If you were raised on a diet of Disney fairy tales, you might believe in the notion that opposites attract. However, scientific research suggests otherwise. The idea that opposites attract is a common belief, perpetuated not only by movies but also by various sayings and quotes. Nonetheless, when it comes to real-life relationships, the evidence overwhelmingly points to the fact that similarities, rather than differences, play a key role in attraction. Let us explore.
Do Similar Personalities Attract?
Personality Similarity Attraction
Studies on attraction have consistently shown that the more similarities people share, the more attracted they are to each other, whether platonically or romantically. Evidence for the similarity hypothesis can be traced back to Aristotle’s writings on friendship and has been supported by research on married couples and friendships.
The similarity hypothesis, proposed by Sir Francis Galton, found that spouses were similar to each other in many respects. Theodore Newcomb’s experiment also showed that the more similar students were in their attitudes, the more they ended up liking each other. Several other studies have confirmed these findings and suggested evidence to support the similarity hypothesis.
Too Much Similarity?
While similarity is generally important, psychologist Arthur Aron proposed that dissimilarity might sometimes be attractive, as it offers opportunities for personal growth and self-expansion. However, in real-life relationships, couples often align their attitudes over time, becoming more similar to each other.
Similar personalities are more likely to attract each other in relationships and friendships. While some differences may provide room for growth, shared values and backgrounds appear to be more crucial for long-term relationship success. So, if you’re looking for a compatible partner, focus on finding someone with whom you share common interests and values.
Personality Traits and Relationship Success
While similarity in values and background is crucial for relationship success, the impact of similarity in personality traits is not as strong. Certain traits, such as neuroticism, have been associated with lower relationship quality, but overall, the importance of personality similarity in relationship outcomes is less significant than shared values and background. Psychologist believes that while similarity is important, there may be situations where dissimilarity can actually enhance attraction. People have a need to grow and expand their self, and being with someone different can provide the opportunity for self-expansion.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do similar or opposite personalities attract?
The overwhelming evidence supports the notion that similar personalities tend to attract more than opposite personalities. People are generally drawn to others who share similarities with them in various ways. While some research suggested complementary personalities, most studies show that shared traits foster stronger attraction and successful relationships. However, there may be instances where partners seek certain traits that they lack, but this is less common.
2. What personality are people most attracted to?
Research consistently shows that successful and lasting relationships are more likely to form between partners who are similar to each other. Even initial attraction is influenced by similarities in appearance, upbringing, race, and style. The expression “opposites attract” does not hold true when it comes to long-term relationships. Being similar to your partner tends to lead to a stronger and more enduring bond.
3. Can soulmates be opposites?
While some couples may be complete polar opposites and make their relationships work, the majority of successful couples share common beliefs and values. It is essential to respect and appreciate each other’s differences, but overall, similarity in attitudes and traits tends to foster a deeper connection in relationships. Your soulmate may not have to be exactly like you, but having shared values and traits can strengthen the bond between partners.
Despite the influence of media and popular sayings, research consistently shows that similarities between individuals play a crucial role in attraction. Opposites may attract temporarily, but long-lasting and successful relationships are more likely to form between people who share common beliefs, values, and attitudes. So, if you’re seeking a meaningful connection, focus on finding someone with whom you share common ground rather than searching for an opposite.