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Three Qualities a Man Wants in a Relationship

Updated on November 23, 2013


The more serious a relationship, the higher standards a man will have, particularly if there is a likelihood of having children. The characteristics of his particular partner are an important factor in how a man perceives a relationship. The more they match his ideals, the more positively he tends to regard that relationship.

Kindness and Warmth

Kindness and warmth are the top personality traits men desire in close partners, according to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. The study, led by Illinois State University researchers, found that in romantic relationships, men are less bothered about background, wealth, social status or looks and more interested in having a partner who is kind.


The three ideal partner dimensions are warmth-trustworthiness, vitality-attractiveness and status-resources, according to the Ideals Standards Model, a framework devised by psychologists. Both genders find the warmth-trustworthiness and vitality-attractiveness categories the most important partner considerations, according to a study titled "Ideals in Intimate Relationships," which asked people about their ideal standards in both individual partners and in relationships. However the same research, which was published in the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," revealed that men rated partner warmth-trustworthiness and relationship intimacy as more important than women did.


Trustworthiness is the top trait considered desirable in interdependent relationships, according to research published in "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" in 2007. This held true across all types of relationships, whether romantic, friendly or familial. A study published in "Evolutionary Psychology", which was led by the Central European University, showed that sincerity, faithfulness and tenderness are the top desired partner traits for both men and women, again confirming the importance of characteristics that reflect a high level of trust, warmth and intimacy.

Getting Serious

According to evolutionary psychologist Robert Trivers, who wrote the influential work "Parental Investment and Sexual Selection," how choosy a man is about his preferred partner qualities will depend on how much he believes he is investing in that relationship. Men are more selective about the qualities they desire in a dating or marriage partner, as opposed to a friendship or a fling. For example, in casual relationships a man cares less about physical attractiveness than he does when it comes to someone who might potentially bear his children.


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    • Susan Recipes profile image

      Susan 3 years ago from India

      Thanks for sharing.

    • JG11Bravo profile image

      JG11Bravo 3 years ago

      On the short side, but I'd say it's pretty accurate overall for such a subjective matter.