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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.

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                Last Updated on June 3, 2020

                19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore

                19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore

                What is success?

                Is it wealth? Is it happiness? Is it fame?

                The late Zig Ziglar was one of the most respected modern day experts on success, motivation, and leading a balanced life. In his book Born to Win!, he argues that success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things. One could argue that the definition depends on the individual and that one size does not fit all[1].

                Here are 19 different definitions of success. Not all of these will resonate with you, but chances are at least a few of them will. Use these or find inspiration here to create your own definition of success that can be applied to your unique life.

                1. Success is always doing your best.

                Success can be achieved when you try your best in all aspects of everything you do, even if that doesn’t lead to big results. If you’ve done your best, you should feel proud of your efforts.

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                2. Success is properly setting concrete goals.

                Be realistic and concrete when setting goals. Success does not come from setting abstract goals. If you know where you’re heading, that is a success in itself, even if you don’t ultimately arrive to the planned destination.

                3. Success is having a place to call home.

                Home is where your heart soars. You are always successful when you can call a place home. Home doesn’t have to be a specific structure. It can be a country, a city, or even a person. If you have a place you feel comfortable and safe, you’re already achieving something great.

                4. Success is understanding the difference between need and want.

                If you can meet your monthly obligations and fulfill your basic needs, you are successful. Being able to identify when you absolutely need something and when you can do without it often leads to financial stability and is a great way to succeed.

                5. Success is believing you can.

                If you believe you can, you will succeed. Self-belief doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so if you’re able to tell yourself that you can achieve the goals in your plans, you’re doing great.

                6. Success is remembering to balance work with passion.

                Work without passion creates undue stress and empty achievements. Focus on what excites you. If you’re happy at your job, that’s great. However, even if you aren’t, you can balance your formal job with hobbies or volunteer work you’re passionate about.

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                7. Success is taking care of your needs.

                Remember to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Self-care is essential if you want to have any meaningful impact on the world around you.

                8. Success is learning that you sometimes have to say no.

                Success only comes with a balanced life. Part of balance is learning to say no. Saying no doesn’t mean you are selfish; it simply means you have priorities and know what you need to give your attention to at any given time.

                9. Success is knowing your life is filled with abundance.

                Love, health, friends, family…life is filled with abundance. Recognizing this is an important step to feeling grateful for all life has given you. If you can feel this, you are already experiencing success.

                10. Success is understanding you cannot keep what you don’t give away.

                You will only succeed if you help others succeed. Learning to give instead of always take is part of creating a world we all want to live in. When you help others, you will also create an environment where others want to help you.

                11. Success is overcoming fear.

                Conquering a fear makes you feel invincible. Even if it’s confronting just one small fear each week, that is certainly something to feel proud of. The bigger fears will take more time, but any work you do to overcome fear will lead to success.

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                12. Success is learning something new each day.

                Successful people understand that learning never stops. Take time each day to converse with someone with opposing views, read an interesting article on a topic you know little about, or watch a TED talk on new research. It doesn’t take long to learn, so get started now.

                13. Success is learning that losing a few battles can help you win a war.

                Successful people choose their battles wisely. When you know which battles will ultimately help you achieve your goals, you will be successful.

                14. Success is loving and being loved back.

                Opening your heart to others is difficult and can produce fear. Having the courage to love and accept love from others is a step toward a fulfilling life and great success.

                15. Success is standing your ground when you believe in something.

                Successful people never give up on things they believe with all their heart. You may hold views that many people disagree with, but if you’ve done your research and know that it’s the right belief for you, you shouldn’t let it go without a fight.

                16. Success is not giving up.

                Perseverance creates grit, and grit achieves success. Even if it takes years to achieve a goal, persisting is key if you want success.

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                17. Success is celebrating small victories.

                Anytime a goal is reached or an obstacle is overcome, take time to celebrate, even if it’s something small. All goals require smaller objectives to be achieved first, so each time you complete one, take time to appreciate the work you put into it.

                18. Success is never letting a disability hold you back.

                Disabilities do not define a person’s success. The body and mind will compensate. Just because you can’t do absolutely everything doesn’t mean you can’t do something. Do what your body and mind allow and always push yourself. That is true success.

                19. Success is understanding that you control your destiny.

                Your destiny is controlled by you and you alone. Take responsibility for your actions and their consequences and you’ll find that you naturally become more successful.

                The Bottom Line

                Success can be defined in many ways. If you are experiencing happiness, love, or adventure in this moment, you’ve already found success. Keep it up.

                More Tips on Success

                Featured photo credit: Dino Reichmuth via unsplash.com

                Reference

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