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What is the most important attribute in a partner?

Shot of an affectionate young couple enjoying a day outdoors

What is the most important attribute in a partner?

If you think good looks or plenty of money is the no. 1 attribute we look for when seeking a partner, you’d be wrong.

What is the most important attribute in a partner?

A recent study conducted by Swansea University in Wales has found that the quality most valued around the world by far is old-fashioned kindness. The international study questioned 2,500 university students around the world on what they were looking for in a long-term partner. 

Young men and women from countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the UK, Norway and Australia took part, using ‘mate dollars’ to select from this list: physical attractiveness, good financial prospects, kindness, humor, chastity, religiosity, the desire for children, and creativity.

The end results showed that overall, participants spent 22-26 per cent of their total budget on kindness, and less than 10 per cent on traits like creativity and chastity.

Women valued financial prospects highly at 18%, while men spent only 12 per cent on this. But men spent 22 per cent of their budget on physical attractiveness, while women devoted only 16 per cent on this.

The students from Western countries like Australia tended to prioritise humour in a partner more than their eastern counterparts, who valued qualities like religiosity and chastity.

The study’s principal researcher, Dr Andrew G Thomas, said he believed studying mate preferences across cultures was important for understanding human behavior and showed that at least in the matter of looking for a mate, some behaviours developed in spite of culture rather than because of it.

We often think that relationship advice is about love and romance and telling you how to have the perfect relationship. But, who’s answering those really curly questions? More importantly, who’s willing to actually ask them. Read our four question to ask every day in a relationship. 

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