Tuesday Thoughts:: Opposites Attract?

Earlier last week, I did a bit of microblogging on my personal Facebook account, and I got so many messages I decided to expand.

This is what I wrote on Facebook

“For the longest, I believed in the old saying “opposites attract” – I believed it so strongly that I was ever so inclined to look for that _ I was wrong, it never lead me anywhere. Now at 35 (which is like 21 with 14 years of experience), I have finally understood that this myth it is not always true – and perhaps has never been true for me. Similarities attract. Same levels of OCD (lol, I have germ issues ok) same levels of weirdness matched up with same humour, values, morals, and background are important and fundamental. They lead to better COMMUNICATION, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING. Opposites might be attractive at times, but similarities, man… those create magic sparks.”

Who came up with that nonsense of opposites attract? I mean yes, it is true, sometimes some difference can bring some balance into a relationship, however, more often than not it creates cracks. After all, why not seek to be with someone who can see and experience the world like you do? Has this perhaps been perpetuated by the media? Let’s look into Disney movies, movies which many little girls (myself included) grew up with. The Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid, for example, are filled with the notion of opposites and the perpetual seek for completeness. That is a pure lie. We are complete, whole and unique from the moment we are born, we do not need to seek for another half to make us one. We are ONE whole and beautiful. We should seek for supportiveness and life satisfaction, both of which are rooted in similarities. One similar view of the world, one similar path to seek. That is my opinion anyway, but just in case let me back my thought up with some research…

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The paper, “Personality Similarity and Life Satisfaction in Couples” by Katrin Furler, Veronica Gomez, Alexander GrobDepartment of Psychology, University of Basel, Switzerland, suggests that “research to date leans more towards ‘‘like attracts like’’ rather than ‘‘opposites attract’’ and assumes that similarity, as opposed to complementarity (Antill, 1983), is an important factor in romantic relationships.

“Studies on mate selection, for instance, support the notion that similarity between partners is essential in forming intimate relationships. People, rather consciously or unconsciously, choose partners who are similar to themselves on a number of variables, from age, education, values, physical attractiveness, and intelligence (Epstein & Gutt-man, 1985; Vandenberg, 1972). The similarity is theorised to be beneficial for intimate relationships by coordinating partners’ thoughts and behaviours, increasing understanding of each other’s intentions and motivations, and reinforcing their appraisals, leading to relationship satisfaction and longevity (Anderson, Keltner, & John,2003).

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Although many other empirical research on the matter has proved inconclusive due to the difficulties to quantify levels of life satisfaction, and personality traits in a more general manner, I have come to believe, for me in particular, similarities are a fundamental part of building strength in any kind of relationship.

What do you think? What has worked for you?

xoxo, Jihane

Tuesday

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