August 13, 2007

Opposites Attract (But This Ain't No Paula Abdul Song)

They say that opposites attract.


  • I like shopping; he can't stand staying in the same shop for more than 5 minutes.
  • I like chick lit; he can only read thrillers and think chick lit's crap.
  • I rise early; he wakes up only when it's time for lunch.

And the list goes on.

In the beginning, it was these differences which made the relationship unique. One's so different from another, and there's so much to discover. After all, what fun would it be, dating someone exactly like you?

As time goes by, when you're more relaxed and open with each other, it's the differences which you liked about each other that begin to irk you. More so when you start living together. One expects the other to deal with it. You've been with each other for so long, surely you can't expect the other to change just for you? Don't you already know what to expect? Again, the list goes on.

What happens when these differences start getting you down? Is it too much to expect the other person to change? Or should we just accept it and move on?

I reckon the keyword here is compromise. That's one of the important issues in a long-term relationship. That both parties come to a meeting point, where both can agree to change a little to keep each other happy.

Differences keep the relationship a little bit more exciting. If both becomes too in-tune with each other, it gets too predictable. It gets boring.

  • I like shopping, but I'll keep my time in each shop to a minimum; he'll come along with me, and not complain. Then we'll go have ice-cream together (fat-free for me, of course).
  • I like chick lit but will not subject him to what I read; he'll do the same, and not criticize my choice of books.
  • I'll stay in a little longer during the weekends; he'll try to wake up earlier, and then maybe we'll ... well, you go figure ;)

Hmm, not too bad of a compromise now, is it?


Timodee said...

What I feel is that there needs to be sufficient (dunno how you'd quantify)similarities in a relationship to start off with; then the differences won't seem so intolerable (obviously still have to work at these)

Adino said...

You're right. A couple needs a lot of compromise, understanding, willingness to give in and forgiveness to live with each other.

These differences are not so bad... it's the difference in personal values and life goals that tear relationships apart.

zewt said...

no... it's never about compromise.

i was in a relationship once where it's totally different. it ended after 7 years. we thought opposite attracts, it doesnt. and we found out in the end that compromise is not the solution.

what then is the solution? .... it's acceptance.

littleComma said...

Agree with zewt. It's also acceptance for me. Accepting the other half's flaws and he accepts mine. Changing urself to suit him or vice versa will only make both parties unhappy. :)

Tine said...

Tim: I do agree. If there's simply nothing in common to begin with, then I reckon the relationship is pretty much doomed from the beginning.

If both parties are willing to work to a compromise, then it's a good start. Let's just hope no resentment appears in the process :)

Adino: I'd like to add differences in spiritual beliefs as well. But then again, that's just me :)

Zewt: I'd say that acceptance slowly comes in when compromise no longer is an issue. Depending on how different the two persons are. I'm just hoping that both can learn to compromise first before going straight to acceptance.

I too was in a r'ship for 5.5 years before I broke it off. It was the idea of complete acceptance of the other person who was never going to change which triggered it. It's just sad that the other person doesn't even want to bother to change even a little anymore.

Little Comma: I guess there's a level of change which is still tolerable. If it comes to the point where you're simply compromising your principles just to suit the other person, then I'd say, off you go :)

lingzie said...

i guess being in a relationship is a real balancing act. you need to balance being together without losing your own individuality and balance the compromise/acceptance for both parties because one party can't compromise everything while the other party doesn't bother changing. (definitely easier said than done though)

but tine, it does sound like you've got a good 'system' goin! :)

zewt said...

if that is the case... i guess there is never a fast and hard rule for it... we just have to take it one step at a time... and be prepared for the worst.

Tine said...

Lingzie: Thanks :) But yeah, I do agree with what you said. There's only so much you can accept if the other party isn't even going to bother to change.

Zewt: Yep, that's how it is for me now, taking it a step at a time. Be prepared for the worst, and if you can accept that, then I guess you're probably set for life :p