April 25, 2024

Researchers at the University of Göttingen in Germany surveyed 20,000 single women, aged 18 to 67, throughout 150 countries to determine the gender’s most desired qualities in a romantic partner. The report was published in September in the journal Human Nature.

17,000 participants identified as heterosexual, while 3,000 identified as either bisexual or homosexual. Scientists quizzed the women about various qualities, such as attractiveness, kindness and supportiveness, financial security and success, education, and intelligence, and how heavily they factored in selecting a partner. Those surveyed were also asked to provide the youngest and oldest ages they would consider when selecting that special someone.

According to the results, women want their ideal partner to be:

  • Up to 5 years older or 15 years younger

While the study determined that finding a kind, supportive partner remained important across all age groups, it also found some considerations vary drastically with age.

Younger women were found to seek out men who wanted to be fathers over all other partners. However, the results indicate this desire decreases gradually after women turn 28. This surprised researchers, who’d anticipated interest in motherhood would decline between ages 40 and 50, during the period when most women’s reproductive phases end.

“This unexpected earlier decrease could be linked to changing life plans, with younger women re-evaluating family goals, while older women, who already have children, prioritize different aspects of their relationship,” lead author Laura Botzet noted in the report.

The study also found that as women age, they are more and more willing to date younger people. Women agreed, across all ages, that they wouldn’t date someone more than five years their senior. But by the time they turn 40, women are willing to date men who are up to seven years younger. By 60, women are willing to date men up to 15 years younger than them.

“Love, it turns out, is not entirely ageless; it’s nuanced,” Botzet told The Daily Mail. “These insights are exciting because they challenge conventional notions of how age is linked to the way women picture the partner of their dreams.”

Copyright 2023 A360 Media. All rights reserved.

This story was originally published December 16, 2023, 3:00 PM.

source: star-telegram

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