Dating is More than Just About the Looks

July 10, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. fade away 
[feyd uh-WEY] (v. phrase) – to weaken
Example: Lisa’s sadness fades away when her husband is around.

2. speed dating [speed DEY-ting] (n. phrase) – an event in which people meet to find possible partners
Example: Mr. and Mrs. Smith met each other through speed dating.

3. barrage [buh-RAHZH] (n.) – a continuous way of saying words or questions
Example: The researcher got offended with his colleague’s barrage of criticisms about the study.

4. role [rohl] (n.) –  a part or function played by one person in a group
Example: Usually, a mother’s role is to do household chores.

5. approach [uh-PROHCH] (v.) – to move closer
Example: Dan approached the lady in the bar and offered her a drink.


Read the text below.
Studies show that two people can get physically attracted in a matter of seconds, but that connection can fade away depending on how their conversation goes.

Researchers from Stanford University explored this phenomenon in a speed dating experiment involving graduate students. The findings show that the course of conversation affected how a participant decided which person he or she liked.

In the experiment, participants took part in a usual speed dating activity in which people mingle for a few minutes to get to know each other. Male participants move around the room to meet female participants and engage in quick conversations.

To find out how language affects attraction, Dan McFarland and his team recorded the conversations between the participants and conducted interviews to find out how participants assessed the people they met.

Researchers found that women tend to be pickier with who they like than men. Both men and women express excitement in the tone of their voice, although in different ways—men speak in monotone while women talk in a pitch higher than usual. Surprisingly, both become more engaged when the female is the subject of the conversation. However, women hate a barrage of questions being thrown at them because they see it as a sign of disinterest.

In another study from Northwestern University, the roles were reversed—women approached the male participants. Researchers found that approaching a possible partner instead of being approached increases the desire for the partner.

After conducting follow ups on the Stanford participants, McFarland found that only a few pairs continued dating, as expected. He said people should watch their language when dating because the odds for establishing long term relationship from dating are high. And looks are not the thing that matters.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think speed dating can lead to serious relationships? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think conversation matters in building relationships?

Discussion B

·         Do you think men and women are different when it comes to handling relationships? Please explain your answer.
·         In your opinion, how else can men and women improve their relationship?


July 10, 2013