Do Opposites Attract?

It is quite a catchy thing to say actually, “Opposites Attract”, until it was made into a song sang by Paula Abdul. She drives a Lexus, he rides a hummer. She parties all night, he goes to bed early. She’s vegetarian, he’s a meat person.

And the list goes on and on… different taste in movies, food, music, tv shows, drinks, hobbies, sports, favourite colour, temperature of the room, type of dog, furniture styles and how to spend our time.

Do opposites really attract? Is it good if they do? Do people really last even if they don’t have common ground?

If yes, how do couples with differences stay together for more than 40 years? Relationships are about getting our own needs met, often on an unconcious basis. In other words, we try to find someone who is complementary to us and can help us learn, heal, and grow.

The reality is, opposites do attract, but they rarely stay together. If they do manage to stay married, the relationship is usually fitful and argumentative. Dating someone who is very different - someone who may have characteristics you wish you had - may be very exciting. But this excitement won’t last long, and it won’t be a good foundation for a happy marriage. Ditch diggers don’t do well with doctors, social types aren’t happy with homebodies, and spendthrifts are always at odds with pinchpennies.

Study after study has shown that happily married couples have far more in common than they have differences. If you want the best chance of having a long and happy marriage, marry someone who’s similar to you.

Just because opposites tend not to stay together, however, it doesn’t mean you have to marry your clone to be happy. Your soul mate is not someone who is identical to you. In fact, if the two of you think and act the same in every way, you’ll probably soon get bored with each other. Here’s the secret to a long and happy marriage: marry someone who is complementary. That is, someone who has characteristics you don’t have but admire. That person is different enough to be interesting but is not truly your opposite. If you marry such person, you’ll avoid a lot of conflicts and marriage problems that may otherwise ruin your relationship.

So if you think that you and your partner are the perfect opposite, think back and maybe there are some common grounds that you both share. It could be the smallest things that you both like. Sharing the same interests is the best way for a relationship but having differences can also make the relationship interesting.

Take a look at your own relationship. Before you make any major commitments, be sure that you and your partner are in agreement over the big things. Then, viva la difference!

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