9 signs that confirm you’re a highly desirable partner, according to psychology

Your mom says that you’re a total catch, but are you?

We may all have different types, but there are still some universal qualities that people look for in a mate.

As we’re about to find out, being a highly desirable partner comes down to a lot more than just looks.

If you tick plenty of boxes from our list below, then congrats, mama was right!

1) You’re feeling yourself

A little bit of swagger goes a long way.

We’re not talking arrogance, we’re talking confidence.

Because just like any good salesperson knows, if you’re not sold on your own product, no one else will be.

Research backs this up, finding that confident men and women are seen as more attractive.

Having quiet self-assurance shows that you’re comfortable in your own skin, and that draws people towards you.

But as Mark D. White Ph.D. points out in Psychology Today, the sweet spot of confidence is to feel good about yourself, without being conceited. “The best kind of confidence is like a classical virtue: it strikes the “golden mean” between self-doubt and arrogance, allowing a person to embody his or her positive traits without bragging about them.”

2) You’re a nice person

There’s an old saying that nice guys (and gals) finish last, but don’t be so sure.

Especially when it comes to the love department.

It may seem like we’re drawn to the bad boys and girls, but studies still overwhelmingly rate kindness as top of our criteria list.

One paper, in particular, noted that: “While traits like physical attractiveness and financial prospects were important, the one that was given the highest priority was kindness.”

Therapist Rosemary K.M. Sword says compassion makes you more alluring to others. “Research also indicates that when a person exemplifies characteristics associated with compassion such as empathy, kindness, and selflessness, they are more desirable partners. And according to a study conducted by University of Iowa social psychology professor Eva Klohnen we are genetically attracted to compassionate people. This makes perfect sense as we all want to be around people who understand us and also love us.”

3) You love to LOL

Humor is another sexy trait that we look for.

You might assume that’s because we all enjoy a good laugh, and so a funny partner can lighten the mood and bring joy to a relationship.

Sure, that’s most likely part of it.

Studies have certainly shown that being able to laugh together is a strong sign of mutual attraction between two people. “​​Research has found that when two strangers meet, the more times a man tries to be funny and the more a woman laughs at those attempts, the more likely the woman is interested in the man.”

But as well as helping to create a firm bond, there’s probably more to it, psychologically speaking.

It’s also a sign of intelligence.

It takes a quick mind to come up with funny things in the moment.

So it says something about your mental prowess too.

Research has highlighted that a sense of humor is so highly valued because it’s seen as a sign of creative problem-solving skills.

4) You’re smart in a variety of ways

Brains or beauty?

Of course, most people would probably like both in a partner given the choice.

But interestingly, research has found that brains may be starting to win out, as highlighted in Science Daily. “Modern men increasingly value brains over beauty when choosing long-term mates, say researchers. While the common view is that our mate choices are evolutionarily “hardwired” in our brains and therefore minimally responsive to changing conditions, some evolutionary scientists now argue that humans are programmed to respond with great flexibility to changing environments.”

If you don’t particularly have the highest IQ out there (me either!) then never fear.

Don’t forget that intelligence takes on many forms, from common sense to practical talents.

It all comes down to being a well-rounded individual who is capable of acquiring knowledge and skills as they go through life.

5) What you see is what you get

truly authentic doing 9 signs that confirm you're a highly desirable partner, according to psychology

It can seem like fakers and frauds are lurking everywhere.

Whether it’s catfishers, love-bombers, or f**ckboys — not everyone out there is genuine.

Yet authenticity is still something we all want.

Research has found firm links between perceived partner authenticity, relationship goals, interpersonal trust, and relationship outcomes.

Psychologically speaking it’s about the importance of vulnerability in helping us get close to someone.

Psychologists Shoba Sreenivasan and Linda E. Weinberger say that to create a sincere bond, we have to let people see the real us. “Sincerity is a characteristic that enhances the beginning and continuance of relationships. It’s an important quality in establishing and maintaining trust among the parties. We readily recognize insincerity in surface interactions.”

6) You’re loyal and trustworthy

We all know that trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship. So is it any wonder that we’re seeking honesty and integrity in a partner?

This helps us to feel confident that we can rely on someone.

Because no matter how alluring they may be, if we can only trust them as far as we can throw them, it’s no good.

Attraction can feel fickle, but when it comes to finding a long-term partner, security is key.

This stability only comes from foundations of trustworthiness.

And yet again, it all comes back to feeling safe to expose yourself to someone else, as explained by clinical psychologist Sabrina Romanoff. “To trust means to rely on another person because you feel safe with them and have confidence that they will not hurt or violate you. Trust is the foundation of relationships because it allows you to be vulnerable and open up to the person without having to defensively protect yourself.”

7) You can express yourself in healthy ways

Good communication skills aren’t just important when it comes to making a relationship work. They’re also more attractive in the first place.

That incorporates a few desirable traits like:

  • Being a good listener
  • Being emotionally stable
  • Showing an interest in others by asking questions
  • Knowing how to resolve conflict
  • Being emotionally mature
  • Expressing yourself well

…All of these are things we find hot in someone.

Being able to communicate is what fosters understanding and connection.

8) You’re a glass-half-full type

No matter how you look at it:

Positivity pays.

It can not only improve your health, confidence, creativity, productivity, and more, but it also enhances your relationships.

One research study even noted that being positive was one of the most highly rated traits people find desirable in a long-term intimate partner.

You don’t need to dig too far into the psychology to realize why.

Both positivity and negativity it turns out are contagious because we have a habit of copying each other. As pointed out by Michigan State University: “Knowing that humans have millions of mirror neurons that cause us to mimic each other’s behaviors, emotions and facial expressions, you have a choice. Just as callousness and cruelty can spread, positive emotions and behaviors are also contagious.”

With that in mind, why wouldn’t we want to be around people who lift us up?

It’s a no-brainer really.

9) You’re not a stubborn ass

I suspect we can all have our moments.

But generally speaking, you are prepared to compromise.

When given a choice of 75 desirable traits in a partner, people ranked a willingness to make compromises within the top five.

Admittedly, it may not sound initially like the biggest turn-on.

But therapist Claudia de Llano explains why it’s such an appealing quality in someone. “When we compromise, we validate our partner’s feelings, needs, desires, and aspirations. We are showing them that we respect them, their needs matter, and that their point of view is valuable—even though it’s different from our own.”

Don’t forget that compatibility is also key

You know what they say, different strokes for different folks.

Meaning, what one person finds appealing in a person is likely to be different from another.

We’ve looked at some of the more universally desirable qualities.

But things like shared values, common goals, and similar interests are also going to be huge dealbreakers.

At the end of the day, it’s not about being the perfect mate, it’s about whether you are perfect for each other.

Picture of Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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