In Florida, as elsewhere, the dating scene for singles has never been more laden with opportunity. With a myriad of dating services, matchmaking agencies, and web sites, singles looking for a spouse have almost unlimited choices. But even with such a diverse selection, both men and women hoping to make a long-term commitment often can’t seem to find the right person. So what’s the problem? It could be that both men and women aren’t sure what the opposite sex is looking for in a spouse. The good news is that there is plenty of data out there to help them.

Surprise, Florida ladies: It’s not just about your looks. A dating site recently surveyed its male clients about the qualities they want in a wife. At the top of the list? Honesty and integrity, which a whopping 49 percent of men listed as the most desirable trait in a wife. Looks weighed in at number two (42 percent), followed – seeing a pattern here? – by fidelity and loyalty, which 34 percent of respondents mentioned. The remaining qualities in the top 10 were intelligence, sexiness, kindness, love, a caring attitude, good communication skills, and a positive spirit. Other qualities mentioned by single men included a sense of humor, shared interest, and values. Sure, looks rate pretty highly for men when it comes to choosing a wife. But it’s important to note that beauty is considered only one part of a complex package. That should reassure marriage-minded single gals that men are looking for something more than a Barbie doll. What’s also interesting to note is that more than 25 percent of the male respondents listed loyalty as the number-one quality they would seek in a spouse.

So what are single women looking for in a mate? Men may be surprised (though most women probably aren’t!) to discover that when it comes to choosing a husband, looks simply aren’t that important. Just over three percent of women listed good looks as a necessary attribute of a spouse. Instead, most women are looking for reliability and intelligence (tied at 39 percent) and kindness (27 percent). The rest of the top 10 qualities would-be wives are seeking included integrity, financial security, a caring attitude, generosity, fidelity, maturity, and a sense of humor.

It’s true that these responses, coming from a survey of one dating website’s members, are just a sampling. But if other studies of a similar nature are any indication, the qualities that men and women consider desirable in a spouse may well be universal. That’s something for Florida singles who want to break out of the dating scene and settle down to bear in mind.