Since you became a couple, have you noticed any changes in yourself? Did you unwittingly absorb your partner’s personality or vice versa?
There’s no denying that couples start acting and looking alike the longer they are in a relationship. I suppose, like everything else, there has to be some form of psychology behind it. However, I’m no psychologist and can only jot down what I’ve observed and experienced.
I’m not saying you lose your unique sense of identity when you form a partnership with someone. On the contrary, you tend to fuse both unique personalities to create one living, breathing organism. By aligning your goals and appearances, you get onto each other’s wavelengths and reach an unmistakable understanding and bond with one another.
Some people project this fusion by dressing alike, talking alike, or changing their entire mindset to connect better with their partner. These tweaks vary according to the couple, and there are undoubtedly situations in which both refuse to change anything about themselves. Perhaps this is why couples end up breaking up.
Maybe the secret to a happy relationship is to continuously stay on each other’s wavelengths. However, let’s not get too into that right now, because we could go on for days analyzing what makes a relationship work and what doesn’t.
How do couples start behaving alike?
In case you haven’t noticed, there are 8 uncanny things people start doing alike when they’re in a relationship. Take a step back, and see how many of these apply to you and your partner. If you must know, I counted 4 similarities, myself.
#1 Speaking alike. I don’t know about you, but I started speaking like my partner. I’m not saying I miraculously sprouted a French accent and ignored my H’s, but I started using expressions that I never thought I would use. The same can be said for him. He has taken on randomly throwing the word “lah” behind his sentences. In case you were wondering, “lah” is a suffix used by Malaysians to spice up and amplify a sentence.
Whether it comes to slang, lingo, or expressions, there is no denying that the more time you spend with your partner, the more likely it is that you will start sounding alike. The thing is, you won’t even realize it until someone points it out.
#2 Dressing similarly. Another uncanny thing that people start doing alike when they’re in a relationship is dressing alike, or at the very least dressing to get in line with their partner’s tastes. For example, my friend Nicholas became preppy for his girlfriend, Natalia. He started off as a college kid full of angst, with a closet full of Nirvana t-shirts. Five years with a trust fund beauty turned him into the poster child for Ralph Lauren, complete with polo shirts and boat shoes.
Perhaps the change in fashion preferences has a lot to do with trying to look good for your partner. The more compliments you get when you wear a certain outfit, the more likely you are to wear it again. But you might not immediately notice the fact that the outfits your partner compliments are those in line with their personal tastes.
#3 Aligning downtime interests. There is a very high chance that couples will start to love the same books, movies, documentaries, music, and pretty much anything else that you can pass the time doing. After all, spending that much time together will invariably make you interested in what your partner is into and vice versa.
To be fair, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. If being with someone is going to open you up to new experiences and interests, then the relationship is certainly good for you. Just be sure not to indulge too much in each other’s vices, because we all know that when one partner falls down the rabbit hole, the other will, too. [Read: Do couples always have to like the same things?]
#4 Taking on similar mannerisms. Similar to speaking alike, couples also tend to take on similar mannerisms. From being extremely expressive with your hands, to using certain facial expressions, you’d be surprised by just how much your partner can influence you when it comes to nonverbal communication.
#5 Thinking alike. Although people tend to have specific stances when it comes to certain things, there’s no denying that your partner can and will influence the way you see the world.
An example would be my friends, Tasha and Vas. Besides transforming her appearance to become an “urban hippie,” Tasha also has very different views on marijuana now that she’s dating a doobie-smoking hipster. From preaching, “Marijuana is a drug!” to chants of “Legalize it, it’s only a plant!” this is just one example that shows how being with someone can change the way we think.
#6 Similar food appreciation. Whether it is rediscovering old favorites served in a different way, or trying and loving something brand new, couples in relationships tend to have similar food cravings. Perhaps certain dishes and restaurants bring back memories of a first date and so on, but in general, couples tend to attune their sense of taste to cater to their partner’s.
I never thought I would crave choucroute, an Alsatian dish with sauerkraut, sausages, and salted meat. My partner, on the other hand, never thought he would miss yam dumplings. However, when you’re in love with someone, you tend to open your mind and palate to new foods and make them a part of your all-time-favorites list.
#7 Working toward the same goals. Whether it’s saving money for that romantic Europe trip, or taking out a loan together to buy an apartment, people tend to tweak their life goals to comfortably include their partner when making plans for the future. [Read: Things to talk about in a perfect relationship]
#8 Aligning their sense of humor. One may still be way funnier than the other, but you will find that both have the same idea of what counts as funny. Laughing can, indeed, be contagious. It’s contagious enough to have you laughing in fits over something you previously found absolutely corny, all because your partner can’t suppress their laughter, either.
At the end of the day, it is completely normal to want to expand your horizons and absorb your partner’s good traits. Just remember not to lose sight of who you really are.