Have you ever taken notice of someone who is so completely different from you, so opposite in almost every way, yet been completely attracted to them? Maybe it’s a woman who easily captures the attention of a group while you prefer to hang in the background. Or perhaps a guy who spends his weekends training for races when the only marathon you’ve completed was when Netflix released all the back seasons of Gilmore Girls.
And have you ever wondered if some of your past relationships haven’t quite clicked is because you were too much alike?
While there is a distinct comfort in hanging around people that most resemble our personalities and can easily share our interests, there is something intriguing and uplifting about sharing life with someone who is completely different than you.
Why the attraction?
While anyone can share a common interest, it takes a real connection to develop something deeper and sometimes that connection can be made in the most unsuspecting of ways. But why is it that we are drawn to people that are so opposite us?
- Dramatically different people than us can sometimes be the most attractive. Sometimes seeing things in another person that we long to have or possess causes us to be more interested in them then say someone who perfectly mirrors our reflection.
- By connecting with others who have abilities that we do not, our lives are often enriched. It is easy to be drawn to and develop respect for a person that has special gifts or talents that are different than our own.
- People who are different than you often encourage you to be your best self. If you are too alike, you may begin comparing or stress when your partner doesn’t meet certain expectations. When you’re already expecting them to act differently, you tend to rejoice and applaud their differences as they do yours. This can lead to a really unique, unfiltered type of appreciation for each other.
Opposites, or “complements”, as Psychologytoday.com says, do attract.
“Introverts and extroverts, morning people and night people, impulsives and planners, steady plodders and adrenaline junkies, adventure-grabbers and security-seekers…there’s no denying the idea that something in us is drawn to people who counter some of our dominant inclinations with complementary tendencies.”
So now you know why opposites attract, but is this a good thing when looking to commit to a long term relationship and if so, why? Wouldn’t it be safer to just stick with the people that fall in line with the pattern of life that you’ve already created for yourself?
Sure, you could. But what if there’s someone out there, so completely different from you that is exactly right for you?
Why, exactly, is dating someone different than you a good thing?
Learning To Think More and Develop New Ideas
You’ll gain a new perspective on life and be introduced to new things that may even change the course of your life.
A friend of mine who had never been much of a runner started dating a girl who ran 5ks almost every weekend. She asked him if he’d like to join her on a run one evening after work and they had such a great time talking and sharing during the run that he wanted to do it again. Years later they are married and while my friend is sidelined due to the late stages of pregnancy, her husband is still out running!
It’s easy to tire of the same routine day in and day out. A person who is the opposite of you will help expose you to new things and world views, giving you a new outlook on the world.
Type A and B Personalities May Balance Each Other Out
If you’re attracted to someone who is very different from you, chances are your personalities are night and day. This can be a really, really good thing.
Type A people can help pump you up and encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone. They can help you order and organize your life better (should you desire it) and even help you get to where you need to be on time!
The person with a type B personality can help calm you down if you tend to be high strung or anxious. They can help talk you off the ledge when you’re upset about something and encourage you to appreciate the little, beautiful things in life that you might have otherwise missed.
The best thing about having different personalities is that you won’t even have to work at balancing each other out. You’ll have a natural yin-and-yang effect and that can lead to a match made in heaven!
Empathy Might Be Your Surprise Asset
One of the best ways to develop empathy (or sympathy) for others is to be able to understand different perspectives and dating someone who is your polar opposite can help you do so.
Maybe your prospective date was born and raised in a big city whereas you walked to and from school in a small rural town. Maybe he went to a massive state college while you went to a small private university. Maybe they didn’t go to school at all.
Instead of shying away from each other because you come from such different pasts, you could learn all kinds of new things and meet all sorts of new people by allowing your worlds to collide.
By dating your opposite and being open to the things and people they love, you will learn to understand and care about things and people that you may have never considered before.
You’ll Receive Fantastic Advice—If You Can Appreciate It
Sometimes the problems in life that we think are big and unsolvable are actually small feats that can be tackled pretty easily. A person who thinks differently than you do can help you step out of the situation you’re in and examine it from another angle.
The advice that a polar opposite person can offer you can help you look at situations in a way that you never have before, which will lead to quicker and more efficient problem solving.
What Is and What You Think It Is
Being in a relationship means letting go of a lot of your own selfishness and venturing into the life and concerns of another. When looking to dating someone completely different than yourself, you will learn to maneuver through life in a more constructive way.
How you interact with others at work, communicate with your boss and even your family can improve when you learn to step out of yourself and compromise with others. Venturing into a dating relationship with someone different than you can actually promote growth in all of your other relationships as well.
The Best Asset of All—Chemistry
While dating someone polar opposite yourself can create some interesting challenges, these differences can be actually the source of what is considered by many to be the source of the most important aspect of any successful relationship—chemistry.
A friend once said that living is a gift, but to truly live is a choice. If you spend our days safely within the confines of the circles of people you are comfortable with, you may miss out on the opportunity to meet or grow with that person that will help you enjoy life in a way you never have.
We were all created in His image, but we were not all created the same. How awesome it is to know that by being created so differently, we can complement each other so well!