Sex Is Out, Friendship Is In

It's official: sex doesn't sell.

Well, not if you're looking for love anyway.

A study of nearly 150,000 romantic hopefuls found friendship rates over the sins of the flesh.

The survey, by online dating website, reveals traits of friendship and chemistry came in as the top two most popular relationship ideals, heavily outranking sex appeal and physical attractiveness.

80 per cent of respondents listed romance and physical closeness in their top 10 of wants, while sex appeal came in 19th most important and physical attractiveness was trailing the others, ranked at 28.

And it may come as a surprise for some that it's not just women who value the more traditional qualities - it seems men want them too.

Both genders and all ages listed friendship and chemistry as their top two.

The site's relationship and research expert Dr Gian Gonzaga says it's reassuring that Australians value friendship in relationships.

"Friendships provide a great foundation for long-term success."

Aussies aren't perfect, however, and some important qualities are being overlooked.

"Sharing the same values and beliefs as your partner is a powerful predictor of happier, longer-term relationships, yet these qualities were ranked only 16th and 23rd respectively," Dr Gonzaga said.

In a nutshell, women want kind, talkative men, while it might come as no surprise that men list physical closeness higher on the priority list than women.

Men also want to be able to let their skeletons out of the closet, whereas women want to remain more tight-lipped about their past.

Over 50s don't rank attractiveness as important as other age groups, nor do they want physical closeness as much as the 35-49 age group who find it twice as important.

Online dating has boomed in recent times and the former general manager of Australia's most popular dating site RSVP, Hannah Schwartz, said during her two years at the helm, the baby boomer clientele grew markedly in size.

"There was a great take-up and adoption across all age groups, the fastest growing group was the boomer group, over 50 to 55s," Ms Schwartz said.

Although safety is a concern with online dating, they employed strict safety controls, but Ms Schwartz said the safest bet was to take it slow.

"If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is," she warned.

Although Tiger Woods didn't need any help from websites, Australians are enthusiastically signing up to new infidelity website Ashley Madison, with 18,000 already signing up within weeks of its Australian launch.

But it's not all sour news. As the eHarmony survey reveals, those seeking fidelity and true love still exist.

Want more? We thought you might like this video.


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.