Three Minute Mate

Something I regularly told my undergraduate public speaking students as they prepared for their first speech was that within the first 60 seconds of meeting someone, we have passed some type of judgment on them.  We have either determined that we like or dislike their attire, their teeth, their hair, or the sound of their voice.


I recently read an article in “O” (Nov. 2009, pg. 140) that talked about how we are built to instantly size up a potential partner with an intuitive skill and regularly make up our minds about whether or not they are an appropriate match within the first three minutes of talking to them.  This gives new meaning to the practice of “speed dating.”


Here is how a woman might size up a man within this time frame:

  • In less than one second she has decided if he is physically attractive.
  • A few seconds more to decode the aesthetics of his vocal quality.  Women generally find men with deeper voices more attractive 😉
  • The last consideration will be his words.  Women are drawn to individuals who share a similar intelligence, religious and social values and have a similar socio-economic backgrounds; these conclusions are quickly drawn simply from a man’s words and appearance.

Things that I am confident I would be able to successfully assess in seconds, not minutes, if it were this man:


Oddly enough, as I considered this intuition in light of my past relationships; I can recall my initial feeling about each one of them.  Had I paid attention to that gut instinct, I might have spared myself some of the unfortunate outcomes.

Though studies indicate that the more time you spend with someone, the more attractive they become, there is something to be said about that initial moment where your eyes meet and time stands still…

Do I believe in love at first sight?  Not necessarily.  But do I think that we have God-given instincts?  Absolutely.

What happened the last time you listened to yours?  Or didn’t…


2 thoughts on “Three Minute Mate

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