Jonas Enge
Jonas Enge@maccyber
Personality Synchrony and Its Impact on Spousal Support Among Older Adults

Personality Synchrony and Its Impact on Spousal Support Among Older Adults

2 min read

When it comes to long-term relationships, how similar you and your partner are in terms of personality might play a crucial role in how supported you feel by each other. A recent study focused on older couples suggests that couples who have similar personality traits, especially as they change and develop over time, tend to perceive more spousal support.

Key Findings

  • Similarity Matters: Couples where both partners shared similar levels of openness, agreeableness, and neuroticism reported feeling more supported by each other.
  • Gender Differences: The study noted some interesting gender differences in how personality similarities affect perceived support. Women, in particular, seemed to benefit more when there was synchrony in the personality trait of openness.
  • Personality Changes: Over time, partners didn’t necessarily become more similar in personality traits like conscientiousness or extraversion. However, the trait of openness did show a significant alignment over the years, highlighting its unique role in relationship dynamics among older adults.
  • Perception of Support: Interestingly, the actual levels of support might not have changed much, but the perception of support was strongly influenced by how similar couples were in certain personality traits.

Why Does This Matter?

Understanding the dynamics of personality synchrony can help couples navigate the complexities of their relationships as they age. It emphasizes the importance of nurturing similar values and traits, as these can lead to a more supportive and satisfying relationship.


For couples, especially those in their later years, being mindful of each other’s changing traits and finding common ground can enhance the emotional support they feel from each other. For therapists and counselors working with older adults, these insights could inform strategies to strengthen relationships, focusing on enhancing personality synchrony.


As we age, the companionship and support of a life partner become even more significant. This study sheds light on how the subtle dynamics of personality can influence the fabric of marital support, highlighting an often-overlooked aspect of relationship health and well-being.


personality synchrony
spousal support
older adults
relationship dynamics
marital satisfaction
Big Five personality traits
within-couple similarity
longitudinal study
emotional support
aging couples
personality development