Social Question

Atheros's avatar

What are the qualities you seek in an ideal partner?

Asked by Atheros (320points) January 17th, 2012

This has been asked before (3 years ago), but I’m bringing it up again.

For example what I seek in an ideal woman:
* Is socially and emotionally intelligent
* Is supportive in everything I decide to work on
* Actively takes care of her physical appearance
* Has things in life that she does/works on

Now let me explain that:
Socially intelligent meaning she doesn’t feel awkward in presence of my friends, and gets along with new people.
Emotionally intelligent meaning she knows, and recognizes her emotions as they occur, and can handle them well. Emotionally stable, so to speak.
I think that the second and third bullet-point are self-explanatory enough, and don’t need further explanations.
As for the last one, this might be a hobby or a thing she works on professionally. Mostly, that she doesn’t just sit in her house and then say she’s got no time to do other stuff.

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38 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I pick my gals like I pick my vans. Just gimme’ any ugly old rusty bucket that nobody else wants, is good at what she does, and likes being driven really hard.

Atheros's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies So this means you pretty much nail every available hole?
Matches perfectly with your avatar… :)

Blackberry's avatar

The body of London Andrews with the intelligence and grace of Arianna Huffington and Ayaan Ali.

stardust's avatar

The most important thing for me is emotional intelligence. I like passion in a person – I think it’s incredibly attractive.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m with stardust. I want some fire. Kick my ass if I need it. Challenge me always to be my best.

ragingloli's avatar

Shiny clean fur, strong ribbed tentacles, and a stomach filled with digestive juices that have an aphrodisiacal effect.

mazingerz88's avatar

One who does not believe in pre-nuptial agreements and who also happens to be loaded. LOL!

smilingheart1's avatar

A mature swirl of wisdom and the kind outflow of generous spirit as well as humorous with a sense of fascination wrapped in an adventurous spirit and with a goodly handy man flair.
Before you roll your eyes, I do know one like that but he is contracted out already. Sigh.

marinelife's avatar

I like men who:
are intelligent
have a great sense of humor
are witty
like to travel

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have discussed this in a previous post but it applies here. According to hard data collected after 75,000,000 dates involving computer literate, educated individuals, we know what they are looking for in an ideal partner.
There is a great example in the book “Freakonomics” by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. They look at massively large databases and extract information using statistical methods. My favorite case study is the one where they look at dating and what people want in a partner.
Dubner and Levitt looked at large , established dating sites (, Cupid. etc.) and collected data on ~75,000,000 matches (it might be 90 million) and whether they were “successful” or not. Did the participants rate the date successful? Did they go back to the fish pond for another try? Did they go on a second date?

In their profile, women said things like: “the most important characteristics in a man were things like: personality, sense of humor, likes walks in the park, etc.” Men said similar things. But when the data from 75 million dates was reviewed and correlated, the results were surprising. For women, which factor had by far the strongest correlation for a successful match? The man’s income! Yep! Income. It was, by far, more important than weight, height, age, education…anything! “Walks in the park” were not even on the list.
For men, which factor do you think had the highest correlation to a successful date? The woman’s body weight. Next was income. They even figured out how much 10 pounds was worth in the woman’s income. (I think it was ~$20,000. Meaning the heavier woman had to earn $20K (It might be $50K, I don’t remember. If someone has the book please let us all know.) a year more than her thinner counterpart to get the same success rate. Hey, at least guys weren’t totally one dimensional!)
You might not like the answers but with data from ~75 million matches it is hard to argue against it. They present the data, list the sources, explain the analysis. You are welcome to draw your own conclusions.

Maybe income somewhat correlates to education, willingness to travel, wit, generosity, etc but those factor alone were not important. A man who was witty, generous, and educated, but with no income, would be hard pressed to get a date and have it be rated “successful”.


john65pennington's avatar

I found mine 46 years ago.

My wife is as good inside as she is on the outside. She had(has) everything a man could ask for in a soulmate. We are both people persons and never meet a stranger.

Her heart is big and she stole my mine away many moons ago.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Atheros Look at the qualities you selected. Now, take each quality and rate its importance. I know you think you need them all but work with me here for a minute. Do a thought experiment. Imagine that she had all the other qualities but one. Would you go out with her a second time? What if she had high income but was missing one of the qualities? Would you go out with her a second time? What if she had no income?
Only you can answer for you. But it you are like the population described above, Dubner and Levitt will tell you Appearance was first, Income second, and the rest were almost in the noise. You will most likely rate a date with a highly paid, good looking woman successful even if she does not have any of the other qualities you mentioned.

