What Guys Are Looking For In A Spouse Has Changed A Fair Bit Since 1939

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Typically when asked what you want out of marriage, the answer is “Stop asking me that question.” But when you look at what your parents and grandparents wanted from their partners, it’s safe to say that you’re expectations might have shifted since back in their days. Not only is that why you almost never take their relationship advice, it’s also why economist Max Roser created some nifty charts to show how much modern marriages have changed.

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Using data from a 2013 study published in the Journal Of Family Issues, Roser compared how heterosexual men and women ranked mate traits in 1939 to how they stacked up in 2008, accounting for nearly 70 years of romantic evolution. His findings, which were posted on Our World In Data, showed that “mutual attraction – love” has risen to become the number one quality for both men and women to have in a spouse. Whereas back in 1939, women cited “dependable character” and men went with “emotional stability and maturity,” as the most important characteristics. Translation: your grandparents didn’t care if they were hot for each other and that explains a lot about their twin beds.

Our World In Data

The quality that plummeted from 10th to last place in both men and women was (not shockingly) chastity, because the only thing you saved for marriage was money (and not nearly enough of it). Other qualities that declined in importance were being a “good cook, housekeeper” and “refinement, neatness.” While the numbers may make your marriage seem horny and sloppy by contrast, that’s just code for happy — as long as you and your spouse are on the same page.

[H/T] Washington Post

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