A new national poll by Monmouth University is challenging that old adage that opposites attract saying that we actually want to be in a relationship with someone who is just like us! According to the poll, two-thirds of Americans believe that there is a special person out there who they are meant to be with and that most Americans feel that their ideal mate is someone who is basically similar to themselves – and for most people that means a level-headed decision-maker who will be their best friend.
The poll also shows that, “women who are currently in a relationship (82%) are the most likely to believe in the idea of soulmates. A smaller majority of men in a relationship (64%) feel the same. Among adults who are not currently in a relationship, just over half of women (53%) and just under half of men (47%) say they believe in the idea of soulmates.”
Dr. Gary Lewandowski, professor and chair of psychology at Monmouth University and founder of Scienceofrelationships.com, says, “The research indicates that those who believe in soulmates and destiny, are actually more likely to break up. On the other hand, those who believe that relationships grow over time have more stable relationships and are better at dealing with conflict.”
Here are some other interesting findings from the study:
- 52% say their partner should be somewhat similar to them while 29% said somewhat different.
- 51% say their partner should be equally as smart, 26% say slightly smarter, and only 3% said they’d marry someone less smart.
- When it comes to making decisions 66% rely on their head and 26% make decisions with their gut.
- 83% consider their partner to be their best friend while 14% say somebody else.
Dr. Lewandowski adds, “Considering your romantic partner to be your best friend is an important component of quality relationships. In fact, when researchers asked couples who have been married over 15 years why their relationship lasted, the top reason was that their partner is their best friend.” He also says that being more similar helps minimize conflict.
When it comes to political leanings, the poll found partisan divide also impacts how we view our relationships. Self-described Republicans (65%) are more likely than independents (57%) and Democrats (52%) to say they are extremely satisfied with their current relationship. Also, Republicans (91%) are somewhat more likely than independents (78%) and Democrats (83%) to say their partner is their best friend.
“These differences may be attributable to Republican’s placing greater value on marriage. As a result, Republicans may be more motivated to see relationships more positively,” says Dr. Lewandowski.