A pretty face, a sense of humour, freedom and much more, discovers Gretchen Ferrao
While pre-conditioned beliefs about beauty and style still exist in the mating game, they are being offset with more liberated needs like individual space and independence.
A PRETTY FACE
A recent study by the University of Austin, Texas, revealed that when it comes to a long-term mating strategy, 75 per cent of men said a woman’s face was more important than her body. That beauty is a factor in the initial phase is a given. It’s the child-like defence that accompanies such admissions that had us smirking. “Let me begin by saying I’m pretty shallow,” laughs recently engaged Kumail Amiruddin. “I don’t think it’s specific to me; it is human tendency to be attracted to physical appearance when you don’t know a person.” Mandar Pimple, who married his girlfriend of 11 years last November, describes himself as “old school” while listing his wife’s beauty as one of the top three reasons he was drawn to her.
A SENSE OF HUMOUR
Interestingly, the singles we spoke with have different priorities when it comes to first impressions. “She has to be bubbly, lively, happy. Beauty is not important, but she has to be attractive, in her own way,” says Marcellus Baptista, who is fondly referred to as the eternal bachelor. For 23-year-old Anand Katakam it's quirkiness and humour that count. Supporting this is Billy Goldberg, MD, co-author of Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?, who believes the ability to share a laugh is a sign of intellectual compatibility.
A FAMILY-ORIENTED PARTNER
Emphasising his old-school values, Mandar explains that what assured him that he had found 'The One' was her relationship with his parents. “A woman holds the family together. When we start one of our own, I know she will take care of things. I’m not too emotional, so I looked for someone who would balance that out,” he says. Kumail agrees. Whether living in a joint or nuclear set-up, he’s aware that one marries not just an individual but his/her family. In a similar vein, there is the need to support individual as well as couple goals.
The liberals emphasise freedom and individuality. “A relationship involves going deeper into myself; being in one helps me understand myself better. It's about growing; not trying to find someone to make me feel happy or complete,” elaborates Nathan Kumar (name changed). After his fouryear marriage ended, he realised that a non-attached relationship is ideal. This perspective throws expectations out the window, leaving more room for contentment. “If you seek something and don’t find it, you try to change things to fit your perception. This is an endless loop of misery,” shares Nathan. Freedom, is a concern in the more traditional relationships as well. “A man should get at least one day off in a week–a guy’s night out where you drink, watch sports and unwind without worrying about saying something offensive,” says Mandar.
RESPECT AND COMMUNICATION
Just about everyone agrees that healthy connections necessitate respect and Communication.Anand uses the former as a litmus test when getting to know someone– “how she treats other people, reveals who she is". Both, Mandar and Kumail agree that without mutual respect, the intention to understand your partner and resolve conflicts is non-existent. As for communication, Anand puts it succinctly, “Don’t be vague about what you want. Most men don’t pick up on hints”.