I think there’s something really wonderful about differences between people in a relationship, whether it’s a friendship, familial bond, or significant other. For me, opposites attract like gangbusters.
I mean, I get that you need to have some kind of common ground to get along with a person. But when you get two people together who know everything there is to know about something, what do you have left to talk about? How are you learning from each other? How are you growing?
Having those separate interests and opposing strengths allows each person in the relationship to bring themselves to the table. His or her true selves. Not the self that’s trying desperately to do everything. When you’re with someone who’s has what you lack, you get to be yourself – that strange wonderful neurotic person who has what your partner lacks. Together you get to be one good person.
And, more importantly, if you both are experts in, say, sociology of religion, which one of you is going to take a break from discussing the correlation between the idea of God as creator and the life giving energy of the sun and finally just change the frickin’ lightbulb?
There needs to be someone in the relationship who’s able to take a step back and deal with practical matters.
And the converse is true. There’s got to be a yin for every yang.
I was talking with a friend today who’s trying to fix me up with this guy. And he’s a great guy. We’d be perfect for each other, my friend thinks.
But we wouldn’t. Here’s why: We’re too much alike at our core.
We both think before we leap. We both have a certain way we like the things on our coffee tables to line up. We’re both good looking. We’re both smart. We’re both funny. We’re both decent cooks and decent company. We’re both holding out for something better. We’re both too right.
And two rights make a U-turn.
I’ve dated the “perfect for me” guy. Finding someone perfectly like you, though, doesn’t necessarily make for a perfect match. For me it makes for a perfectly boring, predictable time.
Give me the person who has what I lack. Give me the guy who is my opposite. The one who makes me want to leap without thinking about it. The one who breaks down some high-level idea that I can’t get my head around into something completely basic that makes total sense and manages to blow my mind. Give me the guy who’ll pull my head out of the clouds as he’s pushing me in the pool.
Or even just the one who’ll just say, “For Christ’s sake, Paige, it’s just a lightbulb. I’ll have that changed in thirty seconds flat.”