New Study Confirms: Opposites Don't AttractI came across a new study that confirms what I have been saying for years: Opposites don’t attract.

In fact, we are attracted to people like us. Similar views and experiences create a common ground for partnership, either in love, business, or friendship.

The New Study on How Relationships Work

Professor of Psychology from the University of Kansas Chris Crandall and Assistant Professor of Wellesley College Angela Bahns arrived to the conclusion that similarity is what attracts people to each other from the very beginning of any relationship.

While the authors believe that their finding has some major novelty to it, matchmakers and dating professionals knew this for years: The more things people have in common, the higher is the chance they might stick together.

The study Similarity in Relationships as Niche Construction was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Opposites Do Not Attract; Compatibility Rules

For years compatibility was the Holy Grail of unveiling the magic of lasting romantic love.

There is no guarantee that people are a match even if their lives were nearly identical. The fact of chemistry hard-wired in our DNA is still important.

But if you find a person physically attractive, plus you have a lot in common, you might have hit the jackpot. Physical attraction paired with having many things in common gives you a good chance to make it happen.

Opposites Do Not Attract; Compatibility Rules

Dating professionals knew this for years: The more things people have in common, the higher is the chance they might stick together.

Relationships Develop Based on Similarities

Bahns and Crandall point out that relationships develop based on similarities that already exist. Personality, values and attitudes, and certain social behaviours do not change, the authors found.

The researchers state that seeking like-minded individuals could be called a “psychological default” setting of our brains.

They found that partners in relationships were highly similar to each other on “almost everything” they tried to measure. They were the most alike on things that mattered to them the most.

Relationships Develop Based on Similarities

A relationship with a partner who is very much unlike you has little chance of success.

The data was obtained from the field research in which pairs of people interacting in public were asked series of questions to determine their psychological similarity. This method is known as “free-range dyad harvesting.” The initial hypothesis was that the longer people knew each other, the more similar they would be. It wasn’t the case. The level of similarities was not different for long-term and new relationships.

To confirm their findings, researchers also interviewed pairs who have just met and compared their answers after a period of time. They concluded that attitudes didn’t change, especially on matters that were marked by respondents as important. As such, attempts to change your partner are unlikely to succeed.

The scientists’ message to would-be lovers:

“Change is difficult and unlikely; it’s easier to select people who are compatible with your needs and goals from the beginning.”

The drawback of our quest for similarity is that we are missing out on different views and ideas. Especially if our ideas are rather peculiar.

“If you hang out only with people who are loony like you, you can be out of touch with the big, beautiful diverse world,” Crandall says.

Relationships Develop Based on Similarities

If you hang out only with the people who are loony like you, you can miss lots of interesting things that this beautiful diverse world offers us.

So, a bit of open-mindedness and a conscious effort to make connections with people who are not like you may be a good thing. But you still know that you will be the happiest with someone who laughs at the same jokes as you do.


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Arctic Star

I was wondering why the idea of “the tension of opposites” is so popular. I think that similar views and attitudes are essential for relationship based on mutual respect and trust. It’s easier to trust someone who has the same values. Sometimes people have passion for those very much unlike them, but I think it’s more about sexual attraction rather than love.


People with common interests always have what to say each other. It is more interesting to spend time with a person who can enjoy the same things as you. However, when somebody in a couple prefers an active way of life and another one likes his sofa it will start to irritate very soon.


I guess, that opposites attract, but for a very short period. It’s some kind of sympathy or passion. And if a man\woman wants long-period relations, he\she should find a person with common interests and points of view. Because your couple is your reflection 🙂


Of course you need to have something in common, it’s a base for every kind of relationship, not only love. What else you will talk about? Wheather or what? I find it strange that to prove this simple thought some people need studies and psychologists.


Yeah, common interests and sililarities do the thing, and I can’t but agree! However, I have lots of examples where the opposites DO attract! People need to complement each other rather than tbecome each other’s mirror reflections!


Without any doubt it is easier to build relations with someone who shares your interests and viewpoints. You have fewer chances to disagree about something, especially what concerns hobbies or opinion. But sometimes we can do nothing with a destiny. And if you are really in love, you will accept every side of your beloved.


Sometimes opposites do attract. And if they both share love to competitions and have equal chances to win that can be a lifelong game. No doubt to others their ways may seem quaint. But they have their chance. To take a sip of adrenaline everyday could be better then total relaxation.