Change in Physical Attraction in Early Romantic Relationships


  • Victor Karandashev
  • Brittany Fata


The goal of our research was to study the changes in physical attraction during the early stages of romantic relationships. The longitudinal study explored the personality characteristics of a partner and relationship events affecting physical attraction of early (within the first year) romantic relationships. Participants completed an eight-week longitudinal rating of their attraction toward their romantic partner. Factor analysis revealed behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and physiological dimensions. The behavioral and emotional dimensions play the largest role in attraction among both genders, with cognitive dimension also affecting attraction in women. Personality characteristics of one’s partner are significant predictors of physical attraction for both men and women. However, events occurring in the relationship seem to be only reliable predictors for a women’s attraction.