The Top 12 Qualities Every Single Looks For And Why

Nothing maintains the status quo better than pitting men and women against each other. There are books about it. There are Supreme Court cases that deal with it. We apparently even need to use completely different razors. And while each side holds a certain viewpoint for a special reason, when it comes to relationships, we’re all pretty much looking for the same thing.

Do opposites attract? That idea makes for a quirky plot line in a romantic comedy, but realistically, we’re often looking for our own best traits (and those that we wish were our best) mirrored in someone else. Woman, man, gay, straight, young, old—everyone wants to fall in love with someone that exhibits these 12 qualities.

  1. Committed - There are plenty of gems on dating apps whose bios explicitly state, “Not looking for a relationship.” Cool, glad you’re on app. When you’re done casually dating and are finally hoping to settle down, you prioritize finding someone who’s in the same emotional place. When a match is just as committed to being in a relationship as you are, you’re already kicking things off in a positive direction.
  2. Family oriented - Whether you’re hoping to start a family or have a great relationship with your parents and siblings, if family matters, you’ll want the same values in a partner. If you definitely want to have kids, or definitely do not want to repeat the stilted relationship your parents shared, defining what family means to you and finding someone who defines it similarly is crucial to relationship success.
  3. Intelligent - Both men and women want someone on their same intellectual level. However, you don’t both need to be astrophysicists to feel as though you’re running in the same smart circle. Speaking thoughtfully about current events, books that you’ve read, and even TV shows you watch can communicate that you’re someone who regularly expands their understanding of the world. Nothing is more attractive than someone in the constant pursuit of knowledge.
  4. Takes Initiative - When was the last time you were caught in an, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” conversation when planning a date? Taking initiative when it comes to asking someone out, planning the date, following up after the date, and being direct about how you feel about the other person is incredibly sexy. Being flippant is not.
  5. Friendly - When things are going well with someone you’re dating, the prospect of introducing them to your friends is exciting. When your match is friendly, social, and fun to chat with, you know that you can bring them to a party and won’t have them stuck to your side the entire time. If you’re the person being introduced to the friends, you’re not just displaying that you’re warm and outgoing; you’re letting your date know that you value the other special people in their life.
  6. Emotionally Intelligent - Think back to past relationships: they may have ended because the other person acted poorly, but it takes two to tango and you likely played a part in the breakup, as well. No matter what, learning from past experiences is integral to becoming an emotionally intelligent person. Are you able to rationally communicate when something bothers you? Can you gracefully admit when you’re wrong? Can you comfortably display empathy? All of these are signs of high EQ, and both men and women look for someone who is just emotionally intelligent as they are intellectually stimulating.
  7. Kind - Can’t we all just get along? A kind match treats the waiter with respect, is sweet to your mom, won’t say something spiteful in an argument, and generally (and genuinely) emanates good vibes. While you may not be attracted to someone who is kind to the point of being a pushover, if you’ve ever dated a real jerk, you know that a little more kindness will take a relationship a lot further.
  8. Affectionate - Figuring out your Love Language is the first step to achieving relationship success. The second step is figuring out your partner’s. Affection is not just a hand hold or hug around the waist; it can be displayed through an encouraging, “You got this!” or bringing you a cup of coffee without being asked. Everyone needs a little bit of affection, we all just show it in different ways.
  9. Sense of humor - Having a good sense of humor helps keep the fun in the relationship and eases a couple through the times that are less than enjoyable. Men like a woman with a sense of humor because it facilitates bonding that goes beyond a purely physical connection. Women look for guys with a great sense of humor because it shows a shared perspective that can go beyond simply laughing at the same joke. Both sides inherently realize that many qualities--including intelligence, values, and problem-solving abilities--are tied to sense of humor, so when they know they can laugh with someone, they believe they’ll have a great time in a lot of other ways, too.
  10. Ambitious - Successful men and women look for ambition because they want someone who understands their level of drive. If you’ve put other personal milestones on hold to do well in your career, you’re drawn to someone who empathizes with that strong work ethic. Two determined people will do whatever it takes to make a relationship successful. Two lazy people will let a great thing fizzle.
  11. Supportive - A supportive partner is a great listener who hears your ideas, offers pertinent advice, and is always in your corner. A supportive partner is one you can rely on, whether you’re launching your own business or making reservations at a brand new Jewish-Japanese fusion restaurant. Neither women nor men are looking for a “Yes Man” that only tells them what they want to hear. Rather, they’re drawn to a match who encourages their beliefs and helps make those plans a reality.
  12. Confident - Confidence is sexy. Full stop. Confidence is a man saying, “I’m having a great time with you, and I can’t wait to go out again,” when the first date isn’t even over yet. Confidence is a woman going in for the first kiss. Confidence is both sides saying, “It was great getting to know you, but I don’t think this is going anywhere,” and parting ways sans ill will. Confidence is both parties knowing their worth and upholding their standards until someone rises to meet them. Confidence rules.

While all these qualities are universally attractive, it’s important to keep in mind that the expectation of a partner to embody all of these qualities equally is unrealistic and sets anyone out searching up to fail. What’s important is prioritizing. Which of these qualities make the most sense for your life and values in particular? As Matchmakers, we work closely with our members to do just that -- prioritize, and target our searches based on which qualities are the most important. Work with a Three Day Rule Matchmaker like me today and start going on better dates with the matches that are actually compatible!