According to a popular cliché, opposites attract. Sure, they do, because in terms of qualities these ends of the spectrum complement each other. But attraction is different from long-term bonding. You may be totally attracted to a person who's the opposite of your qualities and attitudes and this person feels the same way too, but how long do you think will the attraction last?
Among the ways you can do to make your relationship work despite being polar opposites are:
1. Be each other's teacher.
Being total opposites doesn't mean you can no longer bond. When you both know that you love each other and would want to make the relationship work, then you won't allow yourselves to be kept in the dark. Rather, you'd choose to be each other's teacher.
Introduce your partner to your interests. You cannot expect him or her to like your hobbies and favorite things immediately, but it is better that they are properly informed and introduced to your reasons for these interests, they do the same way to you as well. Being each other's teacher not only opens doors to acceptance, but to building respect for each other too.
2. Set up boundaries.
There are times when your interests don't meet, no matter how hard you try. He likes rock music, you love ballads. He likes sushi, while you devour on pizza. If this applies to many other things, then it would be best if you both set up boundaries. You can start by embracing the mantra "live and let life," as over time you both will adjust to each other's individualities.
When you feel that your partner should not meddle with some of the activities that you do, then tell them so, in the kindest way possible, in the manner that they will understand and accept. For sure they feel the same way with certain interests, and you have to respect their decisions too.
3. Sit down and talk about your differences in order to find common ground.
Communication is key to any successful relationship, including those that involve completely opposite partners. Hence, when you already know that you have nothing in common with your partner, the first thing to do is to talk about it. Let them understand your side, and listen to theirs as well. It won't be easy to talk about these at first because these are issues you hold dear to your heart; things you feel complete your character. But you'd also want to look at the one thing you have in common: your love for each other. You may start building a stronger relationship from there.
4. Bond over activities on a deeper emotional level.
If you have found something that you both tickled your interest, then try it. This may be learning a new skill, or going on an adventure, or playing a game. Bond over these activities like you're the team to beat, as these will open doors for you to discover and learn more about each other in a deeper and a more emotional level. Through these activities, you learn to trust and rely on each other's capacities despite being polar opposites.
5. Learn to compromise.
Learning the art of compromise is totally difficult at first, but hey, when you're in a relationship with someone you love, you'd settle with half-happy than not be happy at all. In this regard, learn to meet your partner halfway. Set your limitations as well, and make it clear that this all you can reach, and that he or she should fill the rest up.
6. Argue like adults, not like kids.
Couples who are each other's opposites often quarrel, and if you are in this situation, expect a lot of arguments to arise. But when in an argument, talk like adults, not kids. Don't be too emotional, and instead speak out your mind in a rational manner. Explain the pros and cons, your perspectives, and most of all, what you want to happen. And hear your partner out too, so that you can come up with a decision that meets both your requisites and no one left out.
If you feel like it's healthier to let some steam off first before arguing, then do so. It's not always best to deal with arguments when you are on an emotional high, as you may end up saying things you don't mean that can be hurtful to your partner and vice versa.
7. Meet each other halfway.
Speaking of compromises, it is important that you know how to meet each other halfway without feeling wanting. Relationships should be "give and take", and you must know when to give and when to take, and vice versa. It would be a good start for you to join your partner in the sports he likes to watch, and then let him accompany you to the movies you want to see. Letting your partner experience your respective interests is a good exercise to accept both your attitudes and characters and not take these against each other later on when arguments arise.
8. Allow each other to spend time apart.
When you have totally opposite characters, then it would help that you allow time apart from each other. This doesn't mean that you are cooling off from your relationship, but rather letting both parties to enjoy your respective individualities. Besides, distance makes the heart grow fonder, and maybe this will work on your relationship.
Spending time apart also allows you to think about how and why you happen to be in love with your partner. It seems strange that you became attracted to each other without even sharing a common ground, but maybe that's how things work for some couples. With the space and distance, you'll see the qualities you hold dear about your partner and from there you can find other ways to continue with your relationship.
It takes quite some time before you both realize that you are total opposites, but rather than bickering at each other once the truth sinks in, it would be better to see through things first and see how you can make your relationship work.
The writer is a freelancer
---Fae Marie Esperas
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