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Abstract

Research on initial romantic attraction flourished in the 1960s and 1970s but has now been partially eclipsed by research on close relationships. The authors argue that speed-dating procedures, in which participants attend an event where they experience brief “dates” with a series of potential romantic partners, permit researchers to “retrofit” the advances of close relationships research to the study of initial romantic attraction. Speed-dating procedures also allow for strong tests of many fundamental attraction-related hypotheses and, via longitudinal follow-ups, could unify the fields of initial romantic attraction and close relationships. This article will help investigators conduct speed-dating studies by addressing the methodological and logistical issues they will face and by illustrating procedures with a description of the Northwestern Speed-Dating Study.