Friday - - Report -

In plain English You’re a quiet but am­bi­tious ca­reer woman, fond of nights in and fo­cused on that pro­mo­tion. He’s a loud­mouth lig­ger with few pro­fes­sional prospects and even fewer so­cial graces. You’re per­fect for each other! Ori­gins Op­po­sites at­tract is a fun­da­men­tal law of physics but it was Amer­i­can so­ci­ol­o­gist Robert F Winch who, in the 1960s, first ar­gued this is the case with hu­mans too. It might be true Ex­perts tend to agree most peo­ple look for a part­ner who will ‘bal­ance’ them, and this of­ten means that op­po­sites come to­gether. A 2013 study car­ried out at Columbia Uni­ver­sity, US, found just this. Re­searchers looked at some 700 cou­ples and dis­cov­ered the ma­jor­ity held dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity traits, val­ues and even ap­pear­ances.

But be­ware, says Jared Alden. Just be­cause op­po­sites do at­tract, this isn’t al­ways a good thing. “In dif­fi­cult times, hav­ing op­pos­ing per­son­al­ity traits can lead to ar­gu­ments and even the break­down of a re­la­tion­ship,” he says. “The key thing is to be aware of the dif­fer­ences and man­age th­ese.” It might not be true Plato, who knew a thing or two, said that “likes tend to­ward likes”, and in re­la­tion­ship terms there is ev­i­dence to sug­gest he was right. Re­searchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia an­a­lysed on­line dat­ing trends from more than a mil­lion users in 2011 and found the vast ma­jor­ity con­tacted po­ten­tial part­ners they be­lieved to be sim­i­lar in terms of looks, de­sir­abil­ity and so­cioe­co­nomic sta­tus.

“In­di­vid­u­als will as­sess their own self-worth and se­lect part­ners whose so­cial de­sir­abil­ity ap­prox­i­mately equals their own,” the study noted. The ver­dict Con­trast­ing per­son­al­i­ties do at­tract within cer­tain bound­aries, it seems. But be aware: if your chap is the op­po­site to you, it could mean a re­la­tion­ship re­quir­ing a lot of work.

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