Scientists have looked into what we *really* prioritise in a partner and it's not good.

I recently realised that when it comes to The List of Things I Look For in a Potential Husband, I’m going to have to compromise. 

Are my standards too high? Potentially. Should they be? Hell yes. Never settle for less than what you deserve, girlies. 

Image: Giphy.

But as I was aimlessly swiping through profiles on Hinge last week, I found myself bartering about attributes. 

‘Ok they don’t technically live here, but they are college educated, the right age, a non-smoker and none of their answers have given me the ick yet.’’


Or, if I’m having an exceptionally bad time online: 

‘Ok, there is a photo with a fish and they still think the pineapple on pizza debate is interesting and they’re looking for someone who ‘doesn’t take life too seriously’, but he’s tall.’ 

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Like I say, it’s all about compromise. (Except if he answers the question ‘the best way to ask me out is by...’ with ‘just ask’. He’s a freaking idiot. Run.)

Well, now ACTUAL SCIENTISTS have looked into what we’re looking for in a partner and it turns out that I’m not the only picky one because more than 700 people were analysed in this study. And they clearly had thoughts about certain things. 

The study — that was recently published in the Journal of Sex Research which has quite frankly has become my bible — compared “mate preferences” between people with high sexual attraction towards others (called allosexual) and those who felt little or no sexual attraction and identified as asexual, demisexual, or grey-sexual.


Image: Giphy.

First up, the research found that we all strongly prefer partners who are kind, healthy and intelligent. Yay for us. But when you break it down, the differences between men and women are especially telling. 

According to the results, heterosexual men who experienced high sexual attraction rated physical attractiveness higher than women, while women were more concerned with the social status and financial prospects of their date. (Hey, someone’s gotta help support my champagne lifestyle when this Prosecco budget won’t cut it).


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Digging deeper, the experts looked at another two partner characteristics — conscientiousness (which covered ambition, emotional stability/maturity, reliability, diligence, humour and sociability) and intelligence/education. 

And when you consider that a man doesn’t emotionally mature until he’s 43, are we even surprised that allosexual women picked conscientiousness first, while men with high sexual attraction placed greater importance on intelligence and education? 

When it came to those with low sexual attraction, women preferred partners with brains and a good education, and cared less about physical attractiveness, status, financial prospects and conscientiousness. 

And men with low sexual attraction placed less importance on all partner characteristics — except social status and financial prospects. 

The researchers also found that when it comes to romantic attraction, we care most about conscientiousness and physical attractiveness. And really, can you blame us? 

I need to make sure the person I’ll be looking at for the rest of my life is at least a bit of a looker! 

Image: Getty + Mamamia.

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