Science has gifted us some clues to the age-old question: why do so many couples look suspiciously alike? Strap in people because we’re all in for a hefty (and occasionally horny) reality check.
According to a ‘yuge article by Psychology Today, there are a multitude of theories on why people in relationships share a suspiciously large amount of physical traits.
One such hypothesis is called “implicit egotism” which describes the phenomenon whereby people gravitate “toward others who resemble them because similar others activate people’s positive, automatic associations about themselves”, per ResearchGate.
So basically, many of us think we’re hot so we unconsciously seek out our own characteristics in potential partners.
Funny? Yes. Confronting? Also yes.
Another take on this theory contends that it is in fact familiarity with our own appearance, rather than sheer egotism, that drives us to desire people with similar appearances.
Psychologist Justin Lehmiller told Time that “what is familiar to us tends to be what we like and are drawn to”.
“You’re familiar with your own appearance, so seeing other people who share those similar sorts of traits might lead to more liking for that reason.”
I’m gonna try not to take that personally.
The next theory is called “empathetic mimicry” and is said to occur over time as couples spend more and more time together.
The idea is that when you’re around someone you love, you might mimic one another’s facial expressions, per a 2020 study.
This causes you to end up looking the same when doing things like posing for photos, prompting observers to think you look similar to one another.
The final theory worth a look focuses less on the couple themselves, and more on those judging them to be similar.
Basically, a 2018 study concluded that “by matching pairs of faces according to their perceived personality, we found that a higher similarity in the perceived personality of a face pair led to higher facial similarity and couple likelihood ratings”.
So essentially, people unconsciously associated the personality similarity between two people with the likelihood that they were a couple.
The study also argued that “facial similarity in couples is partly based on active social cognitive judgments on perceived personality”.
In other words, couples might not physically look the same, but if their personalities are similar, we’re more likely to think they do, in fact, look the same.
I hope y’all learned something because my brain’s gonna need a lie down after this.
Luckily MAFS is on at the moment. BRB, melting my noggin.