We Come Together Cause Opposites Attract

"Opposites Attract" by Paul Abdul

We all know at least one: couples who are complete, polar opposites. The once-high-school-jock who married the literal drama queen. The geeky guy with social anxiety who married the social butterfly. The nerdy computer tech who married the artsy photographer. The list goes on, and so does my amazement.

The majority of the (happily) married couples I know are complete opposites. You’d think I’d get used to this, but every time I meet a couple like this, I’m completely blown away. Case in point: I recently found out this girl I knew in high school who was valedictorian of her class, in drama club, and a modern-day hippie married the jock/class clown. I wouldn’t have thought these two would even be able to stand each other, let alone enjoy a romantic relationship with each other.

But I think “opposite couples” have the right idea when it comes to having a successful relationship. Not that people who are really similar can’t have successful relationships — many do. I just think opposite couples have to master the art of compromise and an appreciation for their partners — especially the differences their partners bring to the table — in a different way than a couple who agrees on almost everything. And this is certainly easier said than done.

I recently went on a few dates with a guy who was my complete opposite. I’d been interested in him for a number of years mainly because he was everything I wasn’t: physically incredibly strong, outgoing and outspoken, and athletic. I really appreciated how different he was from me and had high hopes for a relationship full of learning from each other and pushing each other to have new and different experiences. Apparently he didn’t have the same ability to appreciate differences in others. He constantly made a point to remind me he wasn’t college educated like I was, and he was pretty freaked out by my built-in bookcase packed with books and told me he just couldn’t sit around reading. And the straw that seemed to break the camel’s back was the fact that I don’t exercise regularly and, in fact, consider regular walks with my 90-pound dog pretty good exercise given my busy lifestyle. Ouch.

So how do opposite couples do it? Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. But sometimes I think it really is as simple as Paula Abdul says it is in her song “Opposites Attract”: “Baby ain’t it somethin’ how we lasted this long? You and me provin’ everyone wrong. Don’t think we’ll ever get our differences patched. Don’t really matter cuz we’re perfectly matched!”

Love and magnetic fields,



~ by Mika Doyle on July 2, 2010.

13 Responses to “We Come Together Cause Opposites Attract”

  1. I often wonder about this!! I’m trying to figure out how much “opposite” I really want or need. It’s a tricky tricky balance… If you’re too different you some times have nothing you can talk about or relate to. Too much the same and life gets boring. Hmm… It’s a fine line…

    Sorry the dates didn’t work out. I say, you’re better off without him. 🙂


    • I agree, Caitlin — it really is such a fine-line! And thank you for saying I’m better off without him. It took me a couple of months to accept that, but now that I have, I’ve realized the whole experience really reinforced my acceptance of myself. I shouldn’t have to change myself to make some guy want to be with me; he should want to be with me because he loves me for who I am. Seems like common sense, but when you’re “love-drunk,” you to start lose your ability to think clearly :).

      • No, you shouldn’t have to change yourself, If that guy couldn’t like you for you, then he wasn’t worth the time. Because you’re wonderful as you are. look in a mirror and compliment yourself, because anyone’s opinion of you doesn’t matter, You have to belive it from within you. Tell yourself every good thing about you, because the second you belove yourself, you start feeling more confident. Take it from one who’s tried “the mirror test”. I became more confident and motivated for me after.

  2. Very interesting post Mika! I’m a guy and just speaking for myself I would prefer someone who shares the same experiences and likes/dislikes that I do. But on the other hand, if there are some significant opposites that exist in that person, it leaves the door open to some very interesting conversations and confrontations. I always felt that a relationship should be the type where both people are enthusiastic about being with each other so much that it outweighs the effort put into the relationship due to opposites, likes/dislikes, etc. If the relationship is all about the effort in making it work then I think that you should looks somewhere else.

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective, Darold! It’s so great to see the guys weighing in. My favorite point you madew as this: “I always felt that a relationship should be the type where both people are enthusiastic about being with each other so much that it outweighs the effort put into the relationship due to opposites, likes/dislikes, etc.” I couldn’t agree more!!

  3. I ask myself how this works everyday because I married my opposite! We went to school together, I was the nerd, he was popular, played sports, and the bad boy. And he liked me…. weird! LOL Now, in our “old age” we’ve changed, but we’re still opposites. I’m the frou-frou wife, he wears tshirts and is covered in tattoos. People are always shocked when either of us introduces the other one as their spouse. My husband says he’s never been attracted to girls that were like him (into sports, liked the same music). For me… I dated a “fancy” boy once… LOL He was the most boring guy I ever met!

    • Thanks for sharing, Lisa! So for you two, you just “clicked” and the differences just didn’t matter?

  4. I agree with Paula Abdul’s opinion on this one — and by that I mean the opinion that we should all be dating cartoon cats.

    P.S. Speaking of opposites attract. There’s this new dating site that launched on June 21 called Opposites Connect. Here’s the link http://oppositesconnect.com/home.php.

    Stories about it were in the “weird news” section of a few online news sites. So it sounds like the concept of opposites is weird to a lot of people.

    • haha that is so awesome!!! I totally need to sign up for this site to see what it’s all about. I guess I qualify as weird since I think it’s a great idea. Though from our conversation a few days ago, I’d say you’d disagree since you’d be happy dating yourself 😛 j/k!

  5. Mika! I just now had the chance to check out your blog. It’s great! I really enjoy reading your insight into things and you keep the conversation flowing so effortlessly. I love it.

    I can relate to this post so thanks for writing this! Opposites do attract! In fact, being completely opposite from your partner keeps things fun and interesting. You feel, do, and experience more with someone who is nothing like you.

    Core values, though, that’s where things are the same with me and my guy. As long as you have a common ground, opposites can work in harmony. I applaud anyone who at least gives their opposite a shot.

    Everyone has their dream man/woman. But let’s face it, dreams are dreams. That’s how I found my guy 🙂

    • Great comments Rowena!! Thanks for reading!!

    • Thanks for checking out the blog, Rowena! I’m glad you’re enjoying my posts so far :). And thanks for sharing your insights on the whole opposites attract thing. You make a really great point about how core values are really want hold a relationship together. That actually makes “opposite couples” and how they manage to build such strong relationships make so much more sense!

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