Ever Wonder Why You Keep Going For The Same 'Type' In A Relationship? A New Study Has Some Answers
Research out of Canada has found answers to why people look for love with the same type of person over and over again.
The report compared the personalities of current and past partners of over 300 people, and found how repetitive adults can be when it comes to love.
The study, published in the PNAS journal this month, found people can actually be hooked on dating the same kind of person.
Lead author, Yoobin Park, noted people often attribute a breakup to their ex-partner's personality and then decide "they need to date a different type".
"Our research suggests there's a strong tendency to nevertheless continue to date a similar personality," Park said.
The report used data from an ongoing German study, which looks at couple and family dynamics in adolescents, young adults, and midlife individuals.
Park and the study's co-author, Geoff MacDonald, said their primary finding was a consistency in the personalities of an individual's romantic partners.
The authors noted their research was different to previous studies as they had interviewed the current and past partners of 332 people "in real time".
"Our study was particularly rigorous because we didn't just rely on one person recalling their various partners' personalities," Park said.
People choose romantic partners that reinforce familiar attitudes they've long held toward themselves, according to psychologist Dr Lisa Firestone.
Partners are selected based on how well someone's defenses and traits from their childhood fit in with your own, Firestone said.
"We fit with people not because their patterns perfectly complement ours, but because the way our defenses line up actually sustains our individual defenses and serves to keep each of us at a certain, safe distance."
The new study offers no insight into if dating people with similar traits is good or bad.
While having a 'type' is often cast in a negative light, Park said it could be a plus for some people.
“If your new partner's personality resembles your ex-partner's personality, you might be able to transfer the skills you learned from the past relationship.
"It’s really an open question at this moment, how much is a minus and how much is a plus.”