Opposites attract. That’s how the cliché goes, and people really believe they are attracted to those different from them: 86 percent say they want a partner who “complements them” rather than one who “resembles them.”
There’s only one problem with this idea: It’s false. I studied 1 million matches made by the online dating website eHarmony’s algorithm, which aims to pair people who will be attracted to one another and compatible over the long term; if the people agree, they can message each other to set up a meeting in real life. eHarmony’s data on its users contains 102 traits for each person — everything from how passionate and ambitious they claim to be to how much they say they drink, smoke and earn.