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Opposites Attract: Is It Possible to Have a Successful Relationship When There are Many Differences?

Updated on May 18, 2012
Fifty Shades of Grey Cover
Fifty Shades of Grey Cover | Source
Get Smart Poster
Get Smart Poster
Knocked Up Poster
Knocked Up Poster
The 40 Year-Old Virgin Poster
The 40 Year-Old Virgin Poster
Get Smart Poster #2
Get Smart Poster #2
One Day Poster
One Day Poster

What is the true meaning of the word opposite? Is it even possible to explain it into a proper definition without sounding like a cliched dictionary definition? The best way to describe it would be to boil it down into two simple but complex words: different connections. Okay, this isn't a Dr. Phil or even a talk show host type of terminology. It's just simple facts. How else can people explain the term "opposites attract" logically? Life and love are never logical, but they are forces to be reckoned with that can make more marriages work than anything else.

Sure, romantic comedies make romantic opposite look easier than they appear to be. Would playboy Jim Sturgess look at regular girl Anne Hathaway unless it was in the guise of One Day? Maybe, maybe not. Read on to see three scenarios where opposites can attract and maintain a long lasting relationship. See if your relationship fits the bill or something close to it.

From different ends of the social spectrum. People find it hard to believe that the nerdy kid from Science class could grow up to a successful billionaire who married the most popular girl in school. How about in the movie Knocked Up where a beauty (Katherine Heigl) and a slacker (Seth Rogen) try to maintain a relationship after a one night stand? Well, anything is possible if you put your minds and hearts to it. The key to any successful relationship is finding common ground, even when your partner's interests are totally different from your own. Look at the book Fifty Shades of Grey where good girl Anastasia Steele fell for troubled businessman Christian Grey who had plenty of baggage to spare. Their relationship seemed doomed from the start, but their different personalities seemed to defy logic and kept them connected for two follow-up books. Okay, that can chalked up commerce striking at the heart of every reader, but it can happen in a usually less darker fashion. Anastasia learned to embrace Grey's dark interests to the best of her ability and he tried to accept her need for something more romantic. Instead of going to extremes for love like in Grey, start simple. Go to a Baseball game with your partner. You might be bored, but they'll be happy you came. Enough said.

Experience isn't important, unless it's shared. Is really important that you've never been in love or intimate with someone? Look at the movie The 40-Year Old Virgin where Steve Carell's character cluelessly tried to find someone to sleep with. He had to choose between finding a cheap tawdry fling (Elizabeth Banks) by pretending to be someone he wasn't or open his heart to a much more experienced woman (Catherine Keener) that offered something greater. In the end, he chose his gut and remained truthful with himself. It didn't matter that he lacked any physical experience going into the relationship, but the fact he was able to share it with someone willing to stick around afterwards that truly mattered.

When it comes to shared experiences, this part often proved to be a breaking point for many couples. If you're an introvert and you're married to an extrovert, there could be some major challenges. Introverts tended to often wear their feelings on the inside, while extroverts usually shouted them through the rooftops. Try to find a common ground with your very different partner or switch roles to see how the other expresses their feelings. If you like it, try doing the exact opposite of what you're used to. That'll keep your partner guessing for the better. Every marriage needs some added spice.

Embracing all of life's adventures, even if your partner drives you crazy. Learn to laugh at the insanity your partner pushes you to without even trying. It's much better than having a panic attack from it. Not recommended for your health or your relationship. Look at the movie Get Smart where Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) was the most accident prone government agent ever and he still managed to get the girl in his partner 99 (Anne Hathaway). Sure, his mission mistakes drove her to distraction, but his sincere nature made up for it in the end. If your partner shoots out your screen door while chasing a ground hog, laugh it off and make light of it. Secretly, you might want to chase after your partner with the bid aim, but don't give into that impulse. Be truthful with them in a way that won't cause a fight. Being tactful is your best defense in escaping a messy situation.

In the end, most relationships often end based on these pesky differences that start off small and grow bigger as the years go on. Your partner's laugh might be more nails on a chalkboard than it was when you first heard it a lifetime ago. The best advice for keeping any relationship afloat is to not let the differences define who you are as a couple, but the ties that bind you together. Focus on that through the good and bad times. You might need to if your screen door gets shot out again.

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    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi- Thank you for writing a hub on my question which is a true to life story. You did a great job making it humorous, relating it to movies which afford good examples, and writing in an organized manner. It made me laugh and see that it can really work. It makes for an interesting relationship. Keep up the good writing. Questions can make great hubs.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I've been married to my opposite for over 38 years. Some good, some bad and all interesting to keep things going sometimes. Patience helps and you sometimes find yourself thinking like they do, converting your own ideas to suit theirs even if it means doing things out of the ordinary.

    • farmloft profile image

      farmloft 5 years ago from Michigan

      Finding the good side of differences -- very important in opposites. Makes life interesting when you can pull it off. Voted up.