There are some lessons here for all of us.

Keep_on_running's avatar

A kind, respectful man who isn’t full of ego, is most important for me. I don’t think anyone would say no to a sense of humour, intelligence and all those other great qualities. I don’t care about money, money has never made me happy. I would want at least some similar interests, but I don’t have a “list” of requirements. I keep an open mind.

thorninmud's avatar

I’ve been out of the market for almost 30 years now, but in retrospect I never really had an ideal of what I was looking for in a partner, and I’m glad for that. Ideals, in my opinion, blind people to unexpected possibilities. They also make it harder to accept the little quirks and lapses that make us human (and actually add to our beauty, when you’re open to them).

nikipedia's avatar

@LuckyGuy, I’m sure that what you’re saying is accurate on the group level. What they explained is that these are the most important factors that cut across all groups of men and all groups of women. But for any given individual, a single factor could easily be more important (e.g., vegans may care more about dating another vegan than about money). It’s just that, each of these individual factors would wash out completely when analyzing the group. So it’s not that money or attractiveness are the most important factors, just that they are the most commonly valued.

As for the actual question, I’m with @thorninmud. I don’t think I actually have a list of must-have qualities for partners. Just someone I connect with who isn’t a jerk.

JLeslie's avatar

I looked for:
Work ethic
Sense of humor
Likes to dance
Rarely drinks

I wound up with a husband who has all of that and also traits I never had even thought to list that I love about him.

Jude's avatar

Sense of humor
Sense of adventure
Able to express their emotions
High sex drive

tedd's avatar

I don’t know that I would rule a girl out for not being at least on my level of intelligence, but it would be a strike against her.

I don’t like girls who are push overs, or are afraid to say their feelings. For example, x g/f’s who couldn’t tell you where they wanted to eat dinner, even though they knew where they wanted to go “I dunno, where do you wanna go?” I like girls with independence.

Going along with that independence requirement, I don’t want to be a girls entire life. I don’t mind being a huge part of it, and if things go well I’d eventually prefer to be the biggest part of it (save for children)... But she has to have her own life aside from me.

Also going with independence, I strongly prefer they have a defined career or career path, that they are actively striving to enact or perfect.

They have to be able to put up with my constant dry sense of humor. Seriously, it’s non-stop. It would be best if she can just dish it back.

A level of maturity similar to my own (this is very difficult to describe in further detail).

King_Pariah's avatar

Intelligent, can tolerate and maybe embrace my quirkiness/dorkness/Your-royal-perviness, But I suppose what it really boils down to is someone I can talk to, trust, tease freely and openly back and forth with, and laugh with. And cuddles, I LOVE cuddling (WARNING: cuddling may induce boner when in contact with tush)

LuckyGuy's avatar

@nikipedia I wondered about that too. The interesting thing was how important income and body weight were above all other factors for having a second date. For example let’s say a Vegan woman specified she only wanted to date Vegans. She might list religion, walks in the park, etc. as important. However the critical factor, the factor that had the highest correlation to date success, was the man’s income. She might be willing to date a poor vegan but the odds of success are much greater it her date has a high income. Much greater. If someone has the book they can tell us. I tried looking online but can’t spend the time now.
This was true for critical factors even including religion. A rich Catholic, Jew, Muslim, ... has a much greater chance of getting a second date than a poor one – even though income was not specified as a requirement!

SABOTEUR's avatar

Believe it or not, I used to have a definitive answer for this question.

I thought my 1st wife was my ideal partner…
...until she rolled out on me.

It was during this low point in my life that I had an epiphany.

“If I know without a shadow of doubt who’s “right” for me, how in hell did I wind up in a situation like this?”

Truth be told, I didn’t have a clue.

I resolved then to simply accept whatever woman came into my life.
Accept her just as she is.

Soon after I met my 2nd wife.
Been together over 20 years.

deni's avatar

I need someone funny, but who knows when to be serious. Common sense is a big one for me more so than book smarts. Someone who is accepting of my flaws and is conscious of themselves and their surroundings. And who loveeeeeeeeees to travel. I couldn’t be with a homebody.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I want someone well-read, intelligent, passionate and interested in constant evolution of their character and their worldviews. I want someone who loves animals and children, is compassionate as well as funny and sex and good in bed.

john65pennington's avatar

This answer is in response to LuckyGuys answer.

I believe the test results he has posted on Fluther, especially the part about money and security. My wife has always wanted a paid for home and to be financially comfortable. She has both. This, never registered in my brain, until I read the survey that LuckyGuy was referring to.

