Washington: An online dating service has released the top 10 qualities people value most in a lover and 10 things they don't care about. Online matchmakers eHarmony conducted a survey of more than 700,000 people and found that an overwhelming majority rated friendship the most important trait (92 per cent for women and 82 per cent for men) in a relationship.

Good chemistry was rated next, followed by "enjoying the way my partner makes me feel". "Physical closeness" was rated more highly than sexual compatibility - except for those aged between 35 and 39, who were more preoccupied with good sex than other age groups.

But what came out to be surprising was that many didn't care about how much a person smoked or drank, their age, personal beliefs and how educated they were when looking for a potential partner.

"(These results show) we're seeking true compatibility and personal connections and that despite what we may think and agonise over, habits and physical traits really don't account for much when it comes to finding a long term partner," a website quoted eHarmony's Sarah Mason as saying.

"Australians don't completely ignore physical attributes like sexual compatibility, but ultimately it's not in the top 10.

"Men still tend to rank physical appearance and intimacy higher than women, but overall less than half of all respondents think physical appearance is an important quality in their partner," she said.

The ten most important qualities when looking for love

1. Friendship

2. Chemistry

3. Enjoying the way I feel around my partner

4. Being open about how he/she feels towards me

5. Personality

6. Kindness

7. Romantic attraction

8. Being able to talk about personal problems

9. Being able to discuss how I feel about him/her

10. Physical closeness

The ten least important qualities when looking for love

1. My partner's beliefs

2. The amount they smoke

3. Age

4. The amount they drink

5. Ethnicity

6. Height

7. Education

8. Income

9. Religion

10. Knowing they are to blame when things go wrong


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