Liking Some Things (in Some People) more than Others: Partner Preferences in Romantic Relationships and Friendships

  title={Liking Some Things (in Some People) more than Others: Partner Preferences in Romantic Relationships and Friendships},
  author={Susan Sprecher and Pamela C. Regan},
  journal={Journal of Social and Personal Relationships},
  pages={463 - 481}
  • S. SprecherP. Regan
  • Published 1 August 2002
  • Psychology
  • Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
The present investigation examined the degree to which various characteristics are desired in five types of relational partners. Men and women (N = 700) indicated their preferences for several attributes in either a casual sex partner, dating partner, marriage partner, same-sex friend, or opposite-sex friend (randomly assigned). Participants also indicated how important it was to obtain a partner with the desired level of each attribute. Although participants most preferred warmth and kindness… 

Tables from this paper

Sense of Humor in Romantic Relationships and Friendships

This present investigation examined the degree to which humor, among various characteristics, is desired in two types of relational partners. We expected to find that humor would be perceived asmore


This study investigated the interactions between the two personality factors derived from the Big Five model of personality known as "Openness to Experience" and "Agreeableness", with gay male

Warm, competent, or both? : trait perception in friendship, acquaintanceship, siblings, and romantic relationship : explicit, implicit, and transgression studies

The findings regarding trait preference or what we find desirable in a relationship partner such as a friend, a romantic partner, or a colleague are abundant. However, the evidence from the actual

Behavior expectations in cross-sex friendships, same-sex friendships, and romantic relationships

In 2 studies, university students from the United States rated the importance of 43 behavior expectations about their cross-sex friends, same-sex friends and romantic partners. In Study 1, all 399

Social Taste Buds: Evidence of Evolved Same-Sex Friend Preferences from a Policy-Capturing Study

Despite the importance of friendship, the traits that people seek in a friend are not well understood. Here, we pursue the hypothesis that same-sex friendships evolved as ongoing cooperative

Effects of Attractiveness and Social Status on Dating Desire in Heterosexual Adolescents: An Experimental Study

It is shown that attractiveness of a potential partner is important to both adolescent boys and girls, but social status does not strongly affect dating desire during this particular age period.

Friends with Benefits: The Evolved Psychology of Same- and Opposite-Sex Friendship

The findings suggest that friend preferences may have evolved to solve ancestrally sex-linked adaptive problems, and that opposite-sex friendship may directly or indirectly serve mating functions.

Gender Rules: Same- and Cross-Gender Friendships Norms

We examined the relationships between gender and attitudes towards same- and cross-gender friendship norms for a sample of 269 West Coast, U.S., college students. Participants evaluated violations of

How Do Ideal Friend Preferences and Interaction Context Affect Friendship Formation? Evidence for a Domain- General Relationship Initiation Process

This research examined how people’s ideal friend preferences influence the friendship formation process. In an extension of prior research on romantic relationship initiation, we tested whether the



Sex differences among partner preferences: Are the sexes really very similar?

The question as to what type of individual we prefer in a “romantic” partner has stimulated a long history of research, with much of the present debate centering around the issue of the sex

Friendship and Gender: Perspectives of Professional Men and Women

Same- and cross-sex friendships of 156 professional men and women were investigated using a self-report questionnaire consisting of rating scales and open-ended questions. Results indicated that

The benefits of positive illusions: Idealization and the construction of satisfaction in close relationships.

It is proposed that satisfaction is associated with idealistic, rather than realistic, perceptions of one's partner. To provide baselines for assessing relationship illusions, both members of married

Gender Differences in Characteristics Desired in a Potential Sexual and Marriage Partner

Abstract Only recently have researchers recognized that the qualities that are considered desirable in a short-term sexual partner may differ from those sought in a long-term marriage partner. To

Preferred level of sexual experience in a date or mate: The merger of two methodologies

Using evolutionary and sociological models, we predicted how much sexual experience was desired by men and women for a casual dating relationship versus a marital relationship. We used a combined

Lust? Love? Status?: Young Adults' Motives for Engaging in Casual Sex

Abstract Although an impressive body of knowledge exists about the attitudes toward and correlates of short-term sex, little is known about men's and women's motives for seeking casual sex partners

Mate selection preferences: gender differences examined in a national sample.

The gender differences found in this study were consistent with those secured in previous research and were quite consistent across age groups and races.

Same- and cross-sex friendships and the psychology of homosociality

The present study investigated the homosocial preferences and the functions, formation, and maintenance characteristics of same- and cross-sex friendships for a sample of 90 young adults, ages 20 to

What if You Can't Get What You Want? Willingness to Compromise Ideal Mate Selection Standards as a Function of Sex, Mate Value, and Relationship Context

The majority of mate selection research focuses on what people want, rather than what they will settle for, in a partner. The present study explored the extent to which sex, self perceived mate

Desired Characteristics of Spouses and Best Friends: Do They Differ by Sex and/or Gender?

In view of the salutary effects that having one's spouse as one's best friend are said to impart (G. R. Lee 1988; Schwartz 1994), we investigated the relationship between desired characteristics of a