I scroll through my Instagram over 10 times a day, constantly Snapchat stories and catch Pokémon, all in a days work, and my partner hasn't changed his Facebook profile picture in over a year. My ideal dinner consists of sashimi and his, porterhouse. While I obsess about how good One Direction is, he jams out to Iron Maiden or Pantera. I spend my free time wandering and exploring and he has a special relationship with our couch. He loves comedies, and the majority of my shows contain suspense and plenty of drama. He has a love affair with the movie theater, and I live for my frequent flier mileage program. This is my life, but it works for me.
Think about your best friends for a moment and all the common interests you share with them. I didn't marry my best friend, nor do I wish I had. Don't get me wrong, I love my best friend, but there is something entirely separate about a friendship and romantic relationship and the affect of being opposites and carbon copies of one another. I believe there is a common misconception that partners must share a majority of similarities in order to be successful. If anyone knows this isn't true, it's me. I could make you a Christmas length list of all the things I don't share in common with my husband; and that list continues to grow. And you know what, we're happier because of it. As much as I love myself, I couldn't date someone just like me.
Dating or being married to your polar opposite is no easy feat, but I must say having my polar opposite turn from boyfriend and eventually into husband has taught me plenty of life lessons (cough, cough — lots of compromise!) along the way. We are completely unalike and entirely in love. Here are six reasons having an opposite partner rocks.
1. You will know you do not have a surface-level relationship.
When my husband and I only had one TV in our apartment, we were forced to watch the same thing, and most of the time it was subtitled Kung Fu films or WWII documentaries, while all I wanted to do was watch Girls. I am not going to lie, he knows some really kickass Netflix, HBO, and Showtime series and is Dark Zone level 50 (if you don't know what that is, bless your heart), but we don't share any of those interests together as a couple. Not to say we haven't tried, but it just doesn't work, but that does not mean our love does not work for us. When it comes time to order Seamless, my cursor hovers over the Japanese restaurant and his over the last burrito he ordered. As frustrating and annoying as it is, we have cultivated such curiosity and respect for one another over time due to our differences. To this point, we have inadvertently introduced each other to new bands, podcasts, restaurants, thought processes, experiences, and Netflix series (whether we like it or not!), and we are able to share in this growth together. Let's be honest, enjoying sushi together while watching Silicon Valley can only last so long . . .
2. Type A and Type B motivate one another.
Like a battery, not the blood types. If you put the two plus sides together, the battery does not function, similar to a relationship. Me, I am classic Type A; I constantly stress over everything, no detail is too small. My husband is routine driven, likes to know what to expect at all times, and nothing ever bothers him. I constantly think 15 moves into the future and am always bugging him about plans in our calendar two months out or our long-term goals. Meanwhile, he hasn't even figured out what he is having for dinner. But if we both didn't know what was for dinner or what we we're going to be doing down the road, we would be the definition of hot messes. The best part of it all? We motivate each other without even knowing it. He doesn't even have to try to calm me down, he is naturally calm and therefore by osmosis, I begin to be too.
3. It will challenge you.
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything" (Alexander Hamilton) my husband's favorite quote and the bane of my existence. I swear he was born a lawyer, constantly arguing his point, his side, and his opinion. Naturally, partners are bound to disagree and stomp away furiously thinking, "If this person were more similar to me, they would just see my side and we wouldn't even be having this fight"? But through the argument, it will cause you to think about points you have never even thought of before or better yet, reconfirm and strengthen your own views. My husband and I don't see eye to eye on politics, composting, recycling, supernatural forces, you name it, we don't agree. But we have our reasons, so allow yourself to be swayed or stick by your long-standing thoughts. What about if you are a start-up queen and your partner is a corporate powerhouse? You may not live and breathe the day-to-day actions as your partner, but you will gain an understanding of a life completely separate of your own and possibly freshen and challenge your own ways of thinking, personally and professionally.
In the end, you may end up agreeing to disagree but at least it becomes yet another chance to learn about your partner . . . and yourself.
4. You will have your own in-house therapist.
You already know how you intend to solve a problem; you have been doing it for 30-something years on your own, why stop now? But it's always nice to have another point of view, that person to offer a different version that you have never thought of. Sometimes we are so stuck inside our own heads that our partners are the best soundboard for those situations in which you can't see outside of your general mind frame.
5. Personal growth.
No one stays the same over time; we will always continue to grow, in our relationships and beyond. When your partner is opposite you, it's highly likely they possess traits and qualities that you admire in which you end up adapting into your own life. Personally I live with the YOLO travel mentality and my husband never understood why I had such a strong drive to want to see every inch of the world. After six years of my constant rationalization of our world travels, I think he finally understands it and has adapted my philosophy to his personal life. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, even better when it's your partner!
6. You will (rarely) ever get bored.
Nobody wants to be bored and let's be honest, relationships can get stale quick. Not saying you will like everything your partner picks, but you won't be bored on the ride! If date night were up to me, we would be having cocktails on the roof of a hot spot and not eating at a hole in the wall German restaurant where there are games like shuffleboard and buck hunter, which is his haven. If I weren't married to him, I would likely never know about certain places or experience certain moments because of my own lifestyle choices. Embracing spontaneity and getting out of your comfort zone makes for great relationships!
So if you are dating your opposite, embrace all the wonderful things you are inadvertently learning rather than focusing on the arguments and frustrations. I may not know exactly why opposites attract initially, but there is no doubt that married or dating opposites have incredibly fulfilling relationships. At the end of the day, a successful relationship is about learning to love what makes you different and lets be honest, you can join a crew to hunt Pokémon, no need to share that with your partner.