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Love at First Sight
Posted: 31 October 2008 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The Nov/Dec issue of Skeptical Inquirer has an interesting article about Love.  The author claims that we tend to fall in love with people who resemble us, and he supports this thesis with statistical studies of pet owners who chose dogs that look like themselves.  I tried to apply this to myself with less than spectacular results.  My problem is that cats seem to be less variable in appearance than dogs, except for fur color.  Over my life, I’ve had cats who were gray tabby, marmalade, calico, plain black, and one who was nearly plain white.  The only preference I notice is that I prefer shorthairs to long hairs.  And that’s only because short hair shows off the cat’s sinuous muscular structure better.  wink

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Posted: 31 October 2008 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The three cats and two of the three dogs I’ve had just showed up as young strays whom I felt sorry for, fed and they adopted me.  One dog kept escaping from my neighbor’s yard and was going to be left at the pound so we picked him up and adopted him (he happened to be much brighter than the neighbors so that’s why he was able to escape).  So, I don’t know if that idea of matching resemblance fits. —-  Well, maybe it does.  Two of the cats were long haired and white, and the dog was a beautiful Samoyed.  And, I have a very nice white beard and a full head of white hair.  LOL

Really, I think much of our attraction to others is dependent on whether they reciprocate.

Occam

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Posted: 31 October 2008 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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My wife and I have four dogs. One Australian Shepherd/Alaskan Husky, one Chow/Golden Retriever, one Chow/German Shepherd, and one Toy Poodle/Mini Dachshund. Two mostly black, one blonde, and one brown. They range from 55 pounds to 12 pounds. Can you guess what we look like?

I didn’t think so.

I haven’t received that issue yet, and I look forward to reading the article, but I remain skeptical.

Did I tell you about the 5-foot-2, 250-pound woman in my subdivision who owns a Great Dane and a Yorkie? Or my neighbor across the street, who is 5-9, drop-dead gorgeous, and owns an adorable little Schnauzer?

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Posted: 31 October 2008 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I am black, I have a black lab. But only because I like labs, and my last one was yellow and we decided that it would not be a good idea to get one the same color as our last ‘perfect dog’. All of our dogs have been rescues. I’ve also had Queensland Heelers, German Shepherds, American Spitzs, and mutts——all from the neighborhood pounds. I read the article, and I am certainly not convinced.

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Posted: 01 November 2008 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Interesting note.  Is it what we are, or how we perceive ourselves and others?  For example, Asanta, you say you are black, but that is merely one of the words to catagorize those who have some African ancestry.  In reality, from your avatar, I’d guess that your skin color is a moderate beige.  Similarly, you mention that your first lab was yellow, but when we envision the yellow of, say, a rose, the dog’s color had a lower chroma and value, probably making it a light beige. 

So, even though I think the whole idea is silly, it could be argued that you chose the first lab based on matching your actual skin pigmentation and your second based on your category assigned by society or yourself.  LOL

Geez, I get awfully nit-picky in the morning.

Occam

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Posted: 01 November 2008 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam - 01 November 2008 11:28 AM

So, even though I think the whole idea is silly, it could be argued that you chose the first lab based on matching your actual skin pigmentation and your second based on your category assigned by society or yourself.  LOL

Geez, I get awfully nit-picky in the morning.

Occam

LOL actually, my first lab was dumped on my by a former co-worker who ‘just didn’t bond’ with this wonderful dog! (of course when he died, I chose the lab I REALLY wanted—the black one!!!!—-I can get silly too!!!!) tongue wink

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Posted: 01 November 2008 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Actually the observation is born from the fact that dogs idolize their masters and study them so intently that they begin to take on many of the same mannerisms as their owners. So when someone makes the observation that your dog looks like you it’s just because they’re beginning to act like you. Unless of course you have hypertrichosis, then you may actually look like your dog.

Cats not so much, they do the bare minimum that gets them fed and wouldn’t be caught dead acting like a human.

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Posted: 01 November 2008 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well, Grayscale, all our dogs are happy, they love going to parties, and our Chow/Shepherd mix is picky about what tequila she slurps out of unsuspecting people’s glasses. Maybe you’re on to something.

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Posted: 02 November 2008 12:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Quote Greyscale:

So when someone makes the observation that your dog looks like you it’s just because they’re beginning to act like you.

Aha, I have a neighbor who has a stupid Boston Bull which will copulate with anything that either moves or stands still.  What does this tell me about my neighbor? LOL

Occam

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Posted: 04 November 2008 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Occam - 02 November 2008 12:19 AM

Quote Greyscale:

So when someone makes the observation that your dog looks like you it’s just because they’re beginning to act like you.

Aha, I have a neighbor who has a stupid Boston Bull which will copulate with anything that either moves or stands still.  What does this tell me about my neighbor? LOL

Occam

Your neighbor needs to be neutered.  LOL

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Posted: 04 November 2008 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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advocatus - 31 October 2008 07:35 AM

The Nov/Dec issue of Skeptical Inquirer has an interesting article about Love.  The author claims that we tend to fall in love with people who resemble us…

It’s funny, I look NOTHING like my husband, and our personalities are very different as well. My friends used to say, “What, exactly, do you see in him? Does he have money?” and his friends would say “How did you land that one? Does she have a sister?” He is a big, tall, lovable nerd with a big nose and goofy hair that never flattens. I have to dress him, or he’d leave the house in pleated cotton khakis, sneakers and fancy dress socks. Sometimes we look very silly next to each other. And our interests are so different, it’s just a weird combination for a couple!

