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Do opposites attract: should you date someone very different from yourself?

Do opposites attract: should you date someone very different from yourself?

People often say that opposites attract, but attraction doesn’t automatically imply compatibility or optimal health.

Lots of times we are attracted to things without them being inherently good for us, take for instance, our attraction to gossip, junk food, inactivity, and quick money: the attraction is certainly very real, but the benefits can be fleeting without the right work ethic to back it up.

So what is the potential allure to someone very different than ourselves, and what are the dangers and potential benefits of being with someone totally different from ourselves?  From my own personal experience, I can tell you being with someone that is your opposite can be a challenging and highly rewarding experience for both people.

 

The benefits of being with someone totally different than you.

 

  1. Increased attraction.

Many times we are attracted to people very different from ourselves simply because of the excitement of something new and different. People that are very different from us awaken new possibilities and experiences within our lives, and that can bring a lot of excitement with it.

Someone different from us also peaks our curiosity, or rather, it challenges us to learn something new, and challenge inherently awakens a primal urge to figure things out over time.

Many times someone different from what we are accustomed to physically is very exciting as well. A different shade of skin color, a different body proportion, or a different set of facial features can all produce a strong attraction for someone.

 

  1. Opportunity for huge personal growth.

Being with someone totally different than you brings new worlds to life right in front of your eyes.  Our worldly opposites can provide us with an alternate viewpoint of life that can shift our views on everything from sex to religion.

Take for example: a clean freak meeting with a complete slob. If both partners are willing to expand their minds in the name of love, the clean freak can learn to let go of control and be more relaxed, while the slob can learn new tricks to become more clean and efficient.

The opportunity for personal growth only exists if you are willing to examine your own personal beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses, and use your partner as a gauge to measure you personal progress and growth.

 

  1. Life in balance. (Synergy)

Opposites can naturally reinforce our own personal weaknesses. For example: He may be great with money and budgeting, but terrible at having fun and splurging when possible, and She may be terrible with money and budgeting, but great at letting go and having a good time.

Alone he is boring, predictable, and sad; while alone, she is aloof, wasteful, and ends up regretful of spending choices. Together their weaknesses can blend into a coupe capable of both having fun and being spontaneous while also being able to budget and plan for the future.

Synergy is when the sum of two separate parts is greater than their individual worth separately, or rather: instead of 2+2 being four, it equals 5 instead. Opposites provide an excellent chance at creating synergy in your love life, and creating a unit that is far more capable and effective together than either person is on their own.

 

  1. Learn to love as one should truly love.

When you love someone because they are just like you, you are sort of just projecting your love for yourself onto someone else. The more you surround yourself with someone just like you, the deeper you will probably fall into your own ways and the more you fall in love with an image of who someone is.

However, when we learn to love an opposite, we can learn to love someone for who they are- despite their difference in opinion, thinking, or living. There really is no right way of living, and anyone who is convinced that there is such a way is delusional. Being with your opposite, helps you to love people in spite of- or even better- for their differences, and that is what true love is all about.

 

The drawbacks of being with someone very different from you.

 

  1. Constant challenge.

Someone very different than yourself will constantly challenge you, and while challenge is an occasion to grow and evolve as a person, it only will work if you are ready for change. If you simply find that you are too stuck in your own ways to be open to changing things about yourself, it will be very difficult to be with your opposite.

Even for those of us looking for constant personal growth, perhaps one of the hardest things to do in life is to completely shed an old way of thinking or living. Our minds will often grasp desperately onto our own paradigms, and learning to let go of our preconceived notions and beliefs is a lifelong and highly challenging process.

 

  1. A lot of disagreements.

When She believes gay marriage is a sin, and He doesn’t, you know there are bound to be some disagreements; the more adamantly someone believes in their belief or cause, the stronger the disagreement between the two people will likely be. When you are with your opposite, everything from what silverware to buy right down to the names of your children can be a battle if you let it become that way.

 

  1. Love and respect must be constantly nurtured.

When you are with someone who you never agree with or see eye to eye with, the need for mutual respect and love is much greater. If two people always agree on everything and disagreements are infrequent, then the couple is not required to constantly worry about being fair and kind to their partner, but when the person you love feels differently than you do, it takes a strong commitment towards mutual respect to keep things together,

Simply put, while opposites may attract, they will also tend to push away the closer they get, and it takes strong bonds of love and respect to keep two opposites together long-term.

 

  1. More morals/values conflicts.

A conflict of values or morals is perhaps one of the biggest challenges for a couple to overcome.  Conflicts of values are conflicts in what each person believes is right and wrong, and a value is often a very important and deeply sensitive belief that a person holds onto. Religious conviction, political affiliation, commitment to family, workplace ethics, or even the way we interact with others can be huge sources of contention for opposite couples.

Morals and values conflicts demand either tolerance, acceptance, or embrace, because you cannot change someone’s values or morals- only they can look inwardly and examine their stance on values.  The harder you try to change a person’s beliefs of what is right or wrong, the harder they will usually resist and the further you will be pushed apart, which again, takes a huge amount of respect and love to keep together.

 

All of the drawbacks of being with someone very different come from RESISTANCE, while all of the benefits of being with your opposite come from ACCEPTANCE.

So the real question to ask if you want to know if dating someone totally different than yourself is this. “Am I ready to let go of my beliefs, grow as a person, challenge myself and my thinking each day, and become aware enough to cultivate an environment of deep love and respect?”

If the answer is yes, then you may be ready to run into the challenges of being with someone very different from yourself, but if your answer is no, then perhaps you should reconsider. Being with someone very different from yourself can create an incredibly strong relationship with VERY strong bonds, it can help you grow, it can expand your mind and make you a better person, it can help strengthen your weaknesses, and it can produce a very deep and true love, but it also will take a lot of love, respect, patience, and open mind, and of course a lot of challenge and hard work. Only you can know for sure what you are ready for.

 

My current relationship is with a girl very different than myself.

I was raised in an all white, small midwestern town, she was raised in a predominantly black community in the south. I am a caucasian male- born as an only child- in a small family, she is cambodian and from a huge family full of relatives. I am tight with money, structured, and highly goal oriented, while she is free spirited, spontaneous, and loves to have fun.

The differences could go on all day, but ultimately we have such a great relationship because we have both openly embraced our differences, used each other as tools to grow and improve as people, and we give each other a lot of love, respect, understanding, and kindness.

 

Only you can decide what you are ready for in life, and only you can ask the questions you need to ask, but if you are ready to grow, try finding someone very different from yourself.

What do you think?  Have you ever been with or are you currently with someone opposite of yourself?  What have your experiences been and what tips can you offer to our other readers on the site?  Please leave a comment below or contact us on facebook with your feedback!

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