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Psychology Research...Unraveled


Yin & Yang: Do Opposites Attract?

Some believe that finding someone who has opposite or complementary interests will enhance their attraction to that person or that a partner with opposite interests may offer a unique balance to the relationship. It's fun when one partner likes skiing and the other partner likes golfing because it means that you have to make time to do them both, right? 

Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot of supportive research surrounding this theory. Ironically, research has supported the opposite idea. People who have similar interests are more attracted to each other. Not only has research been favorable in this vein with romantic couples, but with friendships as well. Similarity among friends predicted closeness nearly 20 years later.

Think about the instances in pop culture where total opposites (at least at the surface level) have been romantically connected. Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, JLo and P. Diddy, and Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley are all instances where opposites attracted for only a short period of time.

With that being said, every once in a while opposite couples do make it work. Consider Celine Dion (45 years old) and her manager husband, Rene' Angélil (71 years old). He met Dion when she was just 12 years old (he was 38), and they announced that they were dating when she was 19. Seven years later they got married, and they have three children (including a set of twins).

Even though Celine and Rene' make it look easy, currently there is no research that says that opposites attract.