We hear it all the time, “opposites attract.” It’s said so often that nobody even stops to question what it means or whether the theory is correct. Much like most clichés, this one is a dangerous one.

You meet someone and you start getting to know them. Of course, there’s a good chance you were attracted to them because they were different, like nobody you’d ever met before. You’re intrigued because they are the opposite of you. You don’t really stop to wonder if this is exactly what you want or need, you just roll with it because it’s fun.

You go from being complete strangers to spending every second of every day thinking of each other, texting each other, calling each other. So exciting! Your relationship continues to grow while you continue to learn more about the other person. You don’t love sport but they do and that’s different. They don’t love art but you do and that’s different too. You’re a vegan and they love a steak, who cares!? You’ve fallen in love, nothing matters anymore. Your emotions are so positive that you don’t bother to stop and ponder whether this is the right person for you. In fact, of course it’s the right person for you, you love each other don’t you?

But what is love? If you think logically, love is an emotional word, it’s not real. Like when I say, “I love this pasta!” What I’m really saying is that I have positive feelings about the pasta. Love is not tangible. Let’s break that down a little further. Why do I love the pasta? Well, because of a combination of all the elements in my pasta; I like the sauce, the protein, the texture and If I love enough of the elements, I love the pasta! Boring example, I know, but you get the point.

So why is it that people don’t stop to decipher the person they “love”? Why don’t they sit down and think about what exactly it is that they love about the person? Do you have enough in common to get through an entire lifetime together? If you don’t, do you have enough in common to share some of your lifetime together?

As a 23 year old boy, I told my mother that I thought I’d fallen in love with a girl (turns out I hadn’t). My mother has read many psychology books, many books relating to love and she has also watched every episode of Dr. Phil since it’s inception, so you can imagine she won’t just let me get away with what I said without an analysis. Her response to my admission of finding love was “Do you even know what love is?” Well, I didn’t really, I thought it was just something you felt and when you thought of the same person enough times, you must be in love with them. This is where my mum enlightened me on what she had read was the definition of love, and I tend to agree. She said “love is a decision of the mind. It’s a decision you make based on logic, like a business decision.” It seems so obvious, use your brain and think thoroughly about the person you choose to invest your time in, yet I feel that I and so many others will fall into the trap of just riding the wave of positive emotions and we won’t stop to think about if this person will actually suit the life that we plan to live.

Of course, you can argue that if you’re both open-minded enough or if you get together when you’re young enough, you can grow together. You can go from having no interest in each other’s hobbies to sharing the hobbies. But, for many, they are who they are and they like what they like, it might be easier to find someone who already loves what you love, instead of having to tone down what you love and adopt someone else’s hobbies.

I recently came out of a two year relationship with an incredible woman. I was batting well above my average in the looks department, she was a genuinely loving and giving person and everybody that met her loved her. Yet, as good as she was and as much as I loved her for being such a good person, my mind decided that I wanted something else for my future. Why? Well, I think that after the intrigue of getting to know each other subsided, we just didn’t have enough in common. In the end, we were quite the opposites, and maybe that’s what we learned in our time together. I love sport and she doesn’t. She loves art and I don’t. So, it’s 100% true, “opposites attract”…But they don’t last.

Author's Bio: 

Ilya Tesler is a passionate blogger who seeks to open the minds of human kind to thoughts outside of their norm, outside of their comfort zone, in the hope that it can trigger growth in their lives. All of Ilya's articles are based on his own personal experiences through a life of "casual anthropology".