Do Opposites Really Attract?
by Rick Wall
You have almost certainly heard the cliché on multiple occasions. You know the one that I am speaking of; “Opposites Attract.” It is a common and popular concept, but do they really attract, more importantly, do they stay together?
Well, according to another cliché, they do not. I am sure that you have heard “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” on more than one occasion. These clichés stimulate a burning question that many of us want to know the answer to. When searching for that ideal mate, should you be looking for someone who is the polar opposite of you, or should you be looking for that person who is symmetrically in balance with you — sharing your likes and dislikes?
Let’s examine the benefits associated with both points of view:
Connecting with Your Opposite
One of the immediate benefits of being in a relationship with a person that is, in most ways, your opposite, is that it immediately ignites a passion that only the lack of familiarity can do.
Think about it; you have Romeo and Juliet and Tony and Maria from West Side Story, both of these couple are completely different, with the former coming from feuding families and the latter coming from different sides of the tracks. There is something powerful, combustible, and, well…just plain sexy about connecting with a person who does not walk through everyday life like you do.
Another benefit of being with a person that is completely different than you is that you will never be bored. The differences will constantly challenge you to think and act outside of your comfort zone. Your mate will challenge you to see other perspectives outside of your own on a consistent basis. Again, that’s pretty attractive and hard to resist.
Connecting with a Like-minded Partner
Connecting with someone who has a similar belief and value system as you will provide a level of support and comfort that is difficult to experience in a relationship with someone who cannot relate to what you are feeling.
Let’s face it – there is something extraordinarily special about hearing the words “I understand” when you are going through a difficult moment, especially when you know that the person does actually understand.
The unity and camaraderie that keeps the fire going and the bond growing stronger comes from agreement. The more things that you agree on, the stronger the bond that is built.
So much can be accomplished when both people are on the same page. See it as being analogous to a project team at the office. The team that is on the same page will make the most progress, even though the team with polarizing trains of thought might have the best ideas. It takes unity to create progress.
So What’s the Verdict on Opposites?
There are a couple of things to consider here. First of all, a relationship made up of opposites will often create sparks, but the question is not about attraction, it is about longevity and productivity.
Secondly, whenever in question on anything, seek wisdom. There was a poll taken several years ago in which 500 couples who have been married for 40, 50, and 60 years were questioned about what their secret for success was, and almost to a person, the number one response was “being with someone that shared their common passions and beliefs.”
So, although opposites attract, like minds prevail.
Despite a strong argument for the like-minded, if you are already in a relationship with someone who you consider to be your opposite, don’t go home and end it just yet.
Why not? Because another very strong element that is present in relationships that stand the test of time is the understanding of commitment and sacrifice.
With two people who are willing to put their mate first, anything is possible. Even then, the two of you will find that over time, your differences have become your similarities.
Remember, that which brings you peace, sustains life!