Red for romance? Not anymore! How singletons are ditching sexy scarlet outfits in favour of all black ensembles to impress on a first date

  • Red is the shade traditionally associated with romance and passion
  • Research commissioned by hit dating show First Dates suggests it’s out of favour
  • Of 546 singletons who enjoyed a blind date on the show, majority wore black 

Red is the shade most often associated with love and passion, but it’s no longer the first colour people reach for ahead of a first date. 

The colour people hoping to hit it off with a potential mate are most likely to wear is, in fact, black. 

That’s according to a new study carried out on behalf of the hit series First Dates, which indicates that red is no longer the ‘colour of love’.  

The research saw the outfits of 546 daters across six series analysed, and the results showed the majority wore black to meet their match.   

While evolutionary studies have long pointed to the fact females use red to attract a mate, black is a more modern and fashionable choice, pointing to the large role ‘cultural and societal’ influences play in how we dress. 

A study based on hit series First Dates has discovered that black may have overtaken red as the colour of love, with 546 singletons examined over six series of the hit dating show

Dr Robin Kramer, lead researcher from the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology, told the website EurekAlert : ‘Red is traditionally seen as the colour of love but more recently research has shown that both black and red are perceived as equally attractive, and that the two colours may simply increase attractiveness in different ways.

‘While red may increase perceived attractiveness through evolutionary mechanisms, dates appear to rely more heavily on black in order to attract a potential mate, suggesting that cultural and societal influences may play a much larger role in the way people dress than the use of evolutionary signals.

Co-author Jerrica Mulgrew, a research assistant at Trent University Canada, added: ‘Our results provide the first real-world demonstration that people display more red and black clothing when meeting a potential partner for the first time and it was particularly interesting to find a larger increase in the amount of black worn as this wasn’t the focus when we designed the study.’

The research examined 546 daters across six series, and showed that while red was largely worn during the pre-date interviews, the majority of singletons wore black on their first dates

Colour has long been used  for a range of things, with one expert recently claiming that ‘colour healing’ can help reignite the spark in the bedroom. 

Speaking to Femail in February, Sarupa Shah, a British spiritual mentor & business coach, said: ‘Colour healing has fascinated both scientists and mystic for thousands of years.

‘Everyone has at some point noticed the effects of colour to their mood and sense of wellbeing.

‘Scientific research is also taught in physics classrooms, with each colour emitting a unique signature and wave length.’

Sarupa explained how colour therapy has been adopted by health industries and utilised for their psychological impact – with Gatwick Airport following in Japan’s footsteps by introducing blue lighting at its train station.

The same move at Tokyo’s Yanamote Train Line saw a 75 per cent drop in suicides. 

Researcher Dr Robin Kramer told science site EurekAlert that this could be because the two colours are attractive in ‘different ways’, with red seen as an evolutionary colour used to attract mates through its brightness, while black is a more modern tone associated with ‘cultural and societal influences’


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