This post was updated on Feb 11, 2023
Sometimes, we have no control over choosing our partners. We meet someone, fall in love, and the rest takes care of itself. However, sometimes the relationship takes a sour turn, and we transition from idealizing our partner, to becoming codependent on your partner, to completely distancing ourselves from our partner. Not all relationships have a happily ever after.
And, if you’ve experienced one or several unhappy endings, you might find yourself questioning your ability to find a compatible partner for yourself. There is no room for despair, as choosing poorly happens to everybody. You can always try to consult a professional relationship advocate, but you should first try to learn how to try to find a suitable partner for yourself.
Is It Better For Couples To Be Similar Or Different?
In romantic and other types of relationships, it’s not uncommon for partners to share the same personality traits. On the other hand, there are individuals who have different, that is, complementary personalities, yet they work perfectly well together.
So, do you choose a partner who has personality traits similar to yours, or do you try to find the perfect partner that complements your character?
The answer is that there is no definite answer, as there rarely is when it comes to the matters of the heart. There are pros and cons to both types of partners – those that are a bit different than you, as well as those that you find to be quite similar.
The Appeal Of Opposites
Some people prefer to be with a partner that shares character traits different from theirs. This allows them to grow while in a relationship, look up to their partner, and try to adopt the features they think they lack.
Also, some individuals perceive relationships as teams, and they find it favorable to have varying strengths and weaknesses that contribute to the complementary nature of their relationship. If you find you function perfectly with a partner who is your opposite, then you have your answer.
The Significance Of Similarities
However, research suggests that it is similarities rather than complementary personality traits that help couples persevere. The University of Kansas performed a study that included 1532 couples. In 86% of the cases studied, couples that were similar in nature lasted longer.
However, it has to be noted that similar couples are in no way identical. Each person is different, and we all share different values, beliefs, and desires. It is about finding the balance between being similar enough to withstand the tests that inevitably occur in relationships, but to still possess some crucial differences that allow both you and your partner to prosper in the relationship.
Do Opposites Really Attract?
It may be possible to provide a simplified answer to the questions of whether opposites really attract and conclude that people benefit from choosing their romantic partners based on their own preferences and feelings. However, delving deeper into the matter reveals that, at least statistically, the opposites-similarities conundrum is a bit more complicated.
Experientially, there are four major zones of couple compatibility that influence how sustainable a relationship will be in the long term. It is these crucial differences between partners that can influence the long-term viability of a relationship.
- World views
If you and your partner share diametrically opposed views on life, it is difficult to imagine a non-conflicting, harmonious relationship. This doesn’t mean that differing ideas on life are a big no.
Having a partner who is different in areas of life that are not considered crucial for the survival of a relationship can help keep things stimulating. However, differences in money management, raising children, political or religious views can lead to strong arguments and, ultimately, end the relationship.
- Basic activities
Choosing a partner who predominantly likes to engage in activities similar to yours is one of the pillars of a successful relationship. This allows you to share quality time together enjoying fun and interesting activities.
Again, this doesn’t mean that you need to become joined at the hip. Each partner can retain a couple of independent activities that will help them retain their own personalities in a relationship.
- Sexual relations
Varying sexual drives between partners can be a cause of some of the biggest problems in relationships. If one partner desires sexual activity a few times a week, while the other is content with a couple of times a month, it will be difficult to attain relationship bliss.
- Basic temperament
Similarities in temperament are also crucial for a lasting relationship. While smaller differences in temperament are desirable to keep things fresh, extreme differences such as a very introverted and a very extroverted partner will ultimately see their differing social appetites cause problems in their relationship.
Can Two People Be Too Similar?
When two people in a relationship are very similar they can allow their relationship to become stale. When the two partners share too many personality characteristics, it can lead to an overly predictable relationship, which takes the fun out of it.
Also, being with an overly similar partner for a long time can lead to both of you becoming too comfortable in a relationship. This can get you stuck in a rut, causing you to start drifting apart.
However, all this sounds a lot worse than it has to be. Relationships between similar individuals last longer and are a lot more sustainable in the long run. They just require some work, as all relationships do. Try to recognize the “slow” periods of the relationship, and put in some work to get things going again.
How Do I Choose A Compatible Partner?
Choosing a compatible partner is not easy. In fact, it is one of the most difficult things we all face in our lives. Some get lucky, while others put in a lot of work into their relationships, only to find them end with tears. But how can a person choose a compatible partner? Is there really a checklist that can help us achieve relationship bliss?
There isn’t. That being said, there are several things you can change in the way you approach your romantic interests that can help you find a partner that is compatible with you. Here’s what you can do if you keep finding yourself in poor relationships:
- Don’t rush into committed relationships.
- Make sure you share important views on life.
- Try to find a partner that you can be yourself with.
- Don’t substitute sexual attraction for relationship potential.
- Stop looking for the same qualities in your romantic partners.
- Don’t expect your partner to change in order to abide by your standards.
- Try stepping out of your comfort zone and try to get to know different people.
- Finally, don’t hesitate to seek help from an experienced relationship advocate.
Learn About Yourself & Other at PIVOT Relationship Coaching Retreat For Singles
Perhaps you’ve been in multiple relationships but you’ve never managed to find the person who is completely right for you. Maybe you’ve never met someone you wanted to form a relationship with. Whatever the reason, seeking help with finding your significant other is nothing to be ashamed of, and experienced PIVOT advocates are here to help you find love.
Our dating module has helped many people have successful outcomes with dating. We also have a PIVOT Dating with Purpose Series which is a four week course with a small group that can help write a profile based in reality!
Our specialized couples workshops and retreats are great for assisting you with finding your match, while our individual coaching sessions alongside a team of experienced advocates can help you learn more about yourself and what you’re looking for. We’re here to help you out any way we can. Contact us today!