Opposites Attract! Or Do They…?


Opposites Attract! Or Do They…?
M.D. Wright
5.14.2013

If you have lived long enough, you have heard people use this rather cliché (and often inaccurate) phrase: “(With regards to couples and relationships) Opposites attract!” But is it actually true? Generalities are tricky creatures, because they are never 100% applicable across the board; there are always exceptions to the rule and outliers, and to the exclusion of those, the “opposites attract” theorem is largely inaccurate and antithetical.

The foundation of relationships of all types is shared experiences/interests, commonalities, similar beliefs (or distastes) and so forth. It can be argued that at times a Type A person and a Type B person can balance the other, and vice versa, in ways that each are deficient or flawed. This can be true beyond basic friendships, but often times the differences (Type A and Type B are not fixed personality bases, so this is not intended to be a cut-and-dry parallel analysis) between people often drive a wedge between them more than the commonalities unite and bind them together. This is all too often seen in the areas regarding handling finances, having/raising children, political and religious beliefs and other mores and values that are at everyone’s core.

To that end, I interject a personal reflection. I have done a great deal of self-examination as I have now reached my mid-30s. One of the beautiful things about emotional intelligence is to not only become self-aware, but be keenly aware of how you are perceived in the eyes of others, while also being compassionate and observant of others, AND being cognizant of how THEY feel they are perceived in the eyes of others. This is not an innate trait for anyone. This must be developed over time, with effort, and the knowledge of what emotional intelligence consists of at the core. I have reached self-actualization, and with that comes no delusions of grandeur nor obliviousness to the blind spots and negative traits that every single person on the face of this earth has in varying degrees.

One thing that I failed to realize quickly enough in my life is that being a unwaveringly confident man has produced two very disparate (and virtually and completely futile) results in the dating world for me. Obviously, being single and never married, this would be deemed as completely futile, but I do have a few (which is all ANY man needs) female friends who are both acutely similar and obtusely different from me. It has helped me in my emotional intelligence, as well as my overall growth as a mature man when dealing with women.

However, the two disparate results have been either:

1. Constantly attracting women with major, crippling insecurities, and/or,
2. Pursuing after women who (appear, and largely have been, in my personal experience only) are Type A and confident as I am.

The former has produced the same result each time: projection of the insecurities upon me, constant victim mentality, table-turning and eventually sabotage of the relationship, despite my consistency and lack of mood swings along with the projections.
The latter has produced the same result in the same manner: often perceiving what appear to be negative traits (and, in a few cases, truly, these are negatives within me, but not often) in me, and failing to see that they are the same traits that they convey to the world about themselves, which in turn affects the way others perceive them; whether the others are Type A, B or C.

These experiences have helped me to realize that the more similar you are with a person when it comes to the core and foundation of yourself, the better off you are. However, when you look at the penultimate paragraph, you will see how self-actualization and emotional intelligence has helped shape my interactions with women (willfully pursuing after the more similar type of woman), while the lack of self-actualization and emotional intelligence on the part of others will cause them to turn away or project onto others the very things that attracted the others to them in the first place — that which they have led to believe was negative, which can be perceived as positives in the eyes of two self-actualized people with an understanding of emotional intelligence.

You can draw your own conclusions here based upon the title and the main talking points of emotional intelligence and self-actualization…

Opposites Attract I

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