Opposites Attract (Part 2)

Doing the exact opposite of what conventional wisdom suggests.

All the clichés and commonplaces you’ve been told about sex and relationships are wrong – but turn it around and you might fix it and there’s a study to back this up. Twenty years of solid observation and analysis by Dr. Terri Orbuch, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research(ISR), will give your relationship the combined benefits of the thousands she has studied.


“Opposite types work best together”

Animal magnetism may be the force at work here but in the long run, you’d want some sort of compatibility. “If you differ on big issues such as children or religion, then you’re more likely to experience conflict and tension,” says Orbuch. Describe yourself. “If you put ‘active’, ‘successful’, and ‘physical’ then look for those traits.” That done, integrate her into your hobbies while making sure you have time for yourself. “The ideal is to have ‘interdependence’ not ‘independence’ – which means making her feel in some way involved in the things you do without her,” says Orbuch. Work out whether she’s similar enough to be a long-term partner, then keep her away from the things that you like doing on your own.



“Having a kid will bring us together”

Let’s make the findings do the talking. “When we looked at relationship and marriage happiness, we found that it decreased after children were born,” says Orbuch. Why you wonder? Simple – adding something extra to your relationship means you are suddenly unable to devote as much time and energy to your partner. The advisable thing to do is to test yourselves before you take the plunge.  “People often suggest getting a pet, and this actually does make sense – the shared responsibility will test your relationship the right way,” says Orbuch. Alternatively, you can get a hobby that is relatively greedy with your time and attention.



“A happy couple never argues”

“Lack of conflict means you’re not dealing with the things that really matter,” says Orbuch. The key is actually how you manage the conflict of your relationship. “Men and women process conflict in very different ways,” says Orbuch. Men prefer having an argument while doing an activity, while women prefer face-to-face with no distraction situations. It is wise to time your argument as it allows you to work out what to say and how best to make your point. Pro tip from Orbuch – “Her anger takes about half an hour to subside.” So get your timing right and know which wires to cut for the most desirable result.


More about talking and cheating (Opposites Attract Pt. 1).


Image by Inmagine.