How Do Your Parents Affect Relationships? You’re More Likely To Date People With The Same Eye Color As Your Parents, According To This Study

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I always cringe when I hear things like, "You marry a man like your father!" My dad is great, but I'd prefer not to connect him to my romantic life unless absolutely necessary. Of course, there are some hard-to-ignore correlations between your romantic interests and your family — research has already shown your relationship with your parents can affect your dating life. A new study takes things a step further: According to a team from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the University of Bath in England, you're more likely to date someone with the same eye color as your mom or dad.

The study authors surveyed 150 men and 150 women about their eye color, their partner's eye color, and the eye colors of their biological parents. The results of the study: The best predictor of your partner's eye color is the eye colors of your parents. It may not seem like a big finding, but basically, this provides even more proof you're attracted to people who look like your parents. Interestingly, researchers also found your own eye color is "positively but not significantly" related to your partner's eye color. If you're skeptical, I understand. My Brazilian husband has hazel eyes and pale skin, while my father is Ethiopian with dark skin and dark brown eyes. But the research doesn't claim to apply to everyone — it simply points out a potential trend that could reveal more about attractiveness.

Your Sexual Preferences Dictate Whether You Should Look At Your Mom Or Dad's Eye Color

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For the study, researched surveyed people in straight relationships, women with female partners, and men with male partners. They found that your own gender doesn't make much of a difference when it comes to parents and eye color — the best predictor is the gender you're attracted to. Basically, both women and men attracted to women are more likely to date someone with their mom's eye color, while men and women attracted to men are both more likely to date someone with their dad's eye color. Of course, people of any gender can be attracted to more than one gender, or to people whose gender identity is outside the gender binary, but according to this research,  your current partner's gender is what you should look at. Previous studies have predicted you're most likely to be attracted to someone who resembles your opposite-sex parent, but this survey found that your sexual orientation plays a significant role.

The Results Build On A Long-Held Theory About Mammals and Attractiveness

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Whenever I hear imprinting, I think about (spoiler alert!) Jacob falling in love with Bella's baby in the last Twilight book. Although Stephenie Meyer may not have been scientific in her writing, imprinting is a legitimate scientific concept. There's a theory called positive sexual imprinting, which hypothesizes that mammals choose partners based on how similar they look to their parents. One study found kids who are close to their families end up choosing long-term partners similar to their parents. According to the new study, the theory has been criticized for various reasons, but these results support the positive sexual imprinting theory.  

Of Course, This Doesn't Apply To Everyone

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People have already taken to social media about the study's results, calling it bogus because it doesn't apply to them. As I said, I understand why someone may skip over this story: My husband and father couldn't look any more different. But the study isn't attempting to make a proclamation about every single person's romantic life: It's just pointing out the correlation found in survey results. It also didn't find any meaningful correlation between your eye color and your partner's, even though some couples do look alike.

If your partner has nothing, not even eye color, in common with your parents, fear not: You're not doomed to fail. But if you're out hunting for someone to fall in love with, it may be wise to keep your parents' eye colors in mind.