Just as many of us suspected: When it comes to looking for love, we’re stuck in a rut.
“The degree of consistency from one relationship to the next suggests that people may indeed have a ‘type,’ ” says Geoff MacDonald, a University of Toronto psychology professor and co-author of a new study on the subject. “And though our data do not make clear why people’s partners exhibit similar personalities, it is noteworthy that we found partner similarity above and beyond similarity to oneself.”
The study, published in the journal PNAS, has the catchy title, “Consistency between individuals’ past and current romantic partners’ own reports of their personalities.” Using data from a nine-year-long German study of 332 people, the authors found that there are clear patterns for predicting future lovers based on past partnerships.
“So, if you find you’re having the same issues in relationship after relationship,” says lead author Yoobin Park, “you may want to think about how gravitating toward the same personality traits in a partner is contributing to the consistency in your problems.”
The study also found that people tend to date those who resemble themselves, in one way or another.
“There’s definitely a trend I notice in the people I’m attracted to,” Sy Deunom, 23, an operations engineer in Philadelphia, tells The Post. “It’s not something I usually like to admit to, ’cause I feel like I’m pigeon-holing myself.”
In his case, the similarity doesn’t extend to the physical, says Deunom, who finds himself attracted to men with abundant facial hair and strong chests. “I feel like it’s a compensation for myself,” says the Philly resident, who says his own beard is skimpy and he has a deviated sternum.
Ariel Dineen, a 23-year-old researcher at a children’s hospital, finds she’s attracted to a certain personality.
“One of my friends was, like, ‘Your type is the equivalent of a tight black T-shirt — someone who is kind of edgy, charming, the center of attention,” the native New Yorker tells The Post.
That pretty much describes herself as well, she says.
“I think I’m similar to a tight, black T-shirt in some ways, in terms of being a little attention-seeking,” Dineen says.
She believes that dating the same type, again and again, is a kind of catharsis. “I feel like we end up trying to find these types because we try to relive or fix previous situations. It’s a way to amend, in the hope of having a new ending.”
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