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What Makes Someone Truly Desirable?

Hint: Physical appearance is NOT #1

Dating is hard…and so much emphasis seems to be placed on appearance. But, no one has ever been in a relationship with someone that doesn’t exhibit other desirable, more important traits. My colleagues and I at eharmony were super interested to find out just what traits were most desirable. So, we partnered with Harris Interactive to conduct a singles study around what makes a person truly desirable to other singles. What we found out is rather shocking and definitely worth a deep dive to understand better. At the end of the day, the key is that everyone is desirable, no matter if you have every one of the traits below or just one. If you embody any of these traits, make sure to show them off! But most importantly, as long as you embody honesty, that puts you right at the top!

The first-ever “Singles and Desirability” study was conducted to finally, once and for all, understand which personality traits, professions, behaviors, and hobbies are most desirable, because, let’s be honest, we’ve always wondered ;). The study interviewed over 1,000 people in America aged 20, who are single or dating This gave us a clear idea on what people, across generations, want out of a future partner.

More than anything, the study provided us with tips and tricks on how to flaunt what you already have. My favorite points are below:

  • Relationships Over Casual. 70%… you read that right! Singles want someone who is seeking a serious relationship and they find that those who are taking a serious approach to dating as the most desirable.
  • Honesty is always the best policy. The most desirable personality trait is honesty. Closely followed is kindness and a sense of humor.  Nothing better than a partner who will treat you right, tell you the truth and make you laugh!
  • Fall in love with foodies. A strong interest in food (who doesn’t have that!) is highly desirable. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy hitting up the hottest restaurant or cooking yourself, people who are passionate about food are desired.
  • Work, work, work. People with “caring” jobs, like doctors or teachers or those in protective roles like firefighters or police officers are considered most desirable.
  • Fur babies are the new wingmen. Whether you bring your pup out with you on the town or show off that cute face on your dating profile, there is something special about someone who can take on the responsibility of pet ownership.
  • Dating sites work. Almost a quarter of respondents consider dating sites to have the most desirable people available.
  • Intent matters. People who go into dating with the same intent are more successful in creating a lasting partnership, even if it doesn’t end in marriage. Dating with a clear intent increases a person’s happiness as well, according to eharmony’s 2019 Happiness Index.

Millennials always surprise me in the best way – there is such a stigma around them but the reality couldn’t be farther from what is assumed. From this study, we learned that Millennials are more interested in partners that like spending nights in than spending nights out in public. They desire partners who are good with children and think artists and designers are more desirable than some of the older generations. So, basically, millennials want to spend time getting to know their potential partner by spending nights in and find it attractive when people follow their dreams. Amazing!

I think overall, I was most surprised and happy about the fact that 70% of single people desire someone who wants a serious relationship. With so many people putting a premium on casually dating or “talking” with no intention of being more, it’s refreshing to see that in reality, single people want something real. In a world where we view most things through filters, it was also great to see that honesty and kindness arethe most important and desirable personality traits. I was also really excited to see that stigmas around millennial dating were able to be thrown out the door It’s wonderful to see.

So, are you surprised? Does this study put into words everything you find desirable in a potential partner? Maybe the traits we found to be desirable aren’t up your alley – that’s totally okay. Everyone is different and everyone wants slightly different things in a potential partner. Desirability, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder after all!

Tell me, what about this study surprised you the most?


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