Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost: What Do People Really Want in a Partner?
Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost recently announced their engagement. Some fans were surprised to hear the two are planning to tie the knot since they seem so different. What is it that draws a couple together? Showbiz Cheat Sheet chatted with Dr. Seth Meyers, eHarmony’s relationship expert and licensed psychologist, to learn more about their study on what makes a partner desirable. Meyers also weighed on Johansson and Jost’s relationship. Here’s what he had to say.
Cheat Sheet: What surprised you most about this study?
Dr. Seth Meyers: One of the most surprising findings from eHarmony’s Singles & Desirability study was around millennials and what they desire in a potential partner. When millennials think about spending the ideal evening with a date or a partner, they prefer spending a quiet night in with just the two of them. With the little leisure time we have after work, and partially due to the amount of time we spend on screens nowadays, men and women really want something substantial. They want a real connection. An evening spent at home is the ideal place to connect.
CS: Which personality traits are most desirable in a potential partner? How does physical attraction rank on the list?
SM: The study finally clears up what people are looking for in a potential match. Regardless of age, humans desire trust. They desire kindness and a sense of humor. Being attracted to someone you’re dating is clearly important, but the findings from the Singles & Desirability study show that it comes in 4th place, well below honesty and kindness.
The best way to determine the intentions of someone you’re dating is to decide if they are behaving honestly, to focus less on the words they say and more on their behavior. If someone tells you they want a serious relationship, don’t believe them 100% at face value. What matters more is making sure they follow through with action, which includes showing up on time, calling when they say they will, and making plans to see you.
In terms of self-disclosure, people need to prioritize honesty in terms of who they are as a person as well as what they are looking for in their dating pursuits. If you want a serious relationship, say that. However, be careful not to reveal your intentions in a defensive way or from an overly emotional standpoint. Put forward the best version of yourself that expresses your overall essence, and people will naturally want to spend time with you.
CS: Are there certain professions that are considered more desirable than others?
SM: There are a few interesting findings from eHarmony’s study that stood out to me. When we talk about professions, what people find desirable are those that follow career paths which enable them to be caring. The four most desired professions in a partner are all based around health, education, and public protection–suggesting that people with “caring” jobs are more desirable overall.
CS: What other factors affect one’s perceived desirability?
SM: When we look at other traits in their lives, we see that dog owners are considered highly desirable. It makes sense when you take a step back and identify what being a dog owner implies. A person who has a dog is already comfortable with dependence, commitment, and are proven to be reliable. Having a dog is a great way to start practicing being in a relationship with a person. It requires reliability, commitment, and of course, involves love, sociability, and affection.
The study points to another interesting trend: food matters. According to the data, about a third of people identified going out to eat as a desirable hobby. That isn’t just behavior about eating to feel full. Going out to eat is an intimate activity. There’s conversation, relaxation, and exploration. Similarly, a high percentage of people find it desirable that someone cooks or bakes, which signifies a desire to nurture.
CS: Avengers actress Scarlett Johansson recently announced her engagement to Colin Jost. In your opinion, do you think their occupations played a role in them finding each other more desirable? What advice would you give the newly engaged couple?
SM: Similar to most celebrity couples, the match often comes down to a shared sensibility. Not only do these people have similar lifestyles and circles of friends, but finding a partner comes down to relating to each other. Both Scarlett and Colin have careers as artists and entertainers, which simply means they can understand the other’s work and life in the spotlight. My advice for Scarlett and Colin, along with any public figure: as a couple, stay out of the public eye as much as possible. For any couple, famous or not, the more time you spend together without external distractions or pressure, the more you can create an intimate bond.
CS: How can singles increase their desirability and increase their chances of finding ‘the one’ and getting married?
SM: Being desirable is all about knowing yourself. This includes understanding what you like and don’t like as well as what you need in a relationship to feel safe and secure. Think about traits and behaviors that you know you simply cannot put up with, even if you wish you could. Most importantly, walk the walk. If you say you want to be with someone who is really kind and honest and nurturing, make sure you are also exhibiting those traits. Model those behaviors in order to attract like-minded people.
Also, be patient. Give people a chance. Physical attraction is not the No. 1 most desirable trait, according to the study. You should be attracted to that person, but dating is about finding someone you enjoy spending time with, which is hardly something that can be decided from seeing a photo. When you are open-minded and give people a chance, you are opening up the door to so many more possibilities.
Lastly, differentiate between your “wish list” and your “need to have” list. You may wish for your partner to have a certain profession or look a certain way but being flexible will allow you to focus your efforts on people that meet your needs, not your wishes.
Read more: Ted Bundy: Are You Dating a Psychopath?
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