The Scientific Reason Why You & Your Partner are So Similar

Have you ever seen a couple walking down the street and thought they looked alike? Maybe you’ve spoken to a particularly well-matched couple at a party and noticed they gave the same answers to questions or even finished each other’s sentences. This is not a coincidence: it’s science! Researchers Angela Bahns (Wellesley College) and Chris Crandall (University of Kansas) co-authored a study titled, “Similarity in Relationships as Niche Construction,” which was published in the current issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. What they found reinforces something our matchmakers have known since the inception of Kelleher International: people do not necessarily change each other over time. Instead, people look for someone who is already similar to them.

The best part is, matchmaking is specifically designed to replicate this phenomenon in your own love life. It’s not about changing each other as the relationships goes on; it’s about finding someone similar to you from the onset of the relationship.

The old adage of “opposites attract” might be a fun theory short term, but couples serious about maintaining a relationship long-term want someone who understands them on all counts. The more important a topic is to someone, the more their partner must have similar ideas.

This concept plays out most noticeably on first dates. Striking up conversation with a stranger is not easy; it takes effort to get past the small talk and into conversation that matters. It helps to know you already have a few things in common with your date. Just a few similarities will likely lead to more in-depth conversation, a second date and, just maybe, a genuine connection.

“People are more similar than chance on almost everything we measure, and they are especially similar on the things that matter most to them personally,” said Bahns.

We take this theory into account when arranging introductions. Our clients generally list education first, followed by general issues such as political leanings, desired family size, and religion. While proximity does play a role in the success of each relationship, true love knows no bounds. If your perfect partner is 2,000 miles away, our experience tells us you’ll still find a way to make it happen. Long distance relationships are often precursors to highly successful relationships!

“To be clear, we do not mean to suggest that social influence doesn’t happen in relationships; however, there’s little room for influence to occur when partners are similar at the outset of relationships,” Bahns said of the study. So while you may not get your partner to leave their comfort zone entirely, you will probably find that a successful relationship involves expanding each other’s existing comfort zones.

It takes a little bit of risk to meet that special someone, but the reward is so great when you do! Busy professionals know matchmaking services are the most reliable way to meet someone that truly understands them. We offer a foolproof way to take the guesswork out of dating. Our matchmakers take the time to get to know you and learn about what you’re looking for in a relationship. It’s what makes Kelleher International’s approach so novel: we customize your matchmaking services based on what makes you… you! If you’re ready to make a life-changing decision, send us a note. We’d love to hear more about what makes you unique so we can locate your other half.