Finding love – what makes you attractive?

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Finding love is undoubtedly helped by a few key things: like-minded personalities, your application and effort, and certainly a great profile. But what role does your purse play? Does a bulging wallet help or hinder the search for long-term romance?

Our latest survey asked exactly this, with 500 of our members sharing their views about how far they consider wealth in their date choice and how they’d handle couple finances if they got together. Although the cliché ‘money can’t buy you love’ still seems to hold, it’s clear in the results that money is nevertheless relevant for many trying to find love.

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Do attractive singles demand more?

Our poll also asked participants to indicate whether they felt they are attractive or not, and then to prioritise certain factors of attraction like their date’s sense of humour, job, wealth and education. We found that those who told us they are ‘attractive’ in fact do demand more from their partner. For instance, while 83% of ‘attractive’ singles expect their partner to be wealthy, the same was true for just 63% of those who aren’t so confident in their looks. Similarly, just 42% of ‘not attractive’ singles would demand that their partner be intelligent, compared to a whopping 70% of ‘attractive’ singles.

Is anyone really won over by money?

With all voices tallied, one reassuring lesson from the poll is money is unlikely to buy love on its own. For our members, finding love that lasts is definitely based on more important rationale. Only 7% of those asked would be prepared to date someone just for their purchasing-power; a stat backed up by both sexes choosing wealth as the least important characteristic of attraction. One’s humour and behaviour were instead selected by our members as the defining traits of an attractive partner. Phew!

Men and women are also on the same page when it comes to a preferred type of partner: just 21% of men and 30% of women think financial extravagance is more attractive than sensibility.

The allure of security

In spite of their preference for a partner’s intrinsic worth like their personality and sense of humour, women polled did nonetheless show that financial considerations influence their partner choice. 70% replied by saying they thought a partner’s income is ‘important’, which looks high – especially when contrasted with the mere 19% of men who felt the same. This suggests that while women appear unmoved by wealth during the initial stages of attraction, since such a majority see income as important it might mean finding love is still somehow tied to finding security.

A majority of women also said they wouldn’t marry someone earning less than themselves. The thought of out-earning their spouse, even among the 45% of self-described ‘successful’ women, seems a major worry: only 1 in 4 wouldn’t consider this an issue!

Independence, not support?

At face value this might hint at some truth behind the clichés of women being attracted to wealth, but responses elsewhere in the poll can help explain this desire for financial security. For example, although 58% of men said they’d expect a couple to help each other financially, the majority of women (55%) said their priority was independence and just 8% expected to rely on their partner. Finding love for women, then, does seem also to be about finding some level of security – but they don’t want to be supported. Perhaps it’s more that many just don’t want to be doing the supporting if their partner was to be less successful than them.

According to Dr. Wiebke Neberich, EliteSingles’ in-house psychologist, much can be explained by looking at women’s recent achievements in finding financial and social independence. “Women rightly treasure this achievement”, she argues – it may therefore be natural that their ideal couple is one in which both parties can support themselves. Dr. Neberich also suggests, though, that we should look to evolution to help decipher the female opinion, saying that the evident desire for security “can be explained by women’s natural role as the more dependent person during the phase of starting a family”. What women interested in having children could, therefore, see her partner’s income as anything but important?

Finding love despite the irritations

Though a packed purse may not be a direct route to finding love, it may however hasten how you lose it. Our poll also asked respondents for the types of financial habits they find most annoying within a couple. Coming top of the list of offenders (for both sexes) was quite unsurprising: when our partners borrow small amounts of cash without ever paying back.

Yet men and women are aggrieved by different habits elsewhere. One cliché was to be found high on the men’s list– when a partner lies about the cost of things. For the women, meanwhile, it’s clear why such white lies are sometimes needed. High on their no-go list was their annoyance with men “telling me how to spend my money”.

So, while money may matter somewhat for finding love, our members have clearly spoken: it’s not about flaunting the cash or supporting the other partner, but being able to support yourself that perhaps makes you most attractive.

Still looking for your love? Try EliteSingles today.

EliteSingles editorial, August 2014.

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