What is the Most Desired Personality Trait in a Potential Mate?


In a world where everyone seems to be turning to their smartphones in order to find a companion, the dynamics of falling in love seem to have changed. But at its core, seeking a partner comes down to compatibility, chemistry and caring. Just because an online survey told you that guy is a good match doesn’t really mean he is. You still have to feel each other out, and discover one another's personality. A new study from the University of Zurich in Germany suggests that there are certain traits that are seen as extra desirable for both men and women.

The study looked at 327 young adults and what they sought out in a potential mate. The participants looked at a list of 16 different character traits and deemed them desirable or not desirable in a future long-term mate. The top personality characteristic that was deemed desirable was being playful, with both men and women stating this. For men, playfulness can signify vitality in women while men who are playful are seen by women as having lower levels of aggression.

According to Patti Feinstein, a Chicago-based dating coach, playfulness is a desired quality because we all have an inner child that wants to get out and have fun. This may seem difficult, especially on a first date, because many people are often more reserved. The typical dinner or coffee date can go south fast, as awkward silences or food in the teeth kill the vibe. By doing a more engaging activity, such as mini-golf or canoeing, will automatically bring out a playful energy. In addition, suggesting a date like this is a great way to break the ice and will be seen as a creative and unique move.

The German researchers’ findings correlate with what seems to be a growing trend in the dating scene – engaging in a new and interesting activity while meeting new people. Event companies specializing in the singles market are offering more adventurous group or speed dating opportunities – think rock climbing with 15 other singles and then laughing over cocktails after. This low pressure, high-energy date relaxes people looking for love – and that playful quality within.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Gareth Williams

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