In the dating scene, you’ll go out with lots of people. You’ll meet strangers randomly. You’ll get set up with a friend of a friend. You might even start dating someone you’ve been friends with for a while. And, invariably, you’ll wind up with some successes and some failures; you’ll have people who don’t call after the first date, people you go out with for a while but eventually break things off with, and eventually, someone you could see spending the rest of your life with. 

You might think that your dating success has something to do with how compatible your personalities are on a natural level; if you happen to have two personalities that jive well together, you’ll have a better chance at dating successfully. You might think that it has something to do with physical attractiveness; if you’re both attracted to each other and are in a similar “league,” you’ll have a better chance of having a long-term relationship. You might think that it has to do with how much fun you have together, whether your goals are in sync, or even whether your incomes are similar. 

The truth is, while all these factors do have an influence on whether you date successfully, there’s one factor that’s even more important: how long you’ve known the person before you start dating. Recent research from the University of Texas suggests that the longer you know someone before dating them, the better chances you’ll have at dating successfully, regardless of physical attractiveness or personality clashes. 

Keep this in mind as you continue dating. It might be better to spend time with potential partners, and really take the time to get to know them, before you start dating seriously. It could help your chances in the long run. 


Sheila Blagg is a Divorce Mediator certified  through the Ohio Supreme courts, & founder & CEO of Divorce 2 Datingthe first social networking site for individuals navigating a divorce. Follow Sheila on Twitter and Facebook

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