Viren Swami does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. If you were brought up on a diet of Disney fairy tales, you might be forgiven for thinking that opposites attract. Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid all perpetuate the idea that the ideal partner is someone who has the opposite qualities to ourselves. For decades, psychologists and sociologists have pointed out that the idea that opposites attract is a myth. In fact, almost all the evidence suggests that opposites very rarely attract. The psychologist Donn Byrne was one of the first to study the impact of similarity on the early stages of relationships. The procedure begins with participants completing a questionnaire about their attitudes on a variety of topics, such as the use of nuclear weapons. Byrne manipulated the degree of similarity between the participant and the phantom stranger.
Do opposites really attract?
As a society, most kids in the United States are raised idolizing couples whose differences are what inevitably tie them together. We fantasize about the idea of finding someone different from us in the hopes that we find someone who is right for us. There are those stereotypes of good girls being attracted to bad boys, geeks to jocks or the everyday civilian finding love with the ultra-famous.
So why do we continue to look for romantic partners so different than ourselves?
But it’s not just Disney: the idea that opposites attract has completely may be some situations in which it can actually undermine attraction.
Think back to the last few people you were attracted to. Picture them in your mind — how they looked, acted, and behaved. What was it that drew you to them? Was it all the similarities you shared, or was it because they were so unlike you? Depending on how you answer, you may believe the idea that opposites attract is real. Or maybe you’re the type to consider it a made-up phenomenon by big rom-coms trying to trick you into buying movie tickets. But is there actually some truth to it? Do opposites really attract?
Do opposites attract? The fact and the fiction behind the myth
However, at some point in our lives most of us need to face the fact that relationships require effort to keep them strong and positive, and that even wonderful, strong relationships can be destroyed by neglect. Although the different types of relationships have very different characteristics and specific needs, there are two basic areas which seem to be critical in all relationships: Expectations and Communication.
What do we expect from ourselves and the other person involved in the relationship? How do we communicate these expectations, and our feelings and opinions to the person in the relationship?
“I don’t really think opposites do attract,” says William Ickes, PhD, Get and Stay That Way, is also a psychologist for an online dating service.
I am pretty shy when it comes to the dating world, but I am venturing out into this unmarked territory with optimism as my compass. As you could probably guess, I am single—happily single that is J. But, I do hope to be happily married one day. So, what is the secret—how do I get there? Fortunately, there is never a shortage of dating advice from family, friends, or a favorite talk show. However, at times, it is necessary to filter this massive flow of dating tips in an effort to retain only helpful advice.
So what happens when you have people who are polar opposites in a relationship with one another?
Can Opposites Attract And Have Happy Relationships?
Do opposite people have an automatic attraction to each other because of their differences? This does not necessarily apply between your significant other; friends can be in the mix as well. Once you define what you think opposite means, then it becomes easier to answer the question altogether. And no one can say one is right and one is wrong for both are right depending on the person. There we have two head butting opinions with logic reasoning behind their decisions.
Talk to any of my friends and they’ll tell you I’m picky about who I date. They’ll say that I need to be more open and try to be with different people.
Where I love the hustle, they live for the weekend. Where I get excited for a night of Netflix and chill , they prefer the bar with friends. It seems pretty obvious, based on my pattern, that I agree with what 80 percent of people think : opposites attract. But why is that? To compensate for qualities we subconsciously feel we lack? To push our boundaries?
And, like, should opposites attract? According to experts, a lot of the attraction has to do with having a healthy sense of curiosity. It makes us want to get to know them, understand them. For instance, a person who is detail-oriented may feel stabilized by a person who is a big-picture thinker; a shy person may feel balanced by someone who can work a room. For instance, as someone who loves routine and hates to fly, I find travel to be totally anxiety-inducing.
Opinion: Do opposites really attract when it comes to politics?
The most epic love stories and novels of our era all seem to perpetuate the common myth that opposites attract. Whether it is the story of Beauty and the Beast, the poor, orphaned Jane Eyre and the rich, eligible Mr Rochester, or the star-crossed members of the Montague and Capulet families, popular and classic culture would have us believe that our true love is also our polar opposite.
But studies have found that, rather than searching for someone who is different to us in every way, we might find the most stable and loving relationships with someone who is more similar. Much research has been conducted over the years in an attempt to establish whether this maxim has any merit. Studies found that if people considered themselves to be wealthy and attractive, they wanted a partner of equivalent status.
Attitude similarities were also established, with matching traits such as agreeableness, conscientiousness, anxiety and extraversion.
Remember studying magnets in science at school? If you put two pluses or two negatives together they would repel each other, but popping together a negative and a plus would stick like glue. Should you only date people who are opposite to you? Does the rule of opposites attract actually apply when trying to find a soul mate or is it only related to science? And is there such thing as a person who is too opposite for a relationship to work? After a quick Google search, it seems the opposite theory rings true.
Opposite personalities do attract. But why? Relationship experts believe we are attracted to people who are different from us because it automatically creates excitement. There is so much you need to learn about this new person because they are nothing like you.
