We’ve all heard the old adage about how opposites attract, but what about looking for the opposite of opposites (AKA: someone similar) when it comes to appearance? According to the latest trending dating term — “doppelbanging” — being attracted to someone who looks like you is totally a thing.
See also: Unlucky in love? These 10 dating app profile pics are major red flags: survey.
What is ‘doppelbanging’?
As the New York Post explores, the term “doppelbanging” is a play on the German term “doppelganger” — and it basically means being attracted to and/or sleeping with a person who looks a lot like you.
Doppelbanging can mean being naturally drawn to someone who shares some of your own physical traits (a phenomenon that Psychology Today explains is supported by research, which suggests that people are attracted to others who look like themselves, or their parents). Or, doppelbanging can refer to the idea that, over time, many couples look more and more like each other (for example, couples may start dressing similarly).
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What are the LGBTQIA+ origins of the word ‘‘doppelbanging’?
While the term may be trending at the moment, it’s important to note that it’s not new. According to Cosmopolitan, the term “doppelbanging” comes from the LGBTQIA+ community — which is important for heterosexual people to keep in mind when using the word.
One potential conflict, for example, comes with harmful stereotypes about how queer people are the only ones to date people who look like them — even though, as we’ve just outlined, being attracted to people with similar looks can happen to anyone. As Cosmopolitan puts it, these negative ideas around doppelbanging can reinforce “damaging underlying notions that all gay people are narcissistic (they’re not) or that all lesbians look the same (they don’t).”
So, straight people should be thoughtful when using the term. It’s one thing when it’s a playful term to describe something that happens across all dating situations — but it can be harmful and problematic when used as a way to reinforce stereotypes when referring to queer people.
Related: LGBTQ+ terms you keep hearing and what they mean.