Water cooler pit stop. I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I take a person's word for truth, and unknowingly regurgitate the info like a broken telephone.
A friend claims we are all attracted to the opposite sex parental figure in our lives.
Mom and Dad complex (Oedipus/Electra)
Is Freud and Carl Jung correct? Do we just date/marry our parents?
A study published in an issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior indicated that women are more likely to be attracted to partners who look like their father if they had a positive relationship with him. Vice versa if they did not. If that is true I suppose the statement that we date or are attracted to people who look like us is rather accurate.
Even people who are of different skin, eye, and hair color tend to be with people with similar body/facial structure.
Here's another argument.
Beauty is mathematics.
Proportion is attraction.
The Golden Ratio is determined beauty.
The Golden Ratio, or Golden rectangle, is a mathematical proportion that many artists and architects have applied to their works (especially during the Renaissance, Da Vinci) believing it to be aesthetically pleasing. Approximately 1.6180339887, it applies to science, musicians, sculptors, art, and nature. It's everywhere.
Hip to waist ratio 0.75 (or lower) is considered the female ideal, where as the male "V" torso (shoulder to hip ratio) is also 0.75. Both sexes are measured by this standard, a reason why we vault the beautiful on high pedestals. Beauty icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Salma Hayek, and Jessica Alba are all claimed as the ideal "perfect ratio", approximately 0.7.
Symmetry determines what we find attractive, even in purchasing an apple from the grocery store. Do we base beauty off an unnatural and unhealthy standard that's perpetuated in the media? Studies say we begin to discern beauty even when we are young as a baby.
Pheromones How much does scent factor in? More than any of us know. According to an article in "Psychology Today" our body odors are perceived as attractive to another person whose genetically based immunity to disease differs most from our own. The long term benefits produce stronger and healthier children.
A good deterrent against inbreeding.
After all this... one would think economic backgrounds, religion, timing, personality and many other circumstances are major factors, but I guess no one can deny the importance of physical appearance. Thankfully not all people follow these rules or it would make for a very bland world.