Looks, lies, laughter at heart of romance - survey


  • World
  • Friday, 27 Jan 2006

By Kamakshi Tandon

TORONTO (Reuters) - When it comes to romance, women prefer someone who tickles their funny bone while men opt for those who catch their eye, according to an international survey released on Wednesday. 

The survey, conducted in 16 countries by Canadian romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises, asked men and women on six continents about traits they liked or disliked and how they went about trying to meet Mr. or Ms. Right. 

The poll revealed differences between countries in the way people tried to impress the opposite sex. 

Australians and British men frequently admitted drinking too much, while about half of German and Italian men said they had lied about their finances. Spaniards were the most likely to use sex to catch someone's attention. 

Eighty percent of Brazilian and Mexican men said they had lied about their marital or relationship status, as did 70 percent of German women, the survey said. 

When it came to meeting that special someone, a majority of respondents preferred to rely on friends for introductions. The Internet was not a popular hunting ground except in Portugal, where about half the surveyed men and women opted to find people online. 

Both Spain and France suffered a gender gap. Thirty percent of Spanish men, but no Spanish women, looked for love online. In France, 40 percent of men but only 10 percent of women attended parties, bars and clubs to meet someone, but they did have one thing in common: both sexes rated looks as more important than their counterparts in other countries. 

When it came to that first meeting, a majority of men polled said beauty was more important than brains, while women put a sense of humor at the top of their list. 

Physical attraction was the top priority for men in France, Brazil, Greece, Japan and Britain. And while 40 percent of Portuguese men rated intelligence over looks in a first encounter, no Australian men did so. 

In the United States and Canada, humor was considered the most important trait by both men and women, getting 63 and 73 percent of the vote respectively. 

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