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Dating:  What singles want

by Janet L. Jacobsen


What we want in the opposite sex

Men and women don't want "opposite" characteristics in each other at all;
in fact, what they want matches perfectly.
 That's the finding of a recent online study, conducted for American Demographics magazine, of nearly 1500 single men and women.  "Intelligence"
was the most desired characteristic for both sexes, mentioned by 79% of respondents as an extremely or very important characteristic in a
significant other.
 Next most mentioned on everyone's lists were "funny" (70%), "attractive" (34%), "athletic" (12%), and "wealthy" (6%).  Contrary to prevailing
stereotypes, the magazine  notes, "This hierarchy holds true across not only sex, but every other demographic segment, including age, income, level of education, race, and ethnicity."
 Dr. Joyce Brothers commented on the findings, noting that with women's economic status today, "they can look for attractiveness, just like men."

Where we meet
 
The survey also asked singles where/how they commonly meet people to date.  Most mentioned - by 65% - was meeting through friends, co-workers, and
family.  Among the other most mentioned methods:  work, 36%; school by 27%; 26% meet online (remember that the study itself was done online); and 26% in bars or coffee shops.
 While men and women logically name the same types of places as where they meet each other, other demographic factors have important effects.  Blacks
are more likely than whites to meet in church (28% vs 16%) or at a gym (13% vs 4%).  Divorced and widowed singles are significantly more likely than
never-married singles to meet dates online (42% vs 22%) but less likely to meet people in libraries and bookstores (4% vs 12%).

Before the date

Men and women definitely have different routines in preparing for a date, according to the study.  Women are more likely than men to buy new clothes
for the date (38% vs 12%), put on special undergarments (33% vs 13%), and clean their house or apartment (58% vs 52%).  And while 69% of men stop at a bank or ATM for some extra cash before a date, but so do 54% of women.  Men also wash their car (42%) and buy flowers or candy (25%).  Another interesting difference between the sexes:  22% of women develop a plan for ending a bad date, compared to just 11% of men.
  If the date goes well, who should make the follow-up phone call?  Most guys (64%) say they'll call within a day, 29% in two to three days, and 2% wait four days before calling.  Meanwhile, 71% of the women are willing to make the call.

For a special date

Asked what they would prefer to do on a special date, more men than women said "eat at a nice restaurant" (46% vs 39%).  Women were more likely to want to attend a concert, movie or the theater (26% vs 21%).  Men were more likely than women to want to make dinner at home or go on a picnic (18% vs 13%).  And women were much more likely than men to choose going to an amusement park, mini-golf, go-carts, or arcade (14% vs. 6%).

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