Money can’t buy me love! Personality is more important than finances when it comes to dating, study claims
- Researchers analysed more than one million lonely hearts ads around the world
- In the US, France and Canada, there has been a decline in economic factors
- But finances remain more important than personality to singletons in India
It seems that The Beatles were right after all when they sang that ‘money can’t buy me love’!
A new study has found that when it comes to dating, personality has become more important than finances.
Researchers from the University of York and the University of Essex analysed more than one million lonely hearts ads around the world.
‘Our study shows personality becoming more and more important in western countries such as the United States, but we don’t see the same trend in India,’ said co-researcher Dr Quentin Lippmann.
A new study has found that when it comes to dating, personality has become more important than finances (stock image)
‘Once India’s economy develops further, and the current generation are more secure financially, they may show a change in preference for personality factors as well.’
In their study, the team analysed lonely hearts ads from major news outlets in Canada, France and India, as well as data from publications from 1950 to 1995, and ads from 41 regional newspapers from Canada and the USA in 1995.
The team focused on the language used in the ads, which they put into four distinct categories.
‘Economic’ language focused on a potential partner’s financial situation, while ‘personality’ covered traits such as openness and extroversion.
Meanwhile, ‘physical’ language expressed a preference for body types, while ‘taste’ language covered hobbies and habits.
Their analysis revealed that, between 1950 and 1995, personality grew in importance in Western countries, while economic factors declined.
By 1995, 40 to 45 per cent of the words used by women to describe their ideal partner was in the ‘personality’ category, while just 10 per cent mentioned finances.
Similarly, 35 to 40 per cent of words in ads placed by men focused on personality, while only five per cent were related to economic factors.
However, in India, both finances and personality remained key issues across the same time period.
Up until the 1970s, around 35 per cent of words in ads related to finances – and by 1995 this had risen to 60 per cent.
There was some gender disparity in the ads, with a greater rise in the importance of economic factors in ads placed by women than those placed by men.
Khushboo Surana, co-author of the study, said: ‘The data we have found supports Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs.
‘In this framework, material needs – i.e. financial factors – have to be satisfied before you can focus on the immaterial ones, such as personality traits.
‘It is possible that unlike in the west, people’s first order needs still haven’t been satisfied, which is why we see a focus on economic criteria.’
Dr Lipmann believes that once India’s economy develops further, we may see a shift in preference for personality factors.
‘This would align them with the trends we see in the western countries we sampled,’ he concluded.
Top 10 scientifically-proven ways to improve your success on dating apps
- Include a photo with your dog
- Don’t use ‘sexy’ or topless photos
- Show off your Apple devices
- Take a selfie at a flattering angle
- Make yourself appear wider
- Ask a stranger to choose your photos
- Choose a subtle and creative chat-up line
- Make your profile information ‘humble and realistic’
- Check your spelling and grammar
- Don’t set your standards too high
Studies have shown that having a dog in your photos, or an Apple product, increase your chance of getting a match