The No. 1 Thing Women Are Looking for in a Partner, Research Shows

The most desirable trait for women might surprise you.

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There are numerous qualities women look for in a partner, but the primary thing they are seeking might surprise you. While different women have varying tastes in potential mates and may find different attributes important, the majority of women in a recent survey agreed that the number one thing they are looking for in a long-term partner is kindness.

This information comes from one of the largest, most comprehensive surveys to date about what women are looking for in a partner—both long-term and short-term. The study was conducted by researcher Tanja Gerlach at the University of Göttingen, MyONE Condoms, and Clue. Of the 64,860 women around the world that responded to the survey, 88.9 percent of them said that kindness is the most important trait in a long-term partner.

Somewhat surprisingly, physical attributes and financial security ranked quite low on women's list of qualities they look for in a lover. According to the study, only half of women (52.4 percent) felt that ambition was an integral attribute for their partner to have. The study found that the surface-level attributes that popular culture tends to prioritize were not generally a major issue for women when seeking a partner. Financial security, an attractive face, assertiveness, and an attractive body were less frequently chosen as very important qualities in a long-term partner (44.2 percent, 41.3 percent, 37.0 percent, and 22.3 percent chose these as very important, respectively).

The survey quotes Virginia J. Vitzthum, PhD, who notes, "Kindness is rather like gravity, essential but little-noticed until it's gone. Given today's emphasis on looks and wealth, it may surprise you that kindness is a top desirable trait across the world. But kindness is key to the human capacity for forming the long-term social bonds." In today's world, women are seeking compassion and selflessness over looks and money in the partner they plan to build a life with.

These weren't the only traits women desired, according to the survey. To find out the runner-up traits women are looking for in long-term partners, read on. And for more on attracting a mate, discover The No. 1 Thing Women Do That Others Find Sexy.

1
Supportiveness

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86.6 percent

And if you've noticed a potential red flag about your partner, This Is the No. 1 Way to Deal With a Red Flag, According to Experts.

2
Intelligence

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72.3 percent

And for more shocking statistics, The Ideal Body Type According to 65,000 Women Might Surprise You.

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3
Education

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64.5 percent

And to make sure you're communicating productively, learn The Meanest Thing You're Saying to Your Partner Without Realizing It.

4
Confidence

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60.2 percent

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Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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