Are You the Marrying Type?

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Photo: Cynthia Edorh

What makes someone marriage material? Is it being nice to their mother? Kind to the waitstaff? A friend to the animals? Or is it more of a horse-breeder checklist — good legs, clean teeth, and a shiny mane mean you're more likely to take a saunter down the aisle?

A study in the journal of Social Science Research studied the importance of three specific trait categories — looks, personality, and grooming — when it comes to marriage viability. Researchers collected data on 9,000 people between the years of 1994 and 2009, and had interviewers rate the participants' looks, personality, and grooming habits. The study found that men of above-average attractiveness were perceived as particularly marriageable, but for the most part it was the people who received above-average marks in all three categories that were the most nuptial-ready. So the only way not to die alone is to be the big three?

Well, good news for all: If you don't rate high enough in one category, you can overcompensate in another category. So all those boring yet incredibly clean or stunning yet smelly people still have a solid shot at the platinum ring.