Life-Long Partner Shopping Spree

Several months back, I received an email about updated resources from The Dibble Institute. This update included an article about a university study, titled “What Youth Seek in Partners,” that sparked this life long partner shopping spree activity. I thought it would be interesting to recreate the study at the high school level and compare the results to the actual survey results. Initially my students thought this would be an easy activity, but on the contrary required much thought on their part. What was rather unique about the outcome of my survey, were the similarities of answers. My results, completed with two different classes, almost mimicked those of the university rankings. Read on to see other activities associated with this lesson/activities.


  • This lesson followed the “Idealistic, Realistic & Unrealistic Releationship” activity.
  • Begin by reading the book, Fanny’s Dream (Amazon affiliate) or by showing the YouTube clip of the book. As students listen/view the story, ask if the relationship is idealistic, realistic or unrealistic and why. If they believe it’s a combination, they must be able to justify their response.
  • Before discussing as a whole class, students turn to their shoulder neighbor and share ideas and thoughts.
  • Ask students to share what they believe the moral is to this story.



  • At this point I ask students to think about a future mate. Ask what they are looking for. Ask them to think about non-negotiable characteristics that are must-haves for their future life-long partner. Included in the shopping spree activity (found below) are 8 general categories of common characteristics. Each student has 100 dollars to shop for characteristics, dividing up their dollars based on what’s important to them personally in a life-long partner. Students must spend the entire dollar amount and be able to justify their choices.
  • After the Life-Long Shopping Spree is finished, students complete a Google Form selecting the category that they spent the most money on and the category they spent the least money on. I also included an option to include other important categories, not on the original survey.
  • From here we discuss the class results and compared them to the actual survey which can be found in the article from TIME titled, “Here’s What Young People All Over the World Say They Want Most in a Partner“.
  • I concluded this activity by having students create a Want Ad poster in Canva for their life-long partner, incorporating characteristics from the shopping spree activity. The reason we used Canva is because it has a great selection of WANTED Poster templates and it’s FREE!
  • Want Ad posters (shared via Google Classroom) had to be customized, school appropriate and include the following information:
    • a photo (2 pts)
    • a physical description of your potential mate (3 pts)
    • a description of the trait & characteristics from the shopping spree you would like your potential mate to possess (3 pts)
    • a reason for wanting this person to respond (3 pts)
    • a reward for the person chosen (2 pts)
    • a way to contact you (2 pts)
    • free from errors (-½ pt for each mistake up to 3 pts)
    • clear layout using the Wanted template (2 pts)


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