Find Someone as Random as You
There are basically two camps when it comes to the debate about what makes a successful relationship:
The first group believes firmly that “opposites attract” is the mantra to live by. “You don’t want to get someone just like you. You could butt heads. Get someone who compliments your personality type…” They’re firm believers in the spice of life and, for them, the key to a long-lasting, healthy relationship is having someone who is different from you.
After all, where you’re weak, they are strong. Where they lack, you shine. It’s all about balancing out the scale so if you’re really artsy, then they suggest finding yourself a nice engineer, or even a doctor or a politician. If you’re excitable and animated, a laid back lover may be ideal for you.
It’s an interesting notion and one that’s been around for a long time.
But does it still apply today? Does grandma’s formula for success still work in today’s niche-culture?
It turns out there are a lot of leading experts who are rethinking the “opposites attract” model. Dr. Warren, from the She Knows Love relationship column advises that its usually a good idea to have some key things in common with your significant other.
“I’m a big fan of similarity between both partners before the relationship begins.
“It goes like this: Similarities between two people are like money in the bank. Dissimilarities are like debts they owe. It’s okay to have a few debts as long as you have plenty of equity in your account; otherwise you’re likely to be bankrupt at a frighteningly early stage.”
And she’s not the only one who thinks so.
Melissa Behunin, professor of Psychology and Family Studies at Arizona Western College, argues that, “Sometimes it may look like opposites attract, and sometimes they actually do. It is often exciting to be with someone who is different from us because they share a new perspective or can even distract from some of the things we don’t like about ourselves.
“The problem is maintaining these kinds of relationship once the newness of it wears off. Unless couples can find reasons to connect in their everyday life and work around their differences, it becomes all too easy to grow apart from each other.”
All in all, it seems to make sense that in at least the big things of life (having a common Faith, common views on Money and how to spend it etc), its best to have as many things in common as possible.
As for the small stuff…? It certainly does help when you have someone willing to spend a Saturday night doing all of the quirky things that make you buzz. But not to worry, if he’s not into watching Jeopardy while eating Oreos and petting the cat, and if she doesn’t spend hours watching Anime at 3am in the morning, there’s always one thing you two have in common: you’re both really into each other.
While it’s not everything, it’s definitely a good start to achieving the happily ever after.