We’ve all heard the saying “opposites attract”. It has always been an interesting one because we all know long term happy couples who seem to be opposites and others who seem to be very much alike.

Well a report I have read in a phychology magazine does throw some light on the subject. According to the report, the key to a happy, healthy relationship is choosing someone who is, quite frankly, a lot like you – a person who validates your existing views and habits rather than trying to change them.

Reports have repeatedly underscored the role of homogany – shared values, personality traits, economic background, and religion, as well as closeness in age – in romantic success. The more a couple shares a similar perspective, says Glenn Wilson, a psychologist at Gresham College in London, the less conflict there’s likely to be in their relationship.

Wilson  developed a compatibility questionaire that reveals a wide range of preferences regarding lifestyle, politics, child-rearing, morality and finances. He found that partners whose answers are comparable are more likely to report satisfaction with their love lives.

But, regardless of how well the two score on compatibility tests, you need to feel a spark of attraction – something that can come from the differences between your partner’s interests and passions and your own. (Such as you like photography and cooking, she likes hiking) “Homogany” is important for long-term satisfaction, but differences in interests really makes a difference in terms of chemistry,” says Givertz. “When couples are overly similar it can be a little bit of a brother-sister relationship- really predictable, without a lot of novelty.”

So what is the happy medium? Seek out a partner whose passions differ enough to expand your experience, but with whom you are aligned on important big-picture issues like how to show affection, what constitutes a moral life, and how to raise children.