Opposites Can Attract or Repel

In romantic relationships, opposites can work together or drive people apart.

Posted Nov 17, 2017

I've often joked that I could never date myself. I'm an acquired taste, like chipotle mayonnaise. You either like me or you don't, and I'm fine with that. I've learned to be okay with that, but it's the human condition to care if people like you or not. You can train yourself to care less but on some level, you'll always care what other people think of you; especially your partner.

That leads me to this: opposites can attract or repel. We've heard the expression "opposites attract," and this is true to a certain extent. We can be attracted to the qualities that we lack. For example, I can be high strung (anxiety) and disorganized (ADHD) so I like to be with a person who is laid back and organized. That's a funny combination, but it does exist! The thing about opposites though, is that they can be a wonderful thing or they can cause conflict in a relationship. 

When your partner is remarkably different from you, you might clash. And as a result of that clash, you may find it hard to see eye to eye. I've experienced this in romantic relationships and it's hard. As much as I wanted to see my partner's point of view it was extremely hard. Maybe it's because I'm stubborn, headstrong, stuck in my own way of thinking. I'm not sure what it is exactly. But I know that I have trouble with this and I'm sure I'm not alone. It's hard to have a disagreement with your partner and feel like you're not being heard.

Communication styles can clash and you can't "make" someone see it your way. They have to be willing to step over to the other side of the fence and look at the grass. I'm not sure that analogy works, but I like it. 

So, what do you do when you're clashing so much and you can't seem to communicate with your partner? If you're in it for the long-term, as in you're married, maybe you look into couples counseling or learn how online marriage counseling works. You do what it takes to make those opposite qualities continue to work together productively rather than destructively.

I like the idea of being in an "opposites attract" relationship. It can work well when you compliment one another. But no matter what sort of relationship you're in there's going to be work involved. 

Then there's the other end of the spectrum: you're too similar to each other. I have a lot of friends who similar to me; so similar that we often clash. When we're on the same page it's like kismet. When we clash it's intense and stormy. This can be the case with a romantic relationship where two people are extremely alike. 

Take a moment and think: are you similar to your partner or are you vastly different? Maybe you're somewhere in the middle. If you are the opposite of your partner, do those differences bring you together or push you apart? 

Unsplash 2017
Source: Unsplash 2017