Monday, January 30, 2006

Finding Love: Traits in a Mate

"When it comes to romance, women prefer someone who tickles their funny bone while men opt for those who catch their eye, according to an international survey released on Wednesday [1/25/06].

The survey, conducted in 16 countries by Canadian romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises, asked men and women on six continents about traits they liked or disliked and how they went about trying to meet Mr. or Ms. Right.

The poll revealed differences between countries in the way people tried to impress the opposite sex.

Australians and British men frequently admitted drinking too much, while about half of German and Italian men said they had lied about their finances. Spaniards were the most likely to use sex to catch someone's attention.

Eighty percent of Brazilian and Mexican men said they had lied about their marital or relationship status, as did 70 percent of German women, the survey said.

When it came to meeting that special someone, a majority of respondents preferred to rely on friends for introductions. The Internet was not a popular hunting ground except in Portugal, where about half the surveyed men and women opted to find people online.

Both Spain and France suffered a gender gap. Thirty percent of Spanish men, but no Spanish women, looked for love online. In France, 40 percent of men but only 10 percent of women attended parties, bars and clubs to meet someone, but they did have one thing in common: both sexes rated looks as more important than their counterparts in other countries.

When it came to that first meeting, a majority of men polled said beauty was more important than brains, while women put a sense of humor at the top of their list.

Physical attraction was the top priority for men in France, Brazil, Greece, Japan and Britain. And while 40 percent of Portuguese men rated intelligence over looks in a first encounter, no Australian men did so.

In the United States and Canada, humor was considered the most important trait by both men and women, getting 63 and 73 percent of the vote respectively."

All I can say from my own experience is that my hubby won me with his humor and he felt the same about my wit. Two funny people still laughing and loving after 20 years.

What traits do you look for?

Reference Tandon, K. (2006) "And The Most Important Thing In A Mate Is..."


Dr Dork said...


We Aussies are a beer-guzzling bunch, that's for sure.

Humour and intelligence is what I look for.

The thin veneer of "beauty" fades..

Deb S. said...

Dr Dork, maybe you can write about the attributes of dorkiness on your blog. :-)

But to answer the question:
- Humor
- Intelligence
- Honesty
- Someone who will accept me as I am.

I never cared about looks - even as a teenager. But Dr Dork looks kind of cute. :-)

Cathy said...

This was really interesting.
It underscores how superficial people are.
There is nothing more important to me than: humour, intellect, compassion and honesty; looks I could care less...

dawn said...

WOW. 20 years! congrats:)

Um,I look for honesty and good sense of humour

And, someone who's not afraid to try new things, like sky diving :)

Donna said...

For us, it was friends that introduced us. We were both looking for the same things dcs mentioned..humor, intelligence, acceptance, and definitely honesty. It must have worked...we'll be married 26 years in May!

doulicia said...

Good for you!

I look(ed) for someone I could have good conversations with. Someone with some depth.

I got lucky and found him.

Michelle said...
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Michelle said...

Honesty, intelligence, humor, a compassionate spirit and a relationship with God all top my list. I believe that you know you're really in love when despite your s/o's "flaws" -- you still wouldn't change a thing about them, because both their good and their bad traits have made them into who they are. I guess that's what I want most of all -- someone I will love despite their perceived flaws and someone who will love me despite mine. May we all eventually have what you've had these last 20 years, Dr. Deb! Here's to another great 20 years for you and yours!

Godwhacker said...

I won my lover with my poetry, he won me with his art. Of course we both found each other attractive or we wouldn't have been looking at the art or listening to the poetry...

Fallen Angels said...

