There is an awful lot of content out there that gives people relationship advice. And here comes just another dumb post. 😛 The difference? I’m actually in a relationship.
But not any relationship. It is a relationship I believe to be something very unique. I mean… psychology says that the odds of staying in a relationship are highest when both partners have a similar personality. That includes similar habits, similar ways of thinking, or a common ‘outlook on life’. Commonly also referred to as ‘assertive mating’ (lol).
#1 Mind shifts
Mind what? Let me explain. We all operate by a certain set of standards and values in life. Some of us may value health more than others. Other’s prefer walking around in slippers and tennis socks during winter (I prefer wearing sneakers actually).
So what about it Max?
It gets a lot more interesting when we take the time to get know people whom we don’t think we can get along with. You’ll actually find that the majority of ‘weirdos’ are actually not that strange, but simply place value on other things in their life or just… have a different outlook.
It is often these discrepancies in outlooks, that can put you into a completely different frame of mind. Not only do they challenge your status quo of thinking, but also they give you new and original ideas that may potentially boost the diversity of thoughts. Why is this good for us? Through our thoughts being ‘forced’ into new territory, our brain begins to form new neural pathways, which basically means… we become a lot more creative, more empathic, considerate, and… well… I guess just a smarter person overall.
#2 Social competence
This kinda leads me to my next little discovery. Empathy is huge. I mean it’s… BIG. To me, it’s is the key to basically being liked by everyone and hated by no one. Why? When we practice true empathy, we start to see the world from another person’s viewpoint. This will allow us to know what it is they are interested in… or what they care about.
By knowing this, we can immerse ourselves in a world that allows us to explore another dimension that often is completely different from ourselves. And why would I do that???
To me, the greatest development of our interpersonal skills occurs when our brain is confronted with new, ambiguous, enlightening, inspiring and thought-provoking stimuli. Such things reshape our thinking for the better (well- most of the time).
Because of this, I have become a firm believer that we become able to connect with more people, make more friends with strangers that may just be from completely opposite ends. And that’s exactly what get’s me hyped. It’s the ability to connect and build a relationship with anyone.
#3 Are you really that different from each other?
If you’re reading this post, the one thing I would like you to take away is the simple psychological phenomenon, that often times, we perceive partner different than from who they actually are. No, I don’t mean that they could be an alien, but that very often our perceptions of someone actually differ than what their personality is.
Numerous longitudinal scientific studies have found that indeed couples who perceive themselves as similar do report a higher relationship satisfaction, yet when these couples have actually been filling out commonly-used personality tests, their personality traits have actually that the opposite should be the case (personality traits can either repel or attract each other i.e. extraversion & introversion).
My point is, that very often we perceive our partner in a completely different way than they actually are. This lies in our nature of inferring someone’s personality based on what we observe (implicit personality theory). So the real deal may simply be, that both of may perhaps be completely different from each other, or… perhaps very much alike. 🙂
#4 Does it ever get boring?
Well… I can’t give you a yes/no answer to this… because I don’t know. I haven’t been in the game long enough yet. So time will tell. But, what I can tell you is, that chances of it getting boring, are much more minimal than when being with someone who is just like you.
I feel like this is because your romantic relationship is always ‘spiced’ up and there is always this little spark that sort of makes it exciting when your partner is around. The reasons for this are different from couple to couple, but I’m someone who can have hourly long debates about the most philosophical, self-induced random crap I could ever think of.
So all in all, I do believe that opposites certainly can keep things hot and can certainly add much more passion and excitement to your relationship. Sex is also kinda nice!
#5 You actually become a smarter person
I must admit, I’m a very stubborn person. I don’t like watching TV series (in fact, I’ve never watched one) and I generally listen to music I know or like (well… who doesn’t?). I’m proud to say that only after about a month of dating I’m able to sing along with Turkish songs, Bulgarian lyrics, and Russian lyrics. Okay, I said sing along! That doesn’t mean I understand the lyrics nor that I pronounce any of the words the correct way. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done.
But it’s not only about those lyrics and TV shows. Consider more adventures activities like… outdoor activities. As I love nature, I more so love sleeping in tents and just enjoying the ‘simple’ life sometimes. She hates it! But after I told her all about what huge and snake-safe tents you can get these days, I’m sure camping won’t be too far gone. 😉
After all, the big question becomes… do opposites really attract each other? Research doesn’t have an answer to this. But here is mine – I often hear that the happiest couples are indeed opposites of each other (I think of my grandparents at this moment), with a completely different character. Perhaps what makes them so successful is there unbeatable understanding of each other’s differences. 😉
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