life, thoughts

Opposites Attract

While chatting in the comment section with friends about my Looking Inside post, another subject crept it’s way into the conversation.

In the course of discussing how other people’s annoying behavior mirrors our own, the topic also came up about how we sometimes choose friends with opposite characteristics from ourselves (thanks to Kate).

A young, naïve couple pretending to live in the 1800’s

For example, when I met my husband, his optimism attracted me. At the time, I thought myself to be of the pessimist persuasion and hoped his optimism would rub off on me. As I got to know him and his optimistic family, I was even more drawn to him. It was my goal in life to start thinking positive. I hoped to balance optimism with realism.

Later I learned that the characteristics which attract us to someone in the beginning, are many times the very cause of relationship issues.

by David Slack-WikiCommons

I discovered that my new family, wasn’t so much optimists as they  were ostriches. In other words, they buried their heads in the sand to uncomfortable situations. They literally pretended like any negative occurrence in life wasn’t really happening. To be fair, it was mostly one person, but the rest usually followed that person’s lead.

When something came up, like a time to grieve, we were supposed to pretend like it didn’t happen and try to think positive. You can imagine how that went over when we were struggling with infertility.


This not only goes for choices in spouses, but also in friends. I noticed that I admire certain attributes of my besties that are not in me. I think we do need some of these opposite attributes in order to balance out relationships. One example might be how my husband stays calm in an emergency and I tend to panic. On the other hand, I’m more assertive, where my husband wouldn’t speak up and may even become a doormat. We help/balance each other out in those areas.

This is not to say that we don’t find friends and partners with things in common. There is no way that I could have a relationship with anyone who doesn’t get my sense of humor.  You know, humor can be touchy. People have different kinds and we don’t always find someone’s joke funny. Thankfully, my husband and my besties all “get” each other’s sense of humor. My besties and I giggle like teenagers when we’re together. My husband is the wittiest man I know. I believe humor is what helped us through rough patches.

Despite having some differences that might cause difficulties, there is always a way to work them through, if two people really want to. In my novel, Whit’s End, there are plenty of examples of such issues for two women and their troubled marriages.

Do you have an opposite characteristic from someone in your life?



31 thoughts on “Opposites Attract”

  1. I’m glad you brought me over here from my Oscar/Pollyanna post. Yes, opposites attract – until they WHAM blow up in each other’s faces. As much as we need to be different in a relationship (a good kind of yin and yang), we need to have base-level (core values) similarities. Sounds like you have this with your man. I’m an optimist, but I’m NOT an ostrich. No growth occurs if our heads are in the sand instead of the real world.
    On the other hand, the majority of my friends are quite different from me, in that they’re extroverts, and I tend to be an introvert. Those friendships help pull me out into the world.
    That, and our shared laughter, for sure. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pam. Yes, you’re right, core values that match are likely to be similar. I still work on being optimistic every day. On the times I release something to the Universe and then let it go and trust, it always works out for the best. I just don’t always remember to do so. 😉
      Thanks for coming over to check out the post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really good post. Certainly agree with all the comments on Whits End. Life happened and I never told you how much I enjoyed reading it and particularly because I knew the author!

    I never saw a follow up on Max from being at the vet. But I saw today he went out and the moon gave so much light you needed no other so I gathered he is fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda. Sorry, I did post an update on facebook about Max. All came out well with his blood test, except we have to revisit his liver counts to keep a check on them because they’re a bit elevated. We also need to figure out a treatment for his arthritis.

      Thanks for mentioning it, and for the nice comment. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a solutioniser… my husband is a bit of an ostrich. We drive each other nuts in that way but we’re politically and socially totally aligned. We get each other’s humour and we have the same parenting philosophy… so mostly things are pretty harmonious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think it’s important that we are spiritually and politically aligned. Other than that (and parenting philosophy), anything else can be balancing off each other. Thanks for sharing, Abbi.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lori, an article that many, including myself, can readily indentify with! My husband and I are so different in many ways, but our core values were identical. We balance each other perfectly, his laid back approach with my more controlling self, my perfection with his laissiz faire … we are both better people with each other! As for humour, that is a must in life! 😀Company without it can become rather intolerable.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Such a great observation, and good to hear you and your husband get along despite your differences. Like you, I am usually the negative person and a lot of those who I know are optimists. That said, most of my closest friends are those who share the same characteristics as me. I guess I’m one of those who find comfort in those who have similar traits, and I tend to get along with them better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mabel. As I’ve grown older, I’ve been reaching my goal of being a more optimistic person. I agree that it’s nice to have things in common with friends, too. Thank you for reading and sharing your perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrea. We do need some similarities that we can enjoy together. The opposites qualities are how we balance out. Thanks for sharing. Hope you had a nice weekend. We’re getting battered with arctic air and a blizzard tomorrow. 😝

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love your photos, Lori!

    I’ve always been attracted to guys who are very charismatic and gregarious. But there is a downside to that. I dated a guy who was a super extrovert. Sometimes we went on dates with a big group of people. He thrived on the contact. I just wanted to be alone with him. But he was in such demand. He’s a great guy though. It just didn’t work out between us,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi L. So, are you more of an introvert? I can understand why the person you described might not be such a good, long-term match.

      It does appear that we sometimes seek in others what we think we lack.

      Thank you for sharing. I hope you’re warm and safe this weekend. It’s brutal out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Humor is a biggie, isn’t it. At least for those who think they have a sense of humor and those that really do. If you’re willing to laugh at yourself you’re in my ballpark, if not, then I’d question if someone really has a sense of humor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree, George. It’s better to laugh at our foibles than to get mad. We’re only human. 😉 Hope you’re doing well and able to laugh nowadays. We’re hunkered down from piles of snow and arctic air.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed your book, Whit’s End. It showed how difficult it was to put up with people who had very different opinions about how things should be done. It certainly got me involved with the characters. Any time a book makes me feel emotion, I feel it’s a winner. Whit’s End is one of those.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. The picture is beautiful! When I married my “ex” I thought I was marrying into the Cleaver family. There were the prerequisite lip kisses (yikes! I came from a family that only did hugs occasionally) and all the verbal cues of caring. However…and it’s a big one…there was a lot of rivalry for the parents’ attention and approval. At this point my ex and his sisters were in their 40s. There was competition on who was more successful, who bought the best gifts, etc. When we split, I didn’t miss his siblings one bit. I did love his parents who seemed oblivious to everything, then again I only knew them in their old age. Opposites attract but sometimes you miss big clues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha. The Cleaver Family. That’s what I thought about my husband’s family, too. The competition between siblings here was for their mom’s affection. But, we live and learn.

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Kate.

      Liked by 1 person

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