Do Opposites Really Attract?    

Years ago, I might have said yes, but now I am not so sure.  My husband and I are very opposite in a lot of ways.  He’s more athletic than I am, and I am more into music, theater, and art related interests.  There is a little overlap in the music we listen to, but we definitely have different tastes. He is not very good at getting back to people or getting things done for them that he said he would do, and I drop what I am doing to do things for other people because I don’t like to keep people hanging.  He turns on practically every light as he moves around the house, but my eyes prefer dim light, so I am always turning them down or off.  I’m not all that comfortable being the center of attention, and he craves the spotlight.  I’m more of a rule follower, and he operates more as if the rules don’t apply to him.  He empties the lint trap on the dryer before doing a load of laundry, where as I empty it afterwards.  If there are two routes to take to drive somewhere, he would go one way and I would go the other.  I tend to load the dishwasher from the back to the front and filling the silverware sections one at a time, thinking about input.  He likes to keep the silverware evenly distributed in the sections and puts the same size dishes together for more ease in emptying the dishwasher, thinking about output.  I like to let all of our guests serve themselves before getting my own food, but he likes to get his food first while it’s good and hot.  When I make a sandwich, I take up as little counter space as possible and put the ingredients away as I am done using them.  He spreads out using all the counter space and waits until he is done eating to put anything away, which prevents anyone else from using the counters.  If I make a promise, I have every intension of keeping it, but I cannot say the same for him.  I like to talk out issues when they arise and try to resolve them quickly, whereas he likes to avoid talking about things altogether.  I am trying to teach my kids about being honest, and he models for them how to be deceitful and dishonest.  You get the picture.

Some of these things are pretty trivial while others definitely are not.  While we do have some similarities, the opposites have become more and more obvious over the years, and I have come to realize that we have very different values and are very different people.  So now I would be much more inclined to believe that while opposites may initially attract, eventually they just repel each other.

I think it’s fine to have some differences in personality and/or interests.  For example, perhaps one person is more outgoing while the other is more reserved.  They may bring out the opposite side of each other so that the reserved person gets out and about and tries new things more than they would otherwise, while the outgoing one perhaps learns to be content being home or doing ordinary things.  I do think you need some of the same interests or things in common though, like your taste in music, but I think it’s good to have separate interests that involve getting together with other people or that you do by yourself.  Your significant other might enjoy some poker with the guys while you get out to see a movie with your lady friends.  Or perhaps one of you enjoys doing something crafty while the other enjoys playing an instrument or fishing.  It’s when your core values and beliefs and what you want out of your relationship and life in general don’t jive that I think people run into problems.  I know that’s the case with me, in addition to being opposite in our interests.  I just wish I had realized this a whole lot sooner.


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