The next time you’re going to your favorite date spot, take a look around and you might notice that the people you’re chatting with aren’t wearing masks.
According to a new study, people who use face masks are less likely to be successful with date options, as their face is often visible while they’re having a conversation.
The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, surveyed 2,000 people from the U.S. and Canada, asking them to share photos of themselves with a friend or colleague, including face masks and the person wearing them.
The researchers also asked them how much they enjoyed using face masks, how much it affected their date options and whether or not they wanted to use them in the future.
The study found that people who used masks were more likely to say they would use them again after the first time they used them and were less likely than those who didn’t use face covers to say their date was more comfortable with the idea.
Researchers say that while mask use is a good idea in general, mask use can be beneficial in certain situations.
“It could be a good option for people who don’t have facial masks or who have trouble finding a date because they don’t like to wear masks,” says study co-author Kristin Tannenbaum, a professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University.
“For instance, people with allergies can mask their faces to mask the effects of allergies on their skin.”
Researchers also found that older people were more than twice as likely to choose masks over face coverings.
“This study is an interesting reminder that mask use could have a positive impact on a date’s comfort level, whether it be a date or a romantic relationship,” says Tann.
The findings are not the first to suggest mask use has a positive effect on date choices.
A study published in May in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that when a person was wearing a face mask while having a romantic encounter, their romantic partner was less likely, on average, to wear a mask in order to avoid embarrassment.