In the movies, two opposite people always attract each other. We find it more romantic that way. But in real life, polar opposites don’t often attract at all. They may do at the beginning, but in the long run, they will likely grow apart. Two very different people rarely end up in the same direction in life.
Of course, that’s not true for every opposite couple, but in most cases, it is. The popular guy and the nerdy girl (or vice-versa) duo blend well during the early stage of the relationship when feelings are at their peak. But when real life sets in, relationships are going to need more than mutual feelings for maintenance. Lifestyle factors will come into play, and that can define whether a relationship will last.
Lifestyle factors, habits, and behavior include dating patterns, travel preferences, vices, leisure activities, and more. If a couple shares plenty of them in common, they’re more likely to last than a couple who shares little to nothing of them.
The Impact of Your Lifestyle on Your Relationship
The lifestyle you share in common with your partner impacts your compatibility level. For example, did you know that you are more likely to break up if you’re an introvert and your partner is an extrovert? Extroverts are the typical life of the party, while introverts would rather stay in on a Friday night. This difference may seem insignificant, but the relationship will eventually fall apart if the extroverted partner finds more joy in partying than spending time with their partner.
Your money habits are part of your lifestyle, too. If you’re good at managing money and your partner isn’t, that’s another recipe for a breakup or divorce. Finances may be your least favorite topic to talk about, but it has vital importance in your relationship. If you want to marry your partner, you can’t be the only one who’s good with money. To make your marriage last, you should be on the same page with your spouse about finances.
You and your partner’s dating patterns or history matter as well. They may say the past is the past, but some dating histories could define whether you and your partner will be suitable for marriage. For example, if your partner tends to date people with fewer achievements than them, that might be a red flag. That pattern could indicate that they want to be dominant in the relationship. If you prefer being equal with your partner, then their dominant streak might break you up soon.
Often, we think we need a certain type of person to date. We have ideals that don’t always align with our values. Professional matchmakers discourage this mindset and set up their clients with people who actually fit into their life. That’s because what we need isn’t our polar opposite who would “balance us out.” Instead, it’s a person who would share our values, respect our differences, and make healthy sacrifices for us.
If you would sacrifice your career for a person who’s prideful, that’s not a healthy sacrifice at all. You are diminishing your potentials for someone with a fragile ego. The scenario should be like this: You and your partner are both successful in your career, and you lift each other up instead of racing against each other to the top.
How to Compare You and Your Partner’s Lifestyles
Right from the getting-to-know-you stage, ask the right questions without sounding invasive. Examples of such are:
- What is your daily routine?
- What does a perfect day look like to you?
- What are your friendships like?
- What are your goals?
- Do you have certain beliefs that influence your decisions?
- Do you want to start a family in the future?
- What’s your relationship with your family like?
- Where do you imagine yourself living in the future?
- How do you handle your emotions?
- How do you handle conflict?
The answers to these questions will reveal someone’s personality traits and outlook in life. If they match with yours, then you may have found the right partner. You don’t need to have the same answers to all the questions, of course; as long as they complement each other, you’re in the right direction.
What Type of Difference Is Okay?
When you say “opposites attract,” the differences shouldn’t be in your values, goals, and life perspectives. If you want to have kids, you can’t be with someone who doesn’t value family. Let your differences lie only on your hobbies, routines, favorite TV shows, tastes in vehicles, and other superficial matters.
You’re going to spend the rest of your life with the person you’d marry, so don’t downplay your lifestyle factors. Choose the one you’re highly compatible with.