The Most Desirable Quality In A Partner, According To Research

Photo: Bojan Milinkov/ Shutterstock
couple playing at the beach

I have to admit, when I jumped head-first into my current relationship back in April, after only three weeks of texting each other, I didn't put much thought into exactly why I was attracted to my now-boyfriend.

 I mean, he's attractive, he made me laugh and he didn't smell like nachos constantly like my last boyfriend, so that's enough for me. Oh, and he doesn't judge me for my weird habit of eating pickles in bed.

However, thanks to science, I can confidently say that his non-aggressive nature and unlikeliness to harm me or my potential future offspring earned him major points. And they say romance is dead. 

On that same note, he probably likes me for my youth and fertility. It's a tale as old as time, a man who isn't mean and a very fertile woman.

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No, we're not weirdos; we're just playful, and sometimes really competitive when it comes to trivia. The definitions — and the importance of playfulness in a relationship — come from a 2012 Penn State study on attraction.

The researchers sought to further investigate a list of characteristics that people find desirable in potential mates, more specifically why some relationships last and others don't. Did you ever wonder why some people are attracted to the people they are, or why some people "have a type" when it comes to dating?  Here's the science behind it.

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To do so, they surveyed 164 male and 89 female undergraduates. From the results, they added "playful," "sense of humor" and "fun-loving" to the initial list. Make sure your future partner has the ability to laugh at themself and not take everything so seriously, it'll make for a much better future together.

It's interesting that something as seemingly obvious as a person's sense of humor wasn't included on the original desirable characteristics list, but at least it's on there now (just in case daters of the world need a checklist to bring on their next Tinder date, among the millions of other characteristics a man has to have that convinces you he's not a serial killer.). 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go do my "youth and fertility dance" for my boyfriend and make sure that I don't break eye contact this time (for the curious: I sing "You Don't Know You're Beautiful" into a shampoo bottle) so he doesn't forget how playful I really am, and that I haven't been doing the dishes the past three weeks, or that I forgot it was his cousins birthday last week. Love conquers all. Thanks, science and research!

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Kait Smith is an editor, writer, social media manager, and blogger who writes about the rules of love and relationships.