Discussion

{DISCUSSION} Opposites Attract

Do opposites really attract?

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I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase ‘opposites attract’. I know I have and while I’d love to say my mind jumps to physics and opposite poles of magnets having a strong connection to each other because of their polarity, I’d be lying. My mind, like most, lunges into the realm of relationships, specifically romantic relationships. No doubt this is because of the context in which this phrase is most often used: in films or literature to express the relationship between two characters.

The two characters are considered opposites because of their appearance, their culture, their beliefs, their habits, or any number of other reasons. The important part is that they conflict. Most often they have differing personalities that causes them to react differently in every situation. They don’t see eye-to-eye in any way. They don’t even think in the same manner. Yet, for some reason unbeknownst to us mortals, the two are drawn to each other.

But are they really?

Are the two lovers actually drawn to the each other because of how amazingly different they are? Or are we simply forcing them together because their conflict causes tantalizing, tension-filled friction and we need a satisfying ending?

Of course, we likely assume opposites attract because we have seen such things in nature. Magnets attract each other when their polarity is different. So, why shouldn’t humans be able to come together and be attracted to each other despite the fact that they have nothing in common? -.-

Well, first off, humans aren’t magnets. I’m not even sure we have polarity (but I didn’t really do well in physics), and we are supposedly some of the most complex beings on this planet. So, how could we possibly be as simple to understand as two magnets?

More importantly, how can a relationship be summed up so simply as ‘opposites attract?’ Mustn’t there be something far more deep and complex going on here if two completely opposite people are somehow able to come together? Not to mention, if personalities vary so much that they clash at every turn, how on earth would two people be capable of cohabitation?

One wants kids, the other doesn’t.
One likes it cold, the other likes it hot.
One likes sweet foods, the other likes spicy foods.
One likes horror movies, the other likes rom-coms.
One likes sporting events, the other likes operas.
One likes staying out late, the other wants to go to bed early.

I think you get the picture: if they have nothing in common, there is nothing for them to do together other than argue. Arguing may be filled with passion and intensity and tension, but this relationship style is extremely unstable and incapable of existing long-term. Like all unstable things, it will explode at some point.

But what do you think?
Let me know in the comments!


And check out my discussion from last week:
Are Writers more Empathetic

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18 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Opposites Attract”

  1. I think in both real life and literary life opposites can attract if they are not conflicting opposites (such as having major religious or racial views). My husband and I were total opposites when we met both in characteristics and appearance. He is pale white with white blonde hair and blue eyes and I am olive toned with black hair and brown eyes, I love heavy metal music, reading, and indoor activities and he loved outdoor activities, country, and computer technology. We have grown to love most of what the other loves while allowing each other to have personal time with those characteristics we choose not to share.

    I feel like its the same in books as well. Couples tend to adapt to each other and are more passionate toward each other when they can learn to share certain likes but still have their own personal likes for individual time. Having two characters in a book that are exactly alike would be boring. There has to be some opposing aspects to a relationship to make it interesting and to allow for a couple to learn about each other and share interests they normally wouldn’t have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t believe there are two people who are exactly alike. So, it would make sense that some things would differ, but I guess I have issues with characters in books who seem to have nothing in common. Additionally, the characters in the books tend to be unable to compromise. I think compromise is the key to a relationship between dissimilar people, but that never happens in those books. Those characters keep trying to go about their lives like they can change the other person, but neither end up adapting.

      I’m happy to hear you have a wonderful relationship with your husband, and it definitely sounds like you guys learned to compromise and grew from it. 🙂 I also agree that all couples still need time apart, things they do on their own. Sharing every hobby, every friend, every moment may be a bit overwhelming, but that could just be my opinion. :/

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes! I like this idea! I imagine we’ll find more books like this for adults rather than young adults. Young adult relationships in fiction… well, they aren’t very good to begin with, much less are the characters capable of compromise. But I’d love to know if you find anything in either age group! 😄

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, but that just means a relationship must be built on something in addition to passion. I’m not sure ‘slow and steady’ is really the best thing to call a relationship that works and remains. Not all lasting relationships need be slow. You know what I mean?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I view it more as a matter of counter balancing 😉 My nonhusband is full of many traits that I am not and vice versa. But we play well off of each other for this very reason. He levels me out. I level him out. We tend to come together and find that healthy, happy medium. But I am speaking about personalities and traits, not beliefs and morals. There are some opposites that will never mix well and shouldn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, and it may be that your personality and your nonhusband’s personality aren’t that dissimilar. Like they aren’t polar opposites or something. They may just vary to enough of a degree to be able to complement each other and it sounds like you two are capable of compromise, because that’s a huge thing when it comes to complementary relationships.

      P.s. Glad your relationship is great! ^.^

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In real life, as opposed to fiction, although we need to have our differences and be individuals, having a romantic partner that is opposite you in most ways – intellectual as opposed to an idiot, someone who cares for all life as opposed to someone who kicks puppies and pulls the wings off of butterflies, etc., this is a relationship made in hell that won’t last more than a nano-second. There HAS to be something to hang on to, and before some wise guy comes in, sex is not enough. Again, a lot of opposite traits do compliment each other, but true opposites don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would agree with you in that. I have seen relationships where some people have appropriate dissimilarities that compliment each other. Like if someone has a hot anger and the other has a cool anger, that actually really works because it doesn’t antagonize, but doesn’t leave them sitting not talking for days.

      But I would agree that there are certain dissimilarities that cause too many issues. Like Hogwarts houses. :p

      Liked by 1 person

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