This is why you are Attracted to People who Look Like You

If you’ve ever been told that you look like your partner or best friend then you’ll enjoy these unexpected insights into the science behind why this might be the case.

I’d like you to visualise your close friends and loved ones for a moment.  OK, now let me ask you something about them – do they look like you at all? If the answer is yes then I may have a scientific explanation.

The fact is, although you have probably heard of the saying “opposites attract”, when it comes to psychological research this theory is generally not supported. Research suggests that it is actually similarities that help us connect with other people and here are 4 fascinating related insights to share with you.

The first comes from the University of Kansas who found that people who rated each other more positively generally had similar personality types. Secondly, in 2014, researchers at the University of Colorado found, incredibly, that people who rated each other as more attractive or felt more connected to each other also had similar DNA profiles (and that is a really odd one as it is obviously totally unconscious).  Thirdly, and the main insight this week, comes from 2010 where psychologists found that when it comes to romance and physical attraction we actually do tend to find people more attractive who look like us (or a member of our family). It is quite narcissistic in a way isn’t it – I like you because you look like me!

The final piece of research suggest that if you don’t look like your partner right now, you might do in the future because in the 1980s Robert Zajonc, a psychologist at the University of Michigan suggested that, over 25 years, people in a loving relationship began to look more like each other. So, does your partner look like you? Maybe, maybe not, but they might do in a quarter of a century!

Please don’t forget to share this vlog on social media and I’ll be back in a week’s time with some more Meetology – helping you thrive, professionally and personally, by making social skills one of your superpowers!

Jonathan Bradshaw
The Meetology® Lab


Bahns, Angela J., et al. “Similarity in relationships as niche construction: Choice, stability, and influence within dyads in a free choice environment.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 112.2 (2017): 329.

Zajonc, Robert B., et al. “Convergence in the physical appearance of spouses.” Motivation and emotion 11.4 (1987): 335-346

Fraley, R. Chris, and Michael J. Marks. “Westermarck, Freud, and the incest taboo: Does familial resemblance activate sexual attraction?.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 36.9 (2010): 1202-1212.




About the Author:

Jonathan Bradshaw presents and trains internationally on the fascinating psychology powering exceptional interpersonal communication. He is Founder of the Meetology® Lab and leads the company’s team of behavioral psychologists in collating and sharing cutting-edge research on exceptional people skills. As an experienced and engaging keynote speaker Jon has presented at conferences and business events in over 30 countries and is an award-winning columnist and blogger. Learn more about him speaking at your next event via or connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.