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Many relationship experts have differing opinions on the old idiom “opposites attract.” In many cases, especially when it comes to singles matchmaking services performed by a good matchmaker, people with different hobbies, attitudes and tastes are irresistibly attracted to one another and make fabulous couples. However, for every “opposites attract” success story, there are plenty of horror stories. We've seen plenty of stories where opposites attract at Kelleher International as well as stories where the differences were too great to make for a good match.
Clearly there are many reasons why very different people should not date. For example, a recent study on Today.com revealed that 66% of those surveyed would not date a vegetarian or a vegan. In response to that study, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher said that lifestyle diets communicate so much more than only what is for dinner. Certain personality traits come to be associated with food and lifestyle regimens. Vegan and vegetarian diets connote a high-maintenance personality, even if the person is not high-maintenance and must be on a special diet for health-reasons. These kinds of large differences can cause big problems in a relationship, yet they do not have to be deal breakers.
Amber Kelleher says “Look for someone who matches 80% of your interests. If the remaining 15 to 20% is about religion, politics or food, don’t let that be an issue.” That being said, here are the areas that can cause stress on a relationship:
Hobbies: If guy is all about being physically active and playing sports or hiking on his downtime and she prefers to relax on the couch and instead engage her mind with a book or film, be cautious before getting in a relationship. With many people spending more time than ever working, the time outside of work is really all they have to spend with their significant other. When both members of the relationship have different ideas on how to spend that time, it can cause a lot of stress and separation. Now, both people can have their own individual hobbies that they devote time to, but there ought to be a few things that the couple can do together on a regular basis that both people enjoy.
Lifestyle: While this plays in with how each person spends their free time, it also includes how they live their lives. If both parties are not in sync on issues of cleanliness, physical fitness, health (smoking, alcohol) and time management (late vs. punctual), the relationship will most likely fail because of how hard it is to change one’s lifestyle. Finances are one of the major issues that couples face. If one person wants to save for the future and the other is eager to spend and enjoy life now; the conflict can be deadly to a relationship. Before making the commitment to be with someone who is vastly different from you, consider how flexible you can be when it comes to major life issues.
Some of the other areas where opposites attracting may be a bad idea include differences of culture, different desires for the future (if he doesn’t want kids ever and she does) and different communication styles. Most steady relationships are built on those things that the couple has in common, rather than their differences. So if you are in a relationship with someone who seems like your opposite or thinking of getting into a relationship with that kind of person, focus on building a relationship on those similarities. If your differences are wide enough to break the relationship, you will know because they will proceed to do so no matter how much you focus on them. If you love someone, you do not necessarily have to change your diet for them if you can both find restaurants or dishes to make that you both enjoy. And you may find that those differences that were once so important actually don’t mean anything at all in the long-term.