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Coke or Pepsi? Your Partner’s Choice Could be Making You Miserable, Science Says

We all know that opposites attract. You might like crunchy peanut butter, while your partner will always pick smooth — it’s like yin and yang, right?

Er, not so much. According to a new study by Duke University, liking different brands can affect your relationship more than your interests and personality traits.

“People think compatibility in relationships comes from having similar backgrounds, religion or education,” explains Gavan Fitzsimons, a marketing professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. “But we find those things don’t explain how happy you are in life nearly as much as this notion of brand compatibility.”


The research, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, found that the less-dominant person in the relationship can feel stuck with their partner’s preferred brand choices.

“Most couples won’t break up over brand incompatibility, but it leads to the low power partner becoming less and less happy,” explains lead author and former Fuqua PhD student Danielle Brick.

Researchers on the project studied brand preferences of couples and single people on soft drink, coffee, chocolate, beer, and cars, which was then linked to findings on relationship power and happiness.

Brick attributed these results to the much bigger roles that brands play in people’s lives. The fact that your significant other is more Nestle than Cadbury won’t be a deal-breaker when you first start dating, but according to Brick, it may cause problems for the two of you later in life.

“If you’re the low-power person in the relationship, who continually loses out on brands and is stuck with your partner’s preferences, you are going to be less happy,” she says.

So, there you have it. If you like opposite things to your spouse, maybe it’s time to talk it through now, rather than later.

This post was written by Jacqui King. For more, check out our sister site Now to Love.

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