According to David M. Buss of the University of Texas at Austin, humans depend on several successful strategies for mating, which they inherited from their ancestors. These strategies include: long-term, short-term and extra-pair mating. However, each sex has different mating strategies including the type of mate preferred, the desire for short-term versus long-term mating and the ways in which jealousy results.
According to Wikipedia, evolutionary psychologists believe that men place greater value on youth and attractiveness than women do when choosing a mate. This is believed to be because such features signal reproductive value and fertility. Women, on the other hand, place more value on men with ambition and higher social status because this signals a greater access to resources.
According to Geoffrey Miller, author of "The Mating Mind," the human mind developed for reasons beyond survival: It developed for the purpose of courtship. He explains that human language is far too complex for the purposes of mere survival. Miller argues that the development of language and other great achievements in human culture are intrinsically connected with courtship, sexual selection and the attraction of mates. The human mind, he concludes, serves the same purpose as the peacock's tail.