- Have you thought about compatibility in your intimate relationships?
- Do opposites attract each other?
- Or do people prefer someone similar to them in personality traits?
Psychology Studies Offer Different Viewpoints
Have you thought about compatibility in your intimate relationships? Do opposites attract each other? Or do people prefer someone similar to them in personality traits? Relationship psychology studies over the years have offered polarized viewpoints:
1. The first hypothesis is that partners could be satisfied with people who differ from them on exact personality features. The misconceptions here is that you are looking for your opposite to make you whole. Would your probable mate intrigue you? Are you a risk taker who is willing to find out how opposing character traits unfold through deepening a relationship?
One author Tim Lahore advises that people with similar temperaments repel each other in his book Opposites Entice
The relationship psychologist and well-known author, Harville Hendrix, indicated in his writings on relationship compatibility that the universal polarity would also exist within and affect relationships.
2. That is the second myth. In my years if relationship counseling or relationship coaching, I’ve observed that some persons are not emotionally mature or competent to be able to respect, accept, or honor differences. Why?
- People do not know their temperament traits.
- People assume that an argument or disagreement is a personal affront.
- Some people feel that the grass is always greener in another relationship, and usually it is not.
In my brief review of the relationship compatibility research that I shared in my coauthored book: From Fizzle to Sizzle, individuals tend to look for relationship partners who are similar to them.
Seek Similarities in Relationships
Compatibility factors include similar emotional skills, culture, and values. Three lesser-known factors that contribute to relationship compatibility are similar educational levels, physical attractiveness, and socio-monetary backgrounds. One’s inborn temperament also profoundly influences those factors: emotions, values, the motivation for education, and physical attractiveness.
3. The third misperception, then, is that having similar cultural backgrounds or relationship temperament traits can predict an even-tempered relationship or a happy one.
Then what are the best predictors of relationship compatibility and the best outcomes? Research suggests that individual differences in personality predict best how relationships could fare than similar traits like honesty, attachment, compatibility, or similarity.