The survey 'How Indian singles are chasing smart love and reason to find a partner' conducted on 520 singles across the country by online matchmaking website TrulyMadly.com throws light on the expectations of young singles.
More Indian singles are leaving behind their parents' pigeonhole of religion, caste and ethnicity and progressing to find 'smart love', the survey found.
"I want someone with whom I can be myself. I want my partner to be an honest, passionate and realistic person," says Sonal, 28 years old, lecturer.
The survey kept parents and other society out of the picture to put forth "what independent singles feel is important for a stable relationship and marriage."
Saurabh Mittal, 33, who works as a delivery manager at a computer technology company says, "I am looking for someone with whom I can connect with on common grounds and not what our parents think will matter.
"If that person is not able to understand my preferences but is ideal from my parents point of view just because she matches my height and caste, then I dont think it will work out between us," Mittal says.
The survey bases criteria on education, income, health and fitness, personality, occupation, religion, caste, ethnicity and even Manglik.
Individuals within the age group of 22 to 35 years in tier-1 cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai answered a set of questions online.
"Our team of psychologists devised a set of questions which were distributed to both singles and couple and we even got relationship counsellor and focus group data to build a compatibility tool to capture the attributes young singles are looking for in their partners," says Rahul Kumar, Co-founder of TrulyMadly.com.
Personality (96 per cent) tops the chart when it comes to choosing a partner with big bucks, good looks and education all taking a backseat.
For 25 year old Art Director, Abhishek Sharma "a person with a positive attitude in life and a pleasing personality" is the right match for him.
"Someone who cares for me and understands me and my feelings are the key criteria for me to look for a partner. A pleasing personality is an added criterion for me," says Sharma.
Another essential quality preferred for life partners is education with 95 per cent of participants both men and women surveyed stating that it is essential that their respective partners should be well educated.
"My partner has to be well educated, as that forms the key foundation to having a stable career. I don't want him to be dependent on anyone else. Moreover, his educational background will also imply if our thinking is at the same level," says Ishita a 28-year-old lawyer.
Also, health and fitness soar above income, religion and ethnicity. Apparently no one wants to tango with someone with a cholesterol or liver problems. The young singles do not have a fixed perception about the jobs their partners do, 88 per cent feel that "jobs matter but not entirely".
"I am not typically looking for a doctor or an engineer, he should be happy in whatever he does and should have a stable job and should be independent. Yes, good health is a key attribute that I look for. After all, the way one thinks, the way one behaves and the way a person eats, influences ones life in later years," says Harsha, a 26 year old, Management Professional.
Shape of the eyes, colour of the skin etc does not seem to matter as those survey pegged ethnicity as just mere 36 per cent.
The survey made it clear that single women or gentlemen definitely did not want to follow a tradition of marrying a tree before tying the knot to ward off the "Mangalik" factor in their horoscope.
"I want a partner who values my personality and my interests and not be more interested in how stars and planets affect my life. I will respect a person who overlooks these orthodox theories and likes me for who I am," says Bikram Ahuja, a 29-year-old, Business Development Executive.
Only 39 per cent of those surveyed felt that it is important to choose a partner from the same religion.
"And as it turns out, tall, fair Brahmin girl for successful, Oxford educated Brahmin boy, has become overrated. Caste has become the least important criteria and has been reduced to a mere 35 per cent," said survey results.
"Individual matters more than caste or religion, which do not define a person's temperament. Whatever the caste or religion, a person should be able to respect others and not have a closed frame of mind, says Shalini Roy, a 27-year-old media professional.