Opposites Detract

Opposites Detract


He’s nothing like you, and that can be a real turn-on, initially. But here’s why choosing a like-minded mate is your smartest move for lasting love.

Maybe you’re protesting: isn’t landing the perfect partner about finding the yin to your yang? Well, yes, but the safer bet is to find someone whose personality and interests complement—not contradict—your own, according to Caroline Presno, psychotherapist and author of the recently published, Profiling Your Date: A Smart Woman’s Guide to Evaluating a Man. “A shy woman might be drawn to an outgoing guy because he helps bring her out of her shell,” she explains. “But, a lot of times what ends up happening is that she gets tired of him being social and talkative all the time even though it seemed attractive at first.”

Presno references an international study of more than 10,000 subjects, which revealed that women do, in fact, prefer men with who are similar to themselves in levels of activity, creativity, boldness, intelligence, kindness, warmth and perceptiveness. While there are exceptions to the rule, Presno says that the “opposite” characteristic that originally pulled you together is ultimately the one that will pull you apart. Think about the frustration you’d feel dating a couch potato when you’re constantly on the go. Or if your gift of gab ropes in a man of few words, will he still appreciate it after the initial spark dies?

“Having similar values, comparable levels of attractiveness, and being intellectual equals leads to more successful and satisfying relationships,” Presno says. She wrote Profiling Your Date as a handbook for women to better navigate the dating maze, and to ideally eschew advice from the likes of late ’80s Paula Abdul songs. Opposite may attract, but they likely won’t last.

-Genevieve Lill


Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
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