Do opposites really attract? Temperamentally speaking…

One of my colleagues was recently talking about having broken up with their partner and was saying how the next time, they were going to choose someone a bit more similar to them i.e. an introvert and a homebody as compared to the now ex who was an extrovert. I remember a few years ago, another colleague and friend had recommended that if I were to be in a relationship, I should look for someone my opposite — an extrovert given that I’m an introvert. This friend, D, was speaking from experience — she being an extrovert married to an introvert — and basically thought that they balanced each other out very well.Anyway, all this got me thinking — do opposite temperaments really attract or would you be better off dating someone of a similar temperament?

Personally, I would prefer that my partner is of a similar temperament.

Don’t get me wrong — I am not saying my partner and I are or should be carbon copies of one another and share all the same interests. That would be boring!

But I would not want a partner who loves to party in large groups when I prefer to have dinner with a few friends. I would not want a partner who has energy till 2 in the morning when I feel the need to be asleep by 10 even on a weekend. I would not want a partner who loves to socialise every weeknight after work when all I want to do is zone out in front of the telly or lappy.

I say this knowing that I find extroverts tiring to be around. I have friends that are extroverts and I love them dearly but I can’t keep up with them. When I catch up with them about once or twice a month, I’m ready to go home by 9 and they are still highly charged. They work similar hours and yet are willing to go out on a weeknight and stay up till late. Imagine having a partner like that! Someone I would be spending every single day of my life with. E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G.

So what about the rest of you out there?

Whether you are in a relationship, have been in one or even think about one — does you partner’s temperament have to be similar or the opposite?

Do share…

Until next time,


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  • Lakshmi Rajan
    21 February 2011 at 9:01 am

    Incidentally, my wife and me share more similarities. But what I feel in a relation, even if the couple happens to be opposites or similar, a relation can survive only if the vital ingredients – understanding, respect, forgiveness- are present. They are more important for a peaceful, happy life together.

  • Psych Babbler
    21 February 2011 at 10:05 am

    Oh definitely agree with that Lakshmi…there’s a lot more other things that are vital in a relationship such as what you mentioned…but I guess I was just wondering out loud about temperaments alone… =)

  • BlueMist
    21 February 2011 at 10:14 am

    🙂 I definitely did not want a ditto partner. Life would be boring then. I guess a partner with varied interest palette IMO. Of course both of them need to change a bit to accommodate each others. so yes it works for me 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    21 February 2011 at 10:31 am

    Oh Misty…definitely would not like a ditto partner in terms of interests and stuff myself…would be boring! But I do like that my partner is an introvert like me… so are you and your husband opposites in terms of introversion/extraversion??

  • bookslifenmore
    21 February 2011 at 10:32 am

    Honestly never thought about it but yes I agree with your point because sometimes it does happen that I want to do X thing & hubby wants to go to a completely opposite direction & if things don’t go my way I do feel disappointed.

    But you know what, we might analyse & have a wish list but when you feel attracted towards some thing than that list is the last thing on your mind 😀

  • Jake
    21 February 2011 at 11:46 am

    I really don’t believe in universal rules when it comes to
    things like relationships, I mean opposites may attract but I don’t
    believe thats the norm. People are different at the end of the day and
    what works for someone else need may not work for me.

    I’m an introvert and can’t imagine living with an extrovert. I’ve two older sisters and
    my oldest sister is a stright out extrovert, and the both of us are polar opposites.
    When we were kids…she would want to go out on the weekends and ofcourse my dad would not let her go shopping on
    her own and I would be left to drag my arse (as the english say :)) around everywhere she goes
    which I obviously hated and longed for weekends when I could stay at home listening to worn out Jeff Buckley records.
    Even to this day we dis-agree on almost everything, we still love each other but I’ve never
    felt close to her because of our distinct personalities. My second sister on the other hand
    is a little introverted and we get along so well, not to say that we don’t have our
    fights but i’ve always felt more at home with her. She’s the only one in our family who seems to get my jokes.

    So…I really don’t think the rule applies to me, I would prefer a partner who is similar to me

  • Makk Disct
    21 February 2011 at 2:35 pm

    She will have to be SHE. Thats all.

    Nice to hear from you.

  • pallavi
    21 February 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I think its very nice to just have a balance. Like if you both had the SAME interests, it could get very boring and you wouldn’t have space. However, if you had SOME common interests, like movies, for eg, and some different ones (like you go shopping and he goes for tennis, for example, and not in a sexist way!), then you would enjoy yourself, and each other too, better.

  • Amy@New Adventures
    21 February 2011 at 8:04 pm

    My fiance and i are similar, yet different enough that we dont blend into one another. When we do go out, he likes to drink and stay out late; i prefer a drink or two, good conversation, and then home before midnight. Thats fine – i leave him money for a cab and he stays out and has his fun.
    I dont particularly like cleaning but he likes everything neat and tidy – our compromise is that i do all the cooking ( which i love ) and he cleans up afterwards.
    The point is our core values are the same, which is what keeps us together – we can work around the other stuff….

  • Susan Deborah
    22 February 2011 at 5:02 am


    You’re right here. Though we always have great talks about opposites attracting, there should be many places where the two poles intersect. Maybe there might be one or two different lines here and there but more similarities eventually make it.

    Joy always,

  • Prats
    22 February 2011 at 9:02 am

    I wrote something on choosing the partners for a news paper, see if that makes sense

  • Prajakta Pradhan
    22 February 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I agree…it is difficult to cope up with the immense energy or non-energy (in case of introverts) when you are of the opposite type. It definitely helps to have a partner who shares your energy levels.

  • Titaxy
    22 February 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I agree with you that I can’t be with someone who likes toparty every night , because I can’t keep up with that kind of energy. But then I can’t be with someone too similar to myself too, because then it gets boring. Some similarities, some differences is what keeps us going, I guess 🙂

  • Roshan
    23 February 2011 at 3:03 am

    Oh I agree although too similar can be a little dull & boring. I would agree on things like staying in vs partying with friends too late into the night and maybe way too different tastes in music, books & tv, food, religion & political leanings. If you can get by those, then everything else is fine.

  • Flick Merauld
    24 February 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Love this! Good question too. Myself and my partner are both extraverts and are a lot alike in many ways. I love it, but it does make for a turbulent relationship at times as we are both larger than life with each other and both want our own way. Respect has taken several years to evolve!

    Love your site BTW.

  • Liggybee
    26 February 2011 at 3:55 am

    Opposites do attract but they don’t hold together unless there there is also mutual respect and consideration of those differences.