It’s cliché for a reason. At some point in our lives we’ve all experienced the inexplicable draw to someone who is so completely different from us that we begin to believe they actually “complete” the missing parts we see in ourselves.
Yes, it’s wonderful to meet someone who has strengths different from our own, or interests that make us get out there and explore things we may have never considered before. But, there are some areas of our lives in which choosing someone who is our opposite can only lead to heartache. Here are five areas in which you should avoid your opposite in a partner:
Anyone who has ever known a child from infant to teen can attest to the fact that temperaments don’t change. From the get-go, we are easy-going or difficult, high strung or laid back, fussy or joyful. It’s part of who we are. Your temperament is your natural predisposition of emotional intensity. If you are laid back by nature, and choose a partner who is not, you need to understand that is something that will not change about them. And while it may seem on the surface that these things would balance, they are more likely to arise as issues as time goes on.
“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14:19
Opposing Faith Commitment
As Christians, it goes without saying that we are to partner with other believers. Since faith permeates every part of our lives, choosing someone who is not a believer is setting you up for years of pain. But, we also should consider how integral our faith is in our daily lives, and the life of our potential partner. If we are the type that actively pursues a relationship with God, and partner with someone who is happy to simply attend church, we will eventually begin to feel a drift in an area of our lives that is crucial to our happiness.
“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” Amos 3:3
Opposing Child Rearing
Whether you have children now, or are planning to down the road, one of the most difficult realizations to face in a marriage is the fact that you don’t agree when it comes to your children. If you choose to be with someone who handles discipline differently, is strongly opposed to the type of education you believe in, or sees a child’s place in the family in a different way than you do, it’s nearly impossible to overcome since these are daily issues. Choose a partner who is somewhat on the same wavelength so that you can begin to compromise from a closer starting point when it comes to your kids.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Opposing Financial Personalities
There’s a reason that finances are the most common cause of divorce. How people handle their money says volumes about who they are at the core. Are you generous? Choosing a partner who is frugal could become painful to you in the long run as you long to give, and they argue not to. Are you a saver? Partnering with a spender can create an environment of insecurity for you as you continually feel that you are not prepared for your financial future. Finding a partner who has similar financial beliefs and decision making patterns will make this part of your life less argumentative.
“Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.” Ecclesiastes 7:12
Opposing Character Traits
We all want a person of character as a partner. In fact, we may idealize this point, thinking we have to have specific traits in a partner. But, really, if those traits are opposite of ours, it won’t matter what an honest person they are if they are also a serial gossiper and that is something we abhor. If you are a kind person, kindness in a partner will be appreciated. The character traits you display are beliefs you obviously hold dear enough to make them a priority in your life. Be certain that your partner cherishes the same.
“A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1
Ideally, we all want to be in a relationship in which we are fully accepted, fully loved, and fully at peace with the person we choose to be with. While this is ideal and won’t be possible every moment of every day, we should aim to find someone with whom this is an actual possibility. Choosing to be with someone who is our opposite in critical areas of life will eventually cause us to guard our hearts from them, thus causing issues in the relationship.
Seek similarities in the things you most value. Because as the relationship ages and the thrill of new fades, you’ll be happy to discover how much you have in common where it matters.