Do Opposites Attract? Here’s What Science Says
Subscriber Account active since. Young and old people, happy and distressed couples, single folks and married partners — all apparently buy the classic adage about love. Researchers have investigated what combination makes for better romantic partners — those who are similar, different, or opposite? Scientists call these three possibilities the homogamy hypothesis, the heterogamy hypothesis and the complementarity hypothesis, respectively.
The clear winner is homogamy. They found an irrefutable association between being similar to and being interested in the other person.
Do opposites truly attract each other in the first place? The answer If you know you don’t want children, you probably won’t date anyone who does want them.
In the past, my deal breakers when it came to dating would be traits such as anger issues or addiction problems. However, with our political climate becoming increasingly polarized, politics has become one of my top deal breakers. Now, it is not about saying whether you are a Democrat or a Republican—it is the values you choose to support by choosing a side that gives me a better impression of who you are as a person and what you strongly believe in.
The foundation of a relationship, to me personally, should be built with similar values that both of you already bring to the table, and that is why I would not date someone who has opposing political views. Furthermore, this number is lower if you belong to a minority group. Our gender should not dictate the value we add to the workforce, and this is one issue I am strongly passionate about and that I would want my significant other to believe in as well.
Love is love, and everyone deserves to experience the feeling of love and being loved by someone, regardless of gender or sexuality. A person who is homophobic will definitely not get along with me, as I pride and value the art of spreading love and creating a safe place of acceptance for my friends. With respect to gun control, it upsets me when I read the news and find another article about a shooting.
I believe modifying gun control policies will ensure more innocent lives are not lost in mere minutes.
Do Opposites Really Attract?
After every breakup I’ve gone through, the most common comment my friends make—aside from the loyal bestie statement that they never liked him to begin with—is that I had nothing of real substance in common with these boys: “You can’t have a relationship based solely on the fact that you both like staying at nice hotels. I’m a pop culture—obsessed, sports-loving book nerd who happens to adore New York City nightlife. But I tend to fall for homebodies who couldn’t care less about the newest speakeasy opening in the Lower East Side and haven’t picked up a novel since it was required in high school.
I’m also not very religious and am admittedly frivolous with my money, while the boys I’ve dated come from different but strong religious backgrounds and are quite frugal.
Do opposites attract, well I believe that two people knowing what they have the same views it can at times feel like you’re dating yourself.
By: Joanna Smykowski. Medically Reviewed By: Sonya Bruner. A Licensed Counselor Now. Opposites attract, well they do if you’re dealing with magnets. With people and relationships, it gets complicated. This age-old saying “opposites attract” dates back to at least the s and is translated into many different languages, shared in many cultures. But so is the adage, “birds of a feather flock together. As children, we watched the beautiful Belle fall in love with the hideous Beast.
We gushed as the poor and uneducated Cinderella was swept off her feet by the rich and handsome prince. Then we cheered on Ariel the mermaid as she searched for ways to get rid of her fins and marry her Prince Eric. Lucy and Ricky, Bella and Edward, television constantly with images of people who are so wrong for each other that they’re perfect. Are people with opposite personalities, beliefs, and physical traits are drawn together like opposite poles of a magnet?
Why do opposites attract?
If Opposites Attract, How Can We Get Along?
Jump to navigation. From Billy Joel crooning about an uptown girl wanting a downtown man, Pretty Woman, the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, the Cinderella fairytale, and many more, we have been told this story of opposite attraction across multiple mediums as varying as Shakespearean literature to Disney movies.
The irresistibly romantic tale of unlikely love beating the odds has become a beloved storyline and has turned into a widely held belief which explains this social and natural phenomenon. But that is also how we describe a myth 1. The problem with a myth is that the facts are often unsubstantiated, based rather on populous opinion, easy to believe but lacking the evidence to validate it.
It seems the old trope of “opposites attract” has more stout in movies, television, and our imaginations than it does in successful relationships.
By Sarah Knapton , Science Editor. The theory that opposites attract is a myth, scientists have found, after discovering that people are only attracted to those who hold the same views and values as themselves. It suggests that strangers hoping to hit it off would do better to play to their similarities rather than trying to impress the other person with attributes which make them unique.
Will they connect? Or walk away? Those early recognitions of similarity are really consequential in that decision. To find out how important similarity was to forming relationships researchers from Wellesly and the University of Kansas approached more than 1, random pairs, including romantic couples, friends and acquaintances, and asked them to complete a survey about their values, prejudices , attitudes and personality traits.
The information was then compared to see how similar or different each pair was and to see whether people in longer relationships had more in common. In a second experiment, the researchers surveyed pairs who had just met in a college classroom setting, and then surveyed the same pairs later. There was virtually no change in beliefs over time suggesting that if couples go into a relationship hoping to change the opinions of the other it is unlikely to work.
Prof Bahns added: “Though the idea that partners influence each other is central in relationships research, we have identified a large domain in which friends show very little change– personality, attitudes and values, and a selection of socially-relevant behaviors.