In romantic relationships, people do indeed have a 'type'

Posted on June 12, 2019

Using data from on ongoing multi-year study on couples and families across several age groups, Yoobin Park and co-author Geoff MacDonald, a professor in the Department of Psychology at U of T – compared the personalities of current and past partners of 332 people. Their primary finding was the existence of a significant consistency in the personalities of an individual’s romantic partners.
Participants in the study along with a sample of current and pasts partners, assessed their own personality traits related to agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness to experience. Respondents were asked to rate their disagreement or agreement with each statement on a five-point scale. Park and MacDonald’s analysis of the responses showed that overall, the current partners of individuals described themselves in ways that were similar to past partners.
This degree of consistency suggests that people may indeed have a ‘type’. Although the data collected do not make clear why people’s partners exhibit similar personalities, it is noteworthy that partner similarity are above and beyond similar to oneself. By examining first-person testimonies of someone’s partners rather than rely on someone’s own description of them, this study accounts for biases found in other studies.
Researchers find that the study conducted offered ways to keep relationships healthy and couples happy. People learn strategies for working with their partner’s personality – if the new and ex-partner’s personalities are similar – transferring the skills you learned from the previous relationship might be an effective way to start the new relationship on a good footing.
On the other hand, Park says the strategies people learn to manage their partner’s personalities may also be negative and more research is needed to determine how much meeting someone similar to an ex-partner is a plus, and how much it’s a minus when moving to a new relationship.
Park’s advice is that when one if having the same issues in their relationships, one might want to think about how gravitating toward the same personality traits in a partner is contributing to the consistency of your problems.


Category(s):Attachment Issues, Ending a relationship issues, Relationships & Marriage

Source material from Sciene Daily


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