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  #21  
Old 19.09.2011, 19:01
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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Can opposites (religion, political views, life story, background, age, etc. or a combination of any/all of the above) stay together without killing each other or driving each other crazy?
It drove me and a female colleague crazy and we wanted to kill each other. Then, during a work dinner, our eyes "locked" in to each other while toasting. It was obvious to the entire table that we had a "moment".

Fast forward - very passionate feelings developed, it turned out that we actually had much more in common than we thought, I wanted to marry her, I told her, I meant it, but in the end I could not get her to take the risk of "jumping" and leaving her boyfriend of 7 years

So, yes is my answer. Yes opposites can attract, and also yes to "driving each other crazy" being a potential foundation for mutual attraction (if that makes sense).

Perhaps it's just one data point supporting the idea that opposing sides, ideas, etc. actually get closer to each other once they reach a certain extremeness.
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  #22  
Old 19.09.2011, 19:21
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

definitely... a different attitude to money IS inteed an issue. one that can make life with your partner much more difficult... but not make love impossible!

it's impossible to say that certain things are bound to destroy love because there are so many different visions of partnership and what it should give us. it's not always about family, monogamy and kids... some people simply don't need this and look for something completely different because they can satisfy all other needs through their job, their family of origin, the place they live...

these "lucky" few can afford to have lovers instead of relationships...
I still don't becessarily envy them, but I do realize that it's an acceptable way of life.
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  #23  
Old 19.09.2011, 19:59
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

I am married to my complete and total opposite and have been for many many years.

It can work.. but it is work

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  #24  
Old 19.09.2011, 20:04
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

I personally believe that any two people can make a relationship a success. All it takes, is.. Work.
I've been married for 10 years and our relationship has taken blood, sweat and tears (figuratively please) from both sides but it has worked out great.

We kind of have similar backgrounds but have totally different personalities.
Through the years, our goals and views have become the same. We talk a lot (ok.. Maybe me a little bit more.. No, actually a lot more ) and I feel that THAT has been the biggest part of our relationship being a success. Of course honesty etc play a big role too.
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  #25  
Old 19.09.2011, 20:29
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

Thank you all for the excellent input, definitely food for thought (for some reason, the "thank" button has disappeared from the thread, so I am unable to thank individual posts).

"My friend" gets the following impressions:
  1. It can work as long as there is mutual respect, an effort to understand each other, and one's deepest values are not compromised - i.e. one doesn't feel like he/she is becoming a totally different person and is betraying his/her core values
  2. It is not easy and it takes a lot of work, but that, I believe, could be said for all relationships
  3. No matter what, the sex will be stellar (thanks, adrianlondon)

Thanks again to all, and keep the stories coming!
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  #26  
Old 19.09.2011, 20:32
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

OK, well, I think this is one of those "it depends on you" answers.... I think it's down to personality more than anything.

I know people who thrive on a good argument, who basically are happiest when there is a bit of conflict in their lives. They need these sparks to function well even. These people seem to do best in "opposite" relationships - provided that the partner is equally feisty then it seems to work out. If it's not balanced in some way then it probably isn't going to last.

Me on the other hand, I am the queen of conflict avoidance and compromise. Arguments, disagreements and fighting kill me and make me absolutely miserable. So, for me, all the relationships I had with people who were opposite than me in any way, people who wanted to argue and were continually disagreeing with me - well, they all failed with disastrous proportions.

In the end I found someone who was so similar to me that we basically know each others thoughts and can finish each others sentences. My husband is literally the male version of me - it's quite freaky in fact sometimes. Friends of mine seeking my advice will often go to him if I'm unavailable because they know he'll say the same things! Other people I guess might find that boring but for me it makes me feel safe, secure, and happy, knowing that there is a very high likelihood that he will agree with me - and not just because he's giving in or going along with it for my sake, but just because he agrees with me. So, on a simple level it's like if I say "lets go to the pool today" he's likely to say "yes, let's go" and not "No, I want to go to the art exhibition". On a higher level I feel validated and emotionally supported.

If you have (or are going to have) children together then I think it's really essential that your attitude to parenting is the same - at least in the fundamental aspects. If one is a disciplinarian and the other an easy going hippy then the kids will firstly get confused and secondly just play one off against the other. Kids do create tension in a relationship in any case and riding the storm of the under-fives (when there is very little sleep, a lot of crying, a lot of worrying and some life changing experiences going on) requires a united parental front.
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  #27  
Old 19.09.2011, 20:36
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

They do say, you know, that over time a dog begins to resemble his mistress.

