Do Opposites Really Attract?

What makes people truly compatible?

Couple Working Out
(Image credit: Andersen Ross/Getty Images)

They say "opposites attract." Then they turn around and say it's important to have a lot in common to be compatible. Attraction is complex, because both statements are true.

It's not like two magnets coming together. It's more like puzzle pieces fitting: some things are alike, some are opposite, and they complement each other to fit together.

I've been thinking about what elements in a woman's personality must be opposite, and what things she must have in common with me.

Maybe, once I meet the girl who has the right mix, things will work out.

Here is the list I've come up with:

Must Have In Common

A Love of Animals

I haven't killed a bug since I was little. I don't see why I have the right to kill, even if it's small and gross. My dream girl doesn't have to love bugs, but some women even find cats or dogs gross or annoying.

One of the cats I adopted had a sad story. His owner was a guy who was moving in with his girlfriend, but with one stipulation. He had to get rid of his cat. So, he took him to a shelter, and luckily I came along and adopted him shortly thereafter. If a woman demanded me to give away a pet in order to move in with her, I'd probably pull the reverse and break up with her.

Love of (Good) Music

She doesn't have to love the same music I love. I just want her to understand that good music consists of emotion, writing, performance, and originality. I've gotten in fights with many girls who insist pop music is the end-all, be-all.

I love classical, classic rock, pop, hip hop, indie, anything guitar based. I don't think I'm some kind of music god, but I do love sharing my musical tastes with women. And every now and then a woman shows me something new-that's the best.

I listen to music to be moved emotionally. That's what I expect a woman to say too. But many women I meet say they listen to music just to be entertained, and not think. That doesn't go over too well.

Sense of Humor

She must enjoy bathroom humor or else I have no chance.I don't think I'll ever be able to shake my immature propensity to laugh at eighth grade-level stuff. I like sophisticated humor too, but I just need my girlfriend to laugh at a, ahem, "wide range" of material.



I feel like I need a woman to schedule me, and help me with the balancing of funds in my life. I have a disability when it comes to money and time-not a good trait. My organized friends are appalled when I share my bank statement with them because of my habit of going to random ATMs. They'll say:

"Do you know how much money you're wasting in unnecessary fees?"

Honestly, I never really thought about it.

Actually, everything in my life is disorganized; it would be nice if my girlfriend was an accountant, because I hate thinking about money.

Quiet and Smart

I wish I could be the quiet, stoic one, but that's not me. I'm loud, dumb, and obnoxious. And so are my friends. I'd like a girl who enjoyed the loudness but also kind of chuckled at my stupidity.

And by "quiet," I don't mean that she shouldn't talk.I find that quiet people have a lot more impact when they actually do speak, On the other hand, I shed words like a waterfall and you have to pick and choose what's important. And if we are both loud, we'll never hear each other.

A "Heartless" Minimalist

I've inherited my father's habits. I get attached to meaningless little things and I can't throw them away. I've been working on it, but I can still improve.

A minimalist will keep me from having an apartment that could be on A&E's Hoarders.

When I moved out of my last apartment, my friend Jenn showed me how it's done.

She was throwing everything away. She'd hold something up and say: "Do you really need this?"

I'd think of a reason to keep it. And if I couldn't come up with a good reason within three seconds, she'd say:

"That's a 'no," then toss it and move on.

I was sad... but impressed. And I needed her to do that.

Do you agree with my thoughts on compatibility? What is one thing in common you need in a guy, and one thing that has to be opposite? What are your thoughts on my list?

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