Opposites attract in human search for mate

Susan K.

Do Opposites Attract? Here’s What Science Says | Betterhelp

Perry says, "People tend to look for almost a clone of themselves. They are very specific -- too specific. In the real world, Perry says, you may find more appeal in someone who is different in some ways. What might be a bad way to be opposite? What if one was detail conscious and the other was "big picture" oriented? This might be a better set of opposites, she says.

Bottom line: If the people's values and ways they want to spend time are different, this could lead to "big trouble," Perry says. As for looks, people think they deserve more than someone inferior in looks, she says. The study cited above showed people take their own inventory and compare it against possible mates. Do people really do this? They make up a shopping list instead. While in the "market," do they evaluate the goods carefully? They counted the number of MHC dissimilarities among those who were real couples, and compared them with those in the randomly-generated 'virtual couples'.

But we found that the real partners had significantly more MHC dissimilarities than we could have expected to find simply by chance. Within MHC-dissimilar couples the partners will be genetically different, and such a pattern of mate choice decreases the danger of endogamy mating among relatives and increases the genetic variability of offspring.

Genetic variability is known to be an advantage for offspring, and the MHC effect could be an evolutionary strategy underlying incest avoidance in humans and also improving the efficiency of the immune system, the scientists say.

The MHC is a large genetic region situated on chromosome 6, and found in most vertebrates. You like to travel; your soulmate likes to stay home. You prefer time alone together; your mate wants to socialize. Without the magic you once had, all the discussions in the world may be of no avail. There was a time when you counted the minutes to being together.

Those People Were Not Married, Though

There was a time when the list of things above would have been petty in your eyes. The magic comes when you put the whole person into perspective. Use the ideas presented above to look at yourself. What is it that you wanted in this other person? What is it about you that is missing that thing? How did that happen? How did you come to find it attractive in your partner? A little soul searching may help you remember that you had a reason—a good reason—to be attracted to this person.

Why we think opposites attract

There was, indeed, something about him or her that completed you, even if you were not consciously aware of it at the time. True, it may need some refining. We were all put here to grow, and that includes not only you but your friends and relatives as well. By being in contact with one another, each of us can grow. But the best possible climate for growth comes from acceptance, not rejection.

Jordan Peterson - Finding a Partner and the Role of Personality

Take responsibility for the fact you chose this partner. If you have done all of this introspection and recognize where the attraction came from for this now-annoying quality, and it is still intolerable, speak up! But do it with love. So many people think that being assertive is the same as being harsh, demanding, and autocratic.

It Is the Opposite of Opposites Attract

Although you may be annoyed, do some deep breathing and let go of the bad feelings. Almost every problem really does have a solution. Enjoy the teamwork and the renewed sense of closeness it fosters. And if you need a little nudge or guidance in the right direction, contact a qualified therapist.

Whitehouse, J. The role of the initial attracting quality in marriage: Virtues and vices. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy , 7 1 , All rights reserved. The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.