Do Opposites Attract?
“Opposites attract” has been an age-old saying going back perhaps 200 years. You’ve probably seen a lot of anecdotal evidence in your life that supports it. I certainly have. But is it accurate?
The answer is yes… and no. I shall explain.
A few years ago, there was a woman I was playing around with whom I’ll call Jenna. She was a cute blonde, 23 years old, and a crazy party girl. She lived life on the edge. She wasn’t stupid; she was reasonably intelligent, but her lifestyle was full of crazy fun, staying up way too late, doing drugs (though not to an extreme degree), and hanging out with losers (men and women both). She spoke with a very hard edge. Listening to her was like listening to a man from the 1970’s. Her favorite outfit was sweat bottoms and a tank top. She absolutely loved music I hated, movies I hated, people I hated, and lifestyles I hated.
She was my exact opposite in every way. We had literally nothing in common. I’m a business nerd in his 40’s, attracted to sweet, nice girly-girls. There was no reason I would have been attracted in any way to Jenna (beyond the physical), nor she to me.
Yet, for some damn reason, our chemistry was absolutely incredible. When we hung out or had sex, there was a passionate, white-hot fire between us that was insane beyond belief. It was so unbelievable and bizarre that I was honestly stumped and couldn’t understand it.
I mentioned this to my daughter in passing, saying that Jenna and I had this crazy chemistry/fire between us, but it didn’t make any sense.
“It makes perfect sense,” my daughter said. “You’re complete and total opposites. No wonder you’re all over each other.”
So clearly opposites attract, right?
Well, right here I talked about one of the first women I was able to get into a nonmonogamous relationship with way back in 2007, who I called Marci. Marci was essentially a female version of me. She was a hardcore business woman who was exactly my age, who disliked traditional relationships, thought marriage was stupid, had no problem fucking multiple people and letting those people have sex with other people, and was really into self improvement and action movies. It was like someone had created an attractive female version of me. We were almost like clones, just with different genders. We had everything in common.
…and our chemistry was amazing; mind-blowing. We intoxicated each other. It was every bit as exciting and passionate as I experienced so many years later with Jenna. It was crazy. I’ve experienced NRE many times with many women, but this was different (as it was with Jenna). It was on a whole different level. It was the closest I ever came to having sex with myself, as funny as that sounds.
So what the hell is going on here? I’ve had crazy, intense, mutual attraction going far beyond just the physical with women who were my polar opposites and my identical girl-twins. So do opposites attract, or not?
Opposites vs. Similarities
I don’t know for sure if what I’m about to say is accurate, but it’s a working theory and I’m reasonably sure I’m right about this. I think opposites attract up to a point. Yes, a woman who is very “opposite” from you is likely to attract you much more than just any typical cute girl walking down the street. However, if this girl is completely opposite to you in every way, either you won’t be attracted as much as you thought once you get to know her, or the intense NRE will burn out very quickly.
I think the same is true if a woman is too similar to you. If a woman is just like you in every way, either you will start to get unattracted or the NRE will burn out very quickly.
This is what happened to both Jenna and Marci, as well as other “opposites” and “clones” I’ve dated as FB’s or MLTR’s in the past. Jenna and I “burned out” very fast; in just a few months I didn’t give a shit about her anymore, and the same could be said about her feelings towards me. We’re still distant friends, but that’s about it. I haven’t seen her in a long time, and writing this article is the first time I’ve thought about her in quite a while.
With Marci, we just drifted apart after a few weeks. Later, she moved away to another state. We’re still good friends to this day, but I would never consider a relationship with her beyond a FB. I could never date a woman like me. One me in my life is quite enough.
