New Study Reveals 5 Key Traits in Lasting Relationships

New Study Reveals 5 Key Traits in Lasting Relationships

In a world where opposites supposedly attract, a groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado challenges this conventional wisdom. This comprehensive analysis spanning a century, and encompassing millions of couples, suggests that commonalities, not differences, may be the secret to enduring relationships.


Contrary to the old adage, “opposites attract,” a recent study has uncovered a fascinating revelation: shared traits and beliefs may be the key to relationship longevity. Researchers at the University of Colorado conducted an extensive analysis of over 130 traits among millions of couples, challenging the age-old notion that differences are the spice of romantic life. Published in the prestigious journal Nature Human Behaviour in August 2023, this study sheds new light on the dynamics of relationships.

Political and Religious Beliefs

Birds of a Feather: The Power of Shared BeliefsTanya Horwitz, the study’s first author, emphasizes that “birds of a feather are indeed more likely to flock together.” Shared political and religious beliefs emerged as significant indicators of a relationship’s endurance, dispelling the idea that differences in these areas are essential.

Education Levels and IQ Scores

Intellectual Compatibility: A Crucial Factor Your education level plays a pivotal role in your need for intellectual stimulation. Increasingly, individuals in the U.S. are seeking partners with similar educational backgrounds, challenging the notion that opposites attract. This pattern, however, raises questions about potential socioeconomic disparities in the long run.

Height: Does It Matter?

Height Similarities and Beyond Does height really matter in a relationship? According to Horwitz, it might. Shorter individuals tending to choose partners of similar stature, and taller individuals doing the same, could lead to more pronounced height differences in the next generation. This pattern may also apply to various inheritable traits, from medical predispositions to personality quirks.

Attitudes Toward Substances

Substance Compatibility: A Decisive Influence How you relate to substances like alcohol and tobacco significantly influences your romantic choices. The study identified a clear pattern: heavy smokers, dedicated drinkers, and those who abstain entirely often pair up with those who share their habits.

Birth Year Compatibility

Emotional Maturity and Shared Experiences Your birth year plays a crucial role in compatibility. Couples frequently find partners who match their own emotional maturity levels, reflecting shared generational experiences and values. This could range from music preferences to broader cultural references.

Other Noteworthy Findings

Exploring Less Common Aspects of Compatibility The research delves into less common aspects of compatibility, including one’s number of past romantic partners and early-life experiences like being breastfed. These factors were found to influence partner choices, albeit to a lesser degree. Certain personality traits, like neuroticism, displayed minimal but positive correlations.

The Complexity of Extroversion and Introversion While similarities generally dominate romantic choices, extroversion and introversion present a complex picture. As Horwitz explains, it’s akin to flipping a coin—extroverts are just as likely to end up with extroverts as with introverts.


The Intricate Tapestry of RelationshipsAs we reflect on these findings, it becomes clear that even when we believe we have choices in our relationships, unseen mechanisms may be at play. Relationships are a complex interplay of shared backgrounds, mutual attractions, and sometimes, couples growing more alike over time.

Inspiring Future ResearchThis study not only reveals the dominance of similarities in romantic choices but also highlights regional variations and changes over generations. While the researchers caution against overemphasizing these findings or using them for biased purposes, they encourage a broader spectrum of research across various fields.


Q: Are these findings applicable to all types of relationships?

A: While the study focused on romantic relationships, some principles may apply to other forms of human connections.

Q: Can individuals with differing political or religious beliefs have successful relationships?

A: Yes, but the study suggests that shared beliefs can contribute to relationship longevity.

Q: How can I apply these findings to my own relationship?

A: Understanding the importance of shared traits can help you navigate the dynamics of your relationship.

Q: What should I do if I and my partner have significant differences?

A: Differences can complement a relationship, but open communication and shared values are crucial.

Q: What is the future of research in this area?

A: The study encourages further exploration of how and why people form the relationships they do.

In conclusion, this groundbreaking study challenges traditional notions of romantic compatibility and suggests that shared traits and beliefs may be the foundation for lasting relationships. While exceptions exist, understanding the significance of commonalities can provide valuable insights into the complex world of human connections.

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