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No Rose-Colored Dating Glasses
We might see ourselves with rose-colored glasses, but apparently we see our dates clearly:
When less attractive people accept less attractive dates, do they persuade themselves that the people they choose to date are more physically attractive than others perceive them to be? Our analysis of data from the popular Web site http://HOTorNOT.com suggests that this is not the case: Less attractive people do not delude themselves into thinking that their dates are more physically attractive than others perceive them to be.
Intimates in satisfying marriages perceive more virtue in their partners than their friends or their partners themselves perceive. … In contrast, intimates in less satisfying marriages perceive less virtue in their partners than their friends or their partners themselves perceive.
So perhaps we see accurately on average, but some are biased up while others are biased down. And perhaps we see more clearly while dating than after we’ve been married for a while.