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Couples Look Alike

Study Suggests Couples Actually Do Start Looking Alike

Good news for husbands, but potentially devastating news to wives. Science has evidently found that couples actually do start to look alike after years of being together. The research was conducted by Robert Zajonc, a psychologist out of the University of Michigan.

The report indicates that couples who initially bore no resemblance to each other began to share a resemblance after 25 years of marriage. The resemblance may be subtle, acknowledges the report, but it is still present.

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Couples Look Alike

To prove out the theory, Zajonc presented people with a random array of photographs of faces and then asked them to match the men and women who most closely resemble each other. Young couples showed only a little resemblance, but those that had been married for 25 years or more had a much different result. From wrinkles to facial contours, similarities started popping up. Zajonc reports that these similarities come about because of years of shared emotions as well as similar diets (the diets result in similar deposits of fatty tissues, affecting facial contours). The real resemblance comes from empathetically mimicking the facial expressions of spouses. “Facial mimicry allows a truer empathy because it triggers the same inner state. Couples can understand each other much better when this happens,” explains Zajonc. Paul Ekman, a psychologist at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco, supports the idea of couples looking alike: “Common life experiences over years and years can alter facial musculature and wrinkle patterns, leading to an increased resemblance.”

Whether it’s a good thing that couples start to look alike or a bad thing is up for debate, but it does appear that this old adage actually has some truth to it. While many husbands may not mind looking more like their wives, however, can the same be said for how wives feel about the news?

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STAFF WRITER

Mr Mark Jessen

Mark Jessen studied English at Brigham Young University, completing a double emphasis in creative writing and professional writing/editing. After graduating, Mark went to work for a small publisher as their book editor. After a brief time as a freelance writer, Mark entered the corporate world as a copywriter. These days, his hours are spent mostly in proofing and editing, though he continues to create content for a wide variety of projects. In 2017, Mark completed UCLA's Creative Writing Certification. A prolific writer, Mark has over 20 years of experience in journalism.