It is said that opposites attract… and in relationships, this is especially true. It is quite natural to be attracted to individuals who are different from and challenge you. The differences provide mystery, intrigue and a view from a different perspective.
Some relationship experts believe that we are naturally drawn to individuals who have strengths that we are missing. They feel that as humans, we all possess an innate quest for completion. Therefore, our attraction to an opposite personality could be our subconscious mind propelling us toward completion by causing us to not face our weaknesses but to remedy them.
Learning how to truly love, appreciate and embrace another’s differences is key to having a lasting and fulfilling relationship and while simultaneously growing as a person. Because when opposites function as a couple, they become a well-rounded synchronized unit.
Just as being opposites drew you to each other, it can also be your undoing. Learning how to make a relationship work in spite of major differences is challenging. However, the rewards far exceed the pains and you benefit more from your differences than you would if you and your partner were exactly alike.
Think of it this way; if both of you are exactly the same, one of you is unnecessary
If one-half of the couple is loud, opinionated and a social butterfly and the other half is quiet, soft spoken and reserved–they can both learn from each other. They can not only help each other tone it down and amp it up, but they also can help each other understand how others may be affected by their behavior.
If one person is a free spirit and lacks routine and the other is a planner and calculates every move, both parties would definitely benefit from adopting some of the habits of the other. Or if one is a spender and worry-free when it comes to fiscal responsibility and the other is extremely frugal and watches every penny–the chances of that couple having a life time of great experiences and a tidy retirement nest egg –are greatly increased.
We all need balance in our lives and having a partner that is your opposite automatically adds the missing piece of the equation.
Whether or not you agree with another person’s perspective is not nearly as important as being exposed to it. A lot of people feel that opposing–or just different–viewpoints automatically results in conflict, which is not entirely true. Being exposed to and considering a subject from a different angle doesn’t mean you have to agree or that you are weak-minded or gullible. It does demonstrate your willingness to engage, understand, learn and grow.
Seeing things through the eyes of another allows you to become more empathetic and relate to the world in a different way. It expands your mind, awakens a different set of senses and unleashes in you the power to make even better decisions.
Learning to compromise is not only key to making a relationship work but is also to navigating life. Traditionally, when we think of compromise we think that we must give up something, the other person also has to give up something and we both only get half of what we want. But truly effective compromise creates “win-win” situations. If you can learn to see your partners diverse needs, likes and desires as an opportunity for you both to be enriched, empowered and satisfied, you will thrive in the area of creating the “win-win.”
Compromise is driven by communication. When seeking to compromise one usually “gives in” to the other. But being with someone who is very different than you affords you more opportunities to hone your communication skills and develop the creativity and ingenuity it takes to produce scenarios where everyone wins. And that is not just good for your relationship–it’s just good, period.
Learning how to make a relationship work with a person who is dissimilar is challenging. Challenges build character and fortitude. Don’t shy away from dating or friending someone because they appear to be too different from you. You may be passing up an opportunity to experience true love, develop a deep appreciation for divergent viewpoints and the opportunity to become your best self.
Featured image by Max Pixel