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Looking for love? Try finding purpose to make yourself more attractive – study

In addition to rating the purpose-driven profiles higher than those lacking purpose, participants also rated profiles higher if they shared the same purpose orientation.

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The world of online dating can be overwhelming with the dizzying array of options for attracting a partner, but those looking for love may have more success if they also seek a sense of purpose in life.

This is according to a research – “Purposeful Partners: Potential Relationship Quality and Sense of Purpose” by Isabella C. D’Ottone, Gabrielle N. Pfund and Patrick L. Hill – that was published in the International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology.

“In general we found people with a higher purpose were considered to be more romantically attractive,” said D’Ottone.

Here, the researchers focused on four categories of “sense of purpose” and created four dating profiles to match each category, along with five control profiles that indicated no sense of purpose. The researchers set up a study with 119 participants who each read and ranked the nine fake profiles on various measures of attractiveness.

The four “purpose” categories were prosocial orientation, relationship orientation, financial orientation and creative orientation. Prosocial means someone with goals related to helping others; relationship orientation means goals are centered around family and finding a romantic partner; financial orientation are goals related to financial security; and creative orientation are goals focused on creativity and originality.

In other words, having your focus being on financial success could be a turn-off for people unless they too find purpose in financial goals.

“In general, looking at all the purpose profiles, people were not as attracted to the financially oriented person,” said D’Ottone.

Co-author Hill added that “when it comes to attraction, knowing someone has a direction matters. We actually seek out people with a purpose.”

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In the end, “this isn’t about faking a passion for something but, maybe finding love where you don’t expect it. Chasing a special someone may end with a mismatch, but chasing your passions, you might find that person along the way,” D’Ottone ended.


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