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Personality beats looks – if you're a guy

WHAT first attracted you to your spouse? Was it their physical beauty that stopped you in your tracks?

Did their perfect smile make you go weak at the knees? Or were you won over by their personality?

If you're a woman, chances are it was the latter, according to a new study by the University of Miami. The survey revealed that a charming wit and a sparkling repartee boost a man's chances of marrying by 30pc, regardless of how attractive he is.

The same doesn't hold true for we girls, however. If it's matrimony we're after, the study revealed it doesn't matter how fascinating or intelligent we are, because it won't necessarily increase our odds of finding a mate.

The one thing that improves our chances of making it down that aisle is – surprise, surprise – our appearance. The survey discovered that "well-groomed" (aka hot) women have a 10pc better chance than their less glamorous sisters.

This discrepancy is pretty extraordinary. If this study is to be believed, it implies some men don't care what their prospective partners think or how they act. They want arm candy, not a sharp mind or witty chat.

But does this also mean that some women are so desperate to get a ring on their finger that they deliberately dumb themselves down and dress themselves up to bag a mate? That's beyond depressing.

A quick straw poll among my female friends confirmed that, for them at least, it's true that personality far outweighs looks when it comes to finding long-term love.

"Looks fade, but thoughtfulness and a sense of humour endure," one pal said to me. How true that is.

That's not to say that the initial spark of sexual chemistry isn't vitally important. Lust often precedes love, after all.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and sensible girls know that being with someone who looks great but has the personality of a peanut doesn't make for a happy marriage.

CUTE

There's only so often we can sit back and admire a chiselled jaw or six-pack. In the daily grind of life, how you men behave is far more important.

When we date you we're watching to see if you're kind to dogs and children. We're wondering if you're the type to insist on taking out the bins if it's raining, or whether you'll bring us a cuppa when we're feeling rotten.

It helps if you're cute, but we often think you're cute because of what you do, not how you look when you're doing it. For many of us, a man's attractiveness increases in direct proportion to how often he empties the dishwasher or volunteers to do the baby's night feed.

If he's kind and can make us howl with laughter when all else seems grim, we know we're on to a very good thing, for better or worse.

I find it incredible that anyone could even think about settling down with someone based on looks alone. Those who are shallow enough to do this must come in for a very nasty shock when they realise their other half is not improving with age.

I wonder if, when the first wrinkle or stretch mark appears, they simply decide to move on to pastures new. Such a relationship is so superficial, it's not worth fighting for.

The recipe for a happy marriage is less complicated than you might think. Be yourself above all and, before you make that big commitment, look beyond the exterior of your partner to what really lies beneath. That's what matters most.


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