researchers later analyzed the online accounts to determine if there are similarities between each of the person's previous relationships.

The second study then asked 574 people to give any information about at least two ex-lovers. Here, the students tried to identify the similarities between the respondent and his or her exes. They have used seven parameters like delinquency, depression, educational aspirations, intelligence, religiosity, sef-0esteem, and vitality.

Lastly, the third trial made use of a website that allows women to rate their male friends, flings, relatives, crushes, and current boyfriends. These females would grade the males based on humor, appearance, ambition, manners, commitment, and even sexual satisfaction. For the record, the website does not exist anymore.

So, what were the findings? Per Refinery 29, the study concluded that people are highly likely to be drawn to the opposite sex with the same level of attractiveness, wit, and religious beliefs. Moreover, educational background and commitment play vital roles during the process of "partner-selection".

On the other hand, the researchers found out something more intriguing when it comes to choosing our partners. Apparently, we unknowingly pick people based on location. To illustrate, we may have chosen someone who is religious but we did not select that person because of the trait. It is just that religious people in one area have higher chances to meet each other but it does not equate that religious people seek out religious people only.

Basically, love is driven by the people you often encounter. The greater the distance you have from each other, the lesser the chance of igniting the spark. Thus, proximity matters.

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