If you met your partner while taking hormonal birth control, you may be in for a shocking surprise.
New research from Florida State University explains the way birth control may level the genetic playing field for men.
Women married to men of less-than-average facial looks who took hormonal birth control at the onset of their relationships found their husbands to be less attractive after ceasing its usage.
On the other hand, women with attractive husbands were even more satisfied after ceasing birth control use.
The two studies, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, followed the early stages of marriage for 118 couples — 48 couples were followed for four years, while 70 were for one year.
An impartial team of observers who'd been trained in measuring physical attractiveness rated each male partner's looks.
In both studies, the newlywed wives were asked to rate their level of satisfaction every six months, as well document their birth control use.
Tampering with hormones can result in well-documented side effects, like mood swings and weight gain, but it's also somewhat blinding women's ability to choose a partner based on looks alone.
At this point, it's not clear if the women had a different idea of what handsome looked like while on the Pill, or whether they just didn't care about attractiveness. The study disputes the theory that women are most attracted to strong, attractive men who look genetically sound.
Still, the researchers admit to limitations: Hormone intake was self-reported, and only a small amount of couples participated. The connection requires more research.
Either way, beware. That Prince Charming you're dating could very well turn out to be a toad.