Do Opposites Really Attract? Maybe if You Have Magnetic Personalities…

Do Opposites Really Attract? Maybe if You Have Magnetic Personalities…

do opposites attract?“Birds of a feather flock together.” Maybe that just means you should marry someone who also owns a parakeet. In honor of February and the clearance aisle full of Valentine’s Day candy, I’m trying to find out if there’s any truth to that age old theory that opposites not only attract; they make for long sustaining unions?

First I will confess to writing Snopes.com to convince them to list this notion as an urban legend based on my past, personal (and polarized!) relationships, which went downhill faster than Lady Gaga can belt out, “Bad Romance.” Now I’m not talking the Donny and Marie syndrome, (“she’s a little bit country, he’s a little bit rock n’ roll”) I mean true fundamental differences at the very core of your personalities. So can extreme opposites ever really work out in the long run?

I’ve been married nine times. Note: In reality I’ve only walked down the aisle twice but I’m trying to disguise my situation because my ex-husbands are best buddies and claim they’ll collaborate to sue me if I ever blog about them. (Like you can copyright aggravation!) Maybe after reading this, they’ll join forces and search for the seven other stashed away, missing ex-husbands instead!

Husband #6 (really #1 but shhhh!) seemed like your typical romantic bachelor during courtship, but I soon realized he was actually a Sciencemathologist. That’s code for being a total left-brained thinker. (Note: I’m a right-brained creative, emotional personality type – just in case fabricating seven extra marriages and concocting the word “Sciencemathologist” didn’t tip you off)

This particular husband expressed his affection by custom ordering Valentine conversation candy with the periodic table elements stamped on them. I found this slightly endearing – after all, how many chalky, heart-shaped Pepto-Bismols proclaiming, “crazy4u” can you consume? And there would be instances when I would need the atomic number for both helium and aluminum, right? Suppose I simultaneously bought a party balloon and a roll of Reynolds Wrap?  Hey, it could happen.  photo-155

“Oh Honey, No diamond engagement ring, please. I’ll just loop some carbon atoms around my finger,” said no Bride-To-Be ever!

Over the years instead of anniversaries symbolized with the traditional gifts of paper, linen, silk, bronze and pearls, he favored titanium, sulfur, lithium, sodium (sodium got me a salt shaker) hydrogen, and chlorine. And no, that last one doesn’t mean he built us a swimming pool. My friends deemed it “quaint” but I wasn’t sticking around for the big ten-year gifts — plutonium and arsenic.photo-156

A certain other husband (who shall remain numberless) was a painstakingly slow decision maker, a fastidious planner, and tossed food out days before the sell-by dates. I’m carefree and spontaneous, (sounds better than saying disorganized and impulsive) and happen to know Dannon puts premature expiration on their yogurt. Heck, I even throw caution to the wind and buy day-old donuts. Needless to say, leaving the house simultaneously was impossible, let alone going away on vacations. Miles ahead, I’d sneak through airport security, (harboring full-size tubes of Colgate, mind you) while back home, he hunched over the bathroom sink, deliberating, “should toothpaste really have baking soda in it?”

Yep, he highlighted expiration dates.
Yep, he highlighted expiration dates.

And SEX! So how was intimacy, you might inquire? Scheduled and organized. Or maybe that was just a game of “Twister” we always played? (“Left hand on red negligee!”) Where was his soap-opera push me down on the pillows passion play? Things were entirely too calm in the boudoir and elsewhere. Grocery shopping was equally regimented, with elaborate lists written for a week’s worth of dinners. Do you know on Sunday if you’ll be in the mood for beef-stew on Wednesday in the dining room? Or (ahem) “Beefcake” on Friday in the bedroom?!

I’m certainly not the only one grappling with these oil & water issues. My friend Tiffany (who promises NOT to sue me if I mention her scenario) enjoys expressing herself with eloquent and flowery phrases that even Hallmark has plagiarized. However her boyfriend (who doesn’t care enough to send the very best, but still expects a little somethin’ somethin’) is one of those “Love Ya” kinda guys.

You know the type. They can’t even be bothered to spell “love” correctly, so she gets “Luv Ya!” And exactly what part of speech is “Ya” anyhow? Pretty sure it’s an exclamation like “duh or “meh.” If a man can’t commit to using a solid personal pronoun, then he shouldn’t be dangling his participles in your direction. But yesterday Tiffany excitedly called to report a new revelation . . . he switched to “Wuv You!”  Not wanting to shatter her “Tiffany Epiphany” I said, “Congratulations, Tiff. Now you can say you’re in a relationship with a guy who speaks fluent Kitten.”photo-162

I still haven’t come to any definitive conclusions on this whole opposite dilemma but as you read this, I’ll probably be answering the door to find both my exes standing united, holding an official court summons.

On the porch will sit a Bunsen burner and some stale Sourdough rolls. “Even though you didn’t use our real names and you changed our marital numerical order, we still recognized ourselves in your blog” they’ll accuse in unison. And I’ll be hard pressed to deny it – after all, personality traits as distinctively irritating as theirs are hard to camouflage.

But I’ll finally have my answer to the age-old question. Do opposites definitely attract? No, but they definitely attack!

Have you been drawn to your opposite?  Did it last? I’d love to hear.

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Frequent contributor to Huffington Post, In My Powder Room, Better After 50, Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, MidLife Blvd, Say It With a Bang and more. Humorist at Once Upon Your Prime (Where you can live life happily ever laughter!)

Stephanie Lewis

Frequent contributor to Huffington Post, In My Powder Room, Better After 50, Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, MidLife Blvd, Say It With a Bang and more. Humorist at Once Upon Your Prime (Where you can live life happily ever laughter!)

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