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Parents' Preferences in Children's Spouses

Marriage Material: What Everyone's Looking For in Your Mate

Not that we should date to please our parents, but lots of people consider mom and dad's approval to be high on their list of non-negotiables. A new study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences looked into what parents want compared to their offspring when choosing mates. And not surprisingly, they're completely different.

Both offspring and parents were asked about the same 13 traits: kindness, religiousness, personality, creativity, housekeeping skills, intelligence, earning capacity, wants kids, easygoing, genes, college graduate, attractiveness, and health. See how their top five values differed below.

Top Offspring Values

  • Attractiveness
  • Personality
  • Wants kids
  • Easygoing
  • Intelligence

Top Parent Values

  • Religiousness
  • Health
  • Housekeeping skills
  • Earning capacity
  • Kindness

The only finding that surprises me is that offspring want partners who want kids more than their parents. What surprised you?

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