Valentine's Day: Having Similar Personalities Not Key to Relationship Success
Despite popular belief, sharing similar personalities may not be as important as most people think, suggesting that it had almost no effect on how satisfied people were in their lives and relationships.
Image: Yogen Shah
This Valentine's Day are you searching for a partner with whom you can share personality traits? Relax. The key to relationship happiness could be as simple as finding a nice person, a new study has found.
The study showed that despite popular belief, sharing similar personalities may not be as important as most people think, suggesting that it had almost no effect on how satisfied people were in their lives and relationships.
"People invest a lot in finding someone who is compatible, but our research says that may not be the end," said Bill Chopik, Associate Professor at Michigan State University in the US.
"Instead, people may want to ask, 'Are they a nice person?' 'Do they have a lot of anxiety?' Those things matter way more than the fact that two people are introverts and end up together," said Chopik.
For the study, the researchers measured the effects of personality traits on well-being in 2,578 heterosexual couples who have been married for roughly 20 years.
The findings, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, showed that even among the couples who share similar personalities, having a partner who is conscientious and nice leads to higher levels of relationship satisfaction.
At the same time, having a partner who is neurotic and more extroverted results in lower relationship satisfaction.
Furthermore, apps that match people on compatibility may have it all wrong despite their popularity, the study suggested.
"When you start to get into creating algorithms and psychologically matching people, we actually don't know as much about that as we think we do. We don't know why the heart chooses what it does, but with this research, we can rule out compatibility as the lone factor," Chopik said.
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