Opposites Attract? Not in Relationships

Uh oh.  Didn't see this coming.

Did you know opposites attract -- except in a relationship?

According to a new study, turns out, when you're in a relationship, you're more likely to find someone who looks like you more attractive.

My husband and I are certainly opposites.  He stands 6'1" to my less than 5'2".  (I used to have to stand on a chair arm to kiss him when we first started dating.  Now we're old married parents.  Need I say more?)

If we are in a relationship we are more likely to be attracted to faces resembling our own, but for single people, opposites attract, newswise.com reports.  Relationship status affects who and what we find attractive, found a study published in Frontiers in Psychology.

Dr Jitka Lindová of Charles University in the Czech Republic and her team showed a series of photographs of faces to university students and asked them to rate their attractiveness. The photographs were digitally manipulated so that the resemblance to the student was modified.

Images were of an individual of the opposite sex, whose face had been manipulated to look either more or less similar to the student. They were also presented with images of a same-sex individual manipulated in the same way.

"We found that single participants, those not in relationships, rate dissimilar faces as more attractive and sexy than self-resembling faces;" says Lindová.

This was observed when participants rated both same-sex and opposite-sex faces.

"For the first time, we have observed how our partnership status affects who we find attractive;" she adds.
"Our interpretation is that attractiveness perception mechanisms that give us a preference for a genetically suitable partner may be suppressed during romantic relationship. This might be a relationship maintenance strategy to prevent us from finding alternatives to our own partner, or perhaps self-resemblance becomes more important in terms of the social support we expect receive from relatives, which are known as kinship cues."

I think what she's really trying to say is that we seek out those like us.  Again, with me, not so much.  My husband is a Jewish man from the Five Towns, on Long Island, which is known in the Northeast for being an affluent Jewish community.  I, on the other hand, come from parents who were Catholic and Episcopalian.  Doesn't get much more Christian than that.  (It wasn't until college that Larry met someone who wasn't Jewish.)

But I was drawn to his goodness and generosity and kind heart.  It didn't matter to me where he came from, or what his background was.   So maybe it doesn't really matter how different you are, only in how much you can put the differences aside to fall in love.


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