Tell me who’ s your friend and I’ll tell you who you are
Birds of a feather flock together
Many sayings and truisms about interpersonal relations indicate that relations play a very important part in societies and concerns about partner selection are a vital factor in everyday lives of humans.
So it is not surprising that scientific research turned to this topic to examine it in detail.
This essay will concentrate on the factors that are responsible for leading a person to choose a partner for “life”. It will discuss whether the traditional proverb “opposites attract” plays a role in mate selection and whether it can be supported by scientific research.
A study of Diane Felmlee & Heather Flynn asked 201 male and female adults why their relationships with their previous partner broke up. The majority said that they were too different and that things, which they were attracted to at the beginning turned into a factor they could not put up with (Felmlee & Flynn, 2004). Felmlee did a similar study at the University of California were she asked 301 students why their previous relationships did not work out. 88 students said that they were attracted to things in their partners, which were so different to them. One student said that she felt attracted to a man because he showed such intense interest in her. This interest turned out to minimize her freedom later on in the relationship. Felmlee calls this kind of attraction “Fatal attraction” and says that differences might attract at the beginning but are not the basis for a long-term relationship (Felmlee, 1995).
An assessment of 291 couples married less than a year showed similar results. Couples were similar on major issues like political attitudes and religiosity but not so much on personality related traits like shyness and anxiety. However the results suggest that opposites might detract a happy long-term relationship but they can play a ro...