Opposites attract is a popular axiom, so popular that over 80 percent of us believe it to be true !
It’s an axiom we are schooled in from childhood.
Think for a moment of Disney’s Belle and the Beast, the little Mermaid and her human prince and Anna and Kristoff in Frozen. All stories of the romantic triumph of opposites.
Psychologists say we can be drawn to admire qualities in others that we want more of in ourselves. We all seek both security ( love, support ,care, safety) and novelty ( adventure, freedom, risk and challenge). Being with someone who has more of what I am not can mean I experience myself as more whole, more complete, and that’s attractive. This however can lead to what is knows as ‘fatal attraction principle’- the quality that we once found very attractive becomes the quality that in fact ends the relationship .
Similarity is more powerful than difference
Research shows a big problem with seeking to make a happy life with an opposite. All studies of long term successful relationships point to similarities not differences as vital to relationship success.
In a study of 1523 couples in long term relationships, their values, attitudes and personality traits were 86% similar .
In Professor Terri Orbuch’s study of 373 couples over thirty years, similarities in values , attitudes, personality and communication styles was the number one predictor of long term relationship success.
Not everything needs to be similar for long term success. No two people are exactly the same.
Where there is a strong relationship bedrock of similar values, attitudes and personality , surface level differences like hobbies and interests, decisiveness or outgoingness can produce a healthy ‘tension of opposites’. This can bring novelty and learning into the relationship.
For instance being with a partner who is more outgoing can help you be more outgoing.
These are differences we can continue to admire in our partners.
The similarities that really matter are three fold:
1) key life values
2) expectations for the relationship
3) communication styles
When we work with you at HeartMatch we spend time with you to understand your relationship history and patterns. We help you make your key life values and ideal partner attributes conscious, using our LifeMatch Fingerprint approach.
We use those to match you with highly curated compatible matches, compatible in both personality and looks, compatible as they deeply share your values, expectations and life goals.