About That “Opposites Attract” Theory: The Pros and Cons of Dating Someone Very Different From You

October 22, 2012  |  
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Movies and television romanticize dating your opposite. Name Grease as one of the biggest culprits. The story always goes: boy meets girl, boy or girl is far more reckless/wild/screw-authority than the other one. The “good one” inspires the wild one to get his/her act together. The wild one inspires the “good” one to loosen up and “enjoy life.” A slight battle ensues, but they somehow find perfect harmony in the end. Most of that is how it goes when two opposites meet. But for the harmony part to happen, the pros need to outweigh the cons. So here’s what you’re up against.

The introvert and the extrovert balance each other

If the extrovert feels the need to go out every night and gets antsy without constant socializing, the introvert can teach him/her to learn to appreciate down time. If the introvert has gotten lazy about “turning it on” and socializing, the extrovert can teach them the art of that again!

The introvert can drag the extrovert down/the extrovert can irritate the introvert

Be careful with the introvert: is he just of a quiet, calmer demeanor, or is he actually anti-social, pessimistic and generally doesn’t like people? If so, he/she will poison the extrovert’s spritely view on life and people. Is the extrovert just a people lover, or an attention lover? If he/she is the latter, then he/she will struggle to pay attention to the introvert, and give him/her the attention deserved.

The proper one and the wild child can better each other

The uptight, super organized, play-by-the-book one can inspire the wild child to get his/her life together. He/she can make being organized and ambitious look attractive to the lawless wild child. The wild child can remind the proper one that life isn’t all about getting to the next step, but also about enjoying the ride.

The proper one and the wild child can embarrass each other

What might seem cute about the wild child when the two are alone can be embarrassing around the proper one’s friends. The wild child’s insistence on breaking rules and defying authority might prove to be more of a hindrance than it is fun in the end. The wild child’s friends might find the proper one to be closed minded and judgmental.

You can learn diplomacy

There is no better way to practice diplomacy, mutual respect and tact than to date somebody with different political views. If you can do this without fighting, and while still truly respecting the other as an intellectual, your relationship can overcome just about anything.

You can eventually just hate each other

If you are going to be with someone with differing views, you have to be honest with yourself: do you actually feel zero animosity towards this person? Too many couples with differing political views lie to themselves and to each other, and put on a show as if everything is fine, when they secretly harbor resentment that comes out in other ways. So, if you really can’t handle the political heat, get out of the kitchen (the relationship).

He’ll introduce you to new kinds of people

By dating your opposite, your social network will instantly broaden. You’ll be invited to new sorts of events, and possibly make new business connections. Eventually, you can conjoin your two groups into one mega group of friends.

 

Your friends may not like him and his may not like you

Remember, you have the magic of sexual attraction that, to you, clouds his flaws. But to your friends, that aren’t sleeping with him, those flaws could just drive them nuts. The same goes for his friends and you. You both need to be willing to bend a little while around each other’s friends, and behave in a way that makes them comfortable, so that they will let you in. Eventually, you can show more and more of your true colors.

You might do things you never thought you could

Your partner might inspire you and give you the courage to do things you never thought you could, like start your own company or go sky diving. They might push you to be your best self.

But you might do things you said you never would…

Under the guise of, “Well, this person loves me, and they want me to do this, so it must be okay…” you might end up doing something that just goes against who you are and your morals. Your partner might push you to try a drug, get a tattoo, go to a Scientology meeting…He/she may leave you feeling like you betrayed yourself.

You supplement one another’s strengths

If you’re the social one and he is shy, you can carry the conversation on double dates for the two of you. If he is the one with business savvy, he can take the lead on financial decisions for the two of you. You can pick up where the other one leaves off, and be grateful to one another for it.

You envy one another’s strengths

If you’re going to date your opposite, you both need to be completely secure in who you are. You should date your opposite because you admire his strengths, not because you desire those strengths. If the latter is the case, you could end up feeling resentful when your partner does something for you that you couldn’t do for yourself, instead of accepting your weaknesses and just feeling grateful that he/she fills in the blanks for you.

 

You’re proving to yourself you don’t see what’s on the outside

If you can really fall in love for and care about somebody that is, on the outside, the total opposite of you, then you can pretty much guarantee you’re not a superficial person and that you know what really counts in a relationship.

You might be trying to prove something to the world

Too often people date “outside the lines” just to prove to their friends and family that they have an open mind, or even to spite their friends and family. Be sure you’re only dating your opposite for yourself, and no one else.

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