Opposite Attraction...Here's Why The Relationships Will And Won't Work
As the saying goes opposites attract, but that really isn't where the story ends. What comes next after the initial attraction? Boy meets girl, and girl is so different from him, from everything he knows. He is fascinated by her. He has to have her, and wants to love her forever. Ah so sweet.
Fairytales are lovely, but quite unrealistic. In fairytales they always live happily ever after, but how could that be? Fairytales are the epitome of opposites attracting. What in the world could Cinderella and Prince Charming possibly have in common? And don't even get me started on Ariel and Eric?
From my point of view these relationships are doomed, but perhaps I am being too pessimistic. Opposites relationships can work, but how do we define working? For some, they consider a relationship working based on sheer time. I disagree with that philosophy. I say choose quality over quantity any day. Who cares if a marriages lasts 30 years, when the couple was miserable for the past 25 years?
Here's Why It Will Work
Fascinated By Each Other - When people are physically attracted to an opposite, we tend to be fascinated by them. We find the differences adorable. We also tend to ignore the possible obstacles the relationship can bring, and focus on the possibilities instead.
Trying New Things - The great thing about dating your opposite is that they will introduce you to new things. We are more open, and willing in the early stages of relationships to do or try something new or different. With trying new things comes the possibility that you may actually find that you like things you never would have tried or thought about doing.
Passionate - Due to the fascination and newness of getting to know one another, the relationship tends to be very passionate.
Working Hard - We recognize that we are with someone different, and that to make both parties happy, we work hard to compromise and find common ground.
Here's Why It Won't Work
Newness Wears Off - Once a relationship hits the year mark it is no longer new. Some of the fascination has faded, and you have identified some of the differences that you do not like.
Nothing In Common - The big downside in opposite relationships is that you have very little, if anything at all, in common. Once you become comfortable in your relationship you may start to compromise less, and not be as willing to do things you have no interest in doing.
Bored - Unfortunately this relationship can become stale after a while. The willingness to compromise fades somewhat, and it can be hard to agree on activities to do together that you can both truly enjoy. You start to long for a partner that you don't have to convince to join you on a bike ride, or for a movie you have been looking forward to seeing.
Differences Become A Source Of Irritation - Early in the relationship you didn't consider it a big deal that they weren't well read, or wasn't into fitness like you, but after a while it starts to annoy you. It's no longer cute that you have to explain world events to them, or that they hate to exercise.
Opposites can make it work, but they need to work harder than most due to the lack of commonality. Having similar interests and hobbies is what will keep a relationship going as the relationship experiences natural ups and downs. Two book lovers should have no problem chatting about great books they have read. A couple that loves the outdoors can go camping, hiking, and fishing together without there being complaints the whole time.
No one can be any one person's everything. Of course we should have friends outside of our relationships that we do things with without our partner. However, having a partner that is your opposite will have many challenges. These challenges are not about age or race, but more about our fundamental desires for happiness and joy, and how we define that.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever dated an opposite? How did it work out? Please share!