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New research helps Valentines pick the perfect partner

13 Feb 2014

With recent reports suggesting that more than half of all couples will meet online by 2031, the art of those nerve-wracking first dates is more important than ever for this year’s Valentines. Happily, new research from Professor Dan Cable identifies some top tips for sussing out potential partners early on.

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The research by Dan Cable, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School and Professor Jenni Carson from Georgia Tech, comes from an unlikely source for dating advice: the job interview. The ground breaking new study shows that job interviewers who spend too much time ‘selling’ themselves often misjudge the nature of person they are meeting for the first time.  

Professor Cable explains what this means for first-time daters: “Should you worry more about listening or putting your best foot forward and ensuring they want to see you again? My work shows that you should listen to your head if you want to avoid to heartache later. You are unlikely to find Mr or Mrs Right if you spend too much time talking about yourself.”

The insights from the study, which looks at whether recruiters should concentrate on purely evaluating applicants when they first meet, or also on ‘selling’ the company, say a great deal about whether first impressions when meeting a person should be trusted or not.

“Our attention is limited”, Professor Cable explains. “If we’re concentrating on selling a company or ourselves, we devote less attention to the process of evaluating the other person. This hinders our ability to judge the person accurately and predict whether the relationship will have a positive outcome.”
 
Professor Cable’s work comes as a recent report from the online dating site eHarmony announces that by 2040 seven in ten couples will meet online with the prospect of first dates – the ultimate compatibility test – ahead of them.