By Sandra Birungi
According to new research, men are more likely to date women who look like their mothers.
A Finnish study published in Evolutionary Psychology compared facial features of each person’s partner with the features of that individual’s parent of the opposite gender. Researchers found out that men are more likely to marry women who look like their mothers than women are to marry men who resemble their fathers.
The resemblance goes deeper than just physical, the research finds out. “It will be necessary to look beyond the physical and what appears on the surface (although that can be part of it) because that’s just window dressing…it is what’s found ‘underneath’ that really draws us to particular people — good and bad,” says Deanna Brann, Ph.D., author of Reluctantly Related. “If a man does not look at this issue, he will keep picking the same type of woman over and over again… so it’s important for the man to look at what it was about this other person that made him choose her as potential mate.”
“Typically, we notice differences, not similarities; i.e., a man is unlikely to notice the characteristics his girlfriend possesses which also belong to his mother. Since those particular qualities feel familiar to him, he probably assumes that all women are similar like that,” says Karin Anderson, Ph.D., author of It Just Hasn’t Happened Yet. “So a man is actually much more likely to notice any aspects of his girlfriend’s personality that are in direct contrast to those of his mother.”
Similarities range from the tone of voice, body language, word choice, behavior, how she treats you, the way she treats others, her mannerisms, the way you behave around her.
“Similarities strengthen relationships — the more a couple has in common, the less they have to fight about. And this is particularly true when it comes to shared values, since they are at the root of most of our thought patterns and decisions,” advises Dr. Anderson. “Men learn about values from their parents, so if a woman is like their mom, she’ll probably possess many of those same values — which can only enhance the potential for a successful, happy future.” And when it comes to familial relationships, positive similarities are like money in the bank. “If someone’s mom and girlfriend are two peas in a pod, they’re probably going to get along well, which will only make things easier for all parties involved.”