It's official! Opposites really do attract for everlasting love
London, Feb 16 : As the saying goes opposites attract, experts have now claimed to have proved that it is the difference between two partners which makes the recipe for lasting love.
Their results may explain why seemingly perfect Hollywood marriages like Richard Burton's to Elizabeth Taylor failed to survive.
Observers have often noted that Burton and Taylor seemed so similar in fiery personality that they appeared to find it as hard to live together as they did to live apart.
That other famed Hollywood pairing, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, at one point seemed even to look alike. Yet their relationship also failed.
Now a study by Columbia University in the US appears to explain the problem.
Their findings, neatly timed to follow Valentine's Day, reveal that couples cannot cope with being too similar to each other, the Daily Express reported.
Experts conducted psychological profiles over three years on 732 adult men and women.
They were questioned on their relationships, levels of intimacy, overall satisfaction, closeness to their partner, how often they thought of breaking up, commitment and depression.
The researchers used a psychologists' test which looks at how much two people share personality traits, values, identity and points of view.
They then used the information to compare the closeness of couples against their happiness and the strength of their relationship.
It's not how close you feel that matters most, it's whether you are as close as you want to be, even if that's really not close at all.
The results show the couples with the strongest relationships were those that were neither the closest nor the most distant physically and in personality but somewhere in between.
Lead author Professor David Frost said: "It's not how close you feel that matters most, it's whether you are as close as you want to be, even if that's really not close at all.
"People who yearn for a more intimate relationship and people who crave more distance are equally at risk of having a problematic relationship," he said.
The findings are published the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.