The results could lead to a fundamental change in understanding relationship formation and it sounds a warning for the idea that couples can change each other over time, researchers said.

The study found that people in relationships do not change each other over time. Instead, the evidence places new emphasis on the earliest moments of a relationship showing that future friends or partners are already similar at the outset of their social connection, researchers said.

"Picture two strangers striking up a conversation on a plane, or a couple on a blind date," said Angela Bahns from Wellesley College in US.

"From the very first moments of awkward banter, how similar the two people are is immediately and powerfully playing a role in future interactions. Will they connect? Or walk away? Those early recognitions of similarity are really consequential in that decision," said Bahns.

Whether or not a relationship develops could depend on the level of similarity the two individuals share from the beginning of their meeting.

"You try to create a social world where you are comfortable, where you succeed, where you have people you can trust and with whom you can cooperate to meet your goals," said Chris Crandall from University of Kansas in US.

 

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