Communication skills and thoughtfulness make men’s and women’s lists, but don’t come out on top.

Hitooshi is a Japanese online dating service, but more specifically it’s a konkatsu service. Literally translating as “marriage activity,” konkatsu is a term used when singles in Japan aren’t looking for just a casual dating partner, but for a serious relationship with someone who’s searching for a spouse.

Hitooshi recently conducted a survey among its users of its service over the past year, asking them what the most important thing they’re looking for in the future bride or groom is. A total of 2,018 responses were collected, and Hitooshi broke down the data to determine top five lists for men and women.

5. Good conversationalist (chosen by men)
5. Understanding/respect (chosen by women)

As we’ll see a little later on, good conversation skills were ranked even higher by women, coming in third on their list, and even ladies’ number-five answer was related to communication, as the example of understanding/respect that gave included “listening to me when I’m talking” and “not denying me my opinion.”

4. Independence (chosen by men)
4. Sincerity (chosen by women)

Neither of the number-four answers showed up on the opposite gender’s list (examples of sincerity, by the way, included “won’t cheat on me” and “won’t lie to me”). That might not mean that women don’t care about self-sufficiency and guys are indifferent to loyalty, though, but rather that marriage-minded women in Japan expect a guy doing konkatsu to be independent, and men likewise take it as a given that konkatsu women will be sincere.

3. Thoughtfulness/consideration (chosen by men)
3. Good conversationalist (chosen by women)

The importance of being able to carry on a conversation checks in on the women’s list, and we’ll be seeing another overlap in a moment.

2. Acceptance of my interests/hobbies (chosen by men)
2. Thoughtfulness/consideration (chosen by women)

Between men’s replies here and “independence” at number four on their list, it seems like konkatsu men are hoping to maintain a certain amount of the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to even after getting married. That might be because, typically, men who are using konkatsu services, as opposed to just regular dating services, tend to be older than their female counterparts, and thus more likely to have settled into certain comfortable patterns in their life as singles so far.

On the other hand, at the top of the list, men and women said they wanted the same thing in a spouse.

1. Good looks (chosen by men)
1. Good looks (chosen by women)

Yep, when asked what they’re looking for in their future life partner, the most common response from both men and women was good looks. However, the way they defined “good looks” wasn’t always the same. When asked what they meant by the term, the most common answer from men (given by 38 percent of them) was “Someone who’s attractive,” whereas the top description from women, coming from 58 percent, was “Someone who looks clean and well-groomed.” However, that still might not indicate a very stark difference of opinion, since “attractive” and “clean” aren’t mutually exclusive ways to describe a person, and often go hand in hand in baseline appearance preferences in Japan.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that looks are the number-one priority for all Japanese people who want to get married, though. When Hitooshi sifted through the data for the responses from its users who did enter into a serious romantic relationship over the past year (regardless of whether they met their partner through Hitooshi or somewhere else), the top five things they wanted in a spouse were different.

● Chosen by men
1. Acceptance of my interests/hobbies
2. Good looks
3. Independence
4. Thoughtfulness/consideration
5. Good morals/manners

● Chosen by women
1. Sincerity
2. Good conversationalist
3. Good looks
4. Mental stability
5. Thoughtfulness/consideration

Good looks still show up on both lists, though, so while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, being easy on the eyes will still boost both men and women’s marriage stock.

Source: PR Times via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)
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