Americans Share the #1 Thing They are Looking For in a Relationship

What is the magic ingredient that most people are looking for when it comes to committing to someone for a long-term relationship? Is it good looks, chemistry, a sense of humor? Or is there something more lasting or less tangible you look for as you date each new person?

According to a recent study by website DatingAdvice.com, about half of all American singles (both men and women) are looking for the same thing – having things in common with each other – like shared values, background, or interest in the same activities.

Other qualities that were important to those surveyed were money, good looks, and a sense of humor.

When the study was broken down, they discovered that while people were pretty evenly matched by gender, gay men and women were 12% more likely than straight people to want partners with common interests and values. There was a big divide by age, too: Americans aged 65 and older were 54% more likely than their 25 to 34 year-old counterparts to prioritize commonalities in their relationships.

DatingAdvice.com dating expert Rachel Dack said she’s not surprised that commonalities ranked highest among all other traits in the study, as Americans emphasize them as a culture.

“Similar values, lifestyle preferences and interests are important aspects in healthy relationships,” she said. “It also makes sense that older Americans were more likely to rate this quality much higher compared to younger Americans due to the stages of human development, aging process and the tendency for our elderly population to value companionship over other relationship qualities.”

Divorced men and women were also more likely than their married counterparts – and singles who have never been married – to want partners with common interests over other qualities. Respectively, 54% of divorced people were most interested in a partner with commonalities compared to only 47% of never-been-married folks.

There seems to be a difference regionally as well. Fifty-four percent of those in the South were more likely to look for partners with common interests above other qualities, compared to the Midwest at 44%.

The study broke down information by income as well, with 54% of those earning $125,000 or more preferring to meet partners who have things in common with them, compared to only 46% of those earning $25,000 to $49,000.

The study contained data from Americans surveyed over a three-week period, balancing participants according to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. to accurately represent the American population.