Ever take a trip down memory lane and realize that all the women you’ve ever dated have an uncanny resemblance to one another? Or weirdly have the same personality traits? They do, but not because you just so happen to be attracted to the same “type.” A recent study suggests that the similarities between all your exes are more likely based on where you live and your own desirability.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, evaluated the characteristics of more than 1,000 heterosexual couples, including those who were still together and those who had already broken up. The researchers found that many of the participants’ past partners shared similar physical attributes, and there wasn’t a major difference when looking at casual relationships vs. serious relationships.
They found that people tend to pursue others who have religious backgrounds, educations, intelligence levels and perceived attractiveness similar to their own. It’s because hot people tend to look for other hot people, and people with the same backgrounds usually live in the same areas, so they have a higher tendency to meet each other.
“The exes of a particular person tended to be very similar on variables like education, religiosity and intelligence,” the authors say. “But this type of similarity was entirely due to the school that people attended. Within their local school context, people were no more or less likely to select education, intelligent or religious partners.”
This is probably why so many people from your alma mater married each other (and why your college made such a big deal out of it).