"This personality trait seems important in the choice of partner at least more so than the partner having a degree, good genes or being religious," said psychologists Rene Proyer and Lisa Wagner from the department of psychology at the University of Zurich.

To women, it indicates a low level of aggression in men and to men vitality in women. The researchers conducted the study with 327 young adults from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

While women find a sense of humour more important than men, men found an exciting personality more important than women.

"Playful people also deem humour, a fun tendency, a laid-back attitude and creativity more important in partners than their non-playful counterparts," the authors said.

Playful adults are fond of wordplay like improvising, approach a challenge lightheartedly, take pleasure in unusual things, deal with others in a playful way, enjoy teasing - and create situations in which they and others are entertained.

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