You might have noticed that couples who are in a long term relationship tend to look alike. Some might even be mistaken for siblings. Is it because people tend to select partners who look like them or is it because couples tend to grow physically similar to each other over time? Read on to find out.
The old syaing that ‘opposites attract’ is now gaining strong opposition, since recent studies have found that similarity in physical appearance is an important factor for initial attraction. Research done by psychologist R. Chris Fraley at the University of Illinois suggests that ‘like attracts like’. People have an inborn tendency to be attracted to someone who looks like them, since they desire what is familiar to them. Couples who look alike also tend to last longer, as people tend to trust a face that looks more like their own.
According to psychologist Robert Zajonc from the University of Michigan, the older the couple gets, the more similar they look, because people who are in close contact with each other tend to mimic each other’s facial expressions. Also, the happier the couple, the more similar their physical features.
There are other reasons why couples tend to alike over the years:
• There may be genetic reasons for why a couple looks alike. People who are distantly genetically related have a higher chance of getting married than people who aren’t, thereby resulting in a resemblance of features.
• Many women are attracted to men who resemble their fathers, a phenomenon that is known as sexual imprinting. Women judge their prospective partners keeping their fathers in mind as a role model, which may be the reason why the couple looks alike.
• People belonging to the same caste, religion and state have higher chances of getting married, which may be a reason for the similarity in their looks. People from similar economic and social backgrounds would have similar food habits, cultures and traditions, which would make them look similar to their spouses.
• Symmetrical features are an important aspect of finding a partner. People who suit each other in terms of body weight and height tend to get attracted to each other.
• As you grow old together, you tend to adapt yourself and change in accordance with your partner. Your life experiences are reflected in your face. Couples that have shared a happy and joyful life together develop muscles andwrinkles related to smiling and laughter, whereas couples that have been unhappy have frowns, anger anddepression reflected in their faces.