There are two certainties with the concept of desire: Everyone wants to be both its recipient and its donor. Whether you are seeking an employee or a life-partner, research shows that people are drawn to certain characteristics more than others. You probably have extensive experience in your interactions with different personality types that prove how certain traits create desire while others destroy it. So, who are these desirable people, exactly?
1. Mentally Healthy
It may surprise you that what people desire most has nothing to do with an athletic body or an ivy league education. But here is a universal truth: we want to be surrounded by people that make us feel good. And in 2018, researchers conducted a study to determine exactly what promotes that “feel good” sensation certain people give us. The study examined the NEO-PI-R profiles of over 3,000 individuals to discover that emotional stability and overall psychological health are considered the greatest factors that influence who we want to spend our time with. Psychological health is a broad category, but it essentially comes down to this: an ability to balance extreme emotions and be emotionally open.
An elite dating site asked 400,000 singles what they are looking for in their future partner. 82% of women and 70% of men listed “kindness” as the most important trait they are seeking. While the cynics of the world may be in the midst of an eyeroll, it must be admitted that sexual attraction was listed as the next most important factor, at least for the male study participants. Women valued emotional connection slightly above sexual connection. Some gender stereotypes may have evidentiary support.
However, even with the preferential differences between men and women, it can still all come down to kindness. Numerous research studies have concluded that witnessing someone engage in an act of kindness positively influences how we rate their attractiveness. We also tend to have a greater level of trust and connection with people that are more attractive. And the more attractive someone is to us, the more we sexually desire them. So, sexual attraction, emotional connection, and kindness are all interconnected and inspire the existence of one another in relationships.
The term agreeable can be rather misleading. “Agreeableness” in the realm of personality assessment is not the same as its traditional definition of being compliant or accommodating. People who score high on this personality trait embody charm. They are warm, personable, generous, sympathetic, compassionate, considerate, and overall pleasurable to be in the presence of. People that score low on this personality trait are typically rude, cold, and impersonal. If you want to see how high you score on the agreeableness personality trait, psychologistworld.com offers a quick test at https://www.psychologistworld.com/influence-personality/five-factor-test/agreeableness-test.
Written by: Aubrey Koel, LPC