Deciphering Relationships: Do Opposites Attract or Is It the Other Way Around?

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We’ve heard that “opposites attract” multiple times throughout our lives. However, we’ve also heard that “birds of a feather flock together.” So, what is it? Do two people in a happy relationship mainly seem to be opposites, or do they generally have similarities and shared interests?

Opposites Attract or Is It the Other Way Around

Why Do Opposites Attract?

To understand this concept of relationships, we must first understand why opposites do and can attract. But first things first: not every “perfect” relationship is an opposites attract type of relationship.

When opposites do attract, however, they do it for a very good reason. As individuals, we don’t have everything going for us, even when we think we do. We don’t know everything, there are skills we don’t have, and we have our flaws. What we lack in ourselves, we tend to like and need in a partner, and things best get balanced out for each person in the relationship.

Someone who is very anxious and uptight may do best with someone with a calmer personality. The anxious person will achieve a less stressed state while the person who is calmer may learn the art of motivation and time management from the anxious individual.

However, let’s not forget that sometimes opposites clash, especially when their opposing factors are on two opposite ends of the spectrum. For instance, two people with different religions, political views, or thoughts on having children are more likely to argue or not get involved in a relationship with each other at all.

Sometimes therapy can help teach us to accept and understand our partner’s differences. Other times, the differences are two much and too drastic for each party to be happy with a compromise.

Like-Minded Individuals Can Also Attract

While opposites can attract, sometimes the best relationships are founded on similarities. We all want someone who we can share a hobby with, like going to football games. We also tend to gravitate towards people who want a similar lifestyle as us, like living out in the country and starting a big family.

Like-minded people can still clash and fail in a relationship together. For example, two people who both love to yell when angry or two people who are both extremely competitive may be more prone to creating chaos together.

When Two Broken People Attract Each Other

Two broken people are rarely ever good in a relationship together unless they are both focused on healing, whether individually or together.

An example of an opposites attract type of relationship involving two broken people might include a partner who is abusive and a partner who has trauma. The abusive partner may continuously trigger the partner with trauma, a very unhealthy, dangerous cycle that may never end unless serious intervention occurs.

An example of a “birds of a feather” relationship with two broken people may involve dual addiction where both individuals suffer from substance use. Maybe they’re both alcoholics, or one of them does cocaine while the other does meth. Either way, they “attract” because they are similar and understand the life of addiction. It may even be how they met to begin with.

Healing is absolutely necessary for broken people to have a happy, healthy relationship.


It’s more complicated than “opposites attract” or “birds of a feather flock together.” In actuality, opposites can also detract, and people who are too like-minded may not be well fit for one another. In the end, people attract each other for various reasons, and whether or not their relationship is successful depends on so many factors.

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