Like day and night...

It’s a common belief that people look for partners with different but compatible differences.  Two ‘opposites’ may compensate for one another, much like two pieces of a puzzle fit together – they each have too much of what the other is lacking.  For example, if you’re shy and introverted, you may be attracted to someone loud and extraverted.  If you’re spontaneous and act without thinking, you may be drawn to a contemplative, judicious person.   However, the opposite idea exists as well – the belief that ‘birds of a feather flock together’, and therefore two people are more likely to fall in love if they’re mirror images of one another.  So…who’s got it right? 

See who you may be compatible with by discovering your personality type with Psychology Today’s online quiz.

In the short term…

In the short term, opposites tend to attract.  Many people see love as a challenge:  a tall, steep mountain to be laboriously climbed.  The more effort it takes to reach the top, the greater the feeling of satisfaction when you finally get there.  For these types, a few differences can spice up a relationship and make it exciting, giving you a feeling of fulfillment when you make it work.  If your partner always agrees with you on everything, you may feel comfortable, but end up becoming bored.  What’s more, you may feel like you’ve found your soul mate in your opposite, that ‘missing half’ that makes you feel complete.


…but in the long term…

But in the long run, opposites often end up pushing each other away!  Imagine putting a neat freak together with a slob...People even search, whether consciously or not, for partners that physically resemble them.   The sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann has demonstrated that, in the long run, similarity is more importance than complimentary differences.  You’re much more likely to make a relationship work in the long run if you and your partner share the same values.

Preconceived notions

'You shouldn't be with someone too much like you'

What you're thinking

'How can I make a relationship last?'

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