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Who’s your ideal partner – A curvy nurse from Sheffield or a debonair doctor from Newcastle?

December 5th, 2006

Dr Petra

For anyone seeking a Mr or Ms Right, today a new survey explained to us what a perfect partner should be like, and also where we could find them. Apparently all men in the UK long for a woman who’s a nurse, wears floral dresses and comes from Sheffield. All British females want a man who’s a doctor from Newcastle who wears cashmere sweaters.

A study of 4000 people for Grazia magazine showed that men are attracted to curvy, brunette women with wavy hair, a friendly smile and whose main hobby is cooking. 9/10 women want a man with a good sense of humour and who’ll ‘automatically’ pay for a meal (73%).

Men apparently are a lot more bothered about a woman’s sexual history than women are about a man’s sexual past. That said, 97% of women would be put off a new relationship if a man had children from a previous partner. And 83% women also want a man who owns his own home, whilst 76% want a guy whose salary is at least £50,000 per year.

The research even detailed how the content of your shopping basket can attract a partner, with men wanting to date women who buy organic chicken, Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc and fresh blueberries. Women on the other hand want men who put organic steak, crusty bread, fresh pasta, squeezed orange juice and a basil plant on their weekly shopping list. Mmmmmm.

So now you know where to find a perfect partner by where they live (Sheffield or Newcastle) and the further useful shopping-basket diagnostic.

It’s really hard to work out what the hell this survey was all about (apart from getting us to buy a magazine obviously). Apart from the usual blunders of us not knowing why 4000 people were needed to be surveyed, how they were surveyed or how many were male or female, it’s really difficult to work out how people were asked about their perfect partners to come up with these composites.

All I can assume is that people were given lists of choices for body shape, clothing, geographical location, foodstuffs, personal attributes etc and the most selected were chosen as representative of making up a ‘perfect partner’.

Grazia magazine are keen on using surveys to promote themselves. Only this April Grazia ran another survey that created a real media flurry over body image issues. So why be so specific with the details of this survey? Perhaps Grazia want to attract more readers in the midlands or North of the UK. Regional press in these areas have been predictably enthusiastic about the coverage, whether this affects sales of the magazine is to be seen. The magazine is also attempting through the coverage to create a profile of the kind of reader they want to appeal to, upwardly mobile professionals who are fairly conservative and like to buy crusty bread and organic chicken when they go shopping. The real question here is did Grazia discover this from their ‘survey’, or whether they knew this was what they wanted to attract from the outset and went on a fishing expedition to get the figures to fit their PR angle.

Sadly many media outlets did give this plenty of coverage. Even the BBC who should know better used it to create their ‘Mr Perfect’ profiles based on their news staff.

I expect if you asked people what their ideal man or woman was like they’d give you a long and detailed list. But I doubt anyone’s choice of a perfect partner would depend on their buying blueberries or basil.

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