1. Diet. If you share your diet with another person it’s possible this is the cause. For example if both partners eat a high fat diet, both their faces will tend to look chubby. The authors, however, ruled this out using an additional small study.
2. Environment. It could be that it’s because couples live together in the same area. This means that environmental factors such as sunshine and so on affect the skin in similar ways. The authors rule this one out as well because all their married couples came from the same part of the US Midwest and were matched on a number of other socioeconomic variables.
3. Predisposition. This is the idea that people are more likely to choose partners who will grow to look like them. E.g. depressed people are attracted to each other, so end up looking depressed. The authors give this one a maybe, although it is not their favourite option.
4. Empathy. This is the theory the authors like – and so do I. People grow to look similar because they are empathising with each other and so copying each other’s facial expressions. Over time because of all the empathising they are doing, their faces come to look more similar. For example, if one partner often smiles in a particular way, the other is likely to copy it – so creating similar patterns of wrinkles and furrows on the face.
So next time, you hear someone say “Para kayong pinagbiyak na bunga. ” Try to imagine hearing it 25 years later and decide whether it’s a compliment or the otherwise.
I believe this is not limited to the not-so platonic relationships, it happens to be true to you and your longtime friends. Right, Prinz?
This might also explain why I’m beginning to think that I’ll forever look like my father. They used to say that in the near future I might look like my mom–which is a compliment. But since she’s gone… Me and my dad will definitely look like 2 peas in a pod. *QUE HORROR*
Dad, I know that a huge chunk of my brain came from you but please don’t let your genes take over my face too.