Do Opposites Really Attract?
We have all been attracted to and been in a relationship with someone that is the polar opposite of ourselves. There is a certain excitement about connecting with someone that possess traits and qualities that are different from our own. For example, the regimented person that needs to always be in control, doesn’t like to give into too many risky ventures or pleasures in life may be attracted to someone that lives his/her life on the edge. However, in many instances this is short lived, as the newness, excitement, and thrill of being with someone different wears off. Previous studies conducted on attraction have found that people are more likely to be attracted to and pursue romantic relationships with others that share more of the same characteristics and values, i.e., same age range, religion, background, political views, career aspirations, social status, etc. Simply stated, the more we have in common with those that we are dating the more likely we are to get along, and stay connected as a couple.
Likeness in no way excludes those from being different from pursuing and sustaining a happy relationship, as matters of the heart can be both confusing, exciting, and complicated. However, those that share the same or similar characteristics and values are much more likely to engage in and remain in a healthy long-term relationship.
Kimberly & Jacob
Kimberly and Jacob have been dating for approximately 7 months. The relationship started off by both Kimberly & Jacob’s account. “amazing & exciting”. Kimberly is an administrative assistant with a local nonprofit, Jacob is between jobs. Initially, Kimberly loved what Jacob’s personality brought to the relationship. According to Kimberly, Jacob brought fun, impulsivity, and carefree abandon to her highly organized and scheduled life. For the first 6 months the relationship was going extremely well, both expecting to take the relationship further by moving in together. However, for the last 2 months Kimberly noticed Jacob has trouble taking directives from supervisors (when he is employed), budgeting expenses, paying his bills (rent, cell phone, light, etc.), does not believe in educational advancement, and does not seem to take many things in life seriously. Kimberly is starting to have some serious concerns about the future of their relationship. Instead of building and or enhancing upon the relationship, resentment is starting to build. She has begun avoiding Jacob’s phone calls, being too busy to go out, and pretending not to be at home when he makes one of his many surprise visits.