Like Attracts Like: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
September 7, 2023

"Like attracts like" is an expression that can describe people with the same interests, values, or personalities who tend to form friendships or relationships with each other. It can also be used to explain how positive or negative thoughts can influence the outcomes of one's life.

In short:

  • It is an idiom that means that similarity attracts similarity.
  • It can be applied to both people and things, as well as to thoughts and experiences.

What Does "Like Attracts Like" Mean?

The meaning of "like attracts like" is based on the idea that similarity creates attraction. This can be understood differently, depending on the context and the speaker's perspective.

Here are some possible interpretations of this idiom:

  • People with similar characteristics like hobbies, beliefs, or attitudes tend to get along well and enjoy each other's company.
  • People with similar goals, aspirations, or visions tend to cooperate and support each other.
  • People who have similar problems, challenges, or difficulties tend to empathize and relate to each other.
  • Things with similar qualities, features, or functions complement or enhance each other.
  • Thoughts with similar vibrations, frequencies, or energies manifest identical realities.

Where Does "Like Attracts Like" Come From?

The origin of the idiom "like attracts like" is unclear. However, various historical sources may have influenced it.

Some possible origins are:

  • The ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote in his dialogue with Phaedrus that "things which are alike naturally draw near to one another." He used this idea to explain how the human soul is attracted to the divine realm of ideas.
  • The 20th-century author Napoleon Hill wrote in his book Think and Grow Rich that "whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." He used this statement to inspire people to use their imagination and faith to create their desired reality.
  • The 21st-century author Rhonda Byrne wrote in her book The Secret that "the law of attraction is forming your entire life experience, and it is doing that through your thoughts." She used this idea to popularize the notion that thoughts are powerful magnets that attract things of the same nature.

10 Examples of "Like Attracts Like" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how to use this idiom in sentences:

  • Pro tip: To be successful, surround yourself with successful people. Like attracts like, after all.
  • She always dates scrubs. What can I say? I guess like attracts like.
  • He believes that like attracts like and that positive thoughts will bring positive outcomes. That's why he's always optimistic.
  • They are cut from the same cloth. They both love music. It's no wonder they are attracted to each other. Like attracts like, right?
  • Yaas. She only hangs out with people who share her interests. She thinks that like attracts like and that differences cause conflicts.
  • Ben has always been a pessimist. He didn't realize that like attracts like and that his negative attitude was attracting more negativity into his life.
  • They had nothing in common except for their love of coffee. They met at a coffee shop and instantly hit it off. Like attracts like, they say.
  • Robert knew that like attracts like and that his positive mindset would manifest his desires. So, he always maintains a happy disposition.
  • She is looking forward to starting a motivational vlog anytime soon. She says that like attracts like, and she wants to express herself and inspire others.
  • It seems like birds of the same feather flock together. Like attracts like, that's just how the world works.

Examples of "Like Attracts Like" in Pop Culture

Here are some examples of how this idiom appeared in various forms of pop culture:

  • In The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo that "there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." He implies that Neo has to act on his beliefs and choices to attract the reality he wants.
  • In the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry is sorted into Gryffindor house by the Sorting Hat, which says, "There's nothing hidden in your head the Sorting Hat can't see, so try me on, and I will tell you where you ought to be." The Sorting Hat places students into houses based on their personalities and traits, suggesting that like attracts like.
  • In the TV show Friends, Rachel tells Ross that "you're her lobster" when he tries to win back his ex-girlfriend Carol. She explains that "lobsters fall in love and mate for life" and that "you can see old lobster couples walking around their tank holding claws." She uses this analogy to suggest that Ross and Carol are meant for each other because they are similar.

Other Ways to Say "Like Attracts Like"

Here are some synonyms for this idiom:

  • Birds of a feather flock together
  • Opposites repel
  • What you sow, you reap
  • As above, so below
  • Like begets like

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Like Attracts Like"

Here are some frequently asked questions about this idiom and their answers:

  • What does "like attracts like" mean?

"Like attracts like" is an expression that can describe people with the same interests, values, or personalities who tend to form friendships or relationships with each other.

  • What is the origin of the phrase "like attracts like"?

The origin of the idiom "like attracts like" is unclear. However, various historical sources may have influenced it.

  • Is "like attracts like" a scientific fact?

No, "like attracts like" is not a scientific fact. It is an idiom or a figure of speech that expresses a general observation or opinion about human behavior or reality. No scientific evidence or proof supports this idiom as a universal law or principle.

  • How can I use "like attracts like" to improve my life?

You can use "like attracts like" as a motivational or inspirational tool to improve your life by focusing on positive thoughts, feelings, actions, and goals. You can also use it as a reminder to be more selective and intentional about who you associate with and what you expose yourself to. You can also use it to appreciate and celebrate your similarities with others.

  • What are some examples of "like attracts like" in nature?

Animals of the same species tend to form groups or herds for protection, survival, or reproduction. In addition, plants of the same kind tend to grow near each other for pollination, dispersal, or adaptation.

  • What are some benefits of "like attracts like"?

It can help you find compatible and supportive people who share your values and interests. In addition, it can help you create a positive and harmonious environment that reflects your personality and mood. Furthermore, it can help you achieve your goals and dreams by aligning your thoughts and actions with your desired outcomes. Lastly, it can help you learn from and appreciate the diversity and uniqueness of others who are different.

  • What are some drawbacks of "like attracts like"?

It can limit your perspective and growth by keeping you in your comfort zone and avoiding challenges and changes. Moreover, it can create a negative and hostile environment that reflects your fears and doubts. Plus, it can prevent you from achieving your goals and dreams by attracting obstacles and failures that match your negative thoughts and actions. It can also cause you to miss out on the opportunities and benefits of interacting with others who are different.

  • How can I balance "like attracts like" with "opposites attract"?

You can balance "like attracts like" with "opposites attract" by recognizing that both idioms have some truth and value in different situations and contexts. You can also acknowledge that people and things are not entirely alike or opposite but have a mixture of similarities and differences. You can also appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of both attraction patterns and choose the one that suits your needs and preferences best.

  • How can I avoid the pitfalls of "like attracts like"?

You can avoid the pitfalls of "like attracts like" by being aware of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and goals and how they affect your reality. You can also be mindful of the people and things you surround yourself with and how they influence you. You can also be open to new experiences and perspectives that challenge and enrich you. You can also be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances and opportunities.

  • How can I apply "like attracts like" to my relationships?

You can apply "like attracts like" to your relationships by being clear about what you want and need from a partner or a friend and what you can offer in return. You can also be honest and authentic about who you are and what you value and enjoy. You can also be respectful and supportive of the other person's choices and preferences, even if they differ from yours. You can also be willing to compromise and cooperate for harmony and happiness.

Final Thoughts About "Like Attracts Like"

"Like attracts like" is an idiom that expresses the idea that similarity creates attraction. It can describe how people or things alike tend to be drawn to each other. It can also be used to explain how similar thoughts or experiences tend to influence one’s reality.

Here are some key points to remember about this idiom:

  • It has various meanings depending on the speaker's context and perspective.
  • It has various origins from different sources throughout history.
  • It has various examples from different sentences, situations, or forms of pop culture.
  • It has various synonyms that use different words or expressions.
  • It has various benefits and drawbacks depending on its use or application.
  • It has various questions and answers that explore its aspects or implications.

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