Kindness Over Looks? New Research Uncovers What People Actually Look for in a Partner may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page.

Is personality more important than looks? Is money important when looking for an ideal partner? New research by Swansea University found a possible answer to the evergreen question: what is the most important quality people look for in their ideal partner.

And the answer? Kindness.

Researchers explored what more than 2700 young adults would like to see in their ideal lifelong partner. For cultural diversity, they compared the preferences of those from the Eastern region to those from Western countries. Participants got to choose from 8 attributes: attractiveness, financial prospects, kindness, humor, chastity, religion, the wish to have children and partner's creativity.

One of the top-scoring traits happened to be kindness, getting about 22-26% of focus from the participants when they were allocating their preferences. However, looks and money still had a significant influence as well. Interestingly, the researchers found that men from both cultural backgrounds allocated more focus on physical attractiveness while women gave more attention to good financial prospects.

Despite some other traits also getting high scores, the research shows that your heart really matters – and quite possibly, it will matter more than looks.

6 qualities that men look for in women

Being kindhearted and loving is one of the top traits for both men and women, and for a very good reason. However, beyond kindness, there are some other important qualities that many men pay attention to (and appreciate) the most.

1. Ambitious

This is perhaps the most controversial quality. Why? Because many women still encounter problems in their love life if they're driven and ambitious.

But there are two sides to that coin. On one side it's true that men don't “care” much about ambition as one of the decisive qualities when they're looking for a partner. However, they don't care about accomplishments as much as they care about where you want to go in your life.

Successful men don't like women who don't have any goals of their own – no direction, no mission. Ambition in this context means a thrive in life. You don't need to brag with what you've done, but you should have ambitions in life and thrive to get those ambitions fulfilled.

2. Supportive

This can quite easily be the defining quality. If you're spending your whole life with someone, it's crucial to be supportive of one another, no matter what life brings you. Men are looking for women who they can rely on. They want to have a support system that always welcomes them with open arms and gives them an empowering pat on the back when they're feeling down.

Men are vulnerable and emotional as well – they're not tough as rocks. They need their loving support system and they want to have the security of knowing there's always someone having their back.

3. Good listener

Stereotypes are tough to break. One of those stereotypes is the belief of men not talking about their thoughts and feelings. Men are usually required to be good listeners since women want to share their thoughts but actually, it goes vice versa as well.

Men aren't empty shells that lack any thoughts. In fact, when they're looking for a partner, their heart will be won by a woman they can wholeheartedly share everything with: their thoughts, desires, aspirations, likes and dislikes and anything else. Sometimes, they might want to rant, sometimes they might want to share an idea and have someone listen and give feedback or support.

In a long-lasting relationship, partners are equals and that's what men are looking for: an equal partner who would listen to their thoughts as much as they're willing to listen to yours.

4. Confident

Beauty and physical attraction are very relative. However, there is one trait that almost all men agree on: confidence makes a woman beautiful.

Being confident in your own skin is a sign of you appreciating your body, taking good care of it and loving yourself. For many men, there's nothing sexier than that. No man wants a woman who constantly needs validation and admiration.

You don't have to look like a Victoria Secrets model in order to be confident – be grateful for what you have and treat yourself to the best things you possibly can. You deserve it!

5. Affectionate

Many women think the best way to grab a man's attention is to have the guy chase after you and do romantic gestures to you. While playing hard to get might work for some, many men actually look for a woman that would treat them in a loving affectionate way, not play games with them.

A romantic note here and there, a warm hug, loving words, little touches – many men appreciate women who don't shy away from showing their affection. Instead of giving the guy a cold shoulder in the hopes of being “chased”, show him you actually care about him. Everyone wants to feel loved and the same goes for men.

6. Consistent and stable

Overreacting, playing a drama queen, making a big deal of small things and reacting overly emotionally on everything are surefire ways how to scare away any men, especially when talking about long-term relationships.

Who'd like to walk through numerous life struggles with someone they can't really rely on, someone who breaks down after every small thing and is emotionally unstable? When men are thinking about marriage, they want to be sure their chosen partner is stable and consistent in their actions. Don't say one thing and do another and don't try to be “cute” by acting emotionally on everything.

People are different but everyone enjoys stability and consistency, especially when it comes to their life-long partner.

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