Funny story about how we met...I'll blog about that soon. After our first official introduction, it was her humor/silliness/dorkiness and intelligence that won me over. 12 1/2 years later, she still makes me laugh.


dragonflyfilly said...

honesty...hah hah hah, no, ummm, - decisiveness, yes, that's what i look for!!

good point Godwacker...
...well you know, i really don't trust polls because people often don't tell it like it is...women do go for looks, just watch them in a bar of any social setting. Personally my guy has to be AT LEAST 6 feet tall, young (well, youngish), bald's ok, CLEAN, relatively healthy, a non-smoker, have all his teeth (straight and not buck, thanks anyway dr dork)ummm ...oh yeah, employed would be nice too, unless he is independently wealthy...the list goes on an it any wonder that i am still single? O_O

sincerely (but superficially) yours,

p.s. hang on while i take my tongue out of my cheek

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Dr. Dork,
Like I've told you before "Geek is Chic".

Dear DCS,
Dr. Dork *is* a catch. Smart, funny and Australian.

Dear Cathy,
I found the different cultures and how they attract the opposite sex very surprising!

Dear Dawn,
I like your criteria!

Dear Donna,
Wow, past the silver mark. That's wonderful!

Dear Doulicia,
It's nice when that happens, right?

Dear Michelle,
Again it seems to be that what is important are things that cannot be seen, but "known".

Dear Godwhacker,
Yes, attraction *is* important, but for long lasting bonds, we need substance.

Dear Sera,
Sounds like you have a good thing!

Dear PJ,
Your humor would be sought after by many a mate!


dragonflyfilly said...

*chuckle chuckle*

dragonflyfilly said...

Thanks Deb, Soul Mates is one of my favourite books, and i just felt inspired to pick it up again yesterday, turned to this part, and felt somehow it was cogent to this space in time, and wanted to share this quote.

cheers for now,

CQ said...

I would have to go with Love of God, honesty, intelligence, sense of humor, and family-oriented at the top of my list.

Congratulations on your 20 Years, Dr. Deb! Wishing and praying for many more to come for you.

east village idiot said...

For me the most important traits are as follows

1. personal integrity and honor
2. creativity
3. compassion
4. sense of humor and silliness
5. a sense of wonder and optimism about the world (however subtle)
5. a striking resemblance to Christian Bale (joking)

I am grateful to have found that in someone. said...

I just look for broads who are freaking hot and like to do bad stuff. I stay single so that I can do that. Give me your phone number. I managed to crank out another barnburner on DoofleBoy Speaks. Choke it out.

DoofleBoy Has Spoken.

Godwhacker said...

I agree Deb, substance is very important. Another thing our society does not give enough attention to is honor. When you are in a committed relationship, you make a pact with that person to honor that relationship. Too often people fail to value that commitment in favor of immediate gratification.

Anonymous said...

What do I look for? Good grief! Even when I thought I knew, I really had no clue. I need humor and acceptance mostly. That said, even with humor...if childishness is taken too far, humor doesn't do it you know? My husband and I will celebrate 4 years on Thursday. If I'd stayed married to the first one, we'd be married for 23 years this year. We made it to 15 before we separated and the divorce was final just before 17. That's a long time and I still grieve that relationship at times...even though it was totally and completely unhealthy. How sad is that?

CrackerLilo said...

Balance (someone who can do things I can't, like balance the checkbook and stay calm in a crisis, and who has needs that I can fill), humor, intelligence, and creativity. And if they've got big, soulful eyes and a nice rear end, that helps, too. :-)

for_the_lonely said...

20 years is fantastic! Congrats to the both of you on that one!!!

As for was her smile and eyes...just totally radiates the room. She can really make my heart melt!

Shirazi said...

Thanks for "great minds" thing. I will be happy even if you take me as your student. I learn from you a lot.

jumpinginpuddles said...

hmm now why is it that us aussies always get the rap :P
let me tell you there is nothing more appealing than having a aussie guy lean over the bar and slur to you
"come on love show us ya tits "
LOL thankfully not all aussies are like that and being one myself i can tell you that for certain ;)
what did we look for its quite simple :
someone that was as opposite to our father as could be.
fifteen years later( thirteen years marriage) in march we have cretainly found that. As frustrating as he could be he is exactly that opposite of our father :D

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Dragonfilly,
Soul Mates *is* a good book.

