Do Opposites Attract?

You probably tell your friends you're looking for a woman who shares your interests and outlook on life. But what types of women have you been dating?

Does she like dressing up and going to martini bars but you prefer beer and karaoke? Are you a news junkie and she's addicted to Lifetime movies? Think about your previous dating choices, and maybe you'll notice a pattern and can explore your motivation for being attracted to that type of woman.

What You Have in Common
Dating tends to be more comfortable when you have similar lifestyles. If you're an outdoors type and she prefers to hang out in libraries and art galleries, you might have some challenges. Having regular activities that you both enjoy will foster a close relationship. Ideally, you'll date someone who shares similar ways of looking at the world. She's open minded about cultural differences if you are. She at least leans toward political conservatism if you're deeply embedded in the Republican camp. She can turn off the TV and read together if you have a strong need for quiet time. If you share some basic approaches to life, your time together will be more peaceful and you'll connect better.

What You View Differently
As you know, if you have strong political or religious differences, that can sometimes pose a huge challenge. So can very different activity levels. If one of you is a homebody and the other has to be outdoors most of the day, you've got some serious thinking to do. If you have to beg her to go to baseball games or take a scenic bike ride, then the pressure's on for one of you to change. And we all know that change is possible but not probable in terms of overall interests. Plus, that constant tug of war between her desires and yours can fill your days with tension.

How You Come Together
On the other hand, having some differences makes the relationship more interesting. If you date a carbon copy of yourself, you have less incentive to grow or experience new ways of looking at the world. Maybe you're seeking women with some differences because you subconsciously recognize some of your weak spots. Maybe you want to know more about how the stock market works and she's a financial analyst. Maybe you've just recognized an interest in nutrition and she's a personal trainer who focuses on fitness and eating right. If she can help you expand your horizons, that can be a good thing . . . as long as she's interested in learning from you too.

In any relationship, the danger comes when one partner's interests or opinions dominate. A relationship needs to involve give and take if both partners are going to get their needs met. So think about those similarities and differences as you start a relationship with a new woman. Perhaps you'll find that you can blend common interests and new experiences to come together as a dynamic duo.

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