Are We Attracted to People Who Look Like Our Parents?

It's more of a myth that we're drawn to people who look like our parents, a study says – but these five other qualities are definitely worth considering.

Have you ever heard that people are naturally attracted to those who look like their parents?

Chances are you have. It’s a commonly held belief, sources say, but it turns out there’s little – if any – science to the idea.

The issue was highlighted in an article in Scientific American, bringing light to the original studies that suggested the idea and how the scientific data doesn’t actually support it. That original research includes a 2002-era Scottish study that also was published in the New Scientist under the headline “Like Father Like Husband”.”

“Upon closer examination of the study, the interpretation that was offered by scientists and in the piece in New Scientist seems questionable,” the author of the newer article writes.

While research does show that we have a general preference for familiar things, this doesn’t always relate to likeness to a parent, the article notes.

With that in mind, what do people naturally seek out in a partner? The Scientific American article points out that key factors include youthfulness and health, and non-physical similarities like a comparable value system and worldview.

These aren’t necessarily what’s bestin a partner. The research on that is mixed, as you might expect, but Psychology Today offers some insight. What bubbles to the top as the most important qualities in a partner? Here are the top five.

  • Kindness, loyalty and understanding
  • Similarity
  • Conscientiousness
  • Emotional stability
  • The belief that relationships take work

For many parents, of course, partner choice is a thing of the past – and the focus now is all about maintaining a healthy relationship with co-parenting kids. Consider these ingredients for a healthy marriage, and also keep in mind that there are things you can do to make your marriage stronger.

Some of the most important things you can do include recommitting yourself to your marriage daily, verbalizing your appreciation for your spouse and acknowledging “the little things.” Another key tip is to stop trying to “fix” your partner.

Most of all, know that it’s an ongoing journey that requires time and dedication, author Todd Patkin told Metro Parent.

“Don’t let your enthusiasm for working on your relationship be short-lived,” Patkin says. “Start by remembering what you said you’d do when you made your vows: Love your spouse. Honor her (or him). Cherish her. Comfort her. Remain faithful to her.

“And do these things in good times and bad, in sickness and in health – every day.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


ASMR and Kids: What is It, and What are the Pros and Cons?

YouTube has exploded with videos of people whispering, rustling buttons and even eating pickles – all to elicit a calm feeling. Can ASMR and kids be a good mix?

MSU Research Reports Sagging Areas in Pandemic Teaching

A survey from Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative found teachers are struggling to find students and maintain attendance during virtual school.

Letterboxing in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor for Families

Here's everything you need to know to get started on this unique, kid-friendly pastime. Plus, check the roundup for a few spots for letterboxing for kids.

Earth Day Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Celebrate Mother Earth on April 22, 2021, at one of these eco-friendly Earth Day events in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

- Advertisement -