Dear L'Oquent,
I like your list.

Dear EVI,
You made me lol. I like your list too.

Dear Tombotts,
I am old and married. Find someone young, funny and single ;)

Dear Godwhacker,
You are very right about honor. It is a prized attribute that often gets overlooked. Good of you to bring it out for us to acknowledge.

Dear Traci,
Sometimes we grieve over what *couldn't* be...I don't think it's sad. I think it's expected. But it's wonderful that you have something great now.

Dear Crackerlilo,
Great list! Balance and soulful eyes got me too.

Dear Sarah,
That a look can make you melt is wonderful. Everyone should be that lucky.

Dear Shirazi,
We are both students and teachers. The best way to go through life ---learning from others and passing it on!

Dear JIP,
I love the Aussie language! It's good to know *who* to look for in a mate. If it's opposite or similar to one's father, so be it.


Josie said...

I love a sense of humor in a man. But mostly, I'm attracted to down to earth men who are frank and direct. Someone who can deal with me at my very worst and still see my good intentions.

Fallen Angels said...

Hey Deb...I have a post idea for you. How about a *brief* explanation of psychoanalysis? After reading comments on Shrinkette's post, I'm not sure that very many people really understand exactly what that is...I know I don't. I have a general idea (and a good friend I can ask), it might be interesting for people.


Mommyof3 said...

My husband and I were married "young" for our generation; 20 and 23. And, at the time while my looks caught his eye (and to some degree his caught mine) it was his personality that won me over (and I was engaged at the time to someone else!)They said it would never last but here we are 17 years and three kids later. I can honestly say I would rather spend time with him than anyone else (except the bambinos)in the world. He still is one of the funniest people I know and we make each other laugh eveyday.

VAN007 said...

What do I look for?

Well Humor and wit always get me first, but I also like someone that can back it up with intelligence. Sincerity, Integrity, Honesty, an ability to be open minded.... Creativity and passion too. Attractiveness is cool but that won't keep me, so I tend to look past the looks.

Stacy-Deanne said...

Hi Deborah, I did a post a while back on the misconceptions of how men and women think of one another. Now I am a feminist but I have to defend the men when it comes to what some people say, " men want a certain kind of women ". Deborah this is a myth. I can tell you that I have met a lot of men who value a woman's mind over how she looks. The problem is that television fills society's head with this, " Women have to be a certain way crap " but men in the real world aren't like that. An intelligent man wants someone he can build a life with, share with and talk to. And a lot of them aren't into just how a woman looks. As for women, yeah I like a funny man because I'm funny. But Deborah he has to be more than funny. He has to have goals and a career. He also has to be intelligent and can accept a successful woman who lives by her own rules. Yes I am attractive ( nothing wrong with a woman admitting it) and have been told so by many men but I still value inner beauty in other people. I would date a deformed man if he treated me right. I blame television for a lot of relationships going bad. Television puts the wrong images in our heads when it comes to the opposite sex. Yeah people may think men want Pamela Anderson but most find her disgusting. Of course I do too, LOL! Bottom line is most people want someone who is REAL. Great post!

chase said...
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chase said...

Hey deb,

my mother had a saying, "men fall for a woman's looks and learn to love her personality, and women fall for a mans personality and learn to love his looks." I always thought that was kinda sad, but came to find it to be true in most cases.

I may not go for the best looking guy in the room, but I do gravitate towards the alpha male. Someone who is very sure of themselves, knows what they want, and most of all finds me attractive mentally and physically. ;)

It's been almost 5 years for me and joe now, and we still make each other laugh like crazy, we still have conversations that last for hours, and before we moved into the new house, we took a shower together every single night for 4 years. Now the shower is too small and one of the biggest priorities on our house list is to renovate the bathroom. lol

Dirk the Feeble said...

I cannot post the two qualities I look for the most, but one begins with "T" and the other with "A".

