Why Opposites Attract

Relationships are formed in many ways and for many reasons. Love, money, status, position, power. We choose our friends because we trust them, we like their personalities, we share their tastes, we enjoy the same activities, or we’ve developed a special bond as a result of getting through a tough time together.

Now, when it comes to romance, we’ve all heard the saying that opposites attract one another. So, why is that? And is it a good or a bad thing?

Let’s look at a story that illustrates one factor which often plays out when opposites attract.

Jack and Jill are young adults, who meet at a social gathering. As they talk and get to know one another, they begin to feel at ease. Jill especially notices that Jack is not talkative. He’s quiet and gentle and he thinks before speaking. She likes that; it makes her feel safe and relaxed. The reason is that Jack is the opposite of her father, who was a mean drunk, given to verbally abusing her mother and her. Jill had always promised herself she would never marry such a man.

As they go on dates, Jack’s calm and thoughtful demeanor  give Jill confidence that he will never treat her the way her father did. Jack is attracted to Jill, because he can feel her attraction to him. Plus, she’s bubbly and friendly and laughs easily. She is a breath of fresh air, compared to the stoic family in which was raised.

Jack and Jill marry, they have two children; and for a few years they’re happy. The years fly by, the children grow. Predictably, Jack’s demeanor never changes, and Jill begins to feel lonely; he’s not a talker, after all. As a result, the children become the center of her life. As the emotional chasm widens, she realizes that the only thing keeping them together, apart from their wedding vow, is their children. For Jill, the marriage bond is steadily disintegrating. Jack is oblivious, and when she’s in a ‘mood’, he chalks it up to female problems.

Eventually, Jill’s sadness turns to anger, and she complains that she feels alone and disconnected. He has no idea what she’s talking about. After all, he does everything a family man is expected to do. He makes a good living, doesn’t have any serious vices, and is honest and faithful. 

Jill is facing what so many do, when their attraction to an opposite personality is not based on real attraction to the person. Rather, it is based on a powerful aversion to – in Jill’s case – her father’s personality. As she fell in love with Jack, she was not so much running toward him, as she was running away from her father. Ironically, the man she thought would be her rock, her safe place, turned out to be a crashing bore. A nice man, and a good man … but a man with no idea how to connect with a woman. Jill begins to resent Jack. Jack, lacking the vocabulary and emotional intelligence to address the problem, avoids it. Jill’s resentment turns to contempt. The marriage is in peril.

To be fair, the attraction of opposites is not always bad. It can produce a wonderful relationship. It depends on the motives and the maturity of the two individuals. Even so, the story of Jack and Jill is quite common. Now, how about you? Have you had difficulty with your opposite sex parent? Are you ready for a serious relationship? If so, when you meet someone who attracts you, think about whether you are truly attracted to that person for his/her own qualities – or whether you’re just looking for someone unlike your mom or dad; someone who won’t hurt you. If so, it would be wise to resolve your issues before making a lifetime commitment. Think about it. The issues don’t just disappear.

If these thoughts resonate with you, and you’d like some input, please feel free to call. I assure you that anyone can find solutions to help them get past the past. The number is 219-309-3928. I’d be honored to be of service.

Thanks for reading!