What do humans really want in a long-term partner? If people were given a limited menu of characteristics from which to choose, what would be the non-negotiables? And how much of what we value in a partner is influenced by culture and how much is innate? In a nifty new report out of the University of Swansea in the U.K., researchers got 2,700 college students from five countries to progressively narrow down which characteristics were most important to them in a lifetime mate, and the one that emerged from all cultures was kindness.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Personality on Sept. 8, compared the dating preferences of students from two countries traditionally considered as “Eastern” (Singapore and Malaysia) and three counties considered as “Western” (Australia, Norway and the U.K.).
It offered up eight attributes on which participants could spend “mate dollars”: Physical attractiveness, good financial prospects, kindness, humor, chastity, religiosity, the desire for children, and creativity. After kindness, men almost universally favored physical attractiveness and women chose good financial prospects.
I – Word Understanding
Innate – natural / in born
Nifty – good
Attributes – qualities
Chastity – being faithful; having pure intentions
II – Have Your Say
Let’s discuss the importance of these 8 attributes and rate them according to your own priority:
1. Physical attractiveness
2. Good financial prospects
7. Desire for children