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It’s a question that has puzzled poets, flummoxed Freud, and muddled Mel Gibson. What do women want in a man (and vice versa)? What are the most desirable personality traits? Although pop culture cliché would suggest that this query will remain forever unsolved, the answer is actually far more simple than you might think.
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Study reveals the most attractive personality traits
A 2007 Richard Lippa study (based on the results of a BBC online survey), found that what women want in a man is really not all that different from what men want in a woman. The study, which involved 200,000 people from 53 countries, came to this conclusion by ranking people’s personality preferences and then comparing them.1 Participants were asked to think about the gender that most attracted them, then to choose and rank that gender’s top three attractive personality traits (from twenty-three given options.) The traits were then organised by popularity – the more participants put each trait in their top three, the higher they ranked.
What may be surprising to some is that traits thought to be traditionally popular with women seeking men, such as ‘social status’ and ‘wealth’ did not even rank in the top ten of that group’s picks. They were, in fact, very near the bottom of the heap. The most favoured personality traits were instead humour, intelligence, and honesty (in that order).2
Does what women want in a man = what men want in a woman?
As Harvard psychologist Dr. Justin Lehmiller points out, this is particularly interesting in how closely it ties in to the top traits that straight men prefer in women. Men’s top three picks were – in order – intelligence, good looks and humour. In other words, there was only one difference between what women and what men want. Indeed, looking at the top ten as a whole, nine out of ten traits were the same for both men and women, albeit in a slightly different order for each.3
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So what does this mean for EliteSingles members?
If the results of this study can be believed, what women want in a man is primarily humour, intelligence and honesty. And this checklist can only be good news for the single men on EliteSingles. As a dating site that is designed for those truly looking for long term love, EliteSingles tends to attract the kind of members that already display honesty. It also turns out that the majority of our members are highly educated or otherwise successful – a feat that requires intelligence. All that is needed is a bit of humour in order to tick all the personality preference boxes.
Moreover, the revelation that women and men are mostly looking for the same things should come as a reassurance for anyone getting back in the dating game after an absence or simply working up the nerve to send a first message. What do women want? You already know. They want what nearly everybody does: a bit of kindness. Thoughtful communication. A good laugh now and then. And maybe, just maybe for people to stop asking that question!
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Do you feel you tick the boxes when it comes to what women want? Then what are you waiting for? Join EliteSingles today.
EliteSingles editorial, August 2014.
1 Lippa, R. A. (2007). ‘The Preferred Traits of Mates in a Cross-National Study of Heterosexual and Homosexual Men and Women: An Examination of Biological and Cultural Influences‘. Archives of Sexual Behaviour, Vol. 36, 2, pp192-208.
2 Lehmiller, J. (2013). ‘Do Men and Women Prefer Different Traits in a Romantic Partner? Online article on The Psychology of Human Sexuality.
3 As above.