Home page Psychology blog Psychology News Falling into a Trap: When Choosing a New Partner, We Focus on an Image of the Ex

Falling into a Trap: When Choosing a New Partner, We Focus on an Image of the Ex

29.07.2019 Author: Psychologist Pavel Khoroshutin
The type of a former person

Putting an end to a broken relationship, we often convince ourselves that the time has come for something different and try to look for a partner who is opposite the one we parted from. Yet still, subconsciously, we are looking for a similar person. Canadian researchers have found that most people do this.

Researchers from the University of Toronto analysed data from a long-term study of couples from Germany of different ages and compared the personal characteristics of the former and current partners of 332 people. 

As part of the study, participants made self-reports – they answered questions and noted their traits based on the Big Five (CANOE) model: conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion. An analysis of the data obtained showed that in most cases the former and current partners of the same person had similar character traits. 

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Of course, there are exceptions to any rule. The results of the analysis also showed that bright extroverts and people who are open to new experiences are less inclined to choose the same type of partners and like to experiment in relationships.

There is a positive side in stability when choosing a partner. It is the ability to use the existing skills of interaction with a person of a similar personality type to avoid the mistakes of past relationships and set the right mood in a new one.