What makes opposites tick?

She’s a vegetarian, he enjoys his tandoori chicken. She hates horror movies, he loves them. She’s an introvert, he’s an extrovert. She’s a bookworm, he’s a sports enthusiast. Do opposites really attract?

You see such ‘odd couples’ everywhere. Chatterboxes choose quieter ones, flamboyant ones choose sober partners, easy-going types go for the meticulous and so on. Look at some celeb couples — Bengali bombshell Bipasha Basu loves to dance, but her boyfriend actor John Abraham doesn’t, Shah Rukh Khan revels in the spotlight, while his better-half Gauri stays away.

Take Mumbai-based Rani Malhotra, a shy graduate from a well-to-do family, who was attracted to ‘Mr Popular’ Pinakin Mehta, a matriculate. His ability to influence people around him impressed Rani and they eventually tied the knot.

Dr Harish Shetty, psychiatrist, L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai, observes, “We look for an alter ego who will complete us. At times, one looks for what one is not. So, a guy who likes to party may play safe and land up with someone sober.”

Some people find the difference exciting. Yet, the way you communicate with each other is the key to making your relationship work. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s a Republican, his wife Maria Shriver is a Democrat. Yet, they are happily married and she fully supported his campaign to be governor of California.
What most people call falling in love is really falling in pattern. Dr Nirmala S Rao, Mumbai-based psychiatrist recommends, “Relationships are about getting our own needs met, often on an unconscious basis. We look for a complement, not someone identical. But, we may begin to resent it. The key is talking out the differences.”
Suren Sharma and Naina Singh come from different backgrounds and have been married for the past 10 years. Both have learnt to deal with problem areas with a cool head. They have learnt to discuss issues till they reach a consensus.

Concludes Dr Rao, “When personalities are similar, couples tend to be happier since issues of daily living become easier to deal with. Personality differences may mean more conflict. Once two people decide to be together, they should be aware of their dissimilarities and learn to cope.”

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