Although, my wife has never come out and told me these things, I was smart enough to pick up on words in some of her conversations. This is why I worked 2 and 3 jobs for 20 years and I could tell she loved me for doing it.

So, I agree with the survey that love is grand, but being financially fit plays a big part in any relationship, especially where the ladies are concerned.

This is one of the beauty parts about Fluther. We can truly learn something from each other.

Thanks for the post, LuckyGuy.

janbb's avatar

I like a man who knows his way around a snow-blower. Just sayin’

LuckyGuy's avatar

@janbb A fully paid for snow-blower no doubt.

@john65pennington Thanks. You know I was not trying to be mean or facetious in way. I’m just presenting someone else’s data. (A Nobel Prize winning economist, by the way.)

Truth be told, all the qualities we say we want are very strongly enhanced by the man’s economic status and the woman’s appearance (health) and income.
We need to recognize that, even if we think we are being shallow.

gearedtolaugh's avatar

Too blessed to be stressed, and too annointed to be disappointed. Along with all the other common qualities..

Paradox25's avatar

1. A woman whom I personally find reasonably attractive.
2. A woman who likes me and accepts me for who I am.
3. A woman who doesn’t require me to ‘pursue’ them.
4. Women who are down to earth in a society full of people who put on facades.
5. Women who have at least something that they’re passionate about besides being mothers, romance novels, shopping and Facebook.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy In the book The Millionaire Mind, the millionaire couples talk about things like respect, honesty, support for each other, as being the top qualities they look for and have with their spouses. I would have to look it up to know exactly, but what is apparent in the book is how much the couple works as a team, how they care deeply about each others goals, and how the each take on roles, which might change throughout the relationship, but each person is fairly clear on how they fit into the puzzle of the relationship.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@JLeslie Those are all great qualities to have but according to Levitt , and 75 million dates, those are not the ones that got the couple together for the second date.
Just based on his data (and not meaning to be sexist in any way. Honest ! ) – do you think the couples in that book would still be together if the man did not have a good income or the woman gained 100 pounds. I’d love to see what the couples in the book look like and the income when they met.
In general the qualities we look for are linked. High income usually comes with education. Respect, usually comes with education. Good health and ability usually comes with reasonable body weight.. The factors are often linked. Levitt and Dubner actually tried to isolate each factor. It is a fantastic piece of work.

janbb's avatar

So how much money do you have @LuckyGuy ? Just kidding, I know you are taken.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy Well, the first book, The Millionaire Next Door, was about people who would be perceived as an average family, but they have a lot of wealth. They are not flashy, and it was not talking about inherited wealth for the most part. It was couples who built their wealth together. And, married couples are more likely to have more wealth than singles or people who are divorced. This book is the sequal to the Millionaire next door. I guess if someone considers financial wealth and a solid marriage a success in life, this book is trying to give an explanation as to how the people who acheive it have it. So, sure thr majority of the population might behave as your study indicates, but the majority of the population does not become wealthy, or happily married. But, I guess I am digressing. I think attraction probably does get the person the first glance and date, but there has to be a connection for the second one, and for me it certainly is not just looks, I have to have had fun, or a great conversation, to want to go out again. If I know the person already, maybe through other friends, or work, probably his personality matters more than his looks. Although, I do admit I have a “type.” But, the type is not that drop dead gorgeous type. I like gorgeous, but usually that is not the guy I am superconnecting with in the end.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I looked for:
Integrity- they can walk their talk
Strong work ethic
Socially versatile
Sense of humor
Relationship, Family and Socially responsible.
Great in bed

MilkyWay's avatar

Someone who is broad minded, not afraid of change and is flexible.Someone who I can lean on when I need support, and someone who won’t be ashamed in accepting it when he is in need of some. A guy who likes to have fun, and lives in the present, not the future. Someone who can make me laugh and is an easy person to be with… confident yet not cocky. Sensitive to a certain extent, in touch with his feelings, and a passionate nature when it comes to sex. Someone who respects my veiws and takes me for who I am.

linguaphile's avatar

I no longer have any idea what I want in a guy anymore, and that’s okay :) I’m just happy to be me right now. Ask me again in a year or so.

janbb's avatar

@linguaphile I’m with you.

linguaphile's avatar

@janbb You’re good company :D

mrentropy's avatar

1) They don’t need to self-medicate
2) The answer to everything isn’t “a glass of wine!”
3) They have a job
4) They have a sense of humor
5) They are what I consider to be reasonably attractive
6) High intelligence is nice; being smart and doing stupid things every once in a while is a plus.

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