Do Opposites Attract? Exploring the Myth

Since being young, we are raised by the cliché that opposites attract. As such, we grow in the belief that we need to find our ‘other half’. This is a destined soul mate who can balance out our eccentricities, and give our unconfident areas a bit of a boost. They provide a different perspective on things, encouraging us to think outside of our restrictive box.

Together, it is possible to tackle all life throws your way. You are an indestructible yin-yang combination, with an answer for all potential adversities.

We’ve all seen the movies. Shy and retiring Sandra Dee is hopelessly devoted to cock of the T-Birds, Zuko. Affluent, rigid, English Rose falls deeply for carefree pauper, Jack Dawson. The pretty blonde girl-next door, Kim, finds her soulmate in the oddball outsider, Edward Scissorhands.

It’s oh so perfect. But, is it simply fantasy? Does this fictional theme transfer into real life? Do opposites really attract? Or is that merely a myth?

The science behind the myth

Despite this being a commonly accepted notion, there’s very little evidence to suggest that this is anything but fantasy. In a mission to either prove or disprove the longstanding hypothesis, in recent years, the matter has been an area of interest for researchers and academics across the globe.

In 2016, a new study found that, in fact, it is ‘birds of a feather that flock together’. That is, couples who share similar interests and personality traits are more likely to have successful relationships, over those who consider themselves to be opposites.

The research, carried out by Wellesley College, Bahns and professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, Chris Crandall, is thought to provide new insight into universal models of attraction.

Crandall states that for individuals to be ‘comfortable’ social worlds amongst people they can ‘trust’ and ‘cooperate [with] to meet goals’, ‘similarity is very useful, and people are attracted to it most of the time.’

Finding a likeminded match

Yet is this such a new-fangled concept, or have we actually been aware of these attractions all along? Surely, it makes sense that, if you are choosing someone to spend your time and create life experiences with, you should share some similar interests?

Coupling up with someone who holds similar values to you, whose opinions chime with yours on important matters, someone who carries a comparable emotional capacity, is bound to equate to a plain sailing partnership?

What’s more, time spent together is likely to be rich and rewarding if your interests are aligned. No awkward evenings will be spent simply attending an event just to keep the other half happy – almost all you do with be a unified excursion.

There’s definitely an element of comfort to be found from having someone by your side who truly understands who you are. Luckily, thanks to the wonderful advances in technology and online dating, your chances of meeting a likeminded match, or even just to find a fuck buddy in the US have never been greater.