New research by social psychologists at the University of Toronto suggests that there is a consistency between individuals’ past and current romantic partners.
"It's common that when a relationship ends, people attribute the breakup to their ex-partners personality and decide they need to date a different type of person, our research suggests there's a strong tendency to nevertheless continue to date a similar personality."
- Says lead author Yoobin Park, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts & Science at U of T.
Using data of 9 years of study in Germany researchers examined how similar are a person's ex and current partners using the partners’ self-reported personality profiles. The research tested on a representative sample of adolescents, young adults, and midlife individuals in Germany.
They also found that these findings are weaker about people who are high on extravagance or openness to experience. Suggesting that these people may be less likely to date with persons similar to their ex.
For instance, the standards which people choose their partners, even ideal partners specificity based on tend to remain without change.
The odd thing is why people start a new relationship with a person with the same characteristics while their past relationship was not satisfactory and they have the motivation to update preferences.
One possible answer is that people occupy in the environment with others of a particular personality, thus selecting from these consistent environments results in consistent partner personality.
There are some ways you can keep your relationship healthy based on the research:
-In each relationship, people learn strategies to deal with their partners personality, these findings may help you start a good footing new relationship.
- If you find yourself involved with the same issue, thinking about the preferences which make you attracted to a personality trait in a partner can be a nice help.
After coming out of a relationship, people think they have a better idea for choosing their future partner, but studies show there is consistency between the personality of ex-partner and new partner of a person. This suggests that people usually engage in relationships with a particular type of person. These findings seem to be less true of persons high in extraversion, although these conclusions remain tentative.
Journal Reference: Yoobin Park, Geoff MacDonald. Consistency between individuals' past and current romantic partners' own reports of their personalities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 10, 2019;