Don't Let the Exam-Season Become a Disaster...Here's my advice to...
Opposites That Don't Attract...Who first said that opposites attract? Because they didn't think it through and it's time to debunk this myth. It's true the average blue-eyed blonde feels attracted to a brown-eyed brunette. The petite woman - or man - falls for a tall partner - think Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster. And the shy, quiet type is drawn to the company of the outgoing, life-and-soul of the party.
So yes, opposites often attract quite spectacularly sometimes when it comes to physical characteristics and certain personality traits - but that's far from the whole picture.
Take my client, Rebecca, 36, who fell head over heels for Jason, 34. As a successful solicitor some of her friends were surprised that she got together with Kevin, a builder, but he happened across her local while doing a job in the area. It was one of those bolts out of the blue with them attracting like a pair of love-struck magnets.
She was absolutely skittish with desire for him and they had an incredibly passionate relationship. When I met her it’d finished a year ago yet still caused her heartache. Basically it’d imploded over certain opposites they couldn't overcome.
Kevin tired of her high-achieving approach to work. When his day was done he happily left his building work behind while Rebecca teetered home under the weight of files. His family thought she was "all wrong" and wondered why she spent most of her time working. Rebecca was more conservative than his strong, labour-supporting heritage. Along with other differences such opposites broke them up.
Various pieces of research show that such core attitudes influence couples positively when they’re similar rather than opposites. Still many couples are surprised when they’re attracted to someone with very different attitudes and beliefs that seem so incredible, and new, yet often become what destroys the relationship. It's wonderful to think love conquers all but be prepared to work out on the opposites that first attracted you so they don't eventually repel you.
An edited version of this was published in The Times
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