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A new study finds that when it comes to personality, people seek partners with their same qualities — but claim to want someone who is different.
The study, recently published in the journal , asked 760 members of an online dating site to answer questionnaires regarding their personality traits, as well as the traits they would want in an ideal long-term partner.
Like-minded people validate each other's beliefs and views, and there tend to be fewer conflicts as a result.
But despite the personality correlations, the new study has found that 85.7 percent of participants claim to want someone who has their opposite traits.
"What most people call falling in love is really falling in pattern," he says.
It depends what you mean by "opposite." "I believe unresolved patterns attract," says Paul Cutright, author of You're Never Upset for the Reason You Think.
"When asked about their preferences for a mate, people may partially draw upon lay theories of romantic attraction rather than their true desires for a mate," says Pieternel Dijkstra, a professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the study's lead researcher.
One popular theory is that opposites attract; another is that having a similar partner would be "boring." But Dijkstra says these theories often prove untenable in real life.
In other words, we try to find someone who is complementary to us and can help us learn, heal, and grow." In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in July of 2003, researchers quizzed 978 heterosexual residents of Ithaca, N. First, the participants rated the importance of 10 attributes of a long-term partner, and then rated themselves on the same scale.
When the results were tallied, self-perception was more likely to match mate perception.