For people in New York beginning a relationship, physical attraction to a new partner may be one of the most compelling aspects that bring two people together. However, some couples have wide differences in their levels of attractiveness, at least insofar as they are perceived by others. While people have widely variant understandings of which traits are the most physically attractive, social standards of beauty may have a significant impact on how people are treated in romantic relationships. Several researchers have conducted studies to examine how an attractiveness gap may affect the happiness or longevity of a relationship.

Some researchers found that couples with a wide gap in attractiveness were more likely to break up later on. One study noted that tensions arise in these relationships when the partner considered less attractive develops jealousy or controlling tendencies. Another study found that women who reported that they were much more attractive than their male partners were more likely to flirt with others and lack commitment to the relationship. Since that study relied on self-reported attractiveness gaps, however, it may also illustrate serious relationship problems, dislike and contempt. All of these factors are often present in case of a divorce.

Other researchers found different outcomes, however. One interview-based survey of newlywed couples involved the assessment of both parties’ attractiveness by outside observers. Those men who were married to significantly more attractive women were reportedly happy in their relationships and deeply committed. Additional research found that attractiveness levels made little difference if a couple had developed a friendship before a romance.

After years of marriage, a couple may face significant irreconcilable differences, including conflicts over parenting or finances. A family law attorney may be able to help a divorcing spouse negotiate a fair settlement on issues like property division and child custody.