While it may be true that people tend to seek romantic partners who make up for what they themselves lack, it takes a lot more than mere attraction to keep a relationship going strong. Based on a combination of personal experience and observation, I ultimately came to the conclusion that becoming romantically involved with a partner that is substantially different in key areas will almost always end in heartache and disappointment. Again, there are exceptions to every rule and nobody wants to date a carbon copy of him or herself but generally speaking, singles would be well advised to seek a partner with whom they share some important similarities.
Polar opposites may attract in the short term but once the novelty of the relationship has worn off, that attraction will gradually fade to reveal a minefield of irreconcilable differences that ultimately destroys any union that may have existed between such couples. This was a reality that I was unable to see until I found myself standing in the ruins of a rocky and mostly agonizing relationship with my polar opposite. In an effort to help my readers avoid stumbling upon a similar fate, I will outline some of the key areas that couples need to share similarities in if their relationship is to survive. This is not to say that there canít be some differences between romantic couples but rather that the differences that do exist need to be those that complement each other and that can be resolved through compromise and flexibility. Below you will find a list of areas in which I believe there is little to no room for compromise. Check them out and see how compatible you and your partner are in these matters.
- World Views - The lens through which you view the world is something that you and your romantic partner should have in common. This is not to say that the view needs to be identical but world views that contradict each other too much will eventually cause some serious trouble within the relationship. Look for a partner with whom you share a similar outlook on life. Moral and ethical values need to coincide as these are aspects of our world views that leave no room for compromise. It is important to note, however, that differences in religious and political beliefs can sometimes be overcome if both halves of the whole couple are willing to respect each otherís position and agree to disagree.
- Future Goals - Sharing similar goals for the future is absolutely essential to the long-term survival of any relationship. For instance, a relationship in which one partner wants children and the other doesnít is doomed to failure. Problems can also easily arise in situations where one partner is career oriented while the other is more family oriented. You donít have to want exactly the same things as your partner but you do need to at least be heading in the same direction.
- Education - Though it does not always have to be formally acquired, it is important for both halves of a couple to be on or near to each otherís intellectual level. It makes no difference if you went to college and your partner didnít or vice versa. What matters is whether or not you and your partner are intellectually compatible enough to share in meaningful conversations that will enrich your understanding of and appreciation for each other.
- Personal Habits - Sometimes conflicting personal habits and/or personality traits can lead to conflicts within a relationship. It could spell trouble, for example, if you are a social butterfly and your partner is more of an introvert or if you are a health nut and your partner is not exactly health conscious. Spending habits and preferences for leisure activities are also areas in which a couple should mostly agree. Some conflicts in this area can be resolved through flexibility and a mutual respect and understanding of each otherís unique qualities but it all depends on the situation and how willing each partner is to compromise.