We’ve seen the trope a million times. Danny and Sandy from Grease, Noah and Allie from The Notebook, and more recently, Jake and Amy from Brooklyn Nine-Nine show us the classic story of two people who are incredibly different but end up falling madly in love. So what’s the deal? Do opposites really attract, or do these types of relationships just make for an entertaining plotline?
There have been endless studies and research conducted on this topic, and the conclusion that most draw is no, opposites don’t attract – especially when ‘opposite’ means having vastly different views on fundamental beliefs. While it’s true that having core values that align with your partner’s is key for a happy and healthy relationship, having personality types that are too similar can sometimes lead to couples feeling stuck in a rut.
If you tend to find yourself in relationships with your personality twin, and it doesn’t seem to be working for you, you may want to consider branching out and dating someone you may not normally go for. Here’s why dating your opposite might be just what your next relationship needs.
If you’ve ever dated someone who’s exactly like you, then you understand what it’s like to have your partner enable your desire to stay sedentary in your lifestyle. When you both have the same likes and dislikes your relationship can end up being very routine, and you may suddenly realize it’s been months since you tried anything new. Dating someone with interests, hobbies, and tendencies that differ from your own creates an opportunity to discover and enjoy things like new foods, activities, and habits that you didn’t think you liked. Allowing yourself to be put outside your comfort zone can often also be a great bonding experience between you and your partner.
While it’s true that dating someone who doesn’t necessarily share your every viewpoint can at times be frustrating, it also pushes you to look at things in ways you would never have thought to look at them before. As long as your core values are similar, a few healthy debates among partners can broaden your worldview and open your mind to new schools of thought, which in turn can lead to increased conversation and stronger feelings of intimacy.
Sometimes, having someone around you who is different from yourself can show you pretty quickly where your own faults lie. This is especially true if you find yourself in a Type A vs. Type B relationship with one of you being highly organized, competitive, and ambitious and the other being more laid-back and accepting of failure, but perhaps less organized. Instead of seeing these differences as shortcomings in your partner, using them as opportunities to prompt self-reflection can often be just the push you need to make some necessary and valuable lifestyle changes.
Like any relationship, there will always be a learning curve to spending a large amount of your time with someone else. The upside, however, is that soon you’ll find that the traits you thought made you different have actually become a perfect complement to one another. Maybe you love to cook but hate cleaning up, and your partner loves to clean but hates cooking… perfect combination! Maybe you’re more introverted and your partner is more extroverted and encourages you to get out of the house and socialize, another perfect match.
Finally, the best kinds of relationships are the ones that find the perfect balance between comfort and adventure, between closeness and excitement. Dating your opposite will surely keep you on your toes, and once you figure out how to navigate the differences between yourselves, there’s a good chance you’ll find that the constant combination of new ideas and experiences is just what your relationship needs to keep things interesting.