"Opposites attract" claims the old adage backed by science and society. I never thought the phrase would apply to my life -- the closest people I had ever been to were similar to me in interests, beliefs, and lifestyles. Although not carbon copies of myself, I am able to share passions and events with them, which I love. Everyone, including me, loves to be understood.
Because of the people I am closest to, I assumed this attraction to like-minded people would carry over into my dating life. After years of failed attempts at relationships in high school, I finally met a guy who I thought was similar enough to me to actually lead somewhere -- but this also flopped. I was left hurt, disillusioned, and disheartened. My reasoning went along the lines of "Well if it didn't work out with someone like him, who will?"
Some months of moping (and another unsuccessful attempt at a relationship) later, I eventually met the guy I would spend the next two years with. I was attracted to his humor, kindness, and intelligence. As we got to know each other, we learned I liked to read, and he liked to watch movies. I liked to go on walks, he liked to lounge on the couch. I liked to sing, he liked to listen to instrumental music. I liked to wake up early, he liked to stay up late. Now he's an engineering major, and I'm an English major. Of course, there were things we had in common, but I never had imagined I would be with someone who wouldn't be able to discuss books with for hours on end.
Our differences ran deeper -- when we became interested in 16personalities and Meyers-Briggs, it revealed our personalities were almost complete opposites. I am an ENFP, extroverted and emotional, and he is an ISTP, introverted and logical. Even so, we were surprised to see each other's types listed as "challenging opposites." According to Truity, challenging opposites have "the most potential for personality clash and conflict" and "because people of these types have fundamentally different values and motivations ... initially, it may seem impossible to relate."
Sometimes, it did seem impossible to relate. He would do things that were very hard for me to understand, and I would become upset for reasons he did not understand. If he thinks something does not need to be said, he probably won't say it, while I often need and appreciate romantic validation and emotional affirmation. He thinks differently than I do, and I see the world differently than he does. The most difficult times during our relationship were instigated by differences in personality related to communication, understanding, and more.
But we got through these times. Truity also claims challenging opposites have "the best opportunities for growth" and "because they are so different, their strengths are the [other's] weaknesses, and ... they can learn a tremendous amount from each other." This has proven to be true for us. Each time we came out of struggles, we understood each other a little more. I have learned to compromise and empathize more. He has learned to communicate his feelings more and understand the emotional roller coaster I sometimes ride.
Dating someone with the opposite personality of you provides an opportunity for growth with each other and individually. It makes you see and think differently, and opens up new opportunities to learn and share. It's exciting for someone to introduce a new world or way to think to you, and for you to do the same for them. You can get advice you never thought of, do what you never thought you'd do. At the end of the day, it matters less about differences in interests and personalities, but more about the love for the character and essence of your attraction to your opposite partner.