Study Finds the Most Desirable Qualities in Husbands and Wives

Study Finds the Most Desirable Qualities in Husbands and Wives

Research has found the 20 most desirable qualities in husbands and wives. Find out what they are here!

Take a second to think about this: What is the most attractive/desirable quality about your husband or wife?

Got your answer? Good.

Now, how sure are you that what you find sexiest about your spouse, is the same thing others feel about their spouse?

In a study called "Personality and mate preferences: Five factors in mate selection and marital satisfaction", published in the Journal of Personality, researchers sought to answer that question.

In the survey, taken by 200 newlyweds and over 100 college students in relationships, researchers asked participants what traits and qualities they found most attractive in their partners.

Study Finds the Most Desirable Qualities in Husbands and Wives

To gather the most descriptive data possible, the study participants were presented with a series of 40 trait pairs such as “timid-bold,” “emotional-unemotional,” and “stupid-intelligent", to name a few.

Participants then picked which of the two adjectives they preferred in a spouse. Additionally, researchers also asked participants about their own personality traits.

Here's a look at what both sexes value most in their partners, ranked in order of occurrence:

Top 20 Most Valued Personality Attributes in a Potential Marriage Partner

Study Finds the Most Desirable Qualities in Husbands and Wives

What Men Value What Women Value
1) Reliable 1) Warm
2)Warm 2) Reliable
3) Fair 3) Fair
4) Intelligent 4) Intelligent
5) Knowledgeable 5) Knowledgeable
6) Conscientious 6) Trusting
7) Trusting 7) Secure
8) Hardworking 8) Hardworking
9) Secure 9) Emotionally Stable
10) At ease 10) At Ease
11) Emotionally Stable 11) Perceptive
12) Perceptive 12) Lenient
13) Even-Tempered 13) Conscientious
14) Energetic 14) Energetic
15) Practical 15) Generous
16) Curious 16) Sociable
17) Sociable 17) Curious
18) Creative 18) Well-organized
19) Well-organized 19) Flexible
20) Relaxed 20) Relaxed

What you may have noticed, mums and dads is that while there seems to be a widely believed misconception that men and women value completely different things in their spouse, 17 of the 20 traits are shared!

Of course, there were a few apparent differences in the lists. For example, women listed qualities like lenient, flexible, and generous as desirable traits. Meanwhile, men listed even-tempered, creative, and practical.

Women also preferred more dominance in their partners and more agreeableness.

Generally speaking, this seems to suggest that most men and women are looking for people who share similar qualities to themselves. In other words, what we look for most in a partner is compatibility. 

In a 2007 study from Monmouth University, researchers found that personality can make a big difference in whether someone finds you aesthetically pleasing.

This is, of course, is contrary to what many people seem to believe. Let's find out more about how this study proves that some people are less superficial than they come off as...

In this study, groups of young men and women were asked to judge strangers' yearbook photos.

As it turns out the subjects of the study were more likely to rate subjects as "physically attractive", a "potential friend", and a "potential date" when the images were paired with positive personality traits.

Study Finds the Most Desirable Qualities in Husbands and Wives

In other words, personality may play a larger role in whether or not we think someone is worthwhile than we once thought!
 
Research head, Dr. Gary Lewandowski, says "Personality information produced significant changes in ratings of physical attractiveness for attractive, neutral, and unattractive targets. The pattern of results is consistent with a model in which desirability of the target’s personality leads to greater desirability as a friend, leading to greater desirability as a dating partner, leading to the target being judged as more physically attractive."
 
These two studies have found that husbands and wives, and humans in general, are far more interested in compatibility and personality! Looks may be appealing, but what matters most is character!
 
These stories were initially covered by Science of Relationships and Marie Claire, respectively. 
 

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