Opposites don’t actually attract: Study declares most couples are more similar

Get out while you still can.

Psychological researchers have found “no compelling evidence” that opposites actually attract. They say so after reviewing several million couples’ case studies spanning back 100 years to 1903, from the University of Colorado Boulder.

“Our findings demonstrate that birds of a feather are indeed more likely to flock together,” said author and psychology doctoral candidate Tanya Horwitz, who analyzed more than 130 personality traits like political allegiance, substance use and even age of first intercourse.

In a vast majority — between 82% and 89% of those traits to be exact — “partners were more likely than not to be similar,” the research declared.

“We’re hoping people can use this data to do their own analyses and learn more about how and why people end up in the relationships they do,” Horwitz added. 

“Across both analyses, traits like political and religious attitudes, level of education, and certain measures of IQ showed particularly high correlations.” 

Heavy drinkers and smokers also commonly found a partner with similar habits as well. “Some correlation” was even found in regard to how many sexual partners a person had along with whether or not they were breastfed during infancy.

“These findings suggest that even in situations where we feel like we have a choice about our relationships, there may be mechanisms happening behind the scenes of which we aren’t fully aware,” said Horwitz.

This body of research did not study same-sex couples on the grounds that “patterns there may differ significantly.”

The study also found extraverted personality types to be something of a random anomaly.

“People have all these theories that extroverts like introverts or extroverts like other extroverts, but the fact of the matter is that it’s about like flipping a coin: Extroverts are similarly likely to end up with extroverts as with introverts,” Horwitz said.

The overall phenomenon that opposites do not attract may also shed light on the human genome as well.

“A lot of models in genetics assume that human mating is random. This study shows this assumption is probably wrong,” said senior author Matt Keller of what’s referred to as “assortative mating” in the field.

Next, Horwitz and her team are looking to see how such personal connections may inadvertently impact future genetics.

“If short people are more likely to and tall people with tall people, there could be more people at the height extremes in the next generation,” the university noted.

“The same goes for psychiatric, medical or other traits.”