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Dating websites and psychological researchers attempt to find those factors that predict the fit between potential romantic partners. Examples for factors taken into consideration are the "big five" dimensions of personality, attractiveness, or hobbies. These factors are found by looking at people in successful versus failed relationships.

When I get to know someone over a long period of time, these factors might be what makes me want to enter a relationship with them, and in fact they might predict how successful a relationship to that person will be. But when I meet a stranger what I find is that none of these factors predict if that spark of attraction will fly. Often, the girls that make me go all slack-jawed and drooling with romantic tunnel vision have little in common with the profile I would create for my ideal partner, while an attractive girl that fulfills all criteria for a successful relationship with me will leave me completely cold.

Is there research into how to predict if one person will spark the romantic interest of another?


I accept opinion, if it is based on careful reflection and does not just contain banalities.

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Definitely, though AFAIK, it's mostly very general, nomothetic research; hence it may not help explain your predicament much. IOU an answer, and am sharing this with a friend and colleague who was into this kind of research once upon a time. –  Nick Stauner Jun 2 at 7:52

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