According to online dating data, both men and women have a tendency to seek out potential mates who are about 25 more attractive than they are. Even so, research suggests most people have realistic expectations when it comes to the type of partners they can expect to attract, so they generally maintain relationships with similar matches. For men in California who want to marry “out of their league,” the long-term outlook may not be so good.
This conclusion is based on research from a variety of sources suggesting that the odds of divorce are higher when there’s a significant physical appearance discrepancy. One study found that women with less attractive spouses are more likely to flirt with others and admit to being not as committed to their relationship. However, other research suggests that a more significant contributing factor to marital splits among mismatched couples is jealousy on the part of the less attractive spouse.
On a positive note, a UCLA researcher found that men married to more attractive women may have some good things going for them when it comes to the state of their relationships. After interviewing nearly a hundred newlywed couples, it was concluded that husbands in mismatched relationships were happier than their perfectly paired counterparts. Those same men were also found to be better at helping their attractive significant others with their problems. Additional research suggests that physical appearance mismatches may be less impactful if couples had a solid friendship before they become romantically involved.
Some couples may prefer to have a prenuptial agreement prepared by an attorney prior to walking down the aisle for added peace of mind. Such a document may be drafted in a way that protects both spouses’ assets. Should the end of a marriage occur without any predetermined arrangements in place to cover issues such as spousal support, a lawyer may still be able to negotiate a fair division of marital assets, which can become an even more significant process if their sizable assets include jointly owned homes, vehicles or bank accounts.