Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Opposites DON'T Attract!

There is an old saying that “opposites attract.” Do you believe it? I used to until I started looking at my characters and then at my relationship with hubby. I did a little research and found countless psychological studies that firmly state the saying has no validity. The studies do emphasize that surface opposites (such as race, religion or culture) might be the background for the saying that opposites attract. However, when looking at the core values of the individuals, the studies found the couples actually share the same beliefs. Sooo…they’re not really opposites.

I found an interesting website, http://www.how-to-change-careers.com/personal-core-values.html, which lists core values for career changes. Even though it concerned work, I used it to give me a pretty comprehensive list of personal beliefs, i.e. “core values”. I sat down with hubby and we went through them separately. Believe it or not, we came up with the same beliefs we value. A few included: success, winning, compassion, honesty, humour, independence, ambition, focus and, of course, love. That sincerely amazed me that we agree on so many things. I always thought we were opposites who had found each other. We are socially different, from different cultures and different areas of the country but our belief systems are very similar.

And how does this pertain to writing? I did the same thing with a couple of my characters and wa-la, they have the same core values – family, home, love, respect and honesty. I didn’t even realize I was doing this with the characters. I thought they were so diametrically opposed to each other that it was truly a case of “opposites attract.” Ah, such conflict or so I thought. When we are writing, I think that subconsciously we know that opposites would not end up together – there is too much stress. People who share the same belief system will make it and will stay together. I am going to use this list to keep things in mind when I write about how my characters will relate to each other and their beliefs.

So tell me: are you and your significant other “opposites” or are you of a like mind and soul? And have you ever thought about how we write our characters? Do they possess the same values? Let me know what you think.

Oh, and today is mine and my hubby’s thirty-first wedding anniversary. Geez, we’re getting old!! But we’re still having fun, after all these years…


  1. Happy Anniversary!!!! That is awesome!

    Dark Knight and I are definitely on the same page most of the time. If I did a study of my characters I would probably find they shared similar core values. Not always, given the nature of some of the characters, but much of the time.

  2. Happy Anniversary, Cheryl!! Hubby and I are much alike. We are also from different ends of the country, different backgrounds, etc, and yet I'd say we have the same core values too. On the surface, we seem different -- but not deep down. Very interesting!

  3. Happy Anniversary, Cheryl! :) And congrats--that's inspiring. I know that takes a lot of determination and effort.

    You know, where I came from the saying usually came in two parts.. 'Opposites attracts, and then attack!' While I think there's something to be said for people being attracted to or fascinated by those who are very different from themselves, 'attraction' alone is a poor basis for a long-term commitment.

    On the surface, my husband and I could probably be called opposites. Particularly when it comes to our personalities. I'm overbearing, intense, temperamental, and brooding--he's calm, humor-driven, easygoing, and patient to a fault (Making him just about the only kind of person who can handle me at length!). But really, I think our personalities are more complementary than 'opposite'. Despite nearly opposite upbringings, we both ended up with the same core values, goals, and faith. We just arrived at them on entirely different paths. :)

    ~Angela Blount

  4. There's a trend here. The Guy and I are very different on the surface but very alike about things that matter: morals, religious belief, values, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    But it's not like we considered any of that. Compatibility in marriage is 95 per cent luck. At least it was for us. We would have done it if he'd been a Nazi spy and I'd been a bank robber. Chemistry overrules good sense. I'm just thankful it worked out for me.

  5. Thanks everybody for the well wishes! I can honestly say we don't feel like it's been thirty-one years. Life just keeps getting more exciting!

    Crystal, thanks for stopping by. I am like you: most of the time hubby and I are on the same page. We agree on a lot of things which probably explains why we've been married so long.

    Lynn, I know hubby and I see things at first blush differently because he's a Yankee and I'm born and bred Southern BUT eventually we always come to the same conclusions. Odd isn't it?

    Wow, Angela - you sound like me and my hubby sounds like yours as far a personalities! But like you, our values pretty much run the same. And I like the saying "Opposites attract then attack." I have never heard that before. As Jean said yesterday, "I must have it!."

    Yes, Jean, I think we might be proving the studies are right. Frank and I agree on everything you listed, including Buffy! (We also like "Supernatural"). I think compatibiity might be part luck but I also think it's a lot of work (give-and-take are learned through the years). I, too, am thankful things worked out for me.

  6. Cheryl, wishing you and your darling hubby a very Happy 31st Anniversary! ;)

    My hubby and I come from the south, but were raised differently. He comes from the mountains. I'm from the plains. We have a connectiveness about military service and our core values are exactly alike. We are soulmates, in every sense of the word.