What do men and women look for in short- and long-term relationships?

From: Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology

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  • 267 students, aged between 18 and 29 years


  • Participants responded to an anonymous, individual questionnaire.


  • Men evaluated themselves as more ambitious/hard-working and humorous than women. Humour may be a male strategy to improve their romantic market value.
  • Males described their partners as more physically attractive than themselves. This observation indicates a greater importance given to female physical attractiveness
  • Men establish relationships regardless of whether an attractive partner is intelligent and sincere, but it will only last if they share similar levels of these traits.
  • Females describing former partners were more likely to describe them as less sincere than those describing a current partner.
  • Women emphasise the importance of a potential partners' resources, which allow them the access to status, power, and economic resource. This indicates that women are focused on maintaining the relationship, emphasising similarities reflected in partner investment and a lasting relationship.
  • Female choices also indicate a preference for similar partners.


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