Spouses Tend to Choose Similar Looking Partners, Study Says

Research revealed that long-term couples resemble one another in the beginning of the relationship, not converge over time.
Deniz Yildiran

Out of more than seven billion in the world, you are one lucky guy if you have found the right person. Well, what scientists mean by right is actually the one that physically looks like you and shares many similar traits with you. 

Recent research conducted by scientists from Standford Unversity found out that couples in the first place tend to choose their romantic partners based on appearance similarities. The study's initial purpose was to have a second check on an existing hypothesis suggesting that long-term partners' facial appearance converges over time, due to a common environment, emotional mimicry, and synchronized activities.

Images of 517 white heterosexual couples have been used in the study, as researchers couldn't find enough samples of homosexual and non-white couples, sadly.

The study has been published in the journal Nature

Researchers examined the facial photos of 517 couples that were first captured at the beginning of their marriages (within two years) and another one taken 20 to 69 years later.


Turns out, couples had already looked like each other at first and their looks hadn't converged in time.

Researchers conducted two different methods to measure the facial similarities of selected couples. The first method relied on the human eye whereas the second one was based on a facial recognition algorithm. 

The pictures to be studied were chosen from public online sources: 392 newspaper wedding anniversary announcements, 102 Google Search results, and 23 public profiles from a genealogy website.

Then, pictures were processed in the same way to set a standard outline for each of them.

Both human judges and the algorithm were introduced with a target picture and six different images of random people at the beginning of their marriage and 20 to 69 years later, including the target's spouse. They were asked to rank the most similar to the target image to the least similar, out of six random ones. 

"Spouses’ faces tended to be similar but did not become more similar with time, regardless of the time span between the first and the second set of pictures," the study concluded, based on both the judges' and the algorithm's choices. 

What do you think? Does your significant one look like you too? 

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