Do You Look Like Your Mate?

While opposites do attract, many couples end up looking quite alike, and there are actually a number of scientific theories about this. From sharing the same ancestry to sharing the same experiences, here are a few reasons as to why you may look like your mate.

Happy couple

Shared Ancestry
While this may sound far-fetched, many couples actually share the same ancestry, meaning that they were related long before they got married. A study that was recently published in the journal PLOS Genetics discovered that, out of a group of 879 spouses, couples had a tendency to marry people who shared their genes. The study looked at couples across three generations, and found that, in later generations, this became less common, and people would cast their nets a bit wider when it came to looking for love.

Shared Experiences
The idea that many couples looked alike is nothing new, and a study carried out at the University of Michigan in 1987 has been one of the most successful ones to date on this topic. Researchers found that couples who had shared a long life together also shared similar experiences, which left them with similar expression lines on their face. Whether this may have been a life of hardship resulting in deepened frown lines, or a life of smiles and crow’s feet, this is quite a promising theory as to why many couples look alike, especially if they have spent a significant number of years together.

Unconscious Mimicry
Unconscious mimicry is when a person unconsciously imitates the people around them. For example, adopting intonations from your friend’s voices, or copying the way in which a friend sits. This principle could also be potentially applied to couples that look alike, because as they will have mimicked each other so much over the years, this would end up gradually reshaping their face.

Happy couple

Other Theories
There is no denying that many couples tend to look alike, and while the above-mentioned theories may be some of the most popular, there are a few other ideas about this as well. One of these theories is that the increased resemblance is linked to living in the same environment, while others believe that a similar diet could have something to do with this.

Only Skin Deep
While the facial features of long-time spouses may start to appear similar, a study carried out in 2010 showed that this was only skin deep. The results of this study proved that people who had been married for 40 years or more had personalities that were just as different as they used to be, even if they had been sharing everything from a home to habits.

It has been known for a while that many spouses share similar features in appearance, but it would seem as though scientists are still a long way from pin-pointing exactly why this is. While each of the theories mentioned above do seem plausible, it is just as likely that it is a combination of all of them, from a shared environment to shared habits, and even to shared DNA.

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