The Psychology of Online Dating: She Wants and He is

In the first article in this series (The Psychologists Viewpoint) I outlined how psychologists have investigated attraction and dating preferences by looking at the contents of personal advertisement and online dating profiles.

The second article (He Wants and She is) described the sort of things men say they are looking for in a partner. In this article we turns things on their head and consider what women have said they want in a partner as well as how men describe themselves and whether this matches women’s desires.

Before we begin, please spend a few moments and think of about four general things that you think women are typically looking for in a partner … now let’s see what scientific research has revealed.

What does the research say?

When looking at sex differences in what’s sought from a partner, two factors stand head and shoulders above the rest and are reported so often in the research literature that it would be remarkable if any researcher failed to find these results. In the previous article we discussed the fact that men are far more interested in a partner’s attractiveness than women are. The thing that women look for but men don’t is wealth.

In fact it is only a small minority of women who directly say they are looking for someone rich and we need to take a slightly broader view of what constitutes wealth or at least financial stability. Some of the phrases encountered do refer directly to wealth (e.g. ‘rich’ and ‘financially secure’) but in many cases women will say they are looking for a partner who has specific assets (e.g. ‘own house’) or employment (e.g. ‘business type’, ‘professional’ or even just ‘working’). Alternatively, the thing mentioned might be a personal attribute that, while it could be viewed as sought for its own sake, implies an aptitude or capacity to earn now or in the future (e.g. ‘ambitious’, ‘intelligent’ or ‘college educated’).

Taking money, assets, employment and aptitudes separately, in each case women are more likely to say they are looking for a partner with these characteristics than men are. When taken as an overall category of features implying wealth or the capacity to earn, research has consistently shown women are more interested in a partner having these features than men. For example, in 2003 I presented some results to colleagues based on my collection of nearly 5000 advertisements. Within this set of data, women were six times more likely than men to mention one of the above as a desirable characteristic in a partner.

Men seem to be fully aware of what women are looking for as they are consistently more likely than women to mention that they are financially secure, well educated, or have personal qualities that might be expected to lead to wealth or security. Often this is done directly through a bald mention of personal assets such as ‘own house and car’ (a phrase used so frequently it is often abbreviated to ‘OHAC’) or men may be more subtle and include something in their description that implies wealth such as ‘hobbies include good restaurants, opera, sailing and regular holidays overseas.’

Male interest in attractiveness and female interest in wealth are both pretty clear cut. You will recall the other things men wanted in a partner were also physical features of one kind or another. Women’s desires, however, are not as simple as this. Apart from wealth (or at least financial stability/promise) there are three other factors that women are just as interested in and just as likely to mention when seeking a partner.

The first of these is a difficult concept to pin down as different researchers view it in different ways depending on how phrases are grouped together. For example, if we consider phrases such as ‘expressive’, ‘sensitive’ and ‘open’ as referring to something different to phrases such as ‘warm’, ‘loving’ and ‘romantic’ then both our ‘expressiveness’ and our ‘warmth’ categories will have relatively smaller numbers of adverts than a general category containing all these phrases. Where researchers do group these together and look for what might be called positive emotional characteristics as a single category, then women are just as interested in finding a partner like this as they are in a partner’s wealth and resources. Men are also pretty interested in finding someone who they describe using phrases of this type but not as interested as women are. However men are certainly aware of women’s desires in this area as they are considerably more likely than women to describe themselves as having these female-valued emotional characteristics.

Another characteristic that men often lay claim to, and women often seek, is identified by phrases such as ‘honest’, ‘genuine’, ‘faithful’ and ‘committed’. If we take these phrases as indicating the desire for a partner who is open to having an ongoing relationship and who is not going to mess you around, then this is something women are also as interested in as wealth and emotionality.

The last female-valued attribute I want to mention is physical and is the only physical attribute that women seek more often than men do. It is height.

Whether a specific height is mentioned or whether it is simply the use of the adjective ‘taller’ when describing a partner, women are far more interested in a man’s height than men are in a woman’s, and they almost invariably want men who are tall, or at least taller than they are themselves. This result has been found in numerous studies of personal advertisement and was borne out again recently in a novel study of speed dating events. Researchers at the University of Essex looked at the characteristics of men who were more or less successful at getting invitations to follow-up dates at speed dating events. They found the men who were most successful at any particular event were usually among the tallest present.

Men seem to be aware of this female preference as they are far more likely to mention their height than women. This may be an assertion that they are ‘tall’ or they may give an actual height. However in my sample of personal advertisements, the average male height (where it is mentioned) is 5 feet 10 inches. This is significantly taller than the average adult male height in the UK population so either these men were inflating their heights or only the taller men mentioned it.

In summary, based on extensive research looking at what women say they want in a partner, the four main characteristics that emerge are wealth (or at least financial security), positive emotional characteristics (such a warmth, openness and sensitivity), someone who is honest and open to forming an ongoing relationship, and height.

How can we use this?

In the previous article I used this subheading as an opportunity to advise women on how they can present themselves to attract initial male attention. In this article I am not going to do this as I think the research above speaks for itself, and I want to explore briefly the moral dilemma I had about writing these articles, particularly this one. It is to do with deception.

