Beziehungsmuster: Gegensätze ziehen sich doch nicht an

In vielem sind sich Paare ähnlich – auf diesem Symbolbild sogar in der Wahl der Schuhe

Couples often have similarities – even in the choice of shoes, as shown in this symbolic image.

Foto: Anna Fedorenko / Getty Images

Ein altes Sprichwort besagt, dass Gegensätze sich anziehen. Jedoch ist dies nicht korrekt. Tatsächlich verlieben wir uns eher in Menschen, die uns in vielen Aspekten ähnlich sind.

A study published in the journal „Nature Human Behaviour“ has confirmed what previous studies have suggested: birds of a feather flock together. According to Matthew Keller, a behavioral geneticist and lead author of the study, many genetic models assume that human mating is random, but this study indicates that this assumption is likely incorrect.

Am häufigsten ähnlich sind sich Paare im Alter

The research team from the University of Colorado Boulder conducted a meta-study, analyzing 199 previous studies that examined 22 characteristics. The oldest study among them dates back to 1903.

The team also utilized a dataset of nearly 80,000 heterosexual couples from the UK and examined 133 characteristics – ranging from political beliefs to age of first sexual intercourse. In 118 of these characteristics, which accounts for almost 89 percent, a correlation was found – and in most cases, this correlation was positive. This implies that partners were more likely to be similar rather than dissimilar.

It is not surprising that the birth year was the characteristic in which couples most resembled each other – on a scale from 0 (no correlation) to 1 (perfect correlation), the value here was 0.87. The correlation was also particularly high for political and religious beliefs, educational level, and certain IQ measurements. Additionally, individuals who smoke a lot, drink a lot, or live abstinent lifestyles often enter into relationships with people who have similar habits.

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Bei einigen Merkmalen wie etwa Extravertiertheit gab es überhaupt keinen Zusammenhang. »Die Menschen haben all diese Theorien, dass Extrovertierte Introvertierte mögen oder dass Extrovertierte andere Extrovertierte mögen«, sagt Tanya Horwitz, eine weitere Autorin. »Aber tatsächlich ist es so, als würde man eine Münze werfen.«

Bei nur drei Merkmalen des britischen Datensatzes fanden die Forschenden einen negativen, schwachen Zusammenhang. Beim Chronotyp (also der Frage, ob man Lerche oder Eule ist), bei der Neigung zur Sorge und bei Hörschwierigkeiten galt also tatsächlich: Gegensätze ziehen sich (ein bisschen) an.

Muster bei gleichgeschlechtlichen Paaren wohl anders

„These findings suggest that even in situations where we seemingly have a choice in our relationships, there may be mechanisms at play behind the scenes that we are not fully aware of,“ says Horwitz. Accordingly, couples may share many characteristics because they grow up in the same area or are attracted to people who are similar to them. Some may also become more similar the longer they are together.

The investigation did not include same-sex couples, by the way. According to the authors, the patterns in this case could differ significantly, so they are now examining them separately.