That little voice that tells you if a girl’s right for you within 10 seconds of meeting her? You may want to buy it a muzzle.

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According to a new study, sexual and romantic chemistry can develop long after people meet—even if they didn’t initially have the hots for each other. Researchers at the U. of Texas at Austin, hoping to learn why most people choose partners of similar attractiveness (meaning, on a scale of 1–10, most 9’s end up with 9’s, most 4’s with 4’s), taped 167 married or dating couples interacting, then rated them on attractiveness.

Their surprise discovery: Couples rated farthest apart in attractiveness (say, a 9 girl with a 4 guy) had known each other for much longer than couples rated very similar in attractiveness. Why? Their attraction had grown over time. Best of all, there was no difference in the quality of relationships for either type of couple.

“When you know someone awhile, you have more—and more diverse—information to evaluate him or her by, so your initial impressions may evolve,” says study co-author Lucy L. Hunt.

With an open mind, a little bit of time, and maybe a couple of beers, they could probably evolve even more.

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