While appearances are pretty important in attracting a mate, a recent
study has found that playfulness can also make you more attractive to members of the opposite sex.
In a survey of 250 undergraduate students, playfulness was the considered one of the most important thing people looked for in a long-term partner. The results showed that having a "sense of humor," a "playful" attitude,
or a keen and abiding love of "fun" were considered coveted character
traits for potential mates, both men and women.
The male participants ranked "sense of humor" as the most important quality a woman could have, a trait followed closely by "playfulness" and "kindness". Surprisingly, "physical attraction" ninth out of a possible 13 traits.
Like any other attractive quality, playfulness is meant to show a
potential mate that you are relatively "non-aggressive" which makes you
easier to approach. And unlike other species (that have to worry about
not succumbing to a violent death in the wilderness on an almost
constant basis) humans have the privilege of unleashing their inner kid
every now and then without having to suffer any consequences. Says lead
study author Gary Chick:
as birds display bright plumage or coloration, men may attract women by
showing off expensive cars or clothing. In the same vein, playfulness
in a male may signal to females that he is non-aggressive and less
likely to harm them or their offspring. A woman's playfulness, on the
other hand, may signal her youth and fertility.
If there's anything to be learned from all this is that good looks can only you get you so far, and nobody wants to mingle with a humorless old hag. So you might as well start developing some other endearing qualities now.