In the last post, we noted what single men look for in a mate, using research we gathered during a Love, Sex, and Marriage survey of more than 5000 adults. Nearly 1,000 single people participated in our survey. More than 80 percent of that group said they hoped to be married someday, so we asked them for the key qualities they were seeking in a potential mate.

It’s time now to find out what the single women we surveyed for Love to Stay said they were looking for in a potential mate.
For single women age 19 to 49, the number-one attribute was the same one sought by the men in their age group: they wanted a man who was honest and trustworthy.

Number two was a man who was funny, who could make them laugh. Third, they wanted someone with a strong faith. For the fourth item on the list, there was disagreement by age, with women in their 20s naming intelligence while women in their 30s and 40s listed emotional stability. Rounding out the list at number five was a man who was a good communicator.
Single Women 19–49

  1. Honest/trustworthy
  2. Fun/humorous
  3. Strong faith
  4. Intelligent or emotionally stable
  5. Good communicator

The list varied a bit for women age 50 and up, with trustworthiness at the top, a strong faith second, emotional stability third, and good communication skills fourth. Number five differed by age, with women up to age 69 listing a sense of humor, and women age 70 and above listing compassion.
Single Women 50–90+

  1. Honest/trustworthy
  2. Strong faith
  3. Emotionally stable
  4. Good communicator
  5. Fun/humorous or compassionate

It’s worth noting that neither group of women listed “physically attractive” as one of the top five attributes they look for in a man. This is good news for many men!

The women valued a man’s ability to communicate over his outward appearance. (Based on the women’s comments, they, like their male counterparts, did care about appearance and seemed most interested in men who took care of themselves and paid attention to grooming and looking nice.) We should also mention that every age group of women over 30 was looking for a man who was emotionally stable.

So, other than attractiveness, women and men listed the same basic attributes they were looking for, although in a slightly different order.
If we are seeking to bless the other person in a marriage relationship, these lists give us a pretty good indication of what attributes men and women value in their mates or potential mates.
Today’s post is an excerpt from my new book, Love to Stay.


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