[imagesource: Kelly Bowden/ Getty]
At some point in your life, you’re likely to come across a couple that you thought were siblings, until they shattered the illusion by doing something that siblings wouldn’t do.
In the entertainment industry, it seems pretty commonplace. Take a look at Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, and Alexis Bledel and Vincent Kartheiser, to name a few.
The old saying “opposites attract” seems to be losing traction.
This, says Fatherly, can be backed up by science, the laws of attraction, and some other weird stuff that we’ll go into in a minute.
The research into this phenomenon goes back decades to a study at the University of Michigan which looked into why married couples who grow older together tend to look like each other over time. They compared pictures of couples when they were young, to pictures taken 25 years later, finding that they’d evolved to look similar. Apparently, shared emotions lead to corresponding wrinkles and expressions.
Take a look at your partner – that’s your future.
There’s more recent work on the subject which deals with what you look for in a partner.
A 2005 study of twins found the spouses of identical twins were more alike than the spouses of non-identical twins. In other words, it could be that we have a subconscious tendency to pick partners who are genetically like us.
Moving forward in time to 2013, where participants in a study were shown images of their partner’s face which had been altered to include features from a stranger’s face and features of their own face. The participants rated the image with their own features superimposed as more attractive.
Here’s where the weird part comes in:
Another study tried to find evidence to support Sigmund Freud’s famous creepy “attracted to people like our parents” theory by flashing a picture of participants’ opposite-sex parents quickly across the screen before showing them a face and asking them to rate the attractiveness.
In great deference to Sophocles, researchers found that participants rated images of others as more attractive when they saw the picture of their opposite-sex parent first.
It’s not all Freudian nightmares, though.
Ben Domingue, assistant professor at Stanford who studies genetic similarity between spouses and friends, reckons that ‘like attracts like’.
You are attracted to people who have qualities that you like about yourself, and some of those are physical.
It could also have something to do with similarities in social and/or cultural contexts.
Look, as long as you don’t share familial DNA, you do you.
Just make sure you aren’t throwing matching outfits into the mix.
There’s are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed, even if you look nothing alike.
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