New Study Finds Link Between Similarity in Personality and Relationship Satisfaction Among Dating and Married Couples

Findings Appear in the July Issue of the Journal of Personality and Social


Aug 06, 2007, 01:00 ET from eHarmony Labs

    PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new research
 study, the more similar married and dating couples are in their
 personalities and emotions the more satisfied they are with their
 relationship. The findings appear in the July issue of the Journal of
 Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological
 Association (APA).
     Dr. Gian C. Gonzaga, Sr. Research Scientist at eHarmony Labs, and
 co-authors Belinda Campos and Thomas Bradbury, both of the University of
 California, Los Angeles, report findings from two studies in this paper.
 The first study analyzed a cross-sectional sample of dating couples, while
 the second followed newlywed married couples over the course of a year
 early in their marriage. Both studies measured the partners' personalities,
 the emotions they felt when speaking to each other, and how satisfied they
 were with their relationship.
     Key Findings
     -- Dating and married partners were more similar to each other than to
        other people.
     -- The more similar partners were in their personality or emotional
        experience the more satisfied they were with their relationship.
     -- Newlywed couples who became more similar in personalities and emotions
        were less likely to experience a decline in relationship satisfaction
        early in their marriage.
     -- Similarity in personality likely effects relationship satisfaction by
        shaping couples day to day emotional experience in ways that have
        significant impact on the relationship.
     "Over the years, researchers have increasingly found that similarity
 between partners relates to better relationship functioning," said Dr.
 Gonzaga. "Our research adds to this by providing a reason why similarity
 promotes better relationships. Partners who are similar in broad
 dispositions, like personality, are more likely to feel the same way in
 their day-to-day lives. This may make it easier for partners to understand
 each other." Gonzaga added, "The most interesting finding is that newlywed
 couples who became more similar over time had relationships that were
 stronger than those who became less similar over time. These longitudinal
 changes provide compelling evidence for the positive effects of similarity
 on relationships."
     About eHarmony Labs
     eHarmony Labs is the only industry laboratory of its kind researching
 the initiation, growth and maintenance of life's most important
 relationships. In-person research is conducted within a laboratory setting,
 featuring four observational rooms and a state-of-the-art digital video
 control room. eHarmony Labs is comprised of a staff of five PhD
 researchers, all of whom are recognized experts on human relationships.

SOURCE eHarmony Labs