I’m fascinated by chemistry – why people are attracted to some but not to others, and why it’s not always the typically good-looking who get all the dates. I was fascinated, then, when Match.com released some really interesting data about what their readers (which, let’s face it, is basically half the singles in the country!) think makes up a perfect partner.
So what does Britain’s ideal man and woman really look like?
Match.com analysed the preferences of all their UK members to build a picture of the ideal date – and it’s not petite blondes and toned muscle men!
1. Blue Eyes and Dark Hair Combo Reign
Interestingly, when it came to eye and hair preferences both sexes favoured the same colours. Females opted for the rare but sought-after combination of dark brown hair and blue eyes with a short and sensible haircut. This classic ‘tall, dark and handsome’ combo didn’t come as too much of a surprise. However, the data shows that the old adage about gentlemen preferring blondes is a myth, as Match’s male members were more likely to opt for a long-haired brunette with blue eyes. Both sexes chose blue eyes as the most attractive eye colour which was particularly surprising. Studies have previously shown we generally find the rarest characteristics to be the most attractive which should place green eyes as the ideal colour.
The belly button piercing is now well and truly a thing of the past, with today’s men admitting they have a hankering for a strategically-placed tattoo instead. Tattoos are becoming less of a taboo as time passes, with males and females being able to express themselves however they like. But, on the other side, the majority of females did not support the idea of male piercings.
The ‘dad bod’ is still trending for British ladies as they opt away from the toned torso and instead state their preference for an ‘average’ physique. Our dating expert Kate Taylor adds, “Women are clearly fed up with the current male obsession of posting torso shots, preferring to instead relax with a more realistically well-fed partner who won’t spend every evening in the gym.”
You can go ahead and celebrate with that beer men!
3. Professionals and City Flyers Are Among the Best Jobs to Have
The view that females should stay at home to be a ‘housewife’ has certainly changed over the past few years. When it comes to the day job, Britain’s men think highly of women in the medical profession, with doctors and vets rated equally highly. They like an educated woman who is independent and career driven. The ideal man is an executive or manager earning a good wage. Guess those years of schooling is worth it!
The biggest discrepancy between males and females came in ideal salaries. The sexes differed wildly in what they saw as an ideal salary in a partner. Females were most likely to look for a man earning between £50,000 and £100,000. However, males split into two clear camps: those looking for a partner earning less than £25,000 per year or over £250,000. Our expert explains the rationale behind men looking for a wealthy partner, “This might be because this generation is keener than previous ones to be a stay-at-home father, or they are looking to share finances in their relationship.”
Males and females both agreed on the ‘most attractive features’ in the opposite sex. Eyes, bum and smiles come out on top. So flash your pearly whites and remember to maintain eye contact during conversations. This is also key when showing someone that you’re interested in them.
Finally, when it comes to pets and the battle of cats and dogs, the latter is the clear winner with both males and females falling for someone who is a pooch lover. ‘Dogs are a man’s best friend’ proves to be the truth amongst our members.
So what does all this mean?
Kate Taylor, Match relationship expert, adds her thoughts, “What I think this research shows is that men look for different things in long-term relationships than they do for a fling. For lifelong love, men want a partner with a less “showy” appearance, a restrained tattoo (rather than an obvious one), a good job.
Qualities like these are seen to point towards stability, loyalty and faithfulness. For short-term affairs, men tend to prefer women who have obvious “markers” for sexual availability – for example, less modest clothes, more visible piercings and tattoos, brightly coloured (dyed) hair. These all suggest a desire to go against convention, which could hint at a passionate personality.
What is interesting is how women are going for Dad bods. In the same way as men, women might be looking for partners who appear less of a “peacock” – someone who is not actively seeking attention.
However, don’t go dyeing your hair, or gaining weight, to find love! You want a partner who loves the REAL you, if you don’t fancy a future of trying to maintain the new look. Just opt for a dating service that brings you into contact with the largest amount of compatible singles so you’ll find someone who loves your type.”