FACEMATCHER:Let’s Face It!

christina bloom

In a recent New York Times Style piece on Modern Love, (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/fashion/22love.html) Charles  H. Antin writes wistfully of discovering, via facebook, that his ex-girlfriend had a new boyfriend. Every so often he would check his ex girlfriend’s facebook page and one day he saw a new guy on her arm; he noticed that “He disconcertingly looked exactly like me but more attractive.”

His ex didn’t purposely look for someone who looks like Charles … but she is attracted to a man, like Charles, whose features are similar to her own.

Attraction is obviously buttressed by several pertinent factors but psychologists and evolutionary biologists are increasingly interested in the role that facial similarities play in successful partnerships. The old wisdom was that long term couples evolved to look more like one another because of shared habits, lifestyles, diets, etc.  How can someone start looking like their partner?   Only plastic surgery can do that!  But new studies indicate that the initial spark of physical attraction is found, not just in desire, but also in evolution. According to a recent University of Western Ontario study conducted by psychologist J. Philippe Ruston, couples with greater genetic similarity were more likely to have happy and successful relationships.

Scientists are increasingly curious about the ways in which both genotypical and phenotypical attributes impact the rules of romance. The aforementioned study examines the role of genetics and while our genes determine a lot more than our physical characteristics, they are part of the powerful genetic package. But there is also phenotypical evidence to suggest that people are attracted to one another based on an immediate and unconscious connection to a face similar in degrees of subtlety to one’s own.

I wrote in my first blog that compatibility is a mystery.   If I can boast a bit, I believe I solved the mystery!  If you have chemistry, and similar style and are two individuals who are reasonable and loving…then, that equals compatibility which leads to a happy union. THE potency of physical attraction indicates a high potential for passion and promise. It does not, however, guarantee a successful union.

One difficult person in a relationship will make it unstable  while two difficult individuals makes it impossible.  “You’re doomed”… no matter how similar your facial features are!

Below is an article on attraction.

http://www.liv.ac.uk/precinct/mar05/mar05.pdf (page 12)

This is a photo of David Letterman’s wife and mistress

both looking like each other and Mr. Letterman.

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