I think the “opposites attract” works best when the woman who is “opposite” to you also contains some strong similarities as well. The ideal true attraction will be with a woman with whom every trait is either identical to yours or the exact opposite to yours, with most of them being opposites. Here’s what I mean:
If you encounter a woman during your dating adventures that has many traits opposite from you, but a handful of traits that are identical to you or close to it, that woman is going to be extremely attractive to you (and likely, her to you, assuming your physical appearance is not problematic), and this attraction will last well past NRE and into a longer-term relationship (unless you screw it up, of course).
If instead, her traits are all over the place on the spectrum, then you might be really attracted to her and you might not. It all depends on other factors.
I’ll use my dating history as an example. What few relationships I’ve had that were A) unusually long-lasting, as in many years without a LSFNTE, and B) very serious, and C) where me and the woman maintained a strong amount of attraction for a decently long period of time, fell into that bottom chart of “Stronger, True Attraction.” All of these women were full of traits that were diametrically opposite to me, but had a few traits that were almost identical to me.
As just two examples, both Pink Firefly (my current girlfriend/OLTR) and HBM (my last serious “girlfriend”) were the typical templates of what I really like. I tend to be attracted to extremely girly, feminine women with decent amounts of Disney and on the high end of the emotional scale. In other words, I’m attracted to the complete opposite from me. (I am extremely masculine, very rational and objective for a human being, have zero Disney, and I’m on the extreme low end of the emotional scale, to the point of being almost fucking robotic.)
However, at the same time, they also had traits that were identical to me or very close to it. As just one example, I’m a creature of work; I love to work and work is my greatest joy in life. I work seven days a week, by choice, because I love it. Both Pink Firefly and HBM are/were also extremely hard-working people to the point of being workaholics. For the past many years, Firefly has worked two jobs, working seven days a week. HBM would work 12 hour days, never taking a break, and more than once she would literally pass out at work due to dehydration or work exhaustion and they’d have to call the ambulance.
So when I encounter a super feminine girly-girl who also works her ass off, my attraction spikes into the stratosphere. It’s crazy. Their attraction for me also spikes. Lots of opposite traits, a few identical traits, and not much else.
Now here’s the interesting thing. I never consciously sat down and said, “I love women who are workaholics!” or “Women who work seven days a week are so hot! Damn that’s sexy!” No. I literally never thought about it. Instead, I always thought about the opposite traits, like femininity, girlyness, and a tiny body. I just ended up with “opposite” women who had these similar traits as me. My subconscious was directing things, not my conscious mind.
That leads to another aspect that is indeed 100% about the “opposite.”
What I’m about to describe doesn’t apply to everyone. My theory is that it applies to almost 100% of people who have more extreme personalities; very masculine, very feminine, very emotional, very non-emotional, very intense, very laid back, etc.
I am a physically large man with dark hair and blue eyes. Guess what kind of female physical type turns me on the most? The exact opposite; short, tiny, petite women (preferably with exaggerated curves) with very blonde hair (ideally platinum) and dark brown eyes. I covered one reason for this in this article here, but another reason is that in many cases, opposites do indeed attract when it comes to body types (but again, most likely it’s with people of more extreme personalities).
This is why you’ll often see big NFL football players and UFC types with teeny tiny 5’1” wives. I relate completely. (Although these jocks are almost always extreme betas in their relationships and these little wives boss them around like tiny dictators. That’s where we part company)
I’ve noticed this with many men and women who have clearer or more extreme personalities. Men who only date Asian women. Women who only date guys who are really skinny. Men who date fat girls (and like it). Women who pretty much only date giant, husky guys like me. Etc.
One biological theory behind this is that as human beings, we are attracted to physical traits we don’t have so as to more likely create better-looking children. If you mate with a woman who looks a lot like you do, odds are your kids aren’t going to be very pretty. But if you mate with someone who looks the “opposite” to you, your odds of good-looking babies go up. At least, that’s the theory. I’m no biologist.
The evidence used to back up this theory is to see how ugly people were in old pictures from the 1920’s or the 1800’s. People were really damn ugly back then, even the young women. Human beings are far better looking now; this could be one reason.
