3 Science-backed reasons why couples in long-term relationships start to look alike
Have you ever been told that you and your partner are starting to look alike? Here are some scientific explanations as to why this is so.
If you've been with your partner for at least several years, chances are you've been told how much you're starting to look alike. You're told you could pass for siblings, which could be cute or creepy, depending on how you see it.
It turns out, there's more of a scientific based explanation behind this.
1. You resemble each other to begin with
It's no secret that we often seem to be attracted to someone who looks like us or resembles us in some way, whether it's physical or social attributes, such as education level or hobbies. This phenomenon is called assortative mating, which is when you are drawn to someone with the same educational background or economic capacity, or someone who can relate to your plans and passions in life.
A more simpler level of attraction--the physical kind--also has some sort of scientific backing. According to a study out of the University of Colorado, people are attracted to "lifetime partners" who have similar DNA. This is because we, subconsciously, want to perpetuate our own genes.
2. Shared experiences affect facial changes
Because most of your new life experiences, both good and bad, are now shared with a partner, this affects how your faces age in a similar way. Frown lines and laugh lines both tend to appear the same way, according to a "facial likeness" study by psychologist Robert Zajonc.
In the study, photos of men and women were paired based on facial similarity by subjects who didn't know who they were. The matched photos amazingly turned out to be couples, who have been married for 25 years.
3. Your happiness level may be proportional to your level of resemblance
Though it may not have been his intention, Robert Zajonc's study of "facial-mirroring" stemmed from a deeper psychological principle known as unconscious mimicry, which involves unintentionally copying your partner's tone of voice, laugh, or stance. This makes us feel more bonded and satisfied in our relationship.
Several studies have also shown that a happy marriage or long-term relationship is related to genetic similarity.
This adorable phenomenon of imbibing your partner's quirks is also possibly why we look even more alike. As you mimic your partner, albeit unconsciously, you start to resemble them even more!
Have you ever been told that you and your partner are starting to look alike? Let us know in the comments below!