News Article

What makes us attractive? It's a bit of a mystery...

Published 8 February 2013 by

We all want to be loved, but how well do we understand what makes us loveable? Recent research indicates: not very well at all.

With help from Opinium, we asked over 2,000 people what they think makes someone a desirable partner. Then we asked them what other people think...

Mars & Venus - Are we really from two different planets?

It's an old line: men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Could that explain why it's so hard to know what the opposite sex wants?

The Mars mind-set

So what do men think women are looking for?

First of all, men think women are a lot more money-minded than they really are. 30% of men reckon women want a man with lots of money, but they couldn't be more wrong. A mere 6% of people who are attracted to men said it was important.
Wrongness ratio - 5:1

And it seems men don't 'get' what women really are after. Just 13% of the men we asked said women want a man who shares their interests - but a full 38% of the people attracted to men said it was important.
Wrongness ratio - 3:1

The view from Venus

On the other side of the coin, it looks like men's minds are a mystery too.

Men appreciate intelligence a lot more than their partners think! Just 16% of women think men are looking for a partner with brains - but a full 45% of the people who like women said it does make a woman attractive.
Wrongness ratio - 3:1

Women also pay far too much attention to their wardrobe. 32% of them reckon men want a well-dressed woman. When we asked women's partners (and would-be partners), just 7% of them said 'being well dressed' was important in a woman.
Wrongness ratio: 4½:1

What makes a woman attractive?

  People** who think it's important in a woman Women who think men want this in a partner
A good sense of humour 67% 36%
Intelligence 45% 16%
Good looks 43% 69%
Being a good listener 15% 15%
Being well dressed 7% 32%

What makes a man attractive?

  People*** who think it's important in a man Men who think women want this in a partner
A good sense of humour 38% 13%
Intelligence 29% 25%
Good looks 20% 36%
Being a good listener 8% 19%
Being well dressed 6% 30%

* Opinium Research carried out 2,016 online interviews between 1st and 4th February 2013

** % of all respondents, regardless of gender, who are attracted to women.

*** % of all respondents, regardless of gender, who are attracted to men.

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