- Flickr/Ramakrishna Reddy Y
If you’re looking to boost your sex appeal, step away from the mirror.
Business Insider asked a panel of dating and relationship experts to share the most appealing qualities in a potential partner – and no one mentioned physical traits. Sure, looks can be important, but it seems people are also seeking someone who carries themselves with confidence and treats others well.
Read on to find out which personality traits you should be working on (and flaunting) in order to attract love.
- Joshua Ganderson/flickr
“Whether they know it or not, trust is a major trait people seek in a partner,” said Michael McNulty, Master Trainer and Certified Gottman Relationship Therapist from The Chicago Relationship Center.
“In fact, research tells us people only tend to move from romantic flings into bona fide relationships when they feel they can trust the potential partner.
“Trust in a relationship is not only about transparency. It’s a sense of investment in the relationship. It’s a sense of commitment to one another. It’s a sense that both partners are true to themselves, while having each other’s backs.
“They are honest about what they want and need, and committed to working through their differences in ways that are fair to both of them.”
- Flickr / Vladimir Pustovit
“Partners who, everyday, take the time to know each other well, to appreciate one another, and to catch and respond to each other’s attempts or emotional bids to connect have rich friendships,” McNulty said.
“This involves support, humor, empathy, and many other positive qualities. A rich friendship builds and enhances romance and emotional intimacy in a long term, loving relationship.
“It helps people to remain connected in those good times and bad, which are inherent in all relationships.”
Vulnerability without neediness
- Flickr/Pedro Ribeiro Simões
Humility without embarrassment
- Flickr/Funk Dooby
“We like people who can laugh at themselves and yet still be comfortable in their own skin,” Runkel said.
Confidence without cockiness
- Warner Bros.
“We like secure people who can pursue what they want without needing to prove anything,” Runkel said.
“High self-esteem is sexy, provided it doesn’t veer into narcissistic self-absorption,” Burgo said.
“When we become romantically involved, we invest a part of our identity in the couple we form with the other person; to affiliate with someone who has high self-confidence makes us feel good about ourselves, too.”
- Alessandro Valli/flickr
“Someone who asks you questions about yourself and makes an effort to understand you is extremely appealing,” Burgo said.
“We all want to feel that we’re attractive and fascinating to our romantic partners, of course. Plus a person who takes a genuine interest in who we are at the outset is likely to make a more empathic partner in the long term.”
Dr. Terri Orbuch (PhD), relationship expert, Oakland University professor, and author of “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship” agreed:
“If you spend all the time on a date selling yourself, the impression is that you’re self-centered.
“You may feel the need to ‘sell’ yourself to a potential date, but in reality, going on and on about yourself will actually push the other person away. Be sure it is a give and take.
“Instead, people like partners who ask questions of them and then listen well. It means they’re curious, interested in them as people, really trying to get to know them, and other-oriented. All great qualities for a good relationship.”
Sense of humor
“Humor makes any relationship and date better,” Orbuch said.
“It puts the other person in a good mood, and it is fun to be with someone who laughs, and has a good sense of humor. If someone is too serious, it gives off the vibe that you’re too much work to be with.
But Orbuch warns people against trying too hard: “Stay away from self-deprecating humor, like making fun of your [own] chosen career or your [own] family.”
- Bailey Weaver/Flickr
“We are attracted to partners who are positive and optimistic: able to laugh and smile,” Orbuch said.
“Negativity breeds negativity, and when we’re around others who are negative, it affects our mood and outlook on life and in general. So, we want to be with others who are positive, focus on the positive, and see the good in most situations.”