Monday, June 18, 2007

Do opposites attract...or subtract?

We’ve all heard the saying “opposites attract” but how many of us actually believe it to be the truth?

Personally, I tend to think that the opposite of opposites attract….whatever that may be. I tend to gravitate to people who are like me, who laugh at the same things I laugh at and like the same things I like.

But perhaps this isn’t what the saying means. What, really, is opposite? Is it someone whose personality is very unlike yours? Or is it someone whose interests and appearance stray from your own? For example...take Lady and the Tramp (see above, left)...the two dogs couldn't be more opposite but one spaghetti meal later and BLAM! Instant love.

The other day I was talking to a friend from work about meeting people you used to go to elementary school with. I pointed out that the novelty quickly wears out when you realize you have nothing in common with them. To that, he said, “Well what’s the fun in that? I don’t want to meet people that I am like. I want to meet people that I am Unlike. Like lion tamers…” and so on.

So when they say, opposites attract, what kind of opposite are we talking about here? And is there any truth in the matter? Or is it more of opposites attracting and then not lasting?

For example, take someone like me. I am fairly quiet (I think), I dress up quite a bit (and rarely dress down though I have my days) and my taste in music is quite particular…though I love classic rock, hard rock (of today) isn’t quite up my alley (the 90’s though, was a different story…I recently acquired Sirius Satellite radio and by far my favourite channel is the 90’s Alternative and Grunge Channel. Pure bliss!). So, for someone like me to go out with a guy who is in a rock band (let’s say, guitarist), would be quite weird, right? Wouldn’t a better match for this person be an alterna-girl with two-tone hair, cargo pants and trainers?

Or would this possibly work because perhaps we have the same sense of humour and love all the same movies and shows (and the ability to quote them endlessly and never get tired of it)? OR do you need more than that? How much do you need in common to make something work? Does it matter at all?

Looking back, everyone I have gone out with had many differences as well as similarities. In fact, my last relationship ended because we were “too different.” Apparently, this takes some people over a year to figure out…and apparently, you can think you are the same as someone, all the while they are actually thinking the opposite. And thus apparently, being “different” can be seen as a bad thing to some.

That said, the fact there were some differences opened me up to whole bunch of new experiences and things. My high school boyfriends introduced me to new music (Bad Religion, Nine Inch Nails), while my last boyfriend introduced me to football (AKA soccer), which I have actually grown to love and am SO excited to go to the Vancouver Whitecaps VS LA Galaxy game in October (HELLO DAVID BECKHAM!) and Arrested Development (which ironically, has led me to “bond” with others who like the show and thus starting a whole new set of things in “common”).

So what do you think? Is it best to pair up with people who are like you? Do opposites really attract – and do they last? What really matters in the end?

17 comments:

Bond said...

Hmm.. Not sure if opposites attract, but I will say that from what I've seen, similarities can form the basis of attraction. People interested in and doing the same thing meet and have something in common to base the rest of their relationship on. Just my 2 cents...
(BTW you are so cool for liking Mystery Science Theatre!)

Kass said...

Does it have to be one or the other? What's the point in constantly trying to label something. Just let it be!

Peter DeWolf said...

I'm in the "opposites attract, but don't last" camp. (I'm delightful, I want to meet women like me.)

I'm also in the "not nearly enough women enjoy Arrested Development" camp.

Luckily the camps are fairly close together, so the commute isn't bad.

Karinaxoxo said...

I agree with Kass - sometimes opposites might attract - other times they might not.I think its specific to an indivual case!
Sure his taste in music may be different - but the whole guy in a band is just a label!

Todd said...

I have to agree with the whole "attract but don't last" idea. Unless one person changes the other person, then maybe it does. I don't know. I'm so far gone from dating it's not even funny.

Markbnj said...

I agree with todd... He said, "I'm so far gone from dating it's not even funny." Hey, that's what I get for being married almost 30 years (yes, still to my first wife!)

We are Absolute opposites, in everything, and we've managed to meld decently

Enjoy the good times. You deserve them!!

Dan said...

Hey. I love Arrested Development!

Yeah. We have something in common to last us until we, um, me is 60.

Tawcan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tawcan said...

Not sure if completely opposites attract, but completely similarities definitely won't work either. If you and your partner share the exact same interests you probably end up doing the same stuff over and over again and will never explore new things.

You need a mixture of similarities and differences to make the relationship work. (This, of course, comes out from someone that's currently single lol)

lenfercestlesautres said...

You need a common basis, i.e. your strongest beliefs should be the same and you should have a couple of hobbies in common too. In everything else difference just adds some spice.

Sean said...

i think the longer you get into a relationship the similarities that you need are the little things that can be big things that you don't think about when you first start dating. ideas towards money and savings, division of labor around the house, morning/night people, sleep schedules/habits, and when you get far enough down the road ideas about child raising. when you've dated the same person for five years i think it's less their taste in music that bothers you than whether they leave their dirty laundry in a pile that you have to step over in the bathroom or always run the car to "e" when they drive it so you have to go out of your way to fill up when you're already running late. or if they're someone who's chronically late while you have to be early... or their sex drive tapers off as you get to know one another better while yours amps up.

Harleyblue said...

Who knows? It either works or doesn't work and I think a lot of that has to do with chemistry that you can't label or define. It's either there or it's not.

almost famous kiwi said...

I would hate to date someone like me! My boyfirend is so different from me and has opened my eyes to those differences, he got me to go along to a system of a down concert! I think Ive also helped him to see things differently too. By the way that pic of you guys with lady and the tramp is so cute.

DIAMONDKT said...

I tend to not be attracted to my complete opposite, but rather someone who is similar to me whose strengths balance out my weaknesses…and vice versa. If she is too much like me, I might as well date myself. And if she is too different than me, than I may have to suppress the urge to choke her before the main course comes at dinner. That’s a bit harsh, huh?

I think I found your blog thru Steph’s and I think I may be hooked on it already. Hope you don’t mind – I’m linking to you. :)

Vegas Princess said...

My husband and I are definately opposites and we work out fine. I am loud and obnoxious, he quiet and reserved. But we have a sort of balance where I know I will do most of the talking and he is the great listener. But being opposites has opened both of us up to new experiences with each other. Before he met me he had never been to a play or musical and now loves to go with me and I had never played poker in my life and now like to play. I thnk it depends on the differences. If you are opposite in tastes it will probably work better than if you are opposite in morals or beliefs.

Farrell said...

What REALLY matters is if you are the same in morals, beliefs, core values, and the other BIG things Sean was talking about.
You should have some common interests so that you can both have fun together, doing the same things. And it's quite all right for you to each have your own interests/hobbies. Like the others said: balance.
Todd: People can't change other people in that way that you implied.

BecsLifeOnline said...

It's a difficult one. I've always thought that opposites attract because it's interesting and exciting to learn about someone who has totally different hobbies/ideas as you. On the other hand, when I thought about it in more detail, why would you want to hear someone harp on +on about something you couldn't give a toss about? Wouldn't it be better to have a discussion with someone who shares the same passion for a particular topic as you?