Are you constantly fighting because you and your partner are a bad match? Do you find that you are arguing about the same issues? Are these issues important to you? Are these issues deal breakers when it comes to your relationship?
It is true that opposites attract from a physical point of view, but personality, principle, and outlook differences can cause havoc in a relationship. We are naturally attracted to mates who look different from ourselves. For example, if you are blond you’ll likely be attracted to brunettes. This natural instinct ensures genetic diversity, which is an advantage! Genetic diversity provides us with a growing mix of genes so that we are resistant to a broader range of diseases and other abnormalities. So choosing a person whose physical appearance is different from you is good. But getting into a relationship with a person who feels different from you on many important issues could easily lead to frustration, conflict, and heartache.
There are some key areas in romantic relationships that break up more couples than anything else does. Couples who split up usually have vast differences in these areas.
- Money Management – If one person is frugal and the other a spender there will be endless conflicts. (This is the number one reason couples breakup.)
- Sexual Appetite & Expression – If one person is adventuresome and likes passion to build for a while and the other is timid and likes sex every day, something bad is going to happen.
- Health & Fitness – If one person is into healthy eating and exercise and the other is not there’s a good chance the attraction factor will erode as the partner who prefers a sedentary lifestyle becomes lethargic and fat!
- Principles, Politics, & Outlook – If one person is independent, open-minded, and optimistic and the other is conservative, closed-minded, and negative disagreements will be a constant.
- Spiritual Beliefs & Practices – If one person doesn’t like organized religion and the other is a religious fanatic their spiritual foundations will grow apart on each day of worship.
- Child Rearing – If one person believes in constructive parenting through praise, boundaries, and no corporal punishment and the other believes in strict parenting through criticism, enforcement, and corporal punishment their division with grow with each incident and the children will pay the price.
If you’re in a relationship where there are clear signs that your lack of similarities in key areas is causing serious problems, it could take a tremendous amount time, energy, and compromise to straighten it out. The price could easily be greater than the reward. If you compare what it would cost you with the fear of breaking up and finding someone who’s a good match, it might be worth it to you.
If there are children involved, you need to weigh the cost that staying or leaving would have on them. They should be the priority since they will pay the highest price.
If there are no children involved, breaking up may be the best choice for you and your partner. In fact, if you look at things objectively, there may be few if any positive reasons for staying in the relationship. If you’re having trouble with this decision, maybe this exercise will help.
Imagine being in a relationship with someone who matches many of the important areas of your personality, character, and outlook. How does this make you feel? The way you feel when you imagine this may offer the answer.