There was this time, two jobs ago, that co-workers became convinced a guy on the copy desk had a crush on me.
I was flattered if he, in fact, did fancy me. He was classically good-looking, from what we could tell charming, and I guess the fact that our paths never crossed professionally made this guy mysterious and foreign (for a white guy with no hint of exotic nationalities in his background).
How would I proceed? Would I? Probably this would be something to contemplate and wonder without a real answer.
“It’s too bad,” the co-workers said. “You would look good together.”
Then the clincher.
“You guys look like brother and sister.
My heart sunk. Did they think this would make me aggressively pursue him? Perceived inbreeding wasn’t how I wanted to enter a relationship. So, things never got off the ground. The guy may have not even known I was alive. Yet I certainly didn’t want to even try to date a sibling-seeming figure
It turns out I’m in the minority. Lately I’ve seen mention after mention of a newish Tumblr called BoyfriendTwin. The tagline: “Because what’s sexier than dating yourself?
Off the top of my head, I’d say dating someone sexier than you, trying to upgrade on the good traits and 86 the bad ones. Bringing some spice into the mix that you don’t have yourself.
There’s a saying that couples, after a while, begin to look alike. This Tumblr plays off of that idea, celebrating gay male couples that really, deeply resemble each other—and they don’t have to hit 20 years together to achieve this resemblance. Selection after selection show two men embracing or smiling together or snuggling delighted at how similar their appearances are. The same haircuts, matching clothing along with physiques and coloring that could be carbon copies of each other.
The whole thing is a Doublemint commercial with affection thrown in—plus the guys are lovers, not twins. I can only imagine the trippiness of viewing BoyfriendTwin drunk. You’d think your eyes were playing tricks on you and there was some inebriated and imagined self-loving happening.
The Tumblr is an extreme case of it. But apparently there’s a body of research to show that not only do opposites not attract; we’re looking for ourselves.
Nate Silver’s venture FiveThirtyEight, which uses data and numbers to understand the world, recently analyzed 1 million matches on eHarmony. In doing so, they confirmed this notion that we’re interested in those like us. Reportedly, 86 percent of people claim that they want a mate who complements them. Yet, when push comes to shove, they’re more likely to send messages to those similar to them in age, education, race, income, attractiveness and humor.
Time, too, delved into this fallacy of opposites attracting each other, accumulating a number of studies together to make the point. For instance, some scientists have discovered that we have an affinity for people with even less substantial, minor details in common with us. People who share our birthdays or who have common letters in their names apparently curl our toes.
If all this is true, send any Deans my way—especially 5 foot 3 inch ones with size 7 feet. On second thought, don’t. That’s terrifying.