By Mirthell Onyx
Opposites attract because it creates a sense of excitement, passion, adventure, and risk. Our hearts begin to race and that sensation can make for a pleasant experience, especially in the early stages of a relationship. But if opposites attract, what do similarities do? Similarities create connection and a sense of security, love, support, and comfort.
If opposites are sexy then similarities are sensual. We all would agree that we need a balance of attraction and connection in our relationships. A relationship full of opposites may begin strong but go up in flames as frustration levels rise based on misunderstandings and perpetual conflicts. Passion can turn to anger and risk can be perceived as simply recklessness.
Even in a relationship full of similarities, security can become boredom and comfort becomes stagnation. Yet connection is a deeper, more foundational experience to relationships than attraction, so we must prioritize connecting in seeking a balance. What would a balance between opposites and similarities in our relationships look like in order to create a winning formula?
There are five primary areas of our lives that we need to consider when we form relationships. They are Culture, Belief, Experiences, Practices and Interest. If you have all five in common, you run the risk of marrying a friend. If you have all five as differences, you run the risk of marrying an enemy. While it may not seem so bad to marry a friend over an enemy, the ideal is to marry a partner, lover and friend. We need at least three of these in common with our partner, as much as four, in order for the relationship to have the most meaning, satisfaction and endurance.
When making the relational connection you must respect the parts of yourself and the other person so as not to try and change who they are. And for the sake of self-love not sacrifice the things about who you are that are most meaningful.
Try creating a profile of both differences and similarities in your relationship.
Culture: Race, Ethnicity, Culture (e.g. African-American, Caucasian, Canadian, American, Southern, Appalachian)
Common Beliefs: Religious, Non-religious, Political (e.g. Christian, Protestant, Catholic, Agnostic, Conservative, Liberal)
Experience: Family upbringing, Economic background (e.g. Nuclear family, Adopted, Middle Class, Low-Income, Suburbs, Inner-city)
Practice: Sleep patterns, Housekeeping, Activity (e.g. early-riser, night-owl, messy, orderly, loves to workout, couch potato)
Interest: Hobbies (e.g. Reading, Fishing, Loves Movies, Comic Book collector, Sports, Cooking)