It’s often said when it comes to relationships that “opposites attract,” but according to a new study, that’s not necessarily the case.
Researchers have discovered that more often than not we end up with someone who is similar to us.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder analyzed numerous studies covering millions of couples over more than a century and took into account more than 130 traits.
According to the research published in the magazine The nature of human behavior82% and 89% of the traits surveyed were similar between partners, ranging from political preference to physical traits such as whether they wear glasses.
“Partner selection is not necessarily random.”
Other areas in which the pairs are similar? The study said that religious beliefs, level of education, the extent to which a person is likely to drink alcohol or smoke, and some measures of IQ all showed high correlations.
“I think the basic idea is that the mate selection process is not necessarily random and that certain traits may play a larger role in mate choice than others,” said Jared Balbona, a postdoctoral data scientist and co-author of the paper. HuffPost.
Opposites in relationships
The results can’t pinpoint exactly why partners are similar on a particular trait, Balbona said. “For example, it is possible that people with similar political values are actively seeking each other out, but it is also possible that similarities between partners in terms of political values are at least partly due to the fact that they live in the same geographic area,” he said.
By the way, there were a few categories where the pairs weren’t exactly the same. For example, extraversion was a category with little correlation. This means that an extrovert is just as likely to end up with another extrovert as he is with an introvert.
There was no connection between some other aspects of the personality, which surprised Balbona. “For example, there was little evidence of associations between partners in terms of irritability, nervousness, or high tension — characteristics that may play an important role in determining whether or not to pursue a relationship with someone.”
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