I’ve always heard that when you finally meet “The One,” you’ll just know. You’ll know that that person is the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. That person is your person, your soulmate. But the truth is, a lot of great relationships aren’t love at first sight. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher were just hook up buddies before they became Hollywood’s most enviable couple. Plenty of relationships start out as friendships, but according to new research, your body knows you’re attracted to someone before you do. It’s all part of your genetic coding.
A study by Nature describes how it works. Every person has their own unique human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex, which helps the immune system differentiate between its own cells and those of things like viruses and bacteria. In addition to that hugely important task, your HLA plays a big role in attraction and who you’re attracted to.
Researchers looked at attraction patterns in 254 couples and discovered that having a partner with a very different HLA complex “correlates with sexuality and enhances the desire to procreate.”
So not only do your genes determine how attracted you are to a person but they’re also only attracted to someone with completely opposite genes. I guess the old saying is true: opposites attract.
This quirky little function of our genes is really good from an evolution standpoint, at least in the case of animals. The study found that if two animals with dissimilar major histocompatibility complexes (or MHC), which is basically animals’ version of HLA, made a baby together, that baby will be born with a super strong immune system. If we apply the same logic to humans, that means having children with someone who is your complete opposite would mean that your kids grow up super strong and healthy.
You can’t exactly ask every guy you’re interested in “what’s your genetic HLA complex look like?” and marry whatever guy is more opposite, but I think what you should take away from this study is that your body knows what’s good for you. Listen to it, and you’ll be just fine..