Fire and Ice: How Opposites Can Withstand a Relationship

We are familiar with the story: boy meets girl and they go through a few struggles, but love always prevails. Is the struggle worth fighting for if the person you are with is the complete opposite of yourself? Or does it make every experience together extra special and exciting? You may feel as if there are bragging points for making a relationship consisting of differences work. In order to know if you can truly be with someone who you do not have much in common with is to determine whether or not you can put in the right amount of effort needed to make your relationship work.

Let’s be honest: attraction begins with attraction, which is often visual. However, once you get to know each other, you may begin to realize there is not many agreements on anything. Just when you get tired of the petty arguments, your partner may do something incredibly sweet and you remember why you two fell in love in the first place. This connection is often unexplainable. It’s what is known as “chemistry.” In Psychology Today’s “The Real Reasons That Opposites Attract,” “Chemistry refers to that undefinable quality that is the basis of the attraction that fuels the impulse to be drawn to another.” Once you have this kind of force pulling you two together, the relationship becomes worthy enough to maintain.

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However, there is a big difference between wanting to be with someone and needing to be. Being able to depend on your boyfriend or girlfriend is a sign of the making of a true partnership. But it is not healthy to be attached at the hip or you believe the other person will never leave you. Psychology Today continues to say, “Similarly, an excessive attachment to security can diminish the excitement level and move the needle too far to the left on the security-adventure spectrum.” By being too dependent, you make room to become too comfortable, taking away the motivation to continue learning about each other’s differences.

Ultimately, “great relationships thrive on passion,” without the excitement to work through your differences it makes it incredibly difficult to keep the relationship going. One way to make sure your opposite personalities can prove to be a fruitful relationship is to have a bit of empathy. With empathy, you can actually step out of your comfort zone and appreciate where you both are coming from. This will allow you to take your partner for what they are and what they have to offer. Again, “it does take a willingness on the part of both people to be willing to risk moving into their partner’s world and accommodating their needs and values without compromising their own.”

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You have to know and be willing to notice when your partner’s differences can change you for the better. For instance, if you are opposites in terms of managing finances, where you are a spender while the other is a saver, then there are some pointers you can take and bad habits to drop. Feeling like you two just do not understand each other, it can foster the idea to give up. Before you break things off, remember, “If we can overcome the initial resistance that is inherent in the process of making life changes, the long-term payoffs can be truly amazing and worth every moment of the process.” Opposites can attract, but not without give and take. Take each other for who both of you are as individuals and do not feel obligated to stay together just to prove something. Put in the effort and the relationship will maintain its chemistry.

 

About Stacy Narine

Originally from Paterson, NJ, I recently graduated from Seton Hall University with my B.A in English. I will be starting my M.A program in Literature at Seton Hall University in spring 2015. I love Pinterest, Photoshop, and writing fictional short stories about characters who are trying to establish a sense of individuality while in relationships. Ready to momentarily stray from fiction, I am motivated to write about topics that are important to women.

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