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Do Opposites Attract Or Do They Push Each Other Away?

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Want to know the real truth behind this age old confusion? Do opposites attract or do they push two people away? Find out how relationships really work. By Natalia Avdeeva

do opposites attract

At times, two people who have nothing in common may meet each other, and before the night is over, they may realize they’re madly in love with each other.

And they may even live happily ever after.

And at other times, two people who are completely different from each other may actually hate each other at first sight.

So do opposites attract or do they repel?

Or is there something more to it?

[Read: The 80 20 rule in relationships and your love life]

Fairy tales and the attraction and repulsion of opposites

For as long as we remember, we’ve always loved the idea of opposites.

From princesses and vagabonds to aristocratic girls and street bums, love always works best when we keep opposites in mind.

Or do we all just love a story where a rich girl meets a poor, protective guy?

Even fairy tales take a biased view of how opposites work, don’t they?

The most successful and loved stories are almost always similar. There’s a girl who’s beautiful, rich, and utterly helpless in her dilemma. And there’s a guy who’s street smart, poor and strong and clever.

They’re opposites, true. But could opposites have worked in their favor if their traits were any different?

As much as we love opposites and believe that it attracts two people, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes, it does. But almost always, it doesn’t. [Read: Top 20 reasons for divorce most couples always overlook]

When do opposites attract?

The attraction or repulsion between opposites always works when some opposite traits enter the picture.

If you see a trait in a person that you wish you had, it’ll draw you helplessly towards them. If you met a great guy who’s extremely charming and you’re a shy girl, you’d be awestruck by the way he speaks and may even helplessly fall for him.

In a relationship, opposites always attract two people when two opposites come together and complement each other to create a better twosome. But at the same time, if two lovers are opposites, but don’t really compensate for each other’s flaws, the relationship may be doomed to failure right from the start. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships to watch out for]

Do we prefer to date an opposite personality in real life?

As much as we may love the idea of opposites in our personal love stories, it’s so much easier to date someone who’s more similar to us. The differences in an opposite relationship may keep the relationship exciting and crackling with romantic electricity for the first few months. But over time, the same differences may start to piss both lovers off.

Let’s face it, it’s easier to share fun conversations with someone who shares our interests, be it about work or things to do that evening. If one of you likes clubbing every night, while another loves staying at home, there’s no easy way to come to a compromise unless one of the two lovers changes their preferences for the other partner. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your true compatibility]

What makes similarity a better dating experience?

In the evolved world that we live in today, a relationship doesn’t just bring two people together. It brings in two lifestyles, two sets of families and two huge groups of friends together. If both of you are very different from each other, both of you have to sacrifice parts of your previous lifestyle for the other. And that means sacrificing things that are close to your heart.

How much can you actually give up for the sake of your partner’s happiness without hating yourself for it? And once the infatuation period is over, would you ever regret changing your entire life just to be with this one person? Is it really worth it? [Read: 9 relationship stages all couples go through]

For most of us who date opposites, these are the questions that trouble our thoughts all the time, especially after an argument. And these thoughts never go away. So unless both of your likes and dislikes, and your characters complement each other, it’s always better to date someone who’s more similar to you than different.

The balance of power and when opposites actually work

When two people with opposite personalities date, the success of the relationship depends on the balance of power and how both lovers give each other the chance to become better individuals, and become a better couple.

In any relationship, the success depends on how the two lovers interact with each other. The guy may have a few traits that he’s proud of and performs better than his girl. On the other hand, the girl may have a few other traits that she’s proud of and performs better than her guy.

When two lovers who are opposites learn to accept the other person’s dominant traits and don’t oppose it in any way, their relationship will get stronger and better, and as individuals, they’ll become much better people by learning from their partner. [Read: How to move in together before marriage and survive the test]

On the other hand, if both or one of you don’t acknowledge the positive traits of the other partner, and instead try to subdue that trait by trying to take a dominant position, it will definitely lead to a break up or subdued frustrations.

A relationship is all about the transfer of traits and energies. In a successful romance, both lovers learn to accept that one partner is better than the other partner in some traits, and vice versa. By doing that, both of you look up at the other partner for some qualities and learn from each other, and become much better lovers and individuals. [Read: How to handle controlling behavior in a relationship]

If you don’t ever accept that your partner has a few capabilities where they’re better than you, the transfer of positive energy between both of you stops because you’d never be willing to give your partner a dominant role in the relationship.

You want all the power and control in the relationship, and that’ll leave your partner feeling weak, angry and frustrated. And in turn, that will create ego battles and both of you would just want to prove each other wrong instead of living together in perfect harmony and balance of powers. [Read: Affairs in a marriage and how egos affect its outcome]

The last word on opposites and attraction

This is very simple to comprehend if you have understood how the balance of traits and power in a relationship works.

The attraction of opposites will work in your favor if you and your partner accept each other’s positive traits. It’ll also make both of you better individuals and the relationship gets better with time. [Read: 10 steps to be a happy couple that’s envied by other couples]

On the other hand, opposite personalities repel each other when one partner’s traits makes the other partner weaker or when one person pushes down the other. [Read: 25 relationship rules for successful love]

So do opposites attract and are lovers in these relationships happier? Yes, just as long as both partners learn to share the balance of power. In fact, couples with opposite personalities can even enjoy their difference better and become better lovers and individuals too!


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Have your say!
  • Crystal
    June 11, 2012 | Permalink |

    Wow! This is so insightful. It just completely blew my mind. I expected this article to be a simple piece on why opposites attract and why they don’t, but this intellectual stuff was way overboard in a great way.

    I never realized this, but it’s true. Relationships do work a lot on the balance of power. If one person feels less powerful in a relationship, they start to feel weak. I’m guessing that’s why in every abusive relationship, one person feels so powerful and in control while the other person feels miserable and helpless.

    Your concept about how the attraction of opposites work is fascinating. So opposites attract and create stronger individuals when the opposites complement each other, while they end up breaking each other down if the opposite qualities contradict each other.

    This is a thought I’ll never forget. It’s so simple, and yet so deeply insightful.

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