The Grapevine

Why Do New Partners Often Feel Like Our Exes?

Have you ever felt that sense of déjà vu when you find a new partner, or when you get introduced to a new one by a friend or a relative?

As it turns out, science has an explanation for that inescapable sense of familiarity, and it’s as simple as having a type. So while that feeling of “have I met you before?” is perfectly valid, it’s more along the lines of “I see similarities in us that might mean we can get along.” You get the picture.

Just my type

In a new study, psychologists were able to establish that when it comes to finding a partner to share a romantic interest with, people usually go for others that have a personality similar to their own. As a result, people’s former and new partners have a tendency to be quite similar in character, which will explain why it never felt like Jason went away even though Karen broke up with him two months ago and has dated another guy since.

“The results revealed a significant degree of distinctive partner similarity, suggesting that there may indeed be a unique type of person each individual ends up with,” said the study authors, adding that these results can also be instrumental in both finding out who’s more likely to end up with whom and finding out the success rate of that relationship.

Interestingly, there is another theory made by Geoff MacDonald, a co-author of the study from the University of Toronto. According to him, what you are doing in the relationship can contribute more to the likelihood of relationships failing rather than the similarities your partner has with your previous one.

Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, also said that in regards to opposites getting attracted with each other, there is still much debate. Per Dunbar, people just stick with those familiar to them, which explains why people make friends with others who share the same interests as them.

“After all, for a relationship to last, whether its a friendship or a romantic relationship, you really need to be interested in the same things and have the same attitudes to life – otherwise you just end up arguing all the time,” he added.

Partners Your risk of chronic pain could depend on your partner. Photo courtesy of Pexels