The most fruitful science for the purposes of romance would seem to be psychology, as it claims to provide glimpses into the inner workings of our minds: where better to look for understanding of what motivates humans in pursuit of love. And this case is to find the reasons why you should date a graphic designer.
Of All People, Why Date A Graphic Designer?
In psychology, personality traits are best measured using the Big Five factor model which argues that all of human personality can be arranged on a spectrum of five variables. Those are neuroticism, extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness to experience. Graphic designers tend to score highly on extroversion, a measure of how much one enjoys social stimulation, meaning they’re usually friendly, outgoing and gregarious communicators; similarly, good agreeableness scores might be expected, a measure of the tendency to cooperate. They are also likely to score high on conscientiousness, a measure of one’s tenacity in pursuit of a goal, suggesting they’re highly motivated, with good management of time and themselves. They might also be expected to be on the upper end of openness to experience measures, which describes the tendency to engage in cognitively stimulating activity, such as highly creative tasks for example. Neuroticism scores could be anywhere really, but that aside, this is the personality profile for a successful partner: good-natured, sociable, hard-working and imaginative.
Aside from psychology, there are three more obvious reasons why you should date graphic designers.
Reason 1: Graphic Designers Know How to Look Good
A graphic designer is someone who arranges images for a living. What better indication of one’s aesthetic prowess could you ask for? This is not to make any wild claims about the physical attractiveness of individuals, that’s a lottery of genetics. Thankfully, your genetic endowment is not the sole determinant of one’s perception by others. A little artful application of make-up – never to be recommended in large quantities or for regular use of course, self-esteem is just as important a quality for dating as physicality –, a good haircut and some dress sense can go far. If you’re likely to consider being a graphic designer as a career worthy of your life’s dedication then one would hope you’re equally likely to possess some amount of artistic sense. This however cannot translate a guaranteed success in dating but rather just a high probability.
The science can offer some support for this. A study from Jan de Vries and colleagues in 2008 sought to establish support for a theory about the role of parental influence on dating choices, however, the only significant predictor of success they found was physical attractiveness.
Perhaps a little more optimistically, research indicates that color plays an important role in determining first impression. There are lots of different associations of colors with different types of personalities or behaviors, but the most relevant for love is the color red. Elliot and colleagues, in 2010 for instance, argue that this is an effect that is specific to woman (although other studies have found a male’s preference for women in red dresses). In their study, participants had no idea that color was the phenomena under study, and yet the woman consistently produced higher ratings of attractiveness and sexual desirability for men seen against a red background or in red clothing. Perhaps intriguingly, they argue that it is red’s connotation of power and prestige that lends it’s romantic potency. Red is apparently associated with high status. It is particularly likely that if you date graphic designers, of all people, they might have some grasp of the impact of color, and might be able to deploy this their own romantic success.
Reason 2: Graphic Designer’s understand the importance of composition
A graphic designer above anyone else understands that composition is a different set of considerations to aesthetics. Whilst the final physical effect is important, composition describes the relation between the individual elements that compose the whole. Considerations of how a piece should be composed focuses attention on the properties of the individual elements themselves: information that extends beyond simply the visual domain. It might be the relational qualities of the materials being used, or the demands of meaning imposed by an external source. The ways of thinking inculcated in the graphic designer’s attention for composition set them up well for success in dating and in love.
Graphic designers are likely to think of their bodies in compositional terms, and perhaps to consider the communicative role they’re playing over and above simple visual clues. A study conducted by Marian Houser and colleagues in 2008 demonstrated a clear correlation between what was termed nonverbal immediacy and positive outcomes of a speed dating event. Positive outcomes here meant the decision to engage in future dates and remain together, and nonverbal immediacy describes level of connection between two people’s bodies, visible in mimicking and complementary movements. In other words, those with good body language tended not only to have a good first date but went on to have successful subsequent dates. Success therefore may seem destined if you date a graphic designer.
A compositional mind might not just be useful in the short term of dating, it might engender success for the long-term relationship. A relationship beyond the early days of lust requires care and attention, it merits management and consideration. It demands you consider all the little parts that go together to make your relationship, that you tend to each other and understand their properties; it demands a consideration of its composition.
Reason 3: Graphic Designers are excellent communicators
The third, and final, and perhaps most important reason to choose graphic designers romantic proficiency is their communication skills. Most graphic designers work as freelancer or on a consultancy basis, and so their income is dependent on their ability to successfully communicate with their funders to increase their budget. Even for those with salaried positions, the work of a graphic artist is inherently collaborative. A graphic is usually produced for a purpose, so a marketing team is involved, or as part of a project. The ability to communicate successfully with colleagues, bosses and clients is fundamental. It hardly needs to be said that communication is equally fundamental to a good relationship.
The foundation of psychology’s relevant practical arm – relationship therapy – is the importance of talk, and the requirement for talk between couples. Based on almost a century of evidence from the therapy room, and now increasing empirical evidence of positive outcomes, successful communication is an essential component of a working relationship in the long term. It’s the type of communication that matters on top of that: it requires a degree of honesty, a degree of empathy and understanding, a degree of extroversion and a degree of active listening. These are all skills at the core of the graphic designer’s repertoire.
In a recent empirical example from Jens Asendorpf and colleagues, they found that a person’s dating success was also dependent upon his openness to experience, shyness, education and income. Women it seems do consider more factors! This means that other than benefiting from their penchant for aesthetic and compositional excellence, and their excellence in communication; female graphic designers will most likely have more success than male ones, for whom income ways more heavily. Yet there is perhaps hope still in that preference for openness, recalling that it is commonly defined as originality and creativity – surely the foundational characteristics of a graphic designer are worth their salt. Nonetheless, the reasons to date graphic designers are still pretty obvious.
Asendorpf, J. B., Penke, L. & Back, M. D. (2011). From dating to mating and relating: Predictors of initial and long-term outcomes of speed-dating in a community sample. European Journal of Personality, 25, 16-30.
de Vries, Jan M. A., Swenson, L., & Walsh, Patricia R. (2008). Hot picture or great self-description. Marriage & Family Review, 42, 7-34.
Elliot, A. J., Kayser, D. N., Greitemeyer, T., Lichtenfeld, S., Gramzow, R. H., Majer, M. A., & Liu, H. (2010). Red, rank and romance in women viewing men. Journal of Experimental Psychology General, 139, 399-417.
Houser, M. L., Horan, S. M., & Furler, L. A. (2008). Dating in the fast lane: How communication predicts speed-dating success. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25, 749-768.