Drama or domesticity? Fireworks or familiarity? When searching for the right mate which is more predicative of long term commitment and happiness, finding someone who is much like yourself or a person who is the ying to your yang? Despite all the books, plays, movies television shows and operas that exploit the spice and excitement of two very different kinds of lovebirds flying off into the sunset together the happiest and most long-lived relationships are typically between partners who mirror many of the same values and personality traits.

Opposite attraction

Meeting and connecting with a person very different from yourself may seem very stimulating and intriguing at the onset. Such a relationship can be breathtaking and full of surprises. You might find yourself immersing yourself in the one on one moments with this fascinating person. Then you end up ignoring your family and friends. As long as everything is just candlelight dinners and walks on the beach you might feel like you enjoy this cage you’ve entered with your exotic love interest.

But then it occurs to you that walks on the beach are not really your thing. Real life intrudes and you have to go back to work to earn the money for those romantic dinners. One evening you discover this new love believes in things that are fundamentally different from the opinions and values you hold dear. The glow of infatuation turns into the fiery inferno of heated arguments about political views or social structures. Rather than someone you can’t wait to see this personal polar opposite becomes someone you want to run far, far from.

The reality of opposite attraction in relationships

Opposites may attract during a week on an all-paid swinging singles vacation, the “boys of summer” scenario, or when you are trying to get under the skin of an ex — or your parents. When it comes to creating a life together, however, the constant disagreements and lack of a common set of values will wear thin. It’s no coincidence that the Romeo and Juliet relationships of song and story capture just a day or at most a season of a star crossed love between opposites. Juliet may have been filing for divorce before the next masked ball if they had not both taken their lives. Romeo might have moved on to the next balcony as well. But the charged atmosphere between the two of them might have been only momentary.  This probably wouldn’t have been enough to sustain a lifetime commitment.

Compatibility in relationships

What seems to be the tie that binds, is the vision of life both of you share. A set of personality traits that are compatible is also required. This does not mean the person with whom you ultimately build your nest will look like you, come from the same ethnic heritage or share your love pickles and peanut butter sandwiches. Instead of superficial likeness you will cuddle and coo with that guy or gal who values the same things. This is the person who is temperamentally suited to your way of getting things done.

Savor a brief flight into the unknown with a man or woman who charms you and then leave you cold. Then join your flock to find a like-minded partner who will mirror your beliefs and moods. Soaring in a perfectpas de deux, a dance of life together only true soulmates can perform.