Why Do Couples Begin To Look Alike In A Marriage After Decades Of Living Together?

Working On the Marriage | |
Updated On: December 28, 2023
couples that look alike

Take a look at our grandparents, our parents or a close uncle and aunt. They do not look like each other literally, yet they look alike in their appearance, dressing styles even their habits. Be it their way of communication, the way they dress or their habits in general, they have such striking similarities! They make us wonder if couples that look alike stay together.

We are talking couples who have been living together for decades not just a few months or years.  After being together for that long, these couples kind of imprint on each other and begin to look alike. No. Not mirror image alike. But enough for them to remind us of each other.

As per an experiment conducted by psychologist Robert Zajonc from the University of Michigan, couples had grown to look like each other over a period of time. He analysed 25 couple photos and made a comparison between the way they looked on their wedding day and the way they looked 25 years later. In fact, couples that look alike were happier!

Couples look-alike psychology- Did they always resemble each other?

There is a research done by psychologist R. Chris Fraley at the University of Illinois on couples look alike psychology which suggests that ‘like attracts like’. Simply put, people tend to find their soulmates who are very similar to themselves. People tend to find similarity in not just their thoughts or beliefs but also dressing style, eating habits and other lifestyle habits like exercising.

If you’re a fitness freak, chances are your partner will be too. The same holds true if you’re a foodie.

Even if we stay in the most luxurious hotel in the world, there is a warm, comfortable feeling in one’s own home. This is exactly what people do, unknowingly, when they look for a soul mate. They tend to get attracted to people who remind them of themselves or their families.

Why Do Couples Look Alike?

So, if you’re wondering “why do I look like my significant other?’, the simple answer would be because couples with similar personalities attract each other and tend to stay together which leads to similar mannerisms.

Read on to find out why couples who look alike stay together!

1. The DNA effect

People generally tend to marry within their religion and specifically in their castes. If we tend to marry in the same community/caste/state/city, chances are that we will share some genetic similarities with our partner.

For example, if you’re a wheatish woman from say, Dehradun, looking for a partner from Deharadun, chances are you’ll have some basic genetic similarities in the limited gene pool of the city.

Even when we don’t realise, we tend to get attracted to people who share commonalities with us. For instance, imagine if you meet a person from the same state as you, it’s an instant conversation starter! And if they fit your type and you hit it off, you will be much more likely to make a long-term commitment to them since you trust them more.

This may be one of the reasons why couples look alike.

Partner sliping the ring
The DNA effect

2. Two peas in a pod

Living together for decades, couples tend to follow a routine lifestyle, making them very familiar with each other’s habits, likes and dislikes. Couples often change or modify themselves as per their better halves’ habits or requirements to make life smoother.

This, in many cases, also starts reflecting on people’s body language making them look or behave similarly in situations. You mirror your partner’s movements, start picking up their lingo and the way they talk, you might even start adopting their eating habits.

3. The good times and the bad

30 or 40 years is a long time and any two individuals who have been through this period together have faced life together; which means they have been happy during the graduations and birthday parties and sad during the funerals. So, couples who look like each other have been through a lot together.

These result in to couples developing similar face lines, making them, believe it or not, look alike. Next time you meet your grandparents, really study their faces and you will know couples that look alike

stay together.

4. Food habits matter

Couples who look alike eat alike! Eating habits is another factor which contributes to this phenomenon. People under the same roof tend to eat a certain type of food – too oily, too healthy or too spicy. If you’re a foodie, mostly, your partner will be a foodie too.

More on marriage

Related Reading: 10 Proven Ways  To Show Someone You Love Them

The human body reacts to food in a similar way for a man or a woman. But more than physical attributes, it creates the same effect on behaviour. For example, it is believed that people who eat a lot of spicy food are very hot-headed. Naturally, these factors contribute to one’s facial expressions, tonal modulations and the overall thought process.

5. Shopping

Couples shop together and while it may seem like a mundane thing, there is an exchange of thoughts and opinions that happens here. Over the years, couples start understanding their partner’s tastes in clothing and adapt themselves to dress in a particular way.

Heard about “twinning”? Well, the need to dress alike has been strong with couples since before twinning became a millennial trend. Couples who look alike often look this way because they have the same sense of style as their partners and a lot of times, voluntarily or involuntarily, end up dressing the same way.

6. Mind readers

This is especially true for people who have a 9-5 lifestyle. To run a successful household, there are tons of adjustments and give and take that happens on a daily basis to make it work. Naturally, couples get to know each other inside out and can literally predict each other’s thoughts.

Couple cooking together
Couples in a long marriage become like mind readers

So the next time if that old couple in your neighbourhood finishes each other’s sentences, don’t be annoyed, they can’t help it. You should rather be in awe of their bond and realise that couples that look alike stay together, forever!

7. Daddy’s girl

Several studies across the globe have concluded that women find a man attractive who bears similar qualities like that of their fathers. Ever heard of the Oedipus Complex or the Electra Complex? These theories given by well-renowned psychologists (ever heard of Freud?) suggest that both men and women develop an unconscious attraction towards their parents in the ages 3-6.

This is why we end up, knowingly or unknowingly, being attracted to people who tend to share similar looks/personality traits as our mothers or fathers. Fun fact: “daddy-issues” is an oversimplified version of this theory.

All the men reading this, you know you have got big shoes to fill in.

8. Picture Perfect

Symmetrical features are often considered attractive while selecting a life partner. People tend to go for someone who matches and compliments their physical personality. This can be a reason why couples who look alike end up together.

People tend to find attractiveness in partners that mirror their features to some extent. Everyone has a different view of what attractiveness stands for but attractiveness seems to be ingrained in our biology too.

So, no wonder then, that most couples resemble each other after decades of living together! Good news for all those people out there who look like their partners because couples that look alike stay together!

Ask Our Expert


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.