When Opposites Don’t Attract

By Therese Ptak, Copy Cutie

credit: Muny'sGirl (Flickr)The “opposites attract” theory often paints happy faces on a multitude of incompatible relationships. It’s a phrase that’s overused, misquoted, and generally inaccurate in describing a real relationship’s dynamic.  Making yourself aware of some relationship red flags founded on this principle will help you decide whether the relationship is truly complementary or simply an exercise in frustration.

You Can’t Decide Anything Together
They say blue, you say red. They want Chinese, you want tacos.  You don’t necessarily fight about these things, but you can’t ever come to a comfortable consensus. If one of you is almost always giving in to the other, perhaps you need to re-evaluate how well this relationship is working. There has to be compromise so you can both feel comfortable.

Personalities Clash
Embarrassment due to your significant other should never be the norm. If you’re a quiet person and your date is loud and obnoxious (to the point where you just want to hide under the table), this may not be working for you. Conversely, if your date is always so quiet that you start to hear crickets, you may want to find someone who is more similar to you in communication style.

Long Term Goals Don’t Line Up
Maybe you want a serious relationship with the possibility of marriage and a family. Maybe they want to focus on their career and aren’t interested in the commitment a long-term relationship requires. Neither of you is necessarily the bad guy, but if you two are heading in different directions with your long-term goals, perhaps you should continue to head in those directions—away  from each other and towards other people with the same goals.

Ideological Differences
This goes beyond which sports teams you root for. If you have strong political feelings, are passionate about a cause, or are very involved in your religion, but your partner is actively insulting your opinions, it simply will not work. Relationships should be based on mutual respect. Even if your partner disagrees with you, they should at least be willing to listen and respond. If your thoughts on things like this are so opposite that dialogue is impossible, you need to move on to greener pastures.

You Argue Constantly About Nothing
You cut your grilled cheese diagonally and take it personally that they just HAVE to cut it straight down the middle. If your pet peeves and theirs are constantly blowing up into arguments about nothing, then you need to stop right now. This is not about working out minor kinks and bumps in the relationship. On a fundamental level this relationship is dysfunctional because your basic needs aren’t lining up. This is just pure incompatibility, and it’s causing you both undue amounts of stress.

What are some other scenarios where opposites don’t attract? Comment below!