Question submitted via Formspring:
“Do you think opposites attract?”
The short answer is: no.
One (dis)advantage of life in Los Angeles, is everyone is working to be absolutely identical. It may appear like they are so different, but if you look close at the carefully manicured ‘shabby chic’ look, the preppy look, or one of a hand full of others, you’ll see the similarities.
So, why don’t opposites attract?
Realistically, you are not going to find your absolute twin out there; and in truth, you wouldn’t want it! If you totally agreed on *everything * you’d have nothing to discuss, and get pretty bored pretty fast.
The key, then, is to be in agreement on the IMPORTANT things.
For instance, if one of you is a raging Atheist, and the other is an evangelical Creationist, you are in trouble. If one of you thinks that sex is gross and sinful, and the other one frequents sex clubs, then you are in trouble.
If one of you wants to get married and have kids, and the other is afraid to commit, you are going to have problems.
A few pivotal areas you need to be more similar than dissimilar are:
*Marriage: do either of you want it, at least eventually?
*Children: do either of you want them, at least eventually?
*Religion: is it going to be a big deal in your house, and if so which one(s)?
*Politics: can you agree to disagree, or not?
*Finances: what are you working for?
*Home: do you want to own a home, and if so, where?
*Happiness: what does a good life look like to you?
There are many things you need to be in agreement on, but these are probably the bare minimum.
Now, it doesn’t mean you have to be IDENTICAL in belief on these topics, but you need to be able to respect each other’s opinions and differences. If one of you likes action movies and the other likes ballet, you need to be able to compromise and do both from time to time.
As I said before, if one of you wants to have 10 children and live on the planes of Wyoming and the other wants no kids and a 10 million dollar penthouse in Manhattan, you have a problem.
As in anything, there is room for compromise; but that other person needs to volunteer to give up what they want, rather than be nagged or convinced to. Since they may say they don’t want to have that Mercedes Benz if you think think it’s a bad idea, if you aren’t careful you set yourself up for decades of buried resentment that tends to manifest as affairs and wrecked marriages down the road.
Make sure you and your mate agree on the fundamentals and can respect each other where you disagree. Don’t let either one of you make ALL the decisions, and let everyone have an opportunity to do what makes them happy. And as always, COMMUNICATE, since if you can’t communicate, you don’t have a relationship.
You are great, and I love you!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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