THE BLOG

Looking For Love? The Car You Drive Could Hold The Key

02/16/2016 01:11 EST | Updated 02/16/2017 05:12 EST

According to a new study released by autoTRADER.ca; when it comes to your romantic desirability, your choice in vehicle doesn't matter -- at least not in the way that you'd think.

As a dating and relationship writer, one of the most common questions I get from men is, "Women just want a guy who's a millionaire with a fancy car. What's up with that?" I answered a similar question on camera recently (you can view it here) and said what I always tell guys: that most women don't really care about this stuff and just want to meet a nice, normal guy who is gainfully employed and hopefully doesn't drive a death trap.

Results of the autoTRADER.ca study confirmed what I already suspected: That breaking the bank on an exotic car won't increase your chances of being lucky in love, as the majority of Canadians (51 per cent) find mainstream brands, such as Ford and Toyota, most attractive for a potential mate to drive -- even over luxury and exotic cars. Nearly one third (29 per cent) said they were most attracted someone behind the wheel of a practical SUV/Crossover, followed by a reliable sedan (19 per cent) or a hardy truck (17 per cent.)

It makes sense. The kind of vehicle someone drives often gives important hints as to their personality and values. SUV/Crossovers and sedans tend to be practical, reliable and versatile -- all qualities that we look for when searching for the right partner. The fact that Canadians find drivers of sturdier vehicles more romantically desirable shows that what we're really after is stability with a side of adventure. While a Lamborghini is nice to look at, it's not really the kind of car you want to take camping or to the cottage for the weekend.

The truth is, I've never spent much time thinking about cars -- period. I spent most of my young adult life living in downtown Toronto, where the majority of the people I knew and dated didn't own vehicles. Owning a car when you live downtown is not only expensive, it's also unnecessary. When I couldn't walk somewhere, I'd hop on the subway or streetcar. In the summer, I'd take long motorcycle rides with my then-partner.

While I grew to love the inherent sex appeal of motorcycles (because, let's face it. Motorcycles are sexy) it wasn't until I moved back to my hometown on the west coast, that I understood how someone's vehicle choice could play a part in what does or doesn't make them romantically appealing.

Take John, a man I dated who was the owner of a gorgeous brand new Mercedes sedan. John was lovely: smart, handsome and thoughtful. But, at times it felt like he was almost as into his car, as he was into me. When a seagull left an unsightly mess on the hood, it bothered him so much that he had to excuse himself mid-dinner to take his vehicle to the car wash. And don't even get me started on the anxiety I felt the first time I asked him if I could eat a snack while we were on the road. While I adored John, it became clear that if I couldn't relax in his car, I couldn't relax enough to open myself completely to him.

I saw a similar symbolic pattern play out in my other relationships. There was Lenny, the buff Albertan who drove a massive pick-up truck that was so high off the ground, that I'd pretty much have to heave myself into the vehicle every time he picked me up. When Lenny's emotional unavailability revealed itself, I realized that I would never be able to get into his car or his heart - at least not gracefully.

Then there was Marlon who was also a great guy - funny, generous, kind. But, whenever I'd sit in his candy apple red lowered Pontiac Sunfire, I always felt awkward like my legs were sticking out straight in front of me. Like the car, the relationship just never felt like the right fit.

The lesson here: with both cars and relationships, looks can be deceiving. Whether you're looking for a new vehicle or new love, always pop the hood and take a test drive before making a commitment.