Top trait Americans look for in a partner suggests the key to someone's heart really is through their stomach

The old adage might be true: according to a new survey, the way to someone's heart really is through their stomach.

The survey of 2,000 nationally representative Americans found the top trait people look for in a potential partner is whether they're a good cook (63%) — edging out other options like "someone I can trust" and "someone who makes me laugh."

Respondents were asked to select from a predetermined list, and "good cook" also beat out options like intelligence and "someone I respect," which finished in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Perdue, the survey delved into all things related to respondents' love lives and how they tie to food and cooking.

Seventy-two percent of respondents said they'd be more interested in a potential partner who loved to cook, and 61% said they consider it a turn-on if their partner can cook well.

Two-thirds of respondents said they themselves enjoy cooking, and of those who have used a dating app (53%), 74% mentioned their love of cooking within their profile — with the specific goal of increasing their matches.

That's not the only length they've gone to, as six in 10 respondents have deliberately tried to improve their cooking skills with the hope of impressing a potential partner.

And a quarter (26%) of respondents admit to exaggerating their cooking skills, either through a dating app or while on an actual date.

Results found 56% agreed that food and cooking is their "love language," but it's not just their partner's cooking they're interested in.

The survey also found that 54% of respondents would like to be a better cook, but they aren't sure where to start.

Respondents were in agreement, too, that chicken was the easiest protein to start with when learning to cook (49%) — it was also the protein they feel most confident in cooking (61%).

"Finding the right partner may come with its challenges, but cooking shouldn't be one of them," said Chef Chris Moyer, CEC, CRC, Corporate Executive Chef for Perdue Farms. "Cooking with a simple, versatile ingredient like chicken offers endless recipes — from easy chicken fried rice to buttermilk fried chicken — that are sure to impress."

In good news, some respondents are making progress in the kitchen: 59% said their cooking skills have improved in the last year.

For those respondents, this includes using different ingredients in their food (59%), becoming more adventurous in the food they're cooking (57%) and branching out with the types of recipes they're making (46%).

"For home chefs looking to up level their cooking skills — for themselves or a potential partner — there are a few key things to keep in mind," said Moyer. "Use high quality ingredients, like chicken that's fed an all-vegetarian diet, incorporate worldly flavors to expand your palette and experiment with different textures. For your next date night meal, you could try making crispy coconut chicken or chicken piccata."