Why You Chose Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend

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We've all seen it. That weird couple that makes you stop and think, "how the heck did you two end up together?"
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What I didn't know before reading chapter 11 was that these couples were more of an exception than a rule, "opposites attract."
In fact, the 3 factors that influence our relationship formation are similarity, proximity, and reciprocity.
First off, we are simply attracted to those who are similar to us. You might think dating someone more different from you would be more interesting because you would a lot to talk or debate about.
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In fact, commonalities are more important. With little in common, it's a lot harder to establish a personal connection.
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Next, relationships are often based on convenience. That is, we become close to those who live, study, work, or play closest to us, since we see them on a regular basis.
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Lastly, reciprocity (give and take) is crucial for a deeper relationship. We tend to feel obligated to give what we get and maintain balance in our relationships.

So next time you feel sparks fly when you spot a special someone, consider if these 3 factors influenced the connection.

12 Comments

This is very interesting. In some ways, these findings discount the idea of each person having a "soul mate" that is somewhere out in the world. Based on these three factors, there could be a 'soul mate' for each person, in every city, as long as the probability that these factors are met is high.

Before taking this class, I too always believed that the phrase "opposites attract" was true. Although, I never felt like I would be happy with someone who is so different than me. Thus, I was happy to learn that it is not a true concept. Similarity is truly a huge component when being attracted to someone.

Man, I'm just loving the pictures. Don't get me wrong, the information is awesome as well, but the pictures rock. Anyways, I was always confused in relationships as to if being similar to your partner is good or being different was more beneficial. It is now good to know that having the 3 factors that influence relationships in mind, birds of a feather do tend to flock together.

Another factor that elads to attractiveness like we learned about previously is the physical lay out of their appearance. Someone who is more symmetrical and average looking will be more attractive long term than someone with unique and defining characteristics. These factors combine to describe why people are attracted to a specific population.

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Maybe the fact that we tend to fall for people that are easy to visit explains why so many people struggle with long distance relationships. They are just not convenient enough. Besides, it a lot harder to reciprocate when we aren't close enough to our significant other, too!

Great post, awesome summary. Thanks for sharing! :)

I enjoyed reading this blog entry; it was a great summary. I do agree that a majority of couples are similar in nature. Everyone is different but when finding a partner you choose someone similar to you. I also found the first comment interesting..that maybe we don't have one soul mate. It reminds me of a quote I read, "It's not about finding the right person but creating the right relationship" which is made possible by the three factors.

This really summed up the three main parts of attractiveness. They clearly make a lot of sense, especially considering none of us like to put too much effort into anything, and these criteria make it as simple as possible to get along with our significant others.

This summary is very interesting and I really liked how it displayed everything so clearly! I always thought that the phrase "opposites attract" was a true statement, until this class. I can definitely see how the factors of similarity, proximity and reciprocity are what influence relationships. When I think about this and think about different relationships I have seen or been in, it makes a lot of sense.

This summary is very interesting and I really liked how it displayed everything so clearly! I always thought that the phrase "opposites attract" was a true statement, until this class. I can definitely see how the factors of similarity, proximity and reciprocity are what influence relationships. When I think about this and think about different relationships I have seen or been in, it makes a lot of sense.

I love the beginning pictures of the two couples. It makes perfectly sense after read the chapter about how people start a relationship.

That summary is fascinating! I always thought that opposites attract was something true, or at least worth going by, as it's such a popular phrase and often brought up. It's good to know the opposite is true! The proximity issue would also explain why so many long distance relationships do not seem to work out. Very interesting read!

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This page contains a single entry by theis333 published on April 23, 2012 8:00 PM.

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