New research says that some people are so concerned about hurting the feelings of their potential romantic dates that they end up accepting unsuitable dating partners - flouting their own set of dating criteria.
Rejecting unsuitable romantic partners is easy in hypothetical situations but not so when considering a face-to-face proposition, the findings showed.
"When actually faced with a potential date, we do not like to reject a person and make them feel bad, which is not necessarily something that people anticipate when they imagine making these choices," said the study's lead researcher Samantha Joel from the University of Toronto in Canada.
In the first experiment, participants completed their own dating profile.
Then they were provided with three profiles, which supposedly belonged to other participants.
They were split into real and hypothetical situations.
The researchers found that those in the real situation were more likely to accept the date from the unattractive suitor.
When asked why, the participants said they were concerned about hurting the feelings of potential dates.
"The fact that we underestimate how concerned we will feel about hurting the other person's feelings may help to explain why people's dating decisions often don't match up with their stated dating preferences," Joel added.
The results were same when the researchers surveyed participants' willingness to accept dates with individuals whose qualities or attributes were undesirable because of habits or traits, rather than physical unattractiveness.
The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.