12% of Americans Say Morality is Their #1 Partner Quality

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

Some people look for a partner with a fat wallet, while others think a sense of humor is the more important trait. But what about morality?

DatingAdvice.com’s latest study found 12 percent of Americans say morality is the number one quality they look for in a mate when on a first date.

Women are more likely to say so than men – 13 percent versus 11 percent, respectively.

African-Americans and low-wage earners also are among the most likely demographics to select morality over things like looks, wealth, humor and commonality.

With one in five answering in the affirmative, African-Americans have the highest response among the 1,080 participants. On the flip side, only one in 10 Asian-Americans say dating someone with good morals is very important to them.

In terms of income, those earning less than $25,000 a year are almost twice as likely than those earning more than $125,000 a year to desire a partner with high moral standards.

“African-Americans are the most likely to

select morality over things like looks.”

DatingAdvice.com’s women’s dating expert, Rachel Dack, said morals can vary from culture to culture or individual differences.

“Although only 12 percent of Americans rate morality as the most important trait they look for in a partner on a first date, the breakdown of results highlight racial and income differences,” she said. “The takeaway – if you are looking to assess morality in a potential partner, be sure to ask questions about his or her values, decision-making and the meaning of right and wrong using nonjudgmental, attentive listening.”

Among the least likely groups to rank morality as the most favorable characteristic is homosexuals and older Americans.

Thirteen percent of straight men and women put morality at the top of their partner wishlist, but just 7 percent of gay men and lesbian women do.

Americans aged 65 and older have a 67 percent lower likelihood of picking morality than those aged 25 to 34.

When taking region into consideration, respondents living in the Midwest and South are 18 percent more likely to seek a moral companion compared to respondents living in the West or East.

Marital status made the least amount of difference in the results, with less than two percentage points separating those who are married from the divorced or single.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown:


Visit DatingAdvice.com/Studies for more research on dating and relationship topics. 

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