Sorry to tell you this, ladies, but your skepticism and paranoia about your boyfriend's true feelings toward you are about to get a whole lot worse.
Of course, we all want the best there is out there, and when we have it, we love to flaunt it. And researchers at Florida State University found that those same rules apply with our romantic partners.
In this case, the hotter, the better.
A recent study, published in Evolutionary Psychological Science, concluded that most guys tend to perceive girls as "luxury goods" instead of, you know, actual people.
These so-called "luxury goods" — like expensive cars and blinged-out jewelry — bring you plenty of positive attention and only serve to amplify your social status.
Medical Daily connects this to "the signaling theory," which states that humans solely behave in a way to better their social standing in comparison to people around them.
It would make sense, then, that one way men do this is by toting around some smoking-hot arm candy they believe will boost their image and make other men jealous.
"Dating a very attractive, desirable member of the other sex would function as a costly signal of one's underlying traits (intelligence, kindness, ambition, etc.), because only a smart, kind, ambitious person could date a very attractive and desired member of the other sex," Bo Winegard, lead author of the study, told PsyPost.
To confirm their theory, researchers conducted four different experiments to figure out if female partners were indeed seen as a status symbol and if men were distressed if their social status was not up to par with other men they knew.
The first survey saw 66 men and 51 women rate the social status of people who rolled up at a party in an expensive vehicle, wearing the classiest outfit, with the sexiest person at their side, in comparison to those who were totally average in those areas.
As expected, those who went to the party with a good-looking person were perceived as being pretty blessed socially in comparison to those who showed up with a less attractive person.
Having that beautiful person on your arm was essentially the equivalent of wearing a diamond ring, in most cases.
The second survey included 41 men and 82 women comparing the "status, niceness and competence" of guys with higher grade partners to those with lower grade partners.
Once again, men who associated themselves with more beautiful people were rated much higher in those areas.
If you haven't already guessed, results for the third survey of 100 men also saw those with "high quality" partners rated with the highest social status.
Are you seeing a pattern here? I certainly hope so.
To fulfill the needs of their fourth survey, 105 college males were partnered with either an appealing or unappealing female to dole out surveys at different spots on campus, each with a gender-specific demographic.
The guys were told they could go to one of four different areas: "an undergraduate area populated mostly with young men, an undergraduate area populated mostly with young women, an administrative area populated mostly with older women or an administrative area populated mostly with older men."
According to researchers, men were much more worried about how their status would be perceived in the presence of other dudes, instead of women.
The college males who stood with an attractive woman aimed to pass out the surveys where other college males were around.
"Just as watches, cars, and fancy suits can signal somebody's status, so too can an attractive romantic partner," said Winegard.
Winegard is still eager to remind everyone that treating someone as an inanimate object isn't a good thing to do, but some people do it anyway.
And as it turns out, women are guilty of doing the same thing men are. In a 2013 study, results showed ladies focusing on flaunting their handsome male partners in order to boost their social status among others.
It's clear that a lot of people perceive showing off their beautiful boyfriend or girlfriend as a direct message to others. But if you're dating someone just so it makes you seem more attractive, you need to reevaluate your life choices.
In actuality, you're just a douchebag.