Strangers in the Night or Love Forever: Characteristics and Preferences of Short vs. Long-Term Relationship Seekers
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AbstractSex differences in mate preferences as well as the tendency to pursue long- vs. short-term relationships have often been explored and confirmed. On the other hand, within-sex analyses of who is more likely to engage in a short-termrelationship have been somewhat neglected. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare proportions of individuals interested in short-term relationships (if single) or extra-pair relationships (if pair-bonded) in groups of different ages, incomes and education levels. While the proportion of single women interested in short-term relationships differed among those groups, men of all ages, incomes and education levels were equally interested in short-term relationships. The proportion of pairbonded individuals interested in extra-pair relationship also differed among age groups (both men and women) and income levels (men only), but not across education levels. Furthermore, we tried to determine the structure of sex differences in mate preferences within the temporal context of a relationship. The discriminant analyses showed that mate preferences which mostly differentiated men and women seeking a short-term relationship were good looks and good financial prospects. In a long-term relationship context, three more preferences differentiating men from women have emerged: emotional stability and maturity, favorable social status and dependable character.