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You have a type, and you can’t change it

If you’ve ever come out of a relationship and thought you need to start dating someone different from your usual “type”, it might not be as easy as it seems, according to new research.

Carried out by researchers at the University of Toronto, Canada, the new study set out to investigate whether we are drawn to the same type of person across romantic relationships, by comparing the personalities of the current and past partners of 332 people.

The partners were asked to assess their own personality traits related to agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness to experience, reporting on how much they identified with a series of statements such as “I am usually modest and reserved”, “I am interested in many different kinds of things” and “I make plans and carry them out”.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that people did indeed appear to look for relationships with the same type of person again and again, with the team finding that both current and ex-partners described themselves in a similar way.

By asking partners to report on their own personalities, rather than ask someone else to describe them, the team were also able to gather more accurate results than other previous studies.

The researchers now say the findings could suggest ways to build a happier and healthier relationship.

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