Why do opposites attract?

I’m back with another anime inspired post.

In all fairness, this is really more of an idea I’ve had for a long time, that anime just happens to highlight, as well as many other shows and books.

You ever wonder why opposites attract?

It’s something most people know, though some of us may not have experienced it, and it works with friends and family as well as romantic interests.

 Why is it a law of nature? It goes beyond magnetism. The whole world is full of opposites. The ground soaks up water, water is absorbed, they have opposite properties. Same with plants and sunlight, one receives, the other gives. We breathe in the oxygen that plants give out, they take in the carbon monoxide (or dioxide, I forget which is from breathing) that we give out.

The clear reason here is that there is a need, if everything was the same, it could not grow or multiply.

Now you take this to the relationship between a man and a woman, and it gets way more complicated.

I remember once starting that “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” book, but I couldn’t get into it, it was so stupidly simplistic. It attributed all the differences between men and women to superficial signs of those differences. What always happens with books/movies about this subject is the author ends up looking dumb because there are scores of women who start offering up examples of how they do not fit the model.

In their brilliant book Captivating, John and Stasi Eldredge begin the book about women with an acknowledgement that women can love anything from tea parties to hunting, dress up to canoeing, and that all this does not really make you feminine, but why you do those things might.

I am not going to go into all that, but I highly recommend the book, or searching for their talks on YouTube.

The real point I had was that they are realistic, they know you can’t put women into a box, or men for that matter. I just want to make it clear that this opposites attract thing is not solely about gender. Gender in the sense of hormones, sexual functions, and physical attributes that is; though they all play a small part.

But I mean in personality. Why do opposites attract?

The question is easier to understand when you realize that they don’t always, sometimes like forces do attract, many people prefer to hang around those with similar personalities. I don’t, generally, I don’t meet too many people like me; but sometimes I do and it’s kind of gratifying.

Which actually concerns me, because if I am only drawn to someone because they are like me, is that because it’s easier?

It’s not a secret that people round each other out. The Bible calls it “iron sharpens iron” and “two are better than one.” The Bible also says that the first two people were man and woman, by the way, so there is optimal companionship possible between the opposite genders.

Where this ties in to anime and other shows is in the shipping.

Mock me if you wish, but I persist in thinking that shipping basically reflect a person’s values where romantic relationships are concerned. I am only getting more convinced with time that what kind of fan you are is very telling about your character, but I can save that for another post. The point is, people who ship things for the wrong reasons, or who just don’t care, can take the same attitude toward real relationships.

I will not say there are never exceptions, but it’s the more common rule.

One of my favorite kinds of ships I’ve mentioned before are the opposites attract kind. But I recently got a new insight into how deep that goes.

Often people think opposites attract means your personalities have to be opposites. Two cheerful people won’t attract. Two serious people won’t. However, I find that untrue, in shipping and in life. Many couple are composed of two goofier, laid back people. Int hose cases, however, one person is always more so than the other, there is never complete similarity.

Where the opposite really is important is far more interesting, actually. It has to be in character flaws.

This sounds obvious, but it trips people up, let me tell you. Especially in real life, because honestly, it’s easier to see why two fictional people are too much alike than it is when complicated feelings are int eh way in the real world.

You can have two entirely different personalities, but have the same basic flaws.

And for an example here I am going to turn to the very popular My Hero Academia. (Sorry non-fans, but bear with me, I think you can still follow along.)

The three main characters of this show are Midoryia (better known as Deku), Todoroki, and Bakugo. I will spare you the long version of who they are, all that you need to know is that these three have entirely different personalities; yet the show/manga over time shows us that their basic character flaws can be oddly similar. Though Deku veers more to the lack of confidence in his abilities, and the other two veer more to lacking confidence int heir own characters, but all three end up feeling guilty for things they really shouldn’t; and heaping on the shame and self-loathing because of that. The way they express it is completely different for each. But even the other show characters note how similar they are at the core of the issue.

In the same way, people can have very different personalities, as men and women, and yet their insecurities, flaws, and foibles may be pretty much the same.

On the same show, Deku often gets paired up with Uraraka, a girl who has a similar personality, in that she’s sweet, and innocent.

A lot of people hate this ship simply because they seem so similar, but upon further consideration, I realized that they really aren’t. They might both be positive, and that is a good thing, but Uraraka does not live on Guilt Trip lane, nor does she often feel as disappointed with herself as Deku. She has her own flaws, but they are not the same as his, in some ways, they actually are opposites. Deku does not really like conflict, she thinks it is fun or impressive.

Anyway, I hope that made my point. You can apply this to any couple really. Look at your own parents for crying out loud. Mine are certainly total opposites in flaws, though they share many beliefs and values.

It is true that having opposite flaws often includes opposite personalities, but it does not have to.

And it is important to think about when you are dating someone, because in the end, you want to be with somebody who makes you better.

Did you know that humans have flawed cells in their body? Defective ones? And that it’s why you are not supposed to marry someone closely related to you? It’s because the chances that their defective cells will be the same as yours drastically increases, and that is why siblings marrying almost certainly causes defects, often mental ones, and cousins now, though it did not at one time. Over time as we get more defective cells it’s likely even 2nd and 3rd cousins will be too risky, but here’s the thing, it is far less of a risk if you marry someone not in your family. The risk is almost negotiable then, because it’s unlikely they will have enough of the same defective cells to give your kids problems.

There have been some exceptions, it can occasionally work out, and has in the past between more closely related family; and the problem was once not even there.

Theoretically, Adam and Eve were perfect, no defective cells, and for several generations, the amount of defective cells would have been too small to cause problems with intermarrying. That doesn’t even become wrong in the Bible until after Abraham’s time. Abraham married his half sister, and before you think that’s gross, it was common at that time and in other religions. Also, it did not cause any problems. But later on in the Bible it does become ore of an issue. However, 4,000 years or so ago, it was probably barely a risk.

This is a physical example of a spiritual truth if you think about it. Adam and Eve were without sin, so being exactly the same would not have hurt them. They did not have flaws, or imperfections, so how they matched up didn’t matter. It was only after sin that they develop both the same, and also different flaws, like cowardice, blame-shifting, and shame.

If sin was not a problem, we could all marry anyone we wanted, and not worry about making each other worse. As it is, if you do marry someone not good for you, it is still possible to make it work; it is just harder.

It is never the good qualities in ourselves that we need to worry about matching with. Two negative people should not get together, but two positive people can, it’s not a problem. Provided their positivism is not fake (which is really a flaw then.)

Anyway, I am not trying to start any weird idea that if you and your significant other have some of the same problems it means you can’t be together. I doubt anyone would listen to me anyway if I said that. We will always all be human, we all have insecurities, prejudices, and pride; but if we have different flavors of those things, we can help expose them to the light and make each other better.

That is the real difference to be concerned about, since at the end of the day, superficial stuff is not all that important.

Until Next Time–Natasha.



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