Do Opposites Attract?

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New research on the science of human attraction reveals that the answer changes based on life stages

But when we are considering someone to spend our life with, we find ourselves seeking someone who will complement ourselves rather than be exactly like us.

Has science proven that opposites attract? Dr. Helen Fisher, world-renowned biological anthropologist, best-selling author and Chief Scientific Advisor for Chemistry.com, has confirmed through her research that when it comes to choosing a life-long partner, opposites do indeed attract.

Dr. Fisher’s research explains that while many people date those who are similar to themselves, they often marry someone with a different or complementary chemical personality. In fact, according to a recent survey, 47% of single adults have ended a relationship with someone with whom they were very compatible, but had no chemistry (Harris Interactive, December 2005).

“Research has shown that when we are young and not looking to get married, we tend to date those who are like ourselves,” explains Fisher. “But when we are considering someone to spend our life with, we find ourselves seeking someone who will complement ourselves rather than be exactly like us.”

Dr. Fisher confirms that the instant feeling of attraction, which most of us call ‘chemistry,’ is actually a chemical reaction that takes place in the brain when opposites meet. She has theorized that people are drawn to those who have different personalities than themselves because novelty and mystery drive up the activity of dopamine in the brain – a neurotransmitter associated with romantic love. Through feedback from users of Chemistry.com, Dr. Fisher now has proof to support her claim.

“People have long questioned whether opposites attract and while I think there are things we all look to have in common with a partner such as similar socio-economic levels, goals and religious beliefs, people tend to be attracted to personality types that complement their own,” said Dr. Fisher. “This is fascinating as these different personality types will likely sustain romance and keep love percolating over time.”

Dr. Fisher’s personality profile questionnaire, which is available for free at Chemistry.com, is proven to accurately predict which chemical personality types will be most compatible with each other, and thus match people who will be most likely to form a lasting, loving relationship.

“We are thrilled to be able to incorporate Dr. Fisher’s research right into our service to provide our members with a valuable experience,” said Kristin Kelly, spokesperson for Chemistry.com. “Everyone wants to find someone special and fall in love. Our goal is to provide people with connections that will lead to an enduring relationship.”

About Chemistry.com

Chemistry.com (http://www.chemistry.com) is the first relationship site to recognize that chemistry is essential to a successful, enduring relationship. Chemistry.com offers a fundamentally different approach that combines the benefits of online matching with the power of face-to-face meetings, where the true test of chemistry occurs. Chemistry.com features the patent-pending Chemistry Profile™ personality assessment and 1-2-3 Meet™, a guided introduction process developed from insight gained from one of the most extensive consumer research studies of single adults ever conducted.

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Liz Entwistle
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