Does the relationship of ‘opposites’ or ‘likes’ last?

Some say “the opposites attract”, while others say “the likes attract.” Who’s right? The more I think about it, the more complex it gets. Because couplings are not that simple to
divide into two distinct groups. Moreover, traits of persons forming such couplings change over time, i.e., starting with the eventful day that persons initially met or dated. These changes could be caused by several factors including personality traits, social and economic conditions, presence and nurturing of children, demands of jobs or professional occupations held, financial situation, family work-life balances…the list is endless.

In this post, I first define why men and women fall for “the opposites” or “the likes” and then how over time, their once so cherished relationship turns sour to the extent that they can hardly stand each other. The result: the likely dissolution of their relationship. Statistically, more than half of such couplings end up in a divorce, and those not divorced, are likely to live as strangers under the same roof.

The key factor bringing together the opposites
The key factor attracting the opposites is the desire to fulfill one’s void in personality, or desire to have, or compensate for something, one doesn’t have or possess. For example, an introvert may be attracted to an extrovert, a less educated to a higher educated, a poor to a rich, an obese to a slender, someone lacking love finding one full of love, and so on. You get the gist. One is looking into the other something that he/she doesn’t have. The seeker is happy to have met and married the one bestowed with the desired trait(s)a desired. That gives the seeker a feeling of satisfaction or fulfillment – a strong motivation to hookup.

But can they live happily together over the long run? In my opinion, they can’t. Sooner or later, their individual personality traits are likely to re-appear, especially when either’s expectations of the other are not met. For example, a person seeking love may not get the kind of love and affection he/she expected, or poor may not find the rich sharing the affluence with the same enthusiasm, or the extrovert may no longer able accept introvert’s life style. Over time, their relationship may turn tense and sour, resulting in a total loss of communication and domestic harmony. The relationship guru, like Dr. Phil McGraw, would be glad to recommend a professional counselling for such couples.

The key factor bringing together the likes
The key factor here is the commonality of their interests and personality traits. As the saying goes, the like minded meet and interact more as they like one another, want to share time together. They are happy sharing common interest and values. The commonality brings them together, including matrimony. However, as psychologists points out, too much familiarity or commonality breeds contempt too. There may come a point where these people had had enough of each other. As a result, boredom, solence, or mutual nit-picking may evaporate all the once harmony.

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