Spouses Might Not Grow More Alike With Time After All, Study Says

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Spend enough time with someone and you’ll grow to be just like them, the conventional wisdom goes. But is it really true? A new study from Michigan State University suggests not.

Instead, those researchers say, most people simply choose to marry like-minded others. In data covering more than 1,200 Minnesota couples, men and women who had been together for decades seemed no more similar to their spouses on personality tests than men and women who had been married for just a couple of years. But people were on the whole much more similar to their own spouses than they were to other people in the general population. Similarity between spouses is probably due less to shared experience, the researchers then say, and more to selection — people seeking some reflection of themselves in their mate.

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