In romantic relationships, people have a "type"


romantic relationship

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If you are already out of a bad relationship and have decided that you should go out with someone different from your usual "guy", you are not alone.

However, a new study by social psychologists at the University of Toronto suggests that this might be easier said than done. A study published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that people often look for love with the same type of person again and again.

"When a relationship ends, people usually attribute the burst to the personality of their ex-partner and decide that they have to go out with a different type of person," says lead author, Yoobin. Park, Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Toronto. "Our research suggests that there is a strong tendency to continue despite having a similar personality."

Park and his co-author, Geoff MacDonald, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, compared the current and past partner personalities of 332 people. Their main finding was the existence of a significant consistency in the personality of an individual's romantic partners.

"The effect is more than just a tendency to go out with someone like you," Park said.

Participants in the study, as well as a sample of current and past partners, evaluated their own personality traits related to kindness, seriousness, extroversion, neuroticism and openness. to the experience. They were asked about their degree of identification to a series of statements such as "I am generally modest and reserved," "I am interested in many different things" and "I make plans and realizes them. ". 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 the individuals described themselves in a similar way to their former partners.

"The degree of consistency from one relationship to the other suggests that people can actually have a" guy, "says MacDonald. "And although our data does not indicate why people's partners display similar personalities, it should be noted that we found a similarity of partner that exceeds that of oneself."

By examining the first-person testimonials of someone's partners rather than relying on their own description, the work reports biases identified in other studies.

"Our study was particularly rigorous because we were not limited to just one person reminding the personality of their different partners," Park said. "We have received reports from the partners themselves in real time."

The researchers say the results offer ways to maintain healthy relationships and happy couples.

"In every relationship, people learn strategies to work with their partner's personality," says Park. "If your new partner's personality is similar to that of your ex-partner, transferring the skills you've learned could be an effective way to start a new relationship on a good foundation."

Park, for its part, says that the strategies that people learn to manage their partner's personality can also be negative, and that more research is needed to determine the extent to which meeting a partner similar to an ex-partner is an asset and move to a new relationship.

"So, if you find that you are having the same problems relationship after relationship," Park said, "you might want to think about the fact that gravitation toward the same personality traits at a partner contributes to the consistency of your problems. "

The research data come from the German Family Survey, launched in 2008, of an ongoing longitudinal study on couple and family dynamics, with a nationally representative sample of adolescents, young adults and children. people of average age.

Why Mr. Nice could be Mr. Right

More information:
Yoobin Park el al., "Coherence between the reports of their personalities, past and present, of their romantic partners" PNAS (2019).

Provided by
University of Toronto

In romantic relationships, people have a "type" (June 10, 2019)
recovered on June 10, 2019

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