Do Opposites Really Attract And Is That A Problem?


Do Opposites Really Attract

The introvert falls for the extrovert. The one who loves to save marries the one who loves to shop. The “glass half full” kind of person finds their “glass half empty” partner. Are these relationships destined to thrive—or doomed to fail?

When Opposites Attract

Magnets—sure. But as far as human relationships go, the idea that “opposites attract” seems to be little more than an interesting pop culture myth that bears no real scientific weight. On the contrary, research suggests it’s a couple’s similarities that are more likely to predict compatibility and long-term success, says Psychology Today.

Of course, we all know what it’s like to date someone who seems like our mirror opposite in certain ways—surely the idea that “opposites attract” has some truth to it.

Then again, this could just be a matter of perspective. Perhaps we’re more likely to notice traits in our partners—both negative and positive ones—that we haven’t fully accepted within ourselves. This makes these traits “stand out” and helps us build the story that we are total “opposites” of our partners.

No matter the truth behind the “opposites attract” theory, there’s no question that any couple is going to face occasional conflict because of opposing views, temperaments, or preferences. The question is: can a couple still make it work when they have fundamental differences?

Related: How and Why Opposites Attract In Relationships According to Astrology

3 Ideas For A Healthy Relationship With Your Fundamentally Different Partner

1. Be Clear About Your Values

You don’t have to agree with your partner about everything in order to have a healthy relationship, but it’s helpful if you at least agree about the “big” things. Big things include topics like basic world views, money, sexual intimacy, in-law relationships, and child-rearing. When partners share common ground about these important topics, they’ll have a much more solid foundation upon which to build their relationship.

It’s never too soon to discuss values. Better to put things on the table early rather than invest time and energy into a relationship only to discover your values, goals, and interests are diametrically opposed—e.g., one person wants children and the other doesn’t.

It’s also wise to regularly revisit and discuss your values as your relationship unfolds since values can change over time. Keeping clear and honest communication will help you negotiate any future turbulence.

opposites attract relationships

2. Choose Your Battles

When you see your partner acting differently than you would pay close attention to how you react. Is this action (or inaction) truly something worth getting upset over? If it’s not a deal-breaker, don’t let it ruin your day. (“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”) Decide what you are both willing to compromise on in your relationship without repressing your true selves.

And by all means: stand up for yourself. Example: “Honey, I know how much you love to talk and catch up at the end of the day, but I need a few minutes to myself when I get home to unwind. Can I meet you at the kitchen table in ten minutes?” Healthy partners are perfectly willing to respect boundaries—just don’t create so many boundaries and rules that you end up stifling your relationship.

Related: The 4 Elements Of Attraction According To Psychology

3. Practice Acceptance

Our partners’ differences are gifts when we see them as opportunities to grow emotionally and practice acceptance.

Here are a few strategies to help you accept your partner for who they really are:

1. Question any story you attach to your partner’s behaviors and watch for when you make assumptions about their intentions, as these assumptions could be false. Example: “When he’s late, does that actually mean he doesn’t respect me? Is that true? What else could be going on?”

2. Find humor: humor is immensely powerful and can diffuse those moments when you butt heads over the cleanliness of the house, the weekend plans, and other areas of daily life that often come into conflict when partners have different preferences. You may not agree, but if you can laugh about the situation it may feel less challenging.

3. See the benefits of your partner’s way of doing or thinking about things, even if it’s different from yours. For a useful exercise, write down these benefits in a journal.

4. Accept your own traits—the positive and negative ones. Our reaction to others is often just projected discomfort over our own traits that we see reflected back to us. The more we accept and appreciate ourselves, the easier it is to hold that energy for our partners.

Concluding Thoughts

In the end, most couples have a wide range of similarities and differences—but for long-term success, their temperaments should ideally be complementary, if not the exact same.

Related: Why Introverts And Extroverts Attract Each Other

This doesn’t mean being “polar opposites” in certain things is a death sentence for a relationship, like what happens when a super introvert marries a super extrovert. But it could be that you and your fundamentally different partner will need to put in a bit more effort to find some equanimity and acceptance in your relationship.

Written By April Eldemire  
Originally Appeared On Couples Thrive  
Do Opposites Really Attract pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Up Next

The Psychology Of Narcissistic Injury: How It Wounds A Narcissist’s Ego

Narcissistic Injury Recognizing and Managing the Impact

We all know that narcissists just love to abuse and hurt others. But what happens when a narcissist feels hurt or abused? What happens when their self-esteem and ego gets wounded? Narcissistic injury refers to the emotional trauma a narcissist experiences when they are devalued, rejected and criticized. 

