Is Scientific Research Taking the Romance out of Romance?

New York Times

NY Times Article Reduces Romance to Pronoun Choice

According to a recent article from the New York Times (October 27th), researches have discovered that the pronouns we use when speaking to someone new, can actually predict if we make it as a couple. They have developed a software  program (LMS) that compares the pronouns (you, me, I) and a variety of other small words to determine compatibility.

A study was done on the campus of Northwestern University where students participated in  a 4-minute speed dating event. From this, they managed to predict with a high rate of accuracy, which couples would connect and make it past the three month mark.

The biggest contributing factor appears to be mimicry. If you and another person use a large proportion of the same small words, you maybe destined for a long-term romance.

However, they have also started to analyze other types of conversations besides the simple get-to-know-you sort. For example, they have studied how people argue as well. In particular, the article mentioned the now infamous Rosie O’Donnell and Elizabeth Hasselbeck argument from the TV show The View. Based on results from the analysis, these two women had an 84% compatibility rating. What does that mean? They are perfect debate team opponents?

Taking a step back, my questions is, ummm, what’s the point here? If the study discovers that you are compatible for viscous, public arguments on TV, the point is? Not sure I see the application for this end result.

As a dating coach for women dating over 40 or dating after divorce, I’m all for social research which has produced volumes of not only interesting, but extremely helpful details on how to manage our communication and social needs. But, sometimes, maybe the money can be put to use in something a bit more productive.

Or, on the other hand, if you meet a guy who you think is really cute, keep this in mind. Mimic his language pattern and word choice. Plus, according to Neurolinguistic Programming, you should also mirror his body language. And, if you can do all that while smiling, paying attention, and engaging in conversation, you truly are  master and are worthy of your own study!


Photo Credit: Digital Freak

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *