Have you ever seen another married couple and thought to yourself, “Wow, they actually sort of look alike?” Well, you’re not crazy—in fact, you’re right.
A new study published in the journal PLOS Genetics suggests that spouses resemble one another because they are from the same ancestry. So essentially, couples are related even before they say “I do.” Surprising, we know.
For the study, researchers examined the genomes of 879 spousal pairs from three generations of white people with Northern and Western European, Southern European, and Ashkenazi lineages. The study showed that each group tended to marry people with the same genes but that the tendency lessened with each generation.
This could be because over time, people began to look for love beyond traditional settings, as marrying out of affection—rather than necessity—became the norm. Slowly, individuals started to move away from home, live in a variety of different locations, and even experiment with online dating.
While the idea that you and your spouse could be related is an unsettling thought, there is a sweeter explanation for your look-alike tendencies.
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Older research suggests that spouses start to look alike because they adopt each other’s mannerisms. Since they share the same emotions so often, couples begin to experience the same “subtle shifts in facial wrinkles and other facial contours.” Because you and your spouse laugh at the same TV shows, tear up over the same books, or furrow your brow in the same way, your wrinkle lines are similar.
This totally makes sense, as it often holds true that the more you spend time with someone, the more you become like that person. And who is by your side more often than your other half?
We have to admit–we prefer this much more romantic explanation to the idea of being related. Don’t you?
Next: Check out these celebrities who actually married normal people!
Bon Jovi Wife
Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley
Jon Bon Jovi married his high-school sweetheart Dorothea Hurley in 1989. They tied the knot in a secret ceremony, and have since had four children.
Matt Damon And Wife
Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso
Matt Damon met his wife Luciana Barroso in 2002 while she was a bartender in Miami. They married in 2005 and have since had 3 children, and are raising a fourth from Luciana's previous marriage together as well.
Bono Ali Hewson
Bono and Ali Hewson
The two first met at the age of 12, when Bono had a huge unreciprocated crush on Ali. Things changed eventually though when his mother passed away suddenly and they became especially close during that tough time. They’ve been married since 1982, and have four children together.
Vince Vaughn Wife
Vince Vaughn and Kyla Weber
Vince Vaughn's wife is Canadian real estate agent Kyla Weber, whom he met at a friend's wedding. They married in 2010, and have two children.
Julianna Margulies Husband
Julianna Margulies and Keith Lieberthal
Julianna Margulies met her dreamy lawyer husband Keith Lieberthal at a dinner party. Six months later, the two reconnected, and the rest is history! They've been married since 2007 and have one son.
Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman
It took some time for this couple to get together, because they both assumed that the other was already in a relationship when they first met. Luckily they realized that wasn't the case, because now they've been married since 2012 and have one child together.
Marcia Cross and Tom Mahoney
Marcia met her stockbroker husband in a flower shop when she noticed him from across the room, and slipped the florist her number to give to Tom. They've been married since 2006 and have two children together.
Christian Bale and Sibi Blazic
Sibi was Winona Ryder's assistant while she and Christian Bale were filming Pretty Women, which is how the couple first met!
Elizabeth Banks Max Handelman
Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman
The famous actress and film director met her author husband on her first day at college, and they’ve been together ever since! They tied the knot in 2003 after ten years of dating, and they have two children together.
Reese Witherspoon Husband
Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth
Reese Witherspoon met talent agent Jim Toth at a bar, when he chivalrously stepped in to save her from an uncomfortable conversation with a drunken stranger. They married in 2011 and have a son together.
Lisa Kudrow Husband
Lisa Kudrow and Michel Stern
Lisa Kudrow met French advertising executive Michel Stern while he was dating Lisa's roommate at the time. She never made a move until well after they broke up, though! They married in 1995 and have one child together.
Paul Rudd and Wife
Paul Rudd and Julie Yaeger
This ultimate '90s movie celebrity crush has been married to Julie Yaeger since 2003. They met in 1995 at the publicist's office where Julie worked while promoting the classic film Clueless. They have three children.
Meryl Streep Husband
Meryl Streep and Don Gummer
Meryl Streep met Don Gummer, an American artist and sculptor, when her brother brought him along to help her move out of her old apartment after her previous boyfriend died tragically. They've been married since 1978, and have four children.
Tobey Maguire Wife
Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Maguire
Spiderman star Tobey Maguire met his jewelry designer wife Jennifer in 2003. They married in 2007, and have two children together.
Julia Roberts Husband
Julia Roberts and Danny Moder
Julia Roberts met cameraman Danny Moder on the set of the film, The Mexican. They've been married since 2002 and are parents to three children.
David Schwimmer Wife
David Schwimmer and Zoe Buckman
David Schwimmer met his wife Zoe Buckman in London while directing the film Run, Fat Boy, Run. A waitress and part-time photographer, Zoe happened to wait on David's table one night. They married secretly in 2010 and have one daughter.
Patrick Dempsey and Jillian Fink
Patrick Dempsey's wife Jillian Fink is a well-established makeup artist to the stars. They met in 1994 at her hair salon and have been married since 1999. They have three children.