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Polar Power: Do Opposites Attract (Part II)

It is pretty common knowledge that opposites attract. We know that magnets with opposite polarity attract, so the common cliché is actually a law of nature. However, rather than boring you with scientific evidence to prove this is true, let me cut right to the chase: In part one of this article, I argued that opposites do attract, and both the feminine energy and the masculine energy are required for attraction to occur (which is mostly an inexplicable chemistry) and for a fulfilling relationship to ensue.

But don’t birds of a feather flock together? And don’t people who “have so much in common” usually have successful relationships? Sure they do. But this contradicts what I’ve been saying all along. Is it similarities or differences that are the key to a perfectly balanced union? Therein lies the important question, a question which actually has a much more simple answer than one might suspect.

According to a University of Iowa study on mating issues (mating based on similar or opposite characteristics), which studied 291 newlyweds that had participated in the Iowa Marital Assessment Project, researchers found with very strong evidence that people tend to marry those who are similar in attitudes, religion and values. They also found that these were the main reasons why people got married. However, it is similarity in personality that appears to be more important in having a happy marriage. The findings appear in the February 2005 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA). The couples were assessed on a broad range of personality characteristics, attitudes and relationship quality indicators.

The research suggested that, “there is no evidence that opposites attract.” The study was fascinating and comprehensive, but their conclusion wasn’t. The word “attraction” usually refers to the initial feelings a person has that spark an interest in the other.  So in the realms of courting dating and sexuality, being opposite and different, is fulfilling in many ways. Mystery, anticipation and excitement, curiosity and adventure all come from experiencing something different. Sure opposites clash, but that is often where the sparks and the passion is created. You can create heat without any friction (know what I mean?)

This is where many couples that start off well go really wrong. Many relationships are built on the foundation of sexual attraction or simply lust. Those are fleeting feelings and certainly not enough to make a relationship work. If people don’t want the same things, or have different values and beliefs, the relationship is bound for failure.

Personality and attitude similarities are VERY important also. But these characteristics are often the ones that come out later, as a relationship progresses and eventually settles. Frequently people are too involved by the time they realize the differences and people often “settle” while feeling unfulfilled.

Opposites attract in dating, courting and during escalated sexual tension, but opposites certainly clash when it comes to personality, attitudes and values. So to have the best of both worlds, you must establish and lay out your beliefs, values and what you want out of life right away.  Masculine energies and feminine energies are opposites, but do not cause harmful and destructive clashes in relationships when they are balanced out.

Go to Polar Power: Do Opposites Attract (Part I)

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