When looking for a mate, people don't just look for a good match;
they look for someone better than themselves. And the tendency is
especially strong among women.
A study by Steven Clark, assistant professor at Utah Valley State
College, asked 53 men and 86 women to rate themselves and their ideal
partner on 19 traits ranging from honesty to expected income. Although
both men and women rated themselves highly compared to their peers-seeing
themselves as nearly ideal partners-both sexes looked for someone even
more impressive in a mate. Women proved especially picky, seeking a
partner better than themselves in 15 of the 19 categories.