Also note how smoking hot 50/50 racially mixed people tend to be. Half-Asian women, half-black women, half-Indian women, and half-whatever women almost always seem to be amazingly hot. The same is often true of men as well.
I have no idea if this biological theory is true, but it seems to jive with a hell of a lot of what I’ve seen and experienced over the years.
Complementary vs. Compatible
Another aspect of this, of which most people are completely unaware, is the issue of someone being complementary to you as opposed to compatible with you. In terms of getting laid, this doesn’t matter much, but in terms of ongoing relationships that are supposed to be serious (MLTR’s and OLTR), this is very important; doubly so if you live together or plan on doing so.
Compatible describes how you are similar to someone. If you both don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t stay out late, and are somewhat introverted, you’re pretty compatible. You won’t have nearly as much conflict in your relationship.
Incompatible is the opposite. That means you have stark differences that do not mesh well together. If you were the hypothetical man above, and then got into a very serious relationship with a woman who drank and smoked often, stayed out late into the evening, and was very extroverted, you’d have all kinds of problems with her once NRE was over. Not a good idea (unless she’s just a FB).
Complementary means you have stark differences that actually do mesh well together. Being incompatible with someone is bad, being complementary with someone is good, but in both cases, we’re describing differences. If you are really complementary with someone, it really helps the relationship, even if you have some incompatibility.
For example, many years ago when I was a beta male and was traditionally, monogamously married, (kill me) I was married to a woman who I was not compatible with, but highly complementary with. We were not compatible because she was a very strong traditionalist, deeply steeped in false Societal Programming when it came to things like religion and tradition. Obviously, I’m the exact opposite, even as a beta so many years ago. While we were both introverted and both reasonably intelligent, I was (and still am) a highly opinionated, arrogant, happy smartass, while she was a dark, moody, societal drone. I was a libertarian; she was a right-wing conservative. I was happy most of the time; she was brooding most of the time. I thought life was about happiness; she thought life was about sacrifice.
In other words, we were incompatible as fuck. That’s one of the reasons we eventually got divorced. (It wasn’t the biggest reason though; that was because long-term sexual monogamy doesn’t work, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
However, we were married for nine years. Not bad for today’s marriage length, and about seven of those years were pretty good. Why? Because while we weren’t compatible at all, we were highly complementary.
I was very good with numbers, money, and business. If she even looked at a calculator it would make her head spin. She had no concept of business and looking at a spreadsheet would make her “head hurt.” On the flip side, I had no idea how to fix things around the house (though I am much better at this now) or how to manage things like a yard or a garage. She was a genius with these things. Our entire house (and we had a very big house and big yard) ran perfectly because she was always on top of everything. Her repair skills, crafting skills, and artistic ability were off the chart, and it was great to have someone like that in my life. (My artistic ability is zero, other than fiction writing.)
I’m always a big-picture thinker, setting goals, making plans, and executing them. She had no idea about the big picture but was intensely detail oriented, which I was terrible with when I was a younger man. (Again, I’m far better about the details today, to the point where I sort of amaze myself; we men tend to improve with age.)
So in a weird way, even though we were fundamentally incompatible as a couple, it was “hard” for us to leave each other, not because we loved or even liked each other, but because we were both so good at making up for each other’s flaws. We were very complementary.
The ideal relationship is, of course, being decently compatible and complementary. The opposites attract factor actually helps the complementary part; since, for example, if I’m attracted to very feminine, emotional women, that right there creates an element of complementary right off the bat. (My ex-wife was not very feminine, as you might imagine.) I just need to be careful about the compatible part (and so do you). This is much easier these days since I’m much more self-aware about who I am, who I am not, and what kind of women I can mesh with long-term.
Anyway, this opposites attract stuff is a very big topic and I have more to say about it, but this article is already running long so I’ll stop there. If there’s more demand for this, I’ll follow up at some point with a part 2 to this article.