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Last Updated on February 27, 2018

If Opposites Attract, Why Do They Retract?

If Opposites Attract, Why Do They Retract?

Falling in love is easy. But maintaining it can be hard. Let’s take a look at Tim and Lily’s story to see how the sweet love at the beginning becomes frustrating for them.

Tim and Lily are colleagues. They had no trouble falling for one another after meeting in their workplace.

    It all went very well at first but soon they found that they were quite different from each other.

    Opposites retract

    Opposites attract and that’s what helped them get together. But now it’s setting them apart. Little things like booking a table for dinner begin to be an issue.

    Lily wants to book the table just to have peace of mind and not worry about having to wait in line. Tim on the other hand doesn’t see it as such a big deal. If there is a line, they have plenty of other options. Besides, spontaneity can be fun!

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      Punctuality, organization;  these are both grounds for disagreement if they can’t manage to see eye to eye. They love each other, but they are frustrated. Lily can’t understand why Tim doesn’t appreciate the convenience of planning ahead. Tim can’t understand why Lily can’t just go with the flow.

        What they don’t realize is that they are evaluating each other’s behavior based on their own standards and upbringing.

        We are products of our upbringing

        Tim grew up in a loosely disciplined family. As the youngest of three siblings, he had a lot of leniency. He was a smart kid, but he wasn’t exactly the model student nor the best behaved. Regardless, he was very passionate about computer programming. His motivation landed him his dream job as an engineer within a startup company.

        Tim is a free spirit. He goes where his heart leads him and isn’t bound by rules and plans. He is satisfied with his life and a job he likes. He doesn’t see anything wrong with his standards because he is happy with where he is.

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          Lily on the other hand grew up in a strict household. The eldest of her siblings, the pressure to lead by example was always on her. She likes for everything to be planned ahead of time and is very, very organized. She was a straight A student who got into a great university. Eventually she became a product manager in the same startup company as Tim.

          As a very disciplined person, she works hard to ensure that everything goes as planned. She has a good job and is living well, so she is very happy with her life and standards of living.

            Our standards are formed by how we are raised. All families function differently. We are all a product of the environment that we were raised in. How we are raised absolutely defines our standards, so it makes sense that people with different upbringing would have different standards. They are so ingrained in us that we don’t realize that we may judge others for not having the same standards as ourselves.

            What works for you doesn’t works for your partner

            You may not even realize that you’re doing it, but if you are put off by your partners standards, they can pick up on it in your behavior.

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            Since Tim is not punctual, it obviously annoys Lily. Her standoffish behavior is obvious to Tim and he may get offended that she does not vibe with his lifestyle.

              You cannot assume that what works for you is what works for your partner. Your expectations for them to acclimate to your lifestyle puts a burden on them. They will feel pressured to change and perhaps feel that they are not good enough for you as they are.

              Accept, respect, appreciate

              Your life experience is unique to yourself. No one else has had your upbringing, so everyone else has developed differently. What works for you may not work at all for others. It’s important to keep an open mind. Consider how other people may feel and how they may react. If something works better for them, try not to judge. Understand that there are reasons for why they are the way that they are.

                Refrain from judgment, explain instead

                When you see that your partner does things differently than you, ask why. Explain why you do it differently. This way you will have a better understanding of each other.

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                Lily should explain to Tim why is it important for her to plan ahead. In the same respect, Tim should explain why he doesn’t like to micromanage his life. Finding understanding for each other is the key. Respecting each other’s differences will help to lock it down.

                Accept differences, be open to change

                When dealing with different personalities, those differences need to be respected. Lily needs to respect Tim’s spontaneity, while Tim needs to respect Lily’s persistence. These are personality traits that can’t be changed.

                But, they can be adjusted. Compromises need to be made to ensure that the differences don’t take a toll on the relationship. Making these adjustments shouldn’t feel like a sacrifice. A loving partner should be willing to make these changes in order to strengthen their relationship.

                No one is exactly the same as another one, but this is what makes every relationship interesting. Embrace the differences between you and your partner and you will be less frustrated and have a happier and lasting relationship.

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                Anna Chui

                Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

                7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck 53 Relationship Questions That Will Make Your Love Life Better 27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down 35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

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                Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

                7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

                What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

                For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

                It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

                1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

                The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

                What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

                The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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                2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

                Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

                How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

                If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

                Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

                3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

                Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

                If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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                These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

                What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

                4. What are my goals in life?

                Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

                Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

                5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

                Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

                Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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                You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

                Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

                6. What do I not like to do?

                An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

                What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

                Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

                The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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                7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

                Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

                But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

                “What do I want to do with my life?”

                So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

                Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

                Reference

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