Does similarity breed attraction in romantic relationships?


The association between perceived similarity and liking for a romantic partner was examined in college students’ relationships over the course of one year. Despite substantial evidence that similarity breeds attraction, perceived attribute similarity was positively correlated with liking only in high commitment relationships. In low-commitment relationships, perceived dissimilarity was associated with greater liking and with maintenance of liking over time, consistent with Aron and Aron’s (1997) self-expansion model. Relationship status (ongoing or ended) after one year was primarily explained by commitment at time 1. However, high perceived similarity appeared to buffer couples against destructive accommodation responses; relatively destructive responses were associated with ended status only when perceived similarity was low.
Source: “‘Similarity breeds liking’ revisited: The moderating role of commitment” from Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol. 22, No. 6, 817-836 (2005)

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