Q: Do opposites attract?
Yes. No. Sometimes? The answer to this question varies widely depending on the situation you find yourself in. Yes, that is a cop-out of an answer; I realize that. Cut me some slack. Writing these things is hard. The pressure gets to you man! Deadlines, word counts, editors breathing down your neck! I can’t even get a moment to myself anymore. I haven’t seen my kid in 3 months. You know what though? It’s all worth it. It’s worth it because of you people out there. The weekly readers. So, because of your loyalty and enthusiasm, I will push on.
Attraction is a funny thing when it comes to romantic relationships. Some people have a type. Maybe your type is long, dark hair. Shorter. On the quiet side and kind of moody. Takes a lot to get them to open up. Some people call this a passion project. Or maybe your type is blonde and eccentric. Loves being outdoors and doing activities. Outspoken and confident, not willing to put up with anyone’s bull crap. A lot of the time, the types of people you are interested in can be based on your relationships with your parents. Kind of weird right? Maybe your mom babied you and did everything for you when you were little; that has an effect on the types of girls that you find yourself attracted to. Do you doubt me? Oh boy, do I have a story for you. I’m sure you’ve read Oedipus Rex, but if not, go give it another look and read an analysis or two on the internet. That Sophocles guy was messed in the head.
In many instances, you don’t know exactly why you are charmed by a certain type of person; you just are. And that’s fine! Sometimes one type of person does it for you, and sometimes a whole different type of person grabs your interest. That’s normal. You might find yourself smitten with an individual that is totally opposite from you in every way imaginable. You like vanilla. They like chocolate. You surf. They skate. You love Lana Del Rey and they are totally apathetic to Lana Del Rey (how dare they!). These differences are surface level. So who cares if your go-to candy is sour patch kids and theirs is chocolate bon bons. If you both loved the same type of candy, that would be boring! Being into different things can actually be really beneficial for a relationship.
Having different interests than the person you are drawn to is a good thing. It ensures that you two are indeed separate people. You are not meant to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with someone. We, as humans, need time to be by ourselves – time to think, meditate, slow down or even talk to God is necessary for a healthy existence. If you and your significant other were into all the same things, you’d have no time to yourself. Having some common interests is definitely a good thing in a relationship. It brings about natural talking points and provides a shared activity for the two of you to engage in. Like I said, perhaps you surf and they skate, but the both of you enjoy going to a park and reading out in the sun. Boom. You keep your thing, and they still have theirs; you just find a common interest. Isn’t compromise a beautiful thing?
It’s also important not to put yourself in a box when considering someone you might be romantically interested in. For a lot of people, physical appearance plays a big role in attraction. You can’t help who you are attracted to, but always going with the same old, same old can get boring sometimes. Saying, “I only date baseball players,” or “I only date ______,” is limiting yourself. I mean I get it, I really do. Have you seen the baseball team here? Those guys are real hunks. But if you aren’t willing to branch out of your typical sphere, you’re missing out. There’s a whole other world out there full of people that you wouldn’t think are a good match for you at first. Given time, you might meet someone that you connect with on a deeper level, once you look past their outward appearance.
At the end of the day, I would say that opposites can attract. Sometimes they do; other times they don’t. If you want to date someone totally opposite than you, go for it! You guys are going to have a lot to talk about, and it will be an enlightening experience. If you want to date a carbon copy of yourself, well I’d also say that’s your God-given right. It’s a little creepy to date yourself, but when 75% of the student body is blonde haired and blue eyed, it’s kind of hard to not date someone that looks like your sibling. No matter who you end up being attracted to, you must remember these three tenets that are integral in any relationship between two consenting adults: 1) Kindness, 2) Shared Vulnerability, and 3) Understanding. Next week I will touch upon those three key elements of a successful relationship more in depth, so stay tuned.
As always, feel free to submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to possibly be featured in the next installation of Stupid Cupid. Thanks for reading.
Written By: Brennan Ernst