Why Nice People Make Better Lovers


Good teeth. A sense of humor. Physically attractive. Can be trusted. Dresses well. Easy to talk to.

These are some of the common features men and women say they look for in a partner.

But new research is suggesting another overlooked quality may be a key to lasting relationships: humility.

Image credit: Dragunsk Usf / Flickr

One study of 459 college students found that young women and men were more likely to be satisfied with their romantic partners the more they perceive them as modest and respectful. Students with more humble partners also were in general more committed to the relationship, and likelier to forgive a transgression if their partner was less arrogant or self-centered, according to researchers from the University of North Texas, Georgia State University and Hope College.

The findings, reported in the current issue of the journal Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, are consistent with other research in the developing field indicating that humility is a key component in healthy relationships.

We may live in a society that encourages personal branding, where we extol ourselves on social media and many clamor for any kind of media attention. But our hearts appear to want something different.

“Despite how we seem to operate in our culture … we still like humble people,” says Biola University psychology professor Peter Hill, a leading researcher on humility.

Sorry, Sheldon

The unrestrained egotism of Sheldon Cooper, the popular lead character on the hit TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory, may be a somewhat obvious example of an individual lacking in humility.

This is a guy who, when a friend confesses she is crying because she feels stupid, responds in his empathy-challenged fashion: “That’s no reason to cry. One cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid, and that makes me sad.”

But defining humility —> Read More