Can People Who Are Total Opposites Have a Compatible Relationship?

Recognizing and appreciating differences can enhance a relationship between opposites.
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When beginning a relationship, it’s common to evaluate how compatible the two of you will be in the future. You may ask yourself if you like the same activities and whether your personalities are similar or different. Even though you may soon realize that your interests and personalities are opposite of each other, it is possible to have a compatible relationship, but, as with any relationship, it will take some work and compromise to have a successful partnership.

1 Why Do Opposites Attract?

If you have more of a passive nature yet you seek partners who are dominant, it may be the lure of something different and new that fuels the attraction. In fact, the possibility that those differences may be problematic is often a luring element that adds passion to a relationship. People are drawn to others who can fulfill desires that have not been met, assert relationship counselors Linda and Charlie Bloom on PsychCentral. For example, if you find yourself content relaxing on the couch to watch a movie, yet your mate likes the thrill of amusement parks, he may bring about an excitement within you to try something new. This fulfilled desire often leads to a stronger sense of love, comfort, support, security and connection.

2 Embracing the Risks

When attracted to someone who has needs, desires and wants that are completely opposite of your personality, it can create a sense of intensity, risk and freedom, suggest the Blooms, which is an attractive quality in a relationship that keeps couples engaged and intrigued. Although a “tension of the opposites” may exist, many opposites can coexist with each other because the passion and tension deepen and sustain the relationship.

3 Establishing Core Values

Even though you may be a morning person and your partner is a night owl, it doesn’t mean you both don’t share some similar beliefs that will make the relationship compatible. Functional compatibility is generally achieved when couples, even opposites, share the same basic morals and belief system, according to Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., on "Psychology Today" online. For example, if you both believe in abstinence before marriage or refraining from alcohol, these core values can help the two of you bond and not let other differences you have complicate your relationship. If you and your partner have similar beliefs regarding what is right and wrong and even religious views, the relationship will be much more compatible, despite other personal differences you may have.

4 Finding Ways to Relate

Though opposites may attract initially because they are intrigued, to have a successful relationship, it is important for them to find ways to relate to one another, advises Cohen. The key is to establish open communication to discuss the differences and respect the choices of your mate. For example, you may not like to watch horror films even though your mate is a scary flick fanatic. Simply communicate your preferences -- and if the two of you cannot come to a compromise, respect each other's interests and choose not to partake in these activities together. Discussing the differences upfront can reduce the risk of resentment and hurt feelings down the road. If you feel comfortable expressing your thoughts and feelings, differences can play to your advantage and promote a compatible relationship.

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.