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|Why Him? Why Her? - Him Her 3|
"Why do you fall in love with one person rather than another?" This is what the executive team at Match.com wanted to know when I met with them two days after Christmas 2004 in New York City. Match.com is the world's largest Internet dating site. And I had been invited to spend the day with them, thinking.
"No one really knows," I responded.
Psychologists have determined that men and women tend to fall in love with individuals from the same ethnic and socioeconomic background; with those of a similar level of intelligence, education and physical attractiveness; with individuals holding similar religious, political and social values; and with those who have a similar sense of humor. We also fall in love when the timing is right; and often with someone who lives or works nearby. We tend to fall in love with someone who provides us with the things we need. And people often fall in love with those who are in love with them.
But, as I told the Match.com executives, how two individual personalities match up remains unknown. People do not necessarily court, live with or marry someone with similar or different personality traits. In fact, some 470 studies have examined the mesh of two personalities in a marriage. And psychologist Marcel Zentner summed up these data, saying, "Preference for similarity in personality characteristics varies substantially across traits and individuals." As he put it, "How two personalities may be best combined in a relationship remains at present an unresolved issue."
Yet your choice of mate will color every aspect of your life: your morning conversations in bed and at the breakfast table; your friendships, family reunions and weekend frolics; where you live; how you raise your children; most likely even your career. And certainly this choice will affect your tomorrows. Those babies you are likely to produce and send forth to multiply are your genetic future. Only a few times in your life will you mix your seed with that of another and pitch your DNA toward infinity.
So whom you choose matters.