We hear it again and again. But is there real psychology behind the popular phrase “opposites attract” in relationships? The myth developed that we are drawn to our polar opposites like magnets.
In the old romantic movies we've seen, we might have seen the good girl get attracted to the bad boy. Or we might have a shy and reserved friend who is attracted to an outgoing and friendly person. It seems to make sense that they would be a good match.
For example, if a college student studies in his room day and night and is academically oriented, we might pair that person with a more sociable student who goes out on the weekends and gets sub-excellent grades. The reason is clear.
We argue that the student who gets good grades will have a positive influence on each other's study habits and the social butterfly will lure the other student out of their room to have more fun.
As a result, we wrongly conclude that complementary personalities create better, stronger, and healthier relationships. However, scientific evidence has proven that this is not true.
This article discusses why completely different people are attracted to each other, the pros and cons of dating your partner, and what really makes a relationship beyond the initial dating phase.attraction.
what is romantic love
Why do we attract our opposite first?
Opposites may attract at first because the other person seems new and exciting. Perhaps the object of your attention is a medal-winning professional snowboarder and you are an accountant.
Or maybe that person entering the conference room represents something forbidden. For example, they may be from a different class, race, or socioeconomic background than the type of partner your family expects of you.
On a first date, the physical chemistry can be off the charts. This could be proofLust. A strong sex drive alone can be healthy. It can also keep the flames of passion burning in a long-term relationship. But lust without emotion,intimacy, and the similarities do not contribute to along term healthy relationship. According to scientific studies discussed below, neither does our opposites.
After you first meet and decide to go on a date, the way you are diametrically opposed increases the attractiveness of both of you as a couple. In the early stages, the differences can still seem puzzling. This is because the differences have not yet proved to be obstacles in the relationship. if Your current flame or partner is your opposite, this will make the way forward more difficult.
What about couples with mismatched sex drives?
While sexual satisfaction and frequency contribute to healthy, long-lasting romantic relationships, it's common for partners to have different or opposing sexual needs. Previous findings have linked incompatibility to poorer sex and relationship outcomes.
Anyone who feels opposites when it comes to sexual compatibility can rest easy. A new study involving 366 couples found that higher desire was more important than corresponding desire.The idea is that when it comes to sex, couples don't always have to have the same mood or opinion. And that's okay.
But focusing on increasing and sustaining desire and overcoming differences proved more important than fulfilling your partner's desires. Study participants had greater sexual and relationship satisfaction as a result.
Pros and cons of dating your counterpart
Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of dating someone who is your opposite.
You can learn to compromise
You can learn to be more patient and empathetic
There may be a greater opportunity to learn new things
The emotion can be more intense
May not be sustainable long term once excitement wears off
More potential for disagreements
Requires better and more frequent communication
You may find that you two have very different lifestyles and goals.
The perks of dating your opposite
Of course, there are advantages to being in a relationship with someone who is your opposite. For example, people who haveType A PersonalitiesYou can calm down and feel less pressure when you return homeType B personalitieswith more relaxed characteristics.
Other ways you can benefit from spending time with your counterpart include:
- Your strengths complement your weaknesses and vice versa
- You will feel more comfortableEngagement
- You will teach each other new things
- You expand your understanding andEmpathymuscles
- You will keep the passion alive more easily
- You will find more balance
- you will increase yourToleranzniveau
- You will gain more patience
The disadvantages of dating your counterpart
The disadvantages of the union of opposites date back to early research.In one study, shy and verbally inhibited participants were paired with critical and assertive partners. The study showed that while they were attracted to each other from an early age, the quality of the relationship suffered over time as the relationship matured. Peers became untenable.
The study consisted of shy, inhibited men alienated from strong, critical women. While at the time the study society may have been reluctant to give credit to confident women (the study was published in 2003), later Gottman Institute studies have found that criticism and contempt are added to the mix for each gendercan destroy any relationship.However, the study found that opposite pairings were unsustainable.
We also know the limitations of pairing opposites from other studies. For example, if the otherthe face is like yours, you are more likely to trust this person, according to an article published in the magazinepsychological science.
This suggests that we are more likely to trust someone who resembles us, and if they don't resemble us, we consider their character undesirable.
Recently, psychologists analyzed the combined results of more than 240 studies into one. They also found that similar partnerships scored the highest. The similarities fell into the areas of values, attitudes, personality traits, and interests.
Without similarities, the partnerships seem to fall apart. Suppose one person in the relationship is ambitious and has specific life goals and the other person is free spirited and doesn't share the same values. If so, the relationship will most likely not work out in the long run.
Do you have Type A Personality? Take this test to find out
Similarities create a stronger pairing
Michael Kosinki, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, leads a global collaboration of more than 100 universities studying the Facebook digital footprints of 8 million people. He co-authored a study published in the journalpsychological science.
By analyzing the digital footprints people have left on Facebook—their likes and what they've posted about—it has been proven that like-minded people come together. Most people interact online with others who are similar to them.As humans, we tend to be attracted to those who are most like us.
Partners who are somewhat opposite to you, such as B. taste in music or favorite food, can definitely improve a relationship. And in the short term, opposites can work in relationships. Remember that when partners are not aligned in terms ofseveralimportant aspects of a relationship, it may not last.
Before entering into a relationship, make sure your core values, attitudes, personality traits, interests, and goals are aligned. Based on solid scientific evidence, relationships are more likely to thrive when you are with someone similar.
How do you know when it's time to break up?