And this can seriously scar the narcissist’s pride, self-worth and self-esteem. In fact, the damage can sometimes be so severe that the narcissist can never actually recover from it, leading to what is known as narcissistic scar.

Note: As narcissism lies on a spectrum, by using the term “narcissist” we mean to refer to individuals with narcissistic personality traits. However, the severity of

Up Next

Growing Stronger Together: 11 Clear Signs Your Relationship Is Getting Healthier

Good Signs Your Relationship Is Getting Healthy

Is your relationship thriving or stuck at a crossroads? Here are the unmistakable signs your relationship is getting healthy with your partner, day by day!

Relationships are a constant work in progress. In other words, it requires effort, patience, and understanding from both partners. But how do you know if your relationship is moving in a positive direction? 

But before we get into that, let’s find out what exactly it means to be in a healthy relationship.

Are You In A Healthy Relationship?

A healthy relationship is a mutually satisfying and respectful partnership between two individuals who are committed to supporting each other's growth, well-being, and happiness.

Up Next

Unlocking The Secrets To A Happy Relationship: 13 Science-Backed Tips

Science Backed Secrets To A Happy Relationship

Defining a happy relationship can be tricky, right? But what if you could get a blueprint of secrets to a happy relationship?

Today there are so many different opinions on what makes a relationship happy. Some people say it’s all about unconditional love, while others think it’s more about finding the right balance between independence and togetherness.

Let’s unlock the key to the secrets to a happy relationship so that we can build successful relationships for ourselves.

But before we uncover the secrets, let’s get a clear idea about happiness and relationships.

How do relationships affect happiness?

Does this question come to

Up Next

The Lovable Zodiac Signs: Top 8 Zodiac Signs Who Are Easy To Love

Top Easiest To Love Zodiac Signs: Find Your Ideal Partner!

Are you on the lookout for a partner who can make your heart flutter? To make things easier for you,  we'll be discussing the 8 easiest to love zodiac signs in this blog.

We all know that compatibility is a significant factor in any relationship, but some zodiac signs just make it seem effortless. These star signs are just naturally charming, loyal, and loving. They have that 'it' factor that makes them irresistible to anyone they come across. 

Easiest To Love Zodiac Signs Who Will Simply Love You

Up Next

Heart-On-The-Sleeve Lovers: Top 5 Zodiacs Who Love Deeply With All Their Heart

The Top Zodiacs Who Love Deeply Check Them Out Now

Are you tired of half-hearted lovers who don't give their all in relationships? Look no further than these five zodiacs who love deeply. 

Love is the one force that can move mountains, heal wounds, and change the world for the better. And when it comes to love, there are those who hold back and those who give it their everything.

Love is a battlefield, and these 5 zodiac signs are fearless warriors who can risk their hearts. They know that love is not for the faint of heart and are ready to give it their all. 

These zodiac signs don't hold back when it comes to matters of the heart and will stop at nothing to make their loved ones feel cherished and appreciated.


Up Next

Is It Possible to Change My Partner? Exploring the Dynamics of Relationships

Change My Partner: Exploring Dynamics of Relationships

If you are in a relationship, have you ever thought that "I want to change my partner"? Thinking that "I should be trying to change my partner" or expecting your partner to change is more complex than you think. Moreover, asking your partner to change might not always be the right thing to do.

Key Points

A partner’s choice or inability to change doesn’t reflect on you or your worthiness.

Change is complicated, and it can feel confusing about whose responsibility it is in a relationship.

Try to pick partners you don't have to change to love or feel loved by.

Up Next

60+ Funny Marriage Advice: Humorous Marriage Secrets Revealed

Funny Marriage Advice Best Secrets Of Happy Marriage

The best way to spice up your marriage? Add some humor! It’s like the salt and pepper of relationships - a little goes a long way.

If you're looking for a good laugh and some helpful marriage advice, then you are in the right place, my friend. From never going to bed angry to always having a sense of humor, these pieces of funny marriage advice will keep your relationship strong and thriving.

Check out these hilarious pieces of funny marriage advice. 

60+ Pieces of funny marriage advice curated just for you!

These funny marriage tips will make you laugh and help y