Do Opposites Attract In Relationships? Here’s What You Need To Know

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We’ve all heard of the saying ‘opposites attract,’ but does it actually apply to modern dating?

Things have changed quite a lot in the past few years thanks to the rise in dating apps and sites, as well as the effect that Instagram has had on how we view other people.

Do we need someone who can challenge us and who holds different values, or is it better to find someone who’s similar to us and is a safer bet?

Do opposites attract? Let’s explore the different arguments for and against.

YES – Opposites are a good kind of challenge.

Dating someone very different to you can be a great way to challenge your expectations for a relationship.

You might think you know what you want, but meeting someone who is quite literally the opposite of you and everything you thought you wanted can be so interesting!

You might find out that you really enjoy new things, you might learn a lot about yourself along the way, and you might realize that there’s a reason things never work out when you date someone who is ‘your type.’

Don’t be scared to go on a date with someone quite different to you. You’ll quickly find some common ground and you’ll be able to suss out if the most important things are there.

You could, for example, be totally different aside from your desire to commit and have kids at some point.

As long as the fundamental values you hold are the same, or similar enough, embrace the fact that you’re otherwise total opposites! You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised…

YES – Opposites provide eye-opening experiences.

Spending time with someone very different to you can be great.

You’re so set in your ways and have only ever dated people very similar to you, with very similar interests, so you might never have experienced what else is out there!

Meeting someone who is very opposite to you in their interests might seem weird – you might think you won’t have a lot in common, or that your lifestyles just won’t match up.

However, you’ll have your eyes opened to a whole new world and might even end up being converted and wind up loving things you never thought you’d be interested in!

YES – Opposites may lead to a more balanced relationship.

Two strong-willed, stubborn alpha personalities might have a whole heap of passion – but will they work long-term?

If we’re too similar to our partner in ways like stubbornness and an inability to be open-minded, for example, we’ll very quickly get to a point where we just argue for the sake of it.

This isn’t the best thing for a relationship and hints that you won’t work out very well long-term.

So, maybe someone who’s opposite to you could genuinely work?

If you’re an alpha who likes making decisions and is unlikely to change their ways, you could match really well with someone who hates making decisions and is happy to let someone else take the lead.

This type of partnership is much better matched and has a lot more lasting potential!

NO – Opposites might suffer communication difficulties.

If you have very different personality types, you and your partner may quickly realize that this creates some communication issues.

If you love talking about your feelings and prefer to actively address issues, but your partner is the total opposite and just shuts down, you’re going to find it a struggle to form a genuine, long-lasting connection with them.

It’s great to have different hobbies and to have traits that balance each other out, but communication styles are much more important in terms of actually functioning as a couple.

Consider choosing a partner who communicates in a similar way to you, but has a different taste in music or sports – that way, you can embrace the differences without worrying about how well you’ll deal with any issues together as a couple.

NO – Opposite love languages can cause problems.

So, love languages are so much more than just a buzzword on Instagram!

They highlight the ways that we like to receive (and give) love and are key to feeling secure and stable in our relationships.

It’s okay if you and your partner have different love languages (it’s quite normal, actually!), but what is important is your willingness to fulfil each other’s needs.

One of you might need physical intimacy to feel appreciated – this is fine, unless the other person in the relationship is very uncomfortable with that and refuses to give it.

This is where a lot of couples have issues, because they are so inherently different that they just can’t quite make it work.

You need to be able to make your partner feel secure, confident, and loved in your relationship, however similar or opposite your hobbies and lifestyles are.

NO – Opposites might experience lifestyle clashes.

Okay, so dating the opposite of you might open you up to a world of hobbies and interests you never would have considered before… but it might lead to some issues around lifestyles.

If you’re a homely person who loves eating dinner in front of the TV, tucked under a blanket, you might love learning more about someone who DJs at a local club and loves going out.

But, will it last?

Your lifestyles might be totally opposite, which can be good fun in the short-term, but you also need to evaluate how realistic it is that things will work out between you.

NO – Opposites can lead to too many compromises.

If you and your partner are total opposites, you’ll need to find a happy medium in order for things to work long-term.

Realistically, that’s going to mean a fair amount of compromising.

Or an unfair amount if only one of you is willing to make any sacrifices.

If one of you has to keep letting things go or changes more to fit in with the relationship, it’s going to start breeding resentment pretty early on.

However exciting and fun it is to hang out with someone who’s so different to you, you’ll end up being frustrated and resentful that you have to change yourself to fit into their world.

The key to making this kind of relationship work is, of course, honest communication.

You’ll need to have a serious chat about the impact that your differences are having on you, and the relationship, and find a way to move forwards – so that you both feel like you’re on even footing!

Remember: you’re not actually that different.

We’ve explored 3 positives and 4 negatives in trying to answer the question “do opposites attract?”

But just how opposite are you… really?

You might initially assume that your partner is the opposite of you because of how they look or dress or behave.

They might be obsessed with football in a way that you could never imagine. Maybe you feel like they’ll never appreciate classical music in the way that you do.

However, once you strip back some of the surface-level aspects of each of your lives and personalities, you might realize that you’re not as different as you first thought.

You might find out that you’ve travelled to the same places, or love the same movies.

You might both secretly love board games and just never tell people because you don’t want to seem geeky.

Either way, over time, you’ll start to notice more and more similarities.

You’ll also start to rub off on each other and your interests might start to merge as you spend more time together doing things each other loves.

You might just end up becoming really invested in their football team after spending so long watching games together!

You’ll also notice the reasons that you were first attracted to them – these will become more and more apparent over time.

Maybe you subconsciously sought them out because you could somehow tell they had a similar upbringing to you, or because you just had a feeling that things would work out well between the two of you.

You were attracted to each other for a reason and, as you get to know each other more and peel back the more superficial layers, you might be surprised to realize how similar you really are underneath it all.

And that, right there, is where true love lies and amazing relationships are born.

Still not sure whether there is potential for you and someone quite different to work as a couple? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.

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About Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.