I'm all about what's on the inside.

Raine said...

KINDNESS - in all things. If I see a person talking in derogatory manner about anyone- then I know he is capable of thinking that way about me. If I see a person abusing someone- verbally or other- then I know he will be abusive towards me. The most important thing in dating for me is observing how a person treats the people in the world around them as it's all indicative of what I can expect from them. Do they steal- then they arent trustworthy- do drugs- run like hell - etc etc etc

Heidi said...

Well this is a no brainer for me..I need a man that cook because I certainly can'

seriously though..add in some humor, compassion, honesty, down to earth and caring...Does he exsist? ..I'm still waiting :(

Rue said... someone who isn't exactly "runway material" this is not a shock. I forgot to include "fiscally responsible" in my description for the perfect mate...*sigh*

lady in satin said...

What traits do I look for? Hmm...funny, tall, intelligent, hard working, easy going, energetic, spiritual, understanding....

I could go on and on and on!!! lol

But I guess these are the basics!

Rose said...

Humor is a big thing for husband and I laugh alot. But I like to talk about issues and share thoughts about various situations and then laugh some more.

Phi said...

hi everybody
I totally relate to Chase
"I may not go for the best looking guy in the room, but I do gravitate towards the alpha male. Someone who is very sure of themselves, knows what they want, and most of all finds me attractive mentally and physically."
Just want to add I deeply need my mate to:
* have a good sense of humour
* know how make love to a woman
* be anything but depressed or melancholic

As my counsellor says, the right mate is not something you find at the supermarket, it's definitely a difficult mission to accomplish!!

Nancy said...

I definitely got caught up by how funny GOM was. Still 16 years tomorrow, he cracks me up!

Intelligence was a big factor too. Not to say he wasn't good looking, cuz he is.

Laura:) said...

I like men with a GOOD sense of humor but its hard because I find myself attracted to a lot of the guys I do stand up with.

I think intelligence is also very good but I hate sarcastic guys.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Josie,
Someone down to earth is important, you are right.

Dear Sera,
Great idea.

Dear Mommyof3,
Laughter is so important.

Dear Vanoo7,
I like your approach to relationships.

Dear Stacy-Deanne,
TV and media help to distort what is really important in are right about that.

Dear Chase,
What a sweet shower story.

Dear Armaedes,
Temperment and Attitude?

Dear Raine,
Kindness is under-rated and is so very important. Thanks for mentioning it.

Dear Heidi,
He's out there somewhere. And he's looking for you.

Dear Rue,
Balance in all areas is important. I second the fiscal need too.

Dear Lady in Satin,
I'm with you on those qualities.

Dear Rose,
Humor is my #1. I love to laugh and would be lost without it.

Dear Phi,
Sometimes it feels like a mission to find the rightmate. But when you do, it is worth it.

Dear Nancy,
GOM is incredibly witty and super intelligent. I can see how you appreciate those qualities. 16 years. Wow, rock on.

Dear Laura,
You make a good point that a sense of humor should be playful and witty, not hurtful or sarcastic.


princessdominique said...

Yes I think you do need a sense of humor to sustain some of the things that can go on in a marriage. I love a sense of humor when appropriate.

Id it is said...

Love just happens...I can't pin it down to one single trait...but when I try harder it all boils down to personal integrity which to me is attractive; a 'solid' human being who stands up for what is his/hers, could be the person's family, his/her community, or even his/her thoughts. said...

I'm tired of these pictures. Turn the page.

A Flowered Purse said...

I really look for personality and try to stay away from really loud, boisterous people. Funnily enough I married someone extremely Loud LOL but........ atit for a tat i suppose!
Have a great Thursday Dr. Deb!!

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Princess,
I agree with you.

Dear Id It Is,
I think that many characteristics like integrity, loyalty, etc are very attractive too.

Dear Tombotts,

Dear Dianna,
Loud and fun are good. In doses, I hope!