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May 07, 2009

When it comes to relationships, be careful what you wish for.

By FLYP Staff

In relationships, similarities—not differences—between partners are what make them work in the long run. Nevertheless, according to recent research, people continue to cling to the notion that it’s opposites that attract.
A recent study, published in Evolutionary Psychology, asked 760 members of an online dating site to answer two sets of questions: one about their personalities traits and a second focusing on what traits they are looking for in an ideal, long-term romantic partner.
The results, which focused on characteristics such as neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, revealed a consistent preference for a partner with the same sort of personality.
But despite the results of the study, when asked if they wanted a mate with a similar or opposite personality, more 85 percent answered they were looking for someone with a different disposition.
According to the researchers, when people are asked about their preferences for a partner, they often draw on conjecture and preconceptions about romantic attraction, rather than on their true needs and desires.
One prevalent notion is the idea that opposites attract. Another is that having a similar partner would be less exciting than being with someone with a different disposition.
In reality, these relationships are proved to be more likely to fail than those that exist between like-minded couples.
Previous studies have shown that similarity in personality is a key component in forming a happy marriage, since people with similar traits tend to validate each other’s beliefs and views, leading to fewer conflicts.
Which brings us to another prevalent notion: be careful what you wish for. Because when it comes to relationships, what you want may not be what you really need.


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