Which personality falls in love most

Couple research: like to join together? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that!

How should you get to know someone here? It's Monday evening and the “Van Gogh” in Berlin-Mitte is so full that you immediately step on the feet of several people. Not exactly the kind of physical contact that is the beginning of a great love. Emilio apologizes to a young woman he accidentally bumped into, but she doesn't even turn to him. Emilio looks at the slip of paper that he receives from his hand at the entrance to the bar. “May the force be with you!” It says on it.

"As an icebreaker," said the woman at reception and tapped the slip of paper with the phrase from "Star Wars". “Find the one who fits your movie quote.” Emilio's real life isn't Emilio, and like most others, he's a little uncomfortable being here. Like most of the others, he would be home alone on a Monday night. The business scientist came to Germany from Ecuador six months ago to find work. And a woman.

The partner exchange neu.de has invited to the “Van Gogh” - to enable its members to get to know each other in a “casual and relaxed atmosphere”. This is what it says in the description of the neu.de events that have been taking place in several cities across Germany for about a year. "For me, online dating is actually nothing," says Emilio. But he always reads the invitations to the events. And today he thought: Why not go there?

Getting to know people is not easy here in Germany, says Emilio. At first he just approached interesting women on the street. No problem at all in South America. “But the people here looked at me like I was crazy.” Complicated, the Germans. He's right about that. Last year neu.de published a survey. For this “LoveGeist study”, more than 10,500 singles in Europe were surveyed, and it turned out that the German singles are the most demanding.

Two thirds of them expect their partner not only to have the same level of education as they do, but also to have the same taste in music and even the same food preferences. For the French and Spanish, this is only important for around half. Germans are also picky about the language. 80 percent demand that one should have the same mother tongue. In Sweden and Spain this is only half as much. It is not easy for someone like Emilio in Germany.

Gone up on an illusion

But equal and equal like to join, right? Everyone somehow believes it - because it seems so obvious that two people who are similar are a good match. "Intuitively you would think: Yes, of course, it is logical that the same and the same attract each other," says Jule Specht, junior professor for personality psychology at the Free University of Berlin. In fact, this is not only intuitively obvious to laypeople, a whole mountain of scientific studies has confirmed this assumption.

People with similar personalities, attitudes, life goals or interests not only find each other more attractive, but also lead particularly satisfactory and stable relationships. This realization has been a dogma in relationship research for the past 60 years. The only problem is: it's not true. Science is under an illusion. This illusion did not arise in the minds of the researchers, but in those of their test subjects, whom they had so diligently tested all over the world.

The test subjects stated that they liked someone because they were so similar to them. And the researchers had concentrated on finding out how much and what similarity caused how much erotic attraction. In addition, they initially forgot to examine whether the alleged similarity actually existed or was only imagined.

Because there are such imaginations, says Jule Specht: What counts when something sparks between two people is not the real similarity between them - but only the impression that one is similar. In reality, people can be very different. But if they feel they are similar in many ways, it leads to greater sympathy. It was only in recent years that it became clear that the perceived similarity can differ greatly from the actual similarity - when psychologists began to change their research methods and to check what was true of the similarity claimed by the test subjects.