Does That ‘Opposites Attract’ Thing Actually Ever Work?by Nikki Metzgar on June 14, 2012
Editor’s note: In case you missed them, catch up on Nikki’s previous Dating Diaries posts here.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of things about relationships from the movies, from “Love Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry” to “You’re Living In The F*cking Past.” Probably the most overt message is “opposites attract.” I would say it’s as much an old wives’ tale as “Shaving your legs makes the hair come back thicker” (false), but you hear it from normal people too.
I usually look for the guys who are exactly like me. My last boyfriend and I were both bar writers from Houston who love playing shuffleboard at dives where most of the other customers were old men. I heard it from my friends a million times: “You don’t have to date someone exactly like you.” But how far does this opposites thing go? Actual opposites?
The other day at work, a guy asked me for my phone number. He is around my age and definitely cute. When he and I passed each other in the halls before, I always gave him my most winning smile. I don’t think I should be dating coworkers, but that is another issue.
I skipped over that problem entirely and moved straight to whether we would get along, because so far we have absolutely nothing in common, based on about 20 minutes of conversation. The first thing he said to me was that he loves to go to metal concerts at this bar in a suburb about 40 minutes away from downtown. So, 1. He listens to metal. 2. He likes it so much he’s willing to drive almost an hour to hear it and 3. He invited me to go with him sometime.
He can listen to metal all he likes, I don’t think less of him or really care at all. But I don’t want to listen to metal. Then he said he loves baseball, which is a great American pastime, of course. It’s just one I don’t care about. Somehow we ended up talking favorite ice cream flavors. Mine is chocolate. His is butter pecan. I’ve never even tasted butter pecan! What would we ever do if we hung out?
The store sells more than one flavor of ice cream for a reason, but I don’t want to work really hard to find things to talk about with my date. Is it possible that the two of us would get along really well despite not having any of the same interests? Would dating him obligate me to start listening to metal?
My natural response is, “Uh no, go find yourself another man-child writer with a commitment issue.” Stick to what you know. But if you have any inspiring tales of falling in love with your opposite and exactly how that chemistry worked, I’d love to hear it.
Maybe he would give up his gang and join organized sports and I would drop my goody-two-shoes vibe and throw on some leather pants in a rousing musical act of compromise. I think I’ve heard that one before.