Is Sharing the Same Socioeconomic Status, Personality, Race, Religion, and Values Important to Relationship Longevity?

Jasbina Ahluwalia interviews Dr Terri Orbuch.

I’m very excited to welcome to todays show Dr. Terri Orbuch. Dr. Orbuch, also known as “The Love Doctor”, is a world renowned relationship expert, author, speaker, therapist, coach, distinguished professor at Oakland University, research scientist at the University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research and media personality. She’s also the director of a landmark study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), where she’s been following the same couples for over 30 years. Her 2 best-selling books are “5 Simple Steps To Take Your Marriage From Good To Great” and “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps To a New and Happy Relationship”.




Now, speaking of myths and staying together, so tell us about what studies, what the science says regarding whether or not there’s a relationship between sharing the same socioeconomic status, personality, race, religion, and relationship longevity. Is there a relationship there? Tell us about that.



Well, there turns out not to be a relationship between similarity and all of those traits that you just mentioned, whether it’s socioeconomic status or personality, race, religion and relationship longevity.

Instead, what we find… and I can talk about my study in particular, that it is similarity in underlying values and attitudes. Now, sometimes when you have two partners and they have the same socio-economic status or they have the same race or they have the same religion, they share underlying values or attitudes. That is what’s important rather than those other traits.

What you want to do if you’re thinking about finding a compatible partner is someone who shares those underlying key life values. For example, someone who has the same values about family or children, like if you’re thinking about the holidays or a party, do you want family to attend? Do you want to live close to your family?

Or if we’re talking about similarity in terms of underlying values about religion or spirituality, do you have somebody, or do you have a partner that you’re dating that shares how much you want to go to church or synagogue, or how much you want to infuse those beliefs into your lifestyle?

It’s not the actual traits like SES or race, but it’s these underlying values and attitudes that are so important to predicting staying together over the long haul.



I love that. I love that that is something that has been shown in Western science, because what I like to do is blend the best of the East and the West, and that focus on values is something that I think historically has been there in a lot of the Eastern tradition. That’s the piece from the East I like to put in. I love that that is also in the West, also been shown in the West.



The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Terri Orbuch

The entire interview transcript is at – Dating and Relationship Advice from The Love Doctor, Dr Terri Orbuch