This Trait Makes People Want a Serious Relationship With You, Study Says

New research found that this attracts those looking for long-term commitments.

Dating can be hard, especially when you're looking to settle down with someone special. After all, a serious relationship requires commitment from two different parties, and that can be a real challenge to find. However, there are ways to make yourself more desirable for extended commitments. A new study has found that there is one trait that actually makes people more inclined to want a serious, long-term relationship with you. Keep reading to find out if you possess this coveted trait, and for more dating advice, discover The One Pick-Up Line That Works Every Time, Research Shows.

Moral outrage is seen as attractive behavior by those looking for long-term relationships.

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Researchers from the University of Arkansas conducted four studies among 870 participants to determine how moral outrage—which is outrage in response to a perceived injustice—was viewed amid heterosexual dating, publishing their results in a 2021 publication of the journal Emotion. The researchers had participants rate the attractiveness of fictional dating profiles and found that both males and females viewed moral outrage as an attractive and desirable behavior in a long-term mate of the opposite sex. And for more on your perceived attractiveness, Wearing This Color Instantly Makes You Less Attractive, Research Shows.

But moral outrage has to be displayed by action, not just words.

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Words only get you so far, however. According to the study, talking about your moral outrage is not enough. For someone to be viewed as more desirable from a serious relationship standpoint, they must act on their moral outrage. "Across four studies, we found that moral outrage serves as a signal that is utilized to infer mate goals and mate value, but only when such outrage manifests through demonstrated prosociality," the study states. And for useful information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

People showing moral outage are seen as more benevolent and trustworthy.

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As the researchers explain, someone who displays moral outrage is perceived as more benevolent and trustworthy in relationships—which explains this attraction by those seeking serious, long-term relationships. According to the study, "this perceived outrage identified through the putative displays in dating profiles could implicate outraged mates as being especially capable of the monogamy necessary for a long-term pair-bond or being a benevolent partner, given the prosocial function of outrage." And for more on maintaining trust, This Word You Use All the Time Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say.

Women were more attracted to men who displayed moral outrage.

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While the study found that both men and women saw moral outrage as an attractive trait for serious relationships, researchers found that women were still much more attracted to men that displayed this trait. According to the study, this may be because women have much more at play when choosing a long-term mate. "Women incur a substantially larger minimal cost in reproduction (e.g., nine-month gestation, lactation) compared with men (e.g., single instance of sperm provision), which necessitates employment of stringent mate selection criteria to offset these costs," the authors explained in the study. And for more on what women want, find out The No. 1 Turn-off for Women, According to Experts.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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