Why Are People Attracted to Each Other? The Answer Is Symmetry

Updated on January 7, 2019
Layne Holmes profile image

Layne is interested in energy work and exploring the often unexplainable.

You're attracted to people who look like you.
You're attracted to people who look like you. | Source

What Attracts People to Each Other?

Surely we know all of the rules of attraction—aphrodisiacs, body shape, attire, status, confidence, intelligence, good genes—the list goes on. We've also probably delved into concepts like facial symmetry, love compatibility, and even astrology. But the answer to why people are attracted to each other is far more simple: We are attracted to people whose features mirror us. Let's go ahead and break it down.

It's Not About Eye Color, Hair Color, and Skin Color

It's about structure. Although according to Psychology Today, we undergo a process called imprinting. That is, if we had a positive relationship with our parent of the opposite sex, we tend to be attracted to individuals who share their traits. This may include physical traits (often similar to our own), such as eye color and hair color. Similarly, women tend to choose partners whose body types most similarly represent their father.

Two attracted individuals often mirror each other—and this is independent of hair color, eye color, and ancestry.

We Are Attracted to People Who Look Like Us

Matthew Robinson, Ph.D. at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, took a look at physical and genetic markers and came to the following conclusion. According to Sciencemag.org:

People had actively chosen partners with similar genes to themselves . . . . This is evidence in humans of assortative mating, which is a form of sexual selection in which individuals with similar traits mate with one another more frequently than would be expected under a random mating.

What About Outbreeding?

But this data does conflict with what nature favors—genetic diversity. Recent publications comment on the superiority of "mixed-genes." According to a study referenced in The Guardian involving 350,000 individuals from around 100 communities across four continents, "outbreeding" produced taller and more intelligent offspring. The benefit of outbreeding further supports the outstanding evidence that attraction is based on symmetry—not in a lone individual's face, but between two partners.

Mirror Images and Attraction

Two attracted individuals often mirror each other—and this is independent of hair color, eye color, and ancestry. This has to do with face shape, bone structure, body structure, and facial features. We will break this concept down by featuring two highly public couples: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as well as George Clooney and Amal Clooney.

Mirror Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have similar features.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have similar features. | Source
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; the yellow markers indicate similarities.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; the yellow markers indicate similarities. | Source

Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Attracted to Each Other

We all know that Prince Harry is a "ginger" of fair complexion (white), and Meghan Markle is biracial (black and white); these two clearly have different complexions. We can rationalize that their genetic backgrounds are likely dissimilar—so it is unlikely that they selected each other due to genetic "likeness."

If we take a superficial look at their photos, we will notice some striking similarities:

  • Face shape: Both have a similar face shape and jaw line. The proportions of their faces—their lips, nose, eye spacing and forehead length are similar as well.
  • Ear shape: Their ears sit similarly on their heads and their lobes are similar as well.
  • Nose shape: One could agree that both individuals have a similar length nose and of similar shape.
  • Smile and mouth shape: Both individuals have a similar smile—with somewhat pronounced canines.
  • Eye shape: When smiling, both Harry and Meghan's eyes and eyebrow shape behave similarly—their eyes tend to narrow but communicate similar emotions.
  • Mannerisms: Their expression is similar and candid.

Observe the Markers

The yellow markers are simply there to help you visualize the points of similarity although many other similarities can be noted.

Mirror Images

George Clooney and Amal Clooney
George Clooney and Amal Clooney | Source
George Clooney and Amal Clooney
George Clooney and Amal Clooney | Source

Why George Clooney and Amal Clooney Are Attracted to Each Other

George Clooney has been the movie industry's heartthrob for decades, thanks to his mannerisms and good looks. He finally settled down with a beautiful and intelligent woman. His Irish, German, and English heritage is quite different from Amal Clooney's Lebanese heritage. But if you take a closer look at the two of them, you will notice striking similarities:

  • Face shape: Both have a similar face oval/long face shape and square chin. The proportions of their faces—lips, nose, forehead length are similar as well.
  • Ear shape: This photo doesn't represent it well, but both have similar ear shapes and earlobes.
  • Nose shape: The terminal part of the nose and length are nearly identical.
  • Smile and mouth shape: Both individuals have a similar top lip and a very "flat"/filed-down upper row of teeth.
  • Eye shape: Eyebrow shape/effect and eye shape are similar.
  • Mannerisms: You may note that paired individuals exhibit similar mannerisms (hence the comparable expression).

Observe the Markers

The yellow markers are simply there to help you visualize the points of similarity although many other similarities can be noted.

Video: Similar Mannerisms in George and Amal Clooney

Do You and Your Partner Mirror Each Other?

The more you investigate the mirroring or symmetry of couples, the more this trend becomes apparent. Do you and your partner mirror each other? If you're still not convinced, take a look at more famous couples—another good example is Haley Baldwin and Justin Beiber.

Just because symmetry and attraction is present, this doesn't mean a couple is destined to be, as all relationships take work—but it will get you noticed. What are your thoughts?

Video: Similar Mannerisms

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Layne Holmes

    Do you see the similarity?

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      • Ellison Hartley profile image

        Ellison Hartley 

        5 months ago from Maryland, USA

        Yea, I was going to say, now I'm going to start to notice it since you pointed it out and made it so easy to identify.

      • Layne Holmes profile imageAUTHOR

        Layne Holmes 

        5 months ago from Bend, Oregon

        Hi Ellison, thanks so much for that feedback! I've shared it with a few people and now they really watch for bone structure similarities—it's quite interesting once you start noticing! Of course, not always the case but the majority of times . . .

      • Ellison Hartley profile image

        Ellison Hartley 

        5 months ago from Maryland, USA

        This is so interesting! I love the photo comparisons you did with the lines drawn to make it more clear!

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