As an example of just how disconnected we were, when we first started dating 12 years ago (after months of just talking, as friends) he innocently told me at lunch that he was into ‘role playing’ games and invited me to join him for one. I did not know that was a way of describing Dungeons and Dragons type games, which I’d never played. I thought he meant ‘role playing’ like some kind of sex game, boss/secretary or teacher/student, etc. I was disturbed he’d told me something so sexual on a first lunch date, and did not take his calls for days. When he finally got me on the phone, I explained with great dismay that I’d thought he was sweet until that lunch date, but I was terrified that he’d been so up front with me about his sexual desires, and had no interest in pursuing a relationship any further.

He was taken aback, and didn’t know what the heck I was talking about. He called me back a few times until he got me on the phone again, and I finally raised my voice a bit and told him I had no intention of participating in some kind of ‘role playing’ sex games with someone I’d been on one lunch date with, no matter how friendly our conversations had been before that first date. He thought this was hysterical, and explained to me what Dungeons and Dragons was, and that you ‘role play’ the character in the game. I was so embarrassed. 

And we resumed dating, marrying two years later. But it was definitely not love at first sight! We look nothing alike, act nothing alike, and have few common hobbies. It was friendship followed by a very slow and awkward courtship. What it came down to, was that I’d been through a lot and he was a very “safe” very wonderful, loving and reassuring man. I felt I could trust him and felt completely safe with him. And I still do. He’s a doting husband and a great father to our child. But by having opposite personalities, I find that we complement each other nicely. I’m hyper and anxious, and he’s like a rock. He calms me. I motivate him. It works out well. Although he still occasionally taunts me that he’s waiting for those ‘role playing’ games I mentioned 12 years ago to begin…

[ Edited: 04 November 2008 03:13 PM by Jules ]
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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 05 November 2008 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’m probably not explaining Bertman’s thesis very well.  He just said there was a statistical likelihood.  Owners of purebred dogs could be matched with their pets better than 60% of the time.  With mixed breeds, the effect wasn’t noticable.

As far as women are concerned, I am definitely FAR more likely to be attracted by a dark-haired woman than by a blonde.  Is it just a coincidence that I happen to have dark brown hair myself?  Or that my mother was dark-haired?

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Posted: 05 November 2008 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Here’s an article on a bit of a similar note:
     
Children use opposite sex parent as template for a partner

“An earlier study at the University of St Andrews in Scotland also showed that there is similarity between our partners’ traits and those of our parents: if a man’s mother has blue eyes, he are more likely to have a partner with blue eyes, and if a woman’s father has brown hair, then her partner is likely to have brown hair too.

Life with our parents, notably early upbringing, might lead us to choose partners with similar genes and evolutionary theory tells us that our human instinct is to promote our own genes, so choosing a partner who looks like us helps us to do this.

However, because of the problems of incest, the attraction of people with similar looks is only skin deep. Although we like the look of similar faces, earlier work suggested we most like partners who smell a little different.

In this way, says Prof Bereczkei, an “adaptive compromise has evolved between them with individuals choosing a mate with a moderate degree of relatedness.”

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Posted: 06 November 2008 04:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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advocatus - 31 October 2008 07:35 AM

The Nov/Dec issue of Skeptical Inquirer has an interesting article about Love.  The author claims that we tend to fall in love with people who resemble us, and he supports this thesis with statistical studies of pet owners who chose dogs that look like themselves.  I tried to apply this to myself with less than spectacular results.  My problem is that cats seem to be less variable in appearance than dogs, except for fur color.  Over my life, I’ve had cats who were gray tabby, marmalade, calico, plain black, and one who was nearly plain white.  The only preference I notice is that I prefer shorthairs to long hairs.  And that’s only because short hair shows off the cat’s sinuous muscular structure better.  wink

It’s a fascinating point. Thinking back on a particular relationship in my life, I can see how it might be true. I’m a very enthusiastic person, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it if you spent some time with me. It’s the part of me that got buried somewhere along the way.

Carol brought that out in me. I sensed it immediately, as soon as she said “Hi, Paul!” This is years ago, and no, we’re not still together. (She is a born-again Christian.) I thought about her the instant I saw the title of this thread. Being with her was like having my other half alive. I’ve never known that with anyone else. It’s probably why I still think about her all these years later.

Isn’t that something, after all these years this thread made something a little clearer to me.

[ Edited: 06 November 2008 04:43 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 07 November 2008 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Always happy to do my part to make the world a little less mysterious.  wink

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Posted: 18 November 2008 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I finally had a chance to read the article, and am still unconvinced of the authors’ conclusions. My take on it, from 5+ decades of observing humans (and spending a few days looking for resemblances among couples who come to my workplace):

1) People tend to bond (marry, date, etc) others who are about the same in the looks department. Not looking the same, but the same subjective attractiveness. Beautiful people tend to fall in love with other beautiful people. OK, those of us who are not so beautiful may fall in love with a beautiful person, but such feelings are rarely reciprocated. Average looking people tend to get together. And ugly people, well, they fall in love with each other too. Please don’t take these as value judgments. I’m just sayin’ what I’ve observed. This makes it completely unsurprising that people can look at photos and match real-world couples more often than chance would indicate. I doubt anyone would look at photos of Brad Pitt and Rosie O’Donnell and match them. Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts, yes, but we know how that turned out.

2) All our dogs are mutts, so my family’s dogs are not part of the discussion. The authors specifically said people buy pure-bred dogs that resemble themselves more often than chance would indicate. But by that criterion my neighbor across the street should have a Great Dane, not a cute little snugglebug dog.

3) I don’t doubt the authors’ results, but their conclusions sound more like conjecture than science.

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