According to a study led by Polish psychologist Robert Zajonc, the longer you’re with someone, the more you start to look like each other. The researchers came to this conclusion after examining the photographs of 24 couples who originally bore no particular resemblance to eah other. And after 25 years of spending time together, the results showed that there is indeed an increase in facial similarities.
As we spend more time with our significant other, we tend to adopt their facial expressions. This could alter our physical appearance over a long period of time, researchers claim, thus making our physical features more similar with our romantic partners.
“The implication holds further that two people who live with each other for a longer period of time, by virtue of repeated empathic mimicry, would grow physically similar in their facial features. Kin resemblance, therefore, may not be simply a matter of common genes but also a matter of prolonged social contact,” the researchers stressed.
Even Dr. Joy-Alvi R. Arañas, counseling psychologist at St. Joseph Village in Bacoor City, agrees, explaining that people often unconsciously mimic their partner, which shapes the face and behavior similarly.
“Individuals who have been in a relationship for the longest time tend to mimic each other’s facial expressions,” he notes. “This is why the longer the couple stays together, the more they tend to have the same mannerisms, gestures, and tone of voice.”
He adds that shared experiences may be a contributing factor to facial resemblance among couples as well. Experiencing the same emotional states with someone close to you may have significant influences in the way you react to situations, which leaves similar lines on your faces.
Dr. Joy Alvi R. Aranas, RPsy, RGC is a counseling psychologist from Pathways Counseling and Assessment Center. For consultation, you can visit him at 718 Sunday Street St. Joseph Village, Panapaan, City of Bacoor, Cavite.