Sharing similar personalities is not a predictor for long term relationship happiness, according to a new study out of Michigan State University.
The study looked at 2,500 couples across their lifespan and found there are a few key personality traits that directly correlate to life and relationship happiness.
But having similar interests? Not so much.
Dr. William Chopick is a researcher on the study. He said the findings fly in the face of a lot of the ways we think about relationships.
“I mean that’s kind of what we look for in partners and what dating websites sell us: someone who is compatible with us and shares our every interest, desire, and need.”
What’s baffling, Chopick said, is that scientists don’t really know why people end up together.
“We’re not exactly sure why two people end up together which seems really baffling because we’ve been working at this questions for a really long time, but one of the cool things ours study does is it actually rules out one of those things. Namely that we need to be similar to our partner in terms of personality.”
Chopick said there are several of - what he considers - obvious personality traits that are strong predictors of relationship happiness including: responsibility, emotional stability, and kindness.
He said neuroticism on the other hand, is a negative predictor of happiness.