While many people believe that opposites attract, research has shown that we prefer people similar to ourselves. We tend to select mates who match us in terms of our attitudes and beliefs. Online dating makes the process of finding someone similar to yourself even easier as you can clearly identify your religious beliefs, political affiliation, employment status, etc. right from the start. We can filter our search to identify those we “match.”
Birds Of A Feather Flock Together
Picking someone like you could lead to better relationship satisfaction down the road. In fact, research conducted at MIT, which examined the contacts made between people of different demographics on an online dating site, showed that “…users opted for sameness more often than chance” (Fiore & Donath, 2005, p. 1374). Not only do similar values, demographics and attitudes correlate with attraction, but they have also been shown to relate to relationship satisfaction.
Therefore, similarity is important in getting a relationship off the ground and in keeping the members of the couple happy over time. With this in mind, it is imperative to ask ourselves some very important questions before creating our profiles and setting out to find our match. The more we know about ourselves, the better we will be in selecting the right partner.
A year ago I collaborated with a Masters student to create questions that one can pose to a significant other to get to know him/her at a deeper level before making a commitment such as marriage. It occurred to me that taking the time to answer these questions yourself is also beneficial. As I previously mentioned, understanding our needs better will help us recognize what we desire in a match. Below are some of the questions that I contributed to our list.
1. How much alone time is it important for you to have? Do you feel that it is important to spend all of your time with your partner, or is it more important to maintain your space and personal identity?
2. What are your views on gender roles? How will this affect the sharing of household roles and chores?
3. What are your views regarding finances? Do you feel that it is important to combine bank accounts or should each individual pay for his/her own purchases and expenses?
4. How important are children to you?
5. How important are religion and spirituality to you?
Many people don’t confront the issues related to these questions until they have entered into a long-term, committed relationship. Answering these questions prior to entering a relationship may help you better understand what your future needs are, and in turn, may influence the types of people you choose to pursue.
While these questions maybe a bit too intimate for first date “getting to know you” banter, ascertaining these answers at some point in the relationship will be important for you. By knowing if you have a similar viewpoint as your significant other, you will be certain that you’re on the right track to create a successful and fulfilling relationship.
You may also be interested in How To Make 2017 The Year You Fall In Love
Cohen, M., & Dolma, D. (2016). MateMatch: A relationship primer. Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/ibooks/
Fiore, A. T., & Donath, J. S. (2005, April). Homophily in online dating: When do you like someone like yourself? CHI’05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1371-1374.
Thanks for article. Very interesting and in my experience very true. There has to be a point of confluence where all the nuanced differences are left bare for examination. Then the most important things that, in my opinion, must occur. The persons involved must be brutally honest and must have the right commonality for that relationship to exist, let alone flourish.
In my experience opposites attracting do not work in the long term.