Dating people like your parent

06-Oct-2020 13:20

I found that the women who reported a better relationship with their parents after puberty were more likely to be attracted to partners with similar eye colour to them.

In contrast, if a woman was close to her parents earlier in life, she was actually less likely to prefer the eye colour of her parents in a partner.

Perhaps we are seeing the actions of both positive and negative sexual imprinting at work. If we’re finding preferences for parental resemblance across different populations, then what is the biological explanation for this behaviour?

It turns out that coupling up with a distant family member seems to be the best bet, biologically, to produce a large number of healthy children.

One possibility is that if you are attracted to people who look like your parents, then chances are you may get a crush on distant relatives.

This might give you better chances of more healthy children, and so this behaviour persists.

People who report more positive childhood relationships with a parent are more likely to be attracted to partners who resemble that parent. Freud believed that children have a suppressed desire for their parents.

But this branch of research doesn’t in any way show that we secretly desire our parents, just that we simply tend to be attracted to people who resemble them to some extent.

To test this, I asked heterosexual adult women about their relationships with their parents at different ages during their development, and I assessed how much their current preferences matched up with the appearance of their parents.more Have you ever thought there was an uncanny family resemblance between your friend and her partner?

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