Friday April 25th 2014

Will The Attraction Last Or Will It Fade? Pt.3

So what do you think after reading about Jen and Tom’s opposites attract love match and Karen and Greg’s likes attract love match? Is better to be with someone who is our opposite or someone who is like us?

The reality is that most of us prefer partners that are very like us in some areas (enough similarities to sustain a relationship long term) and our opposites in other areas (just enough differences to make things interesting and exciting). Too much difference can be draining and can cause a great deal of conflict in a relationship especially when the differences rub the other person the wrong way. Even two people who love each other very much may find themselves unable to tolerate each other.

But just because you’re attracted to or are in a relationship with someone who feels like the polar opposite of you doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed. With the right attitude, mindset and commitment you can build a foundation for lasting love.

1. Develop a friends-first relationship

Many relationships with great potential often end too quickly because of a poor sense of timing, and eagerness to “seal the deal quickly.” If you’re times together are limited to weekly or bi-weekly “date nights” for example, the differences may not be visible until much later. In many cases you may actually appear more similar than you really are. A friends-first approach helps you move slowly and allows you space to show consistency and achieve a higher probability of synchronicity with the other person.

2. Understand your differences

Having opposite personalities, communication and relating styles can work if both of you are clear about the foundation on which your relationship is based on. The only way to do that is by having an honest talk about your differences; what is it about your differences that you find exciting and stimulating and what is it that you see as having the potential to create a conflict that might lead to a break up. You MUST have this talk because it’ll happen one way or another — and in most cases when you’re not expecting it and not ready for it. Things could go awfully wrong!

3. Accept your differences

It’s one thing to be smitten by how different someone is from you; it’s totally different to actually accept and even admire each other’s differences. The fastest way to ruin a relationship — even one with great potential — is to try to change your partner into a carbon copy of yourself or to meet your high expectations and specific requirements?

4. Negotiate and make compromises

Strong relationships are all about compromise and some reasonable sacrifices along the way. So find specific ways to meet each other halfway. This should not be a one-time-only thing but a discipline that must be developed, practiced and fine-tuned to create a true “win/win” relationship.

5. Create something new together

Do something different, something neither of you has done before and one that wouldn’t necessarily come naturally to either one of you. You can also learn a new skill together or create something tangible together like start a business, or build a house etc. Making a commitment to work together, have two-way teamwork where each brings his/her talents and strengths to the table, and concentrating on achieving a common goal will remind you why you’re such an excellent match..

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4 Responses to “Will The Attraction Last Or Will It Fade? Pt.3”

  1. Edsmutts says:

    I wish you’d written this post two months ago when my ex broke up with me. We loved each other very much and were together a good a 3 years. We had similarities in that we both love people, baseball and gaming but that’s about it. Our values, priorities in life and love styles were polar opposites. Our biggest opposite is that she’s conservative, I’m a liberal. She likes to stay at home I like to go out at least twice a week. She attends church every Sunday, I am agnostic. She wants constant interaction (many email, texts, etc. a day) and I on the other hand I’m perfectly fine with just one contact during the day to see how the other is doing. It has been very hard for both of us but after reading this I feel that may be if I had tried hard enough it could have worked.

  2. I can’t say it would have worked or not worked. What I do know is that you’d both have had to be very committed and willing to work very hard and to make it work. It’s especially harder if your differences involve values and priorities in life. These are what I call deal breakers because for most people these are not “negotiable”. In many cases if someone changes his/her values or priorities in life just to be with the other, at some point down the road, that person may start feeling like he/she sacrificed “too much”’ for the sake of the relationship and may become disgruntled, dissatisfied or unhappy.

  3. Edsmutts says:

    You got me thinking! What you’re saying does make a lot of sense. Thank you for providing this valuable service.

  4. Rama Rani says:

    Great article and good advice. I’m in an interracial relationship. We’ve been together for over a year. I love him very much and he loves me but sometimes we run out of things in common to talk about. These tips will certainly help. Thanks :)

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