What Do You Look for in a Romantic Partner?
Some of the most common characteristics people look for in a romantic partner are listed below. Rank order these characteristics in terms of their importance to you in looking for a romantic partner. The most important characteristic would be ranked #1, while the characteristic least important to you would be ranked #13.
Characteristic Your Rank
- adaptability _____
- kindness and understanding _____
- religious orientation _____
- creativity _____
- physical attractiveness _____
- good health _____
- desire for children _____
- good housekeeper _____
- college graduate _____
- exciting personality _____
- intelligence _____
- good heredity _____
- good earning capacity _____
David Buss, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, has studied the characteristics that men and women look for in a romantic partner.* He found that men and women ranked the characteristics listed above in the following order, from most to least important:
- How do you compare with the gender norms from Dr. Buss's study?
- Comparing the male and female rankings of important characteristics of a romantic partner, what do you see as the most important similarities and differences?
- Are there important characteristics that you look for in a romantic partner that are not listed above?
*Buss, David M. (1985) "Human Mate Selection," American Scientist, 73:47-51.