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Dating Your Opposite: How To Know If You Can Make It Work for You

Opposites attract, but can dating your opposite actually work out? How to navigate the situation and make it work for you both.

Dating Your Opposite

We have all heard the phrase, “opposites attract.” And that is true, but is it practical? Opposites may initially be attracted to each other, but is dating your opposite really feasible in the long term?

Well, it depends on how opposite you are. Some people can be wildly different and have a perfectly balanced relationship while some differences are not compatible and can actually cause a major rift.

Dating your opposite vs. being attracted to your opposite

Attraction and compatibility do not always go hand in hand. Just because you are attracted to someone that is so far off from yourself doesn’t mean that relationship can work. You might be poised, responsible and loyal, but are attracted to someone who is irresponsible and rougher around the edges. But, does that mean your relationship would work? 

[Read: Do opposites attract or do they push each other away?]

A prime example would be Rory and Jess from Gilmore Girls. She is a bookworm who never breaks the rules and he is moody and unreliable. This can create a lot of passion and chemistry, but when it comes to the inner workings of a healthy relationship, it may cause nothing but dismay.

Opposites that can make things work more easily would be someone with skills in science or math that likes having a plan with someone who is more creative and spontaneous. Dating your opposite in this situation could bring out the best in each other. They could push each other to be either more responsible or adventurous.

Attraction versus dating your opposite comes down to how you differ.

[Read: What makes a good relationship actually work? 30 answers to understand this vital question]

Should you be dating your opposite?

As I said, each and every situation has its own benefits and disadvantages. Sometimes dating your opposite can be the best decision you’ve ever made, while for others it could be detrimental. So, should you be dating your opposite?

Some cases in which dating your opposite may be ideal for both of you would be if you are shy and your partner is outgoing, if you’re nervous and they are brave, or if they are laidback and you’re uptight.

These things, although polar opposites, can nicely complement the other. Instead of going head to head, they go hand in hand. These opposites balance each other out. They bring out a new side of you and your partner and can push you out of your comfort zone in a way you never imagined. 

Of course, there are many more ways dating your opposite can work. But some you may want to avoid. Or at the very least take lots of precautions with, especially if you are independent and your partner is codependent, if you have opposing political or social stances, or if you are insecure and your partner is confident.

[Read: The most obvious and scary signs of codependency in your relationship]

The same goes for all of these if the roles are reversed as well. In these situations dating your opposite can cause more harm than good. It could lead you to a terrible end. Things like jealousy, control, and resentment can cause dysfunction when things you differ on are so important. 

[Read: 15 signs of a taker in a relationship – Are you a taker or a giver?]

Can dating your opposite work?

Now, even with these riskier situations, dating your opposite can work if you are privy to it. Knowing how you and your partner differ and what you disagree on is what leads you to balance. If you know you are neat and your partner is messy, you can work on that. You can loosen the reigns and they can tidy up a bit.

If you are a homebody and they are a world traveler, start with day trips and work your way up to a road trip and eventually a flight while enjoying some stay-cations as well. 

[Read: The best types of vacations that create romance and bring you closer]

Dating your opposite works best when your contrasts balance each other. If you are dramatic and hot-headed but your partner is calm and collected, that could easily work to benefit your relationship. If you were both hot-headed, the relationship could heat up too fast and fizzle out. 

Having a diversity of opinions, personalities, and even lifestyles can make a relationship more interesting and bond you more than you might think. So don’t write off dating your opposite.

How to date your opposite so you have a harmonious and better life together

Now that you know dating your opposite can work and help you thrive, how do you do it?

#1 Bend. Often times, as single people, we only see ourselves one way. We may consider ourselves to be an introvert or homebody, but when we meet someone who makes traveling or going out seem fun, we may just change our ways. It isn’t about trying to please them or changing yourself for them but doing it for yourself. It can actually make you happy to try new things with a partner that you think is so opposite because you may find out you have more in common than you think. [Read: Memorable things you can do together to strengthen your bond]

#2 Find commonalities. Sure, maybe you love rom-coms and your partner is a sucker for thrillers, but look at what you do have in common. Did you both grow up in similar atmospheres? Did you come from a single-parent household? Do you share a passion for animals?

Just because you may be opposite in your tastes or personalities doesn’t mean you weren’t led to these traits in a similar way.

#3 Dig deeper. You may think it is annoying that your partner is unreliable or always on the go, when you live by a moral code and always live up to your word. But, instead of ending that thought there, dig deeper. Find out why your partner has these patterns. Ask them why they struggle to make plans ahead of time or stay in one place for a while. Delving into the psyche behind some of your opposing traits can remind you why you love them in the first place.

#4 Argue responsibly.  Arguing is a part of every healthy relationship, but it doesn’t have to mean screaming and slamming doors. Arguing maturely and respectfully is healthy and useful in growing your relationship.

If you disagree, then disagree. Changing your opinion or lying to prevent a disagreement is not healthy and leads to resentment. If you differ on something, discuss it while being open to what they have to say and really listen. Neither of you has to change your outlook or position, you just have to try to understand where they’re coming from. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? How to recognize you might be fighting too often

#5 Know your limits. Compromising is a big part of any functional relationship especially when dating your opposite, but knowing your limits and setting boundaries is also important. Whether you oppose movie genres or sexual preferences, trying something new is good, but if you do not want to do something, make it known.

If you are willing to try some intense exercise classes with your partner, that’s great! But if you know what is out of your comfort zone or ability, let them know you won’t go that far. They should understand and respect that.

#6 Do things on your own. Sometimes dating your opposite doesn’t mean including each other but excluding each other. It is not about leaving them out or being cruel. It is about maintaining your identity and independence. Instead of doing everything together, do what you differ on apart.

Go to a horror movie marathon with your friends or even alone while they go make pottery or hike. You do not always need to compromise or try each other’s things. Sometimes keeping somethings to yourself is totally okay. [Read: How much time should couples spend together?]

#7 Love that you’re different. Sure, some couples are great and super similar. But you are great and super different. Own that. Love the things that make you different and that you’ve learned from each other. Love that you are both independent and add to each other’s lives. 

Find ways to listen and understand where your partner is coming from without having lived it, and that you love each other even though you are opposites. Love that you attract each other and have figured out how to complement each other through your differences.

[Read: Hugely false dating myths you need to banish from your mind for good]

Not only can dating your opposite work, but it can be exactly what you’ve always wanted. Follow these tips to make it work!

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...