Does the ‘Opposites Attract’ Rule Really Work in Relationships?

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    Her idea of a romantic evening begins with dinner and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon at her favorite French restaurant. His idea of a romantic evening is stuffing himself over a home cooked meal that she prepared, followed by a night on the couch in front of another episode of Anthony Bourdain on CNN. She likes to get up early, plan her day and take long walks on the beach. He prefers to catch a matinee and watch Transformers at the local dine-in-theater. She likes to eat healthy and stay fit. His idea of a healthy lifestyle is opting to eat sugar free ice cream from the Cold Stone Creamery. They say that opposites attract but, when two people seem as far apart as the earth and the moon, is their attraction strong enough to hold the relationship together?

    Absolutely! When it comes to relationships, attraction has little to do with the things we don’t have in common and more to do with the love each of person has for the other as well as the desire they have to make the relationship work. Take romantic movies, for example. The premise for just about every romantic movie is that opposites attract. From one of the most popular movie musicals of all time, The Sound of Music (Governess Maria falls in love with the Captain Von Trapp), to Gone With the Wind (The Black sheep of a wealthy Charleston Family, Rhett Butler falls in love with spoiled Southern girl Scarlett O’Hara), to Moonstruck (Bakery operator Ronny Cammareri falls in love with Bookkeeper Loretta Castorini), to Disney’s best animated feature, Beauty and the Beast (Beauty meets the Beast), the assumption is that love prevailed despite the fact that these characters have nothing in common.

    Now, let’s look at the, “like attracts like” concept?

    According to the law of attraction like attracts like. This does not mean that you must do, be or enjoy exactly the same things. Rather, “like attract like” refers to the attraction between each person’s purpose and intention. Let’s take the two individuals in the first paragraph, for example: If her purpose and intention were to get married and start a family and he was not, then the relationship would not last. However, so long as both his and hers purpose and intention is set on marriage and a family, the relationship will prevail because it is both of their innermost desires that matter, not the things they do or do not have in common.

    Let me be clearer, I’m not saying that if you have similar taste in food, health and romance that your relationship is doomed. What I am saying however is that those similarities are not enough to hold your relationship together. Two dear friends of mine, John and Sandy, have been married for over 15 years. They couldn’t be more opposite from one another: John is flamboyant and outgoing, while Sandy is introverted and private. John is an extreme liberal, while Sandy is an extreme conservative. One day I asked John and Sandy what the secret was to their relationship and they both agreed that it was their opposing views and opinions that made their relationship work. According to John, he said that although Sandy’s views were so different than his own, that he felt like he had become a more well rounded individual who learned to not only respect, but appreciate other cultures, ideals and opinions. They each balanced the other.

    As a culture, we are fascinated with the concept – whether in movies or in real life – that opposites attract. The super rich guy meets the poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks or the popular jock in school meets the nerdy bookworm. And, when two seemingly misfits pair up, we root for them, hoping that their relationship will succeed. For many of us it’s like a happy ending in a fairy tale: Where two polar opposite people triumph against all odds and live happily ever after. While opposites may not seem ideal, they do attract, and the differences offer another dimension that can make for a lasting relationship.

    This article was originally published on Huffington Post by Collette Gee: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/collette-gee/relationships_b_5303521.html