Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What men and women really want in a date

I guess this must really be Valentine's week, because here's my second post on the subject of online romance in two days. Just spoke with Dan Ariely, a behavioral economics professor at Duke University who also happens to study the habits of online daters. A forthcoming study of his tracked the preferences and actions of more than 22,000 online daters and found that, essentially, men prefer skinny women, and women prefer tall, rich men. (I can see people of both sexes rolling their eyes and thinking, 'He needed a research study to come up with that??').

Women, what do you think? Do short, checkbook-challenged guys have no chance at catching your eye on Facebook or one of the dating sites? And guys, do a few extra pounds automatically disqualify a woman in your book?

If it's a race to the bottom to see who can be the most shallow, which sex is winning here? Shoot me your thoughts via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook, or comment below.

12 comments:

Venita Peyton said...

Regrettably you've started with physical characteristics. For me, a potential date has to attract my mind to get my time.

Venita

Anonymous said...

Lets see, both have physical requirements...but only the gals have economic requirements. I'd say women win the "most shallow gender online" award!

Anonymous said...

Another point to be made is that men looking for "skinny" is also a reflection of lifestyle preference. An overweight person (not talking about the 20-30 extra pounds, but the "big girls") is also advertising their attitude, self-discipline, and self-respect. While there may be rare exceptions, obesity is a choice. You can't fix short though no matter how hard you're willing to work.! So, again, I'd say women are more superficial here. Is that a surprise though?

Rob said...

Interesting that no one wants to admit their materialism or shallowness... hmmm...

TC said...

Men want a lady on the streets,and a freak in the sheets!

Anonymous said...

You have nothing much to go by except looks on the internet. People on these dating sites all like "long walks on the beach, a funny yet warm and caring person, blah, blah, blah." What would be interseting would be a study based on a site with no pictures - but who would join that site other than the "short poor guys and fat girls"?

Anonymous said...

From a guy's perspective, there are a few key things that throw a red flag and weight happens to be one of them. If a woman can't take care of her body (which is extremely important to us), we wonder what else she's letting fall by the wayside. She doesn't have to be a supermodel, but if she's lean then guys will be clamoring all over her. Guys recognize that facial beauty is largely out of one's control. But weight is a choice and it tells a thousand stories before a girl even opens her mouth. In fact, if an overweight single woman tells me how motivated she is in life and how passionate she is about her career, the question running through my head the whole time is "ok, then why don't you do something about your weight?" Not for me, but for her.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Girls use career as a proxy for other attributes, guys use weight. I don't care how sweet and smart a girl is, if she's overweight then I just assume something is wrong with her that she's not telling me.

Algernon said...

Interesting ...my woman and I have this conversation on an annual basis, on the day we met.

When we met she was a model, and I was bringing down some bucks.

That was 15 years ago.

Things have changed.

Now she says she still likes the fact that I can still her "no" (evidently there was a time when no man could resist her with the word "no"), and I still like the fact I found her more than just a pretty face (still cracks me up with the most cerebral dead pan observations).

That's a good thing.

The bank account has changed and things that once defied gravity no longer do.

Still that raw animal passion lingers.

"On-line daters" and people actually looking for perfection....that is a different subject altogether.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that all the ads make Valentines Day yet another day where men are expected to spend money on the woman in their life yet women don't have to do anything for the men but sit there and collect the flowers, dinners and chocolates. Ummmm...ladies? What happened to that whole equality thing? Step up and take your man out....get him a day at the spa...maybe some tickets to a concert. Should be a day of 50/50 but all the ads I see on TV are geared toward guys...

Anonymous said...

It's not about rich, it's about financially secure and independent. And, it's not tall, it's taller than me, or at least as tall as me when I'm wearing three inch heels.

Anonymous said...

Women are far more shallow!

Just yesterday your paper ran a story on the ratio of men(40%)to women(60%) and loneliness. Yet one of the women said that they would only even consider 1/2 of those 40%.

Watch the show Dating in the Dark, far more women walked away when they saw the man they had chosen.

I see a lot of fatties with GQ guys in this town.