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Hey Women! New Study Confirms the More He Spends on You, the Better a Mate He Will Be!

By developing a literal mating game, researchers from University College London (UCL) answered a question that men in the dating world have been asking for centuries: Does wining and dining a girl pay off in the end?

The answer is yes indeed -- but only if it is the right type of gift. When a woman receives an expensive gift from a man, it's a sign that he's interested in a more long-term commitment (since most men wouldn't invest much if they weren't). However, this puts the man at a disadvantage, since the woman could simply be after the extravagant gifts and not the relationship.

Couple Dining

Wining and dining appears to be a good tactic in the dating game.

To rule out these "gold-digging" women, researchers say men must give a gift that is costly to them but of little monetary worth to the woman (thus eliminating the women who are only interested in the gifts).

Says Dr. Peter Sozou of UCL's Centre for Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology:

"Guys are less likely to offer expensive gifts to females they don't have a long-term interest in. And girls won't be impressed by cheap gifts. By offering expensive but worthless gifts, such as dinners and theatre trips, the male pays no cost if the invitation isn't accepted. Girls that don't find a guy attractive are less likely to take up the invitation because it would mean spending time with a person they aren't interested in."

The researchers made two versions of a game with different biological assumptions based on whether the male is involved with parental care and gave different scores to factors like attractiveness and fitness.

Based on the model, "Our analysis shows that there is evolutionary logic in men 'burning money' to impress the girl," said UCL Professor Robert Seymour.

Singles in America Increasing

This could be good news for the 40 percent of Americans who are single (up from 28 percent about 30 years ago, according to U.S. Census statistics).

"With the increase in the divorce rate, the increase in the age at which people first get married, and with our increasing longevity, the experience of being single is now one of the most widely shared experiences of adulthood," says Bella DePaulo, a visiting professor of psychology at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

In fact, while there were 38 million singles in the United States in 1970, in 2000 that number had soared to 82 million.

It seems men may share a similar notion to the researchers when it comes to giving actual gifts (rather than dinners, etc.). As it says in "10 Love Tactics for New Relationships" on, "Showering a woman with gifts in the first stages of a relationship will not make her like you more or motivate her to keep you around. If anything, spoiling her too soon will show you have little else to offer and that you essentially need to buy her attention."

That said, assuming you did want to splurge on a gift for your mate (male or female), what are the best gifts to give?

Woman Recieves Gift

Jewelry is a top gift choice to make women feel special.

"Our favorite gifts are the ones that allow us to express emotion and make us feel special," said noted gift expert and author of "The Perfect Present," Robyn Spizman. "They are personal expressions of our feelings for each other."

According to a survey by the International Communications Research for the Society of American Florists, the following gifts top the list:

To Say "I Love You"
Flowers/houseplants: 37%
Jewelry: 34%
Perfume/Cologne: 5%

To Make You Feel Special
Jewelry: 33%
Flowers/houseplants: 24%
Clothing: 10%

Given Most Often
Clothing: 38%
Flowers/houseplants: 12%
Food: 10%

To Make You Smile
Jewelry: 26%
Flowers/houseplants: 23%
Tickets to a sporting/entertainment event: 12%

What's the bottom line? In the mating game, everything goes back to survival of the fittest, and Dr. Sozou sums it up quite bluntly: "In humans, a girl wants a guy who is attractive to her and will help raise their children. The worst pay-off, reproductively, is if she hooks up with an unattractive male who, literary, leaves her holding the baby."

Recommended Reading

The Top Six Signs that Someone is Physically Attracted to You

How to Make All Your Relationships Work


Health Orbit July 27, 2005 Relationship Mistakes

82 Million Singles, You're Not Alone

America: Unwrapped Nationwide Survey Uncovers Americans' 21st Century Gift Giving Attitudes and Desires

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