One in five couples has nothing in common

Paula Abdul was right.

New research shows that opposites really do attract: One in five couples admit they have nothing in common – and, honestly, that’s okay.

A study of 2,000 adults in a relationship commissioned by British cable channel Sky Atlantic shows that 51% were attracted to their partner based on physical and vocal differences such as facial features, style and accents.

Almost 25% said they have different hobbies compared to their partner and 14% of respondents said their taste in music was on completely different wavelengths.

Whether couples have a lot in common or little to nothing in common, relationships are always about compromise. Of the adults surveyed, 22% admit that they have changed their interests to have something in common with their partner.


interracial couple
The study of 2,000 adults in a relationship found that 51% were attracted to their partner based on physical appearance.
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Some aspects can be challenging for couples who are complete opposites. 11% admit they find it difficult to plan things with their partner and 34% disagree with their significant other when making decisions.

Regardless of the differences, 51% of respondents say opposite relationships work best for them, and 73% believe differing interests can lead to more enriching conversations in a relationship.

The study also found that 24% of participants believe that couples with opposing views are more likely to stay together than those without.

Celebrity couples who are complete opposites include Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elon Musk and Grimes, and Bill Murray and Kelis, the findings say.

Douglas and Zeta-Jones have been married for 23 years.


Douglas and Zeta Jones
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones married in 2000.
AFP/Getty Images

Now a current one report from the University of Colorado Boulder debunks the idea that couples don’t need to have anything in common to get along.

Psychological researchers have found “no convincing evidence” that opposites attract after examining case studies of several million couples dating back 100 years to 1903.

“Our results show that feathered birds are actually more likely to group together,” said author and psychology doctoral student Tanya Horwitz.

Extensive research analyzed over 130 personality traits such as political views, alcohol consumption, social behavior and age at first sexual intercourse. The analysis found that between 82% and 89% of partners are likely to have similarly challenging “opposites attract” sayings.


Couple cuddling
Another report challenges the idea that opposites attract, claiming that couples tend to be attracted to a partner who shares common interests.
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“These results suggest that even in situations where we feel like we have a choice about our relationships, there may be mechanisms going on behind the scenes that we are not fully aware of,” Horwitz added.

“We hope people can use this data to conduct their own analysis and learn more about how and why people end up in the relationships they have.”

Caroline Bleakley

Caroline Bleakley is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Caroline Bleakley joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Caroline Bleakley by emailing carolinebleakley@ustimetoday.com.

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