There is no doubt that deception is widely used when seeking a date. From a psychological perspective, women’s use of makeup, hair dye and body shaping knickers are actually forms of deception that are specifically targeted at the physical features that men are interested in. Now I am not asserting a moral position here as these forms of deception are widespread and socially acceptable, not to mention (in the case of makeup) visually detectable. I more want to make the point that although they may not usually be viewed this way, they are in fact methods used by women to deceive men about their male-valued characteristics.

Given the above, we should also expect men will use deception to make themselves more attractive to women. Furthermore, deception is most likely to involve exactly the things that women seek in a partner. Unfortunately these are intangibles such as personality characteristics that cannot be immediately observed, leaving men much greater scope to lie.

If you are a man who is genuinely sensitive, financially stable, and looking for a real relationship then please do mention this in your personal advertisement as you will probably get a better response, but also bear in mind that many others will be (perhaps falsely) emphasising these features so don’t expect women to take any such claims at face value. Women looking for someone like this will and indeed should take the time to get to know someone. It is well known that women prefer to develop relationships slowly and given what I have said above, this is not only understandable but could also be viewed as another way to test a man’s character. If he really is sensitive and committed then a slow start to a relationship should not be a problem.

The next article takes some of the results mentioned in this and the previous article and uses these to explore theories of attraction. This may sound a bit dry but the main aim of the article is to introduce you to a current psychological theory of attraction that you can use to assess your own value in the ‘mating market’.

Your Online Dating Software Must Be Top Notch and Serve the Purpose Intended Well

Online dating business has become one of the most profitable business on the Internet. There are many factors responsible for this success; one of them is online dating software. To have a dynamic business, your online dating software must be top notch and serve the purpose intended well. There are so many kinds of online dating software. On the Internet, you will come across software developers selling their software. This is a good place to start looking, when you wish to start an online dating business. It is vital for you to look at the various features of the software. It will also be helpful to know what you have to gain when you purchase the software. I came across a software that sounded just right for your business. It is called the Hypertext Pre-Processor online dating software which comes with superior qualities that will role your business into action. It is a powerful match making software that will enable you create a dating web site within a few minutes. Because of its online installer, you can create a professional site. It is also possible to customize it using its integrated configuration manager. It comes with a web based graphical reporting system. It also comes with an administration control panel. This way, you will be in a position to view and analyze your business from any location in the world. This will enhance your strategic planning for the business.

On their site, you can view a short demonstration of how the online dating software works. You can also view all the features to ensure you understand what you will be getting from Hypertext Pre-Processor software for online dating. The Hypertext Pre-Processor software requires a one time payment. This way, the money you make from your web site is all yours. Also, when you acquire it, you will get a lifetime of free upgrades of the site. Their support team is only too glad to upgrade and maintain your site. The software is designed in a way that you are able to customize your site for every customer. This will make your site very unique. They have a provision for online advertising using email campaigns and others. The site promotion service will be very vital for your business. They provide it at very affordable prices. The following are some of the generic features for Hypertext Pre-Processor software solution. It comes with a template based design. This means that it can be modified easily by changing the design of the template. It comes with a multi language support. This will ensure that the world is brought together as languages are interpreted. The other features include customization email template, on fly new creation, ad banner management and many others.

The installation of the software is free. This software is bound to transform your new or old business. Do a similar analysis with other kinds of software and decide which deal sounds the best. Consider the price and go for the deal that is fair. They are very affordable and you will have no problem finding the most suitable software.

The Pros and the Cons of the Online Dating Business

The online dating business has become one of the biggest business in the world. Apart from it being very lucrative, it ensures that you provide a vital service for people who are looking for love. Going into this business is not exactly an easy task. You are required to undertake several steps which will ensure that you know exactly what to do. There are no shortcuts and, you must undertake a lot of research. Many individuals and agencies who are in the business have stated that they have gone into the business for passion. It really does not matter what your reason for venturing into the business was, as long as you deliver the right service. An online dating business helps hundreds of people meet their desired mates for long term and short term relationship. If you wish to go with the online option, there are a lot of things that you should know so that you can make the best decision. The best thing about an online dating business is that there are a lot of choices. You do not have to settle for less.

The are various ways in which an online dating business can attract more clients. The first thing has to do with the issue of cost. Many clients want a service that is free. Therefore, you must come up with different sources of income to facilitate this. Some of the options you might have is to use advertising. Other ways will be revealed when you search on the Internet. When you provide the free service, make sure you are very clear on this. Let the client differentiate between joining or registering for free and having a free online dating service. For a long time clients have complained that the display of information on various online sites is not very clear. This is because there is a lot of unnecessary information which they have to navigate through. Simplicity is always a major plus. Let the client feel confident with your online dating business. You can do this by ensuring that the language you use will be helpful and friendly. Your service must reflect a lot of professionalism. The client must feel safe.

One way to ensure this, is to assure them that their information will be protected. This is the personal information given in form of profiles. Your data bank must be full of real people who want to actually find mates. This is because there are many fake profiles created to attract people. If you are finding a soul mate, you might not know whether you have joined an agency that operates with fake profiles. It is therefore up to an online dating business to uphold all the necessary moral ethics. Honesty and trust are the two major things that a client expects from a good agency. All in all, it can be a lot of fun to run an online business for dating. The fact that people from all cultures are able to converge together because of your service is pretty exciting. You are bound to have so much fun not only when you are searching for that special someone but, when you are bringing people together.