I'm not sure if that is entirely relevant to this discussion, but I guess it sure might be, ma'am.
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  #28  
Old 19.09.2011, 20:41
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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  1. It can work as long as there is mutual respect, an effort to understand each other, and one's deepest values are not compromised - i.e. one doesn't feel like he/she is becoming a totally different person and is betraying his/her core values
  2. It is not easy and it takes a lot of work, but that, I believe, could be said for all relationships
  3. No matter what, the sex will be stellar (thanks, adrianlondon)

Thanks again to all, and keep the stories coming!
Hold on one freakin' minute! I've got like...TEN times as many posts as you and i didn't get the stellar Adrian sex! And i offered to take his visa!
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  #29  
Old 19.09.2011, 20:45
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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Hold on one freakin' minute! I've got like...TEN times as many posts as you and i didn't get the stellar Adrian sex! And i offered to take his visa!
HAHAHA

I meant "Thanks for the contribution to the thread"
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  #30  
Old 19.09.2011, 20:45
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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They do say, you know, that over time a dog begins to resemble his mistress.

I'm not sure if that is entirely relevant to this discussion, but I guess it sure might be, ma'am.
Who's the dog and who's the mistress in the relationship, that's a different kind of discussion altogether
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  #31  
Old 19.09.2011, 21:03
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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... "My friend" gets the following impressions:
  1. It can work as long as there is mutual respect, an effort to understand each other, and one's deepest values are not compromised - i.e. one doesn't feel like he/she is becoming a totally different person and is betraying his/her core values
  2. It is not easy and it takes a lot of work, but that, I believe, could be said for all relationships
  3. No matter what, the sex will be stellar (thanks, adrianlondon)
I think point number one is the most important. You can be completely opposite in personality and have completely opposite upbringings (etc, etc) but there are a few core things that truly matter to you and those things cannot be drastically opposite in a partner. You have to uphold these core values because, most likely, they really define who you are.

I also believe there comes a time in your life when you are ready to accept someone into it, fully and completely, and you don't really know when this happens--it just happens. And at that time, when all guards are down, the person can be your complete opposite or your mirror image and it won't matter. It will just work and it will just fit.
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  #32  
Old 19.09.2011, 21:09
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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Yeah, I learned the hard way that cultural differences can really take their toll on a relationship. I'm now in my second relationship with a "non US-American" and there have definitely been some arguments that have ensued because of cultural differences. But I think it helps when both people realize (and are willing to admit) that they are BOTH 'victims' of their own culture and that neither culture is superior.

But I do think that one of the biggest "things" holding my marriage together is the fact that my husband and I both share such similar interests (e.g. physics and ambient music). We're also both usually quite content with staying home and don't want or need a crazy social life. I think it can be really difficult when one person likes to go out all the time and the other likes to stay home.
It's very difficult, even with similar interests and professions and lifestyles that if one is very EU-centric and the other is very...undecided but leans towards the US that it gets pretty hairy in terms of listening to the EU jump on any chance to slag off on the US which, in an election year, is really, really freaking easy. It's a strain..... All that love conquers all, etc. is just BS by poetic youngsters. Me? I only now understand why my own mother screeched "WHY?" when I told her I got married. So, yes, romantic love does exist, no it usually doesn't last after you do the man's laundry. Where's George Carlin when you need the comic relief?
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  #33  
Old 19.09.2011, 21:49
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

Yes, opposites can definitely attract, and very often do. However, once the initial starry-eyed, butterflies in the stomach, unadulterated lust wears off one is confronted with life with the real person. That, in itself, can be difficult when you are both fairly similar. However, it can become quite challenging when you are opposites in many ways.
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  #34  
Old 19.09.2011, 22:00
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

Yes- that's when the steep learning curve and compromising start - hard work, but so worth it. Much more challenging when people are both either very quiet or live wires!
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  #35  
Old 19.09.2011, 22:11
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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Yes- that's when the steep learning curve and compromising start - hard work, but so worth it. Much more challenging when people are both either very quiet or live wires!
That is an interesting perspective, and one with which I would agree; certainly a live wire can bring a more introspective partner out of their shell, whilst a quieter partner can add some gravitas to a relationship. However, my take on 'opposites' is more along the lines of different culture, upbringing, level of education, etc, etc. I think these are the more challenging factors in the 'opposites' game than personality traits alone.
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  #36  
Old 19.09.2011, 22:21
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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Who's the dog and who's the mistress in the relationship, that's a different kind of discussion altogether
I think that neither dogs nor mistresses belong in a relationship.

Tom
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  #37  
Old 19.09.2011, 22:24
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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I think that neither dogs nor mistresses belong in a relationship.
See, you're not an English gentleman, are you?
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  #38  
Old 19.09.2011, 22:30
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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I think that neither dogs nor mistresses belong in a relationship.

Tom
Conservative bunch, these expats... no wonder they all love Switzerland
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  #39  
Old 19.09.2011, 22:33
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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  #40  
Old 19.09.2011, 22:35
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Re: Opposites attract…or not?

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I am married to my complete and total opposite and have been for many many years.

It can work.. but it is work

I too am married to my complete and total opposite and have been for many many years.
It can work...but it is work.....and I frequently wonder if it's worth all the work
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