Peter Jones recently topped a survey on who would make a perfect husband. Women picked the entrepreneur because making money was seen as “exciting”.
The poll, carried out by dating site seekingarrangement.com, asked
1,000 of its female members to name the qualities they look for in a
perfect husband – and the celebrities that best personify those values.
The results showed that when it comes finding a life partner, wealth and status are the biggest turn-ons.
Peter Jones certainly fits the bill (even though he’s not actually
married to his long-term partner, Tara, with whom he has three
children): at 46, he is said to be worth £220 million, after making his
fortune in mobile phones and the leisure industry. He also happens to be
tall, good-looking and charming.
But in evolutionary terms, there’s a very good reason why women are
attracted to wealthy men – they make the best fathers, because children
of rich men have the greatest chance of survival.
That is true today, but was a lot more pertinent in the days when to
be poor meant an often wretched existence and an almost certain early
death. The rich, by contrast, lived relatively gilded lives and had
access to the best of what health care was available.
So it’s not that women are attracted to wealthy men on their own
account (although that does, of course, come into it), but rather for
the sake of their future offspring. Knowing you’ll be able to afford
private healthcare, send them to the best schools and give them
everything to ensure they lead successful lives is a powerful driving
Today, though, at least in the West, it’s not as critically important
to marry a man who’s well-off if you want your children to survive and
thrive. And there’s plenty of evidence to show that a life of luxury
isn’t necessarily a happy one. A book
published this year by a Canadian wealth adviser says that anger
between children and their parents is especially strong in wealthier
So while women are programmed to pick rich, virile men as husbands,
today they are more likely to consider other traits, such as
reliability, honesty and kindness. Because if the marriages don’t work
out, they know their children are likely to suffer emotional upheaval as
a result of their parents’ divorce.
So while steadfastness might not be as exciting as having millions in
the bank, ultimately it can be a lot more rewarding for the family.