The Ideal Partner: The Most-Wanted Partner Traits in Each State

Man and woman snuggling on a sofa

Ever wondered what Americans desire most in a relationship? Our latest anonymous study of 250,000 singles has revealed what singles from each state want from an ideal partner. From kindness in California to dependability in the Dakotas, to adventurousness in Alaska, here’s what single men and women are seeking in your state!

Would your friends describe you as kind and open with your feelings? Are you adventurous and yet also dependable? Do you own your mistakes? Then, as our latest study has shown, you might be exactly what Americans are looking for in an ideal partner. Want to get more specific? Here are the characteristics that matter most in your state:

What singles in each state want from a partner [Map]

First things first: just how did we discover what values singles value? It was really quite simple: by analyzing the rankings that 250,000 randomly-selected single men and women gave to various important partner traits, we were able to determine what matters most to single Americans looking for love. And, by averaging this anonymous data out geographically, we were able to determine what singles in each state are seeking from their ideal match.1

So what do singles want from love? It turns out that majority of states are home to people who just want a kind partner – overall, kindness is the most sought-after partner trait in 20 states plus the District of Columbia. Next on the ideal partner checklist is dependability, the top choice in 15 states. Close behind is openness with feelings, which claimed the #1 spot in 14 states. Finally, there is adventurousness, which came out on top in just one state: Alaska.

click here to see this data in table format

What women want from a dream partner

One of the most fascinating parts of this study was the gender breakdown, which revealed that women and men have very different ideas of what makes an ideal partner. Overwhelmingly, the thing that most impresses women is kindness: in 36/50 states plus, again, the District of Columbia, kindness is women’s most sought-after love value. This was followed by dependability, which is women’s most-wanted partner trait in 11 states. In third place, there’s a newcomer – accountability (aka not shifting the blame) – which took first place in 3 states.

Men’s perfect partner qualities

For men, it’s quite a different story. While many of the men in this study had partner values like kindness and dependability as their second or third most-wanted values, their ideal partner values come down to two traits: adventurousness and openness with feelings. In 31 states, adventurousness is #1, while openness with feelings reigns supreme in the other 19. The only place where kindness is men’s most-wanted partner trait is the District of Columbia. It’s important to note, though, that adventurousness doesn’t mean that men want freedom from their partners – rather, they’re looking for a co-pilot to have adventures with.

Why do men and women want different things?

So why is there such a stark difference between the way men and women describe their ideal partner? For EliteSingles in-house relationship psychologist Zoe Coetzee it comes down to how men and women can conceptualize their needs differently. She says, “these results show that men place a higher value on adventure in a relationship, while women are more attracted to kindness. These traits are not at odds with each other, but rather reveal how attraction can be influenced by the qualities we choose to experience with a partner. Men and women do often have different communication styles and needs, but that is just as true for individuals. Finding someone who fulfills your personal preferences is part of the magic of love!”

Of course, there’s one place in America where everyone is totally in sync, and that’s the District of Columbia – the only place in the country where the overall most-wanted trait was the same as the #1 trait for women and the #1 trait for men. And that value? Kindness. Notoriously, many singles dating in D.C. have been finding it tough in recent years. Perhaps then, the answer for all those lovelorn folk is this: be more kind.

The ideal partner [Table]


1 Study completed by EliteSingles researchers in 2018, and based on randomly selected, anonymous data from 250,000 singles registered with Data used cannot be traced back to the original user.

About the author: Sophie Watson

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