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Do Opposites really attract?


There has been an ongoing debate in the psychological relationship opposites attract or are we more attracted to those with similar personality traits as ourselves? In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  researchers came up with the conclusion that in Western Society, humans use neither an 'opposites-attract' nor a 'reproductive-potentials-attract' rule in their choice of long-term partners, but rather a 'likes attract' rule based on a preference for partners who are similar to themselves across a number of characteristics. Dr. William Ickes, author of Empathic Accuracy also does not believe in the theory that opposites attract.  He says, "Look for someone who compliments your personality, not for someone who is identical.

What are some significant ways that people can be alike or opposite?

Physical attractiveness: Couples normally date people whose physical attractiveness measures their own. Ickes says, "If unattractive people pursue attractive people, they are not as likely to be successful, so soon, they stop doing it.

Money: People are more likely to date someone whose money making skills are up to par with their own. Yes, there have been those women who are housewives and husbands are millionaires but that scenario is rare in the grand scheme of things.  Chances are, if you have zero dollars, someone who is making a 6 figure salary a year, will not be your soul mate.

Religion: Marrying someone of a different religion than your own is very tough.  However, it can be done. Psychologists say that as long as you respect and tolerate the differences and don't use the kids as pawns, you can choose your own spiritual path and be happy in a marriage.

Education: Ickes says that educated people do not tend to marry stupid people.  But uneducated people can be smart.  You need to be able to talk, interact, and share world views, 

Still, I'm not sure if I totally buy it.  You're talking to a book worm of a girl whose living happily with her sports nut of a boyfriend.  So, look for my part two article tomorrow, which discusses why certain psychologists do think opposites attract!