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Is Dating Someone Similar To You The Key To A Happy Relationship?

All of us want a compatible partner and a happy relationship. We look at our partner's traits and behaviour to check whether we will be compatible with our partner or not. Most of us look for partners having similar interest, hobbies and personality traits. However, according to the Journal of Research in Personality, having the same characteristics, interests and personality traits doesn't guarantee a happy and compatible relationship.


In 1968, a survey on relationships was carried out at the Michigan State University on 2570 heterosexual couples aged between 22-51 years. The survey also gauged the satisfaction level of couples who shared the same behavioural aspects.

Sharing Behavioural Characteristics Led To Initial Attraction

The survey revealed most of them were initially attracted to their partner due to the shared behavioural and personality traits. Eventually, every participant felt their personality trait matters the most to them and then comes the personality of their partners. Once the individuals were satisfied with the personality of their partner, their relationship felt satisfactory to them.

What Happens Afterwards

Initially, people might feel happy to find a person who is having similar liking and personality traits but afterwards, they get annoyed and look for some change in their partner. As people are used to their behaviour and when they find their partners to have a similar behaviour, they feel their partners do not have anything new.


Dating someone who is having a different behaviour can help people to grow and become adaptable. As people get to know their partners and the way their partners differ from them. This helps them get used to different traits of other people.

Twitterati too expressed their views on dating someone who is similar to them and here are a few responses:

@marchdeangelis says, "dating someone similar to you is overrated."

@imchelseahi tweeted it is cool to date someone who introduces you to new things.

Five Traits That People Looked For

In addition to this, every participant admitted to looking for five traits in their partners regardless of their traits. The five traits are as follows:

1. Openness:Participants wanted their partners to be enthusiastic about trying new things. They wanted their partners to keep on experimenting with things to do. In addition to this, the participants wanted their partners should go on adventures as well and to explore new things.

2. Conscientiousness:Irrespective of whether the participants themselves were organised in their lives or not, they wanted their partners to be well-organised. They admitted, "it is good to have someone who is detail-oriented and manages things in an organised way."

3. Extraversion:Everyone loves someone who is sociable, amicable and confident. Similarly, the participants too wanted their partners to be outgoing and friendly. Even though the participants themselves were not having the sociable attitude, they wished if their partners could be sociable.

4. Agreeableness:Caring and helping nature is always welcomed and praised by others. Perhaps that's why the participants wanted their partners to have concern for others. They wanted their partner to be kind and caring. For them, listening to other people and solving their problems was a great thing and they wanted their partner to be the same.

5. Neuroticism:Almost every participant wanted his/her partner to have less neuroticism. They wanted their partners to be able to deal with stress, anxieties and fears. So, their relationships could be saved from unnecessary fights and conflicts.

The Survey Results

The results concluded, couples with more agreeableness, extraversion attitude, conscientiousness, and less neuroticism were happy with each other. These people were also leading a happy and peaceful life. This meant one's happiness is important to have a happy and healthy relationship.

After analysing every relationship, the results revealed, the happiness of an individual in a relationship was in the hands of the same individual. Initially, an individual might be attracted to another person due to the similarity in thoughts, behaviour and traits but at a point of time, the individual seemed to look for something new in his/her partner in addition to the above five traits.

Story first published: Thursday, August 8, 2019, 14:14 [IST]
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