Studies prove opposites don’t attract

Upon reading the "He Said / She Said" article appearing on Friday, March 26, 2010, I felt it was necessary to provide the information that I have learned in my Interpersonal Communication class on the truth about opposites attracting.

According to Interpersonal Communication research, opposites don’t actually attract. Instead, what attracts two people are the similarities that they share, in either a romantic or platonic relationship.There are three levels of interpersonal attraction, which are physical, social and task attraction. The two I find most applicable to my opinion today are physical and social attraction levels.

Physical attraction is of utmost importance; it’s initially what brings one individual to another, sparking a conversation.Greg Drobny referred to opposites as "a short woman holding a tall mans hand." Yes, their body types lay in different categories, but everyone has their own understanding for what is physically attractive to them. If the only opposite aspect is height, then that doesn’t prove much of opposites attracting at all.Instead it just shows that aspects and ideals of a tall man attract a short woman to him.

Also, Sarah Elliot’s opinion mentioned, a supermodel dating an "uggo," but again I must mention that physical attraction is what one individual perceives as attractive, and everybody’s perception is different.Just because society would not view that couple as socially correct because it is rare, does not mean that they could not share a relationship based on similarities.

Social attraction is where an individual tends to find someone they want to spend time with based on perceived similarities.Again, without a common baseline there would never be a reason for two people to spark a conversation.Have you ever tried to make a friend and upon initiating conversation, you have nothing in common and can barley hold a conversation for two minutes?It’s not very likely that you stuck around to keep trying to dig at them for something in common, therefore proving the idea that similarities are what attract two people together.Drobny mentioned, "it’s differences that glue them together and keep the relationship interesting," but based on what I have shared so far, do they really? Few differences may offer a basis of being complementary for one another, but it is similarities that actually glue a relationship together.

People are attracted to each other based on perceived similarities. As I learned in my Interpersonal Communication class, there are several categorized similarities proving the idea that two individuals actually attract on a basis of shared interest. The first is demographics, which means people of the same age, sex, race, etc. are normally attracted to one another. Next is background similarities, which connect two individuals on a basis of having the same hometown, being on the same sports team, or most importantly, having a connection between similar life experiences. And lastly are attitude similarities, which connect people on a basis of similar religious and political beliefs. All aspects of this research are related based on shared similarities between two individuals, further proving the concept that opposites do not attract.

I do agree with a specific sentence Sarah Elliott mentioned when she said, "Most people, in my opinion, strive to date someone that inhibits the qualities that they themselves cherish, while also having those that they would like to have." This is very true. In fact, Klohen and Lou’s study of the "Dimensions of Similarities" recognize the aspect of finding someone who has similar aspects that you want to obtain within your ideal self, and who you really want to be. However, I disagree with her statement that nearly stated sex was the main reasoning for why opposites attract. I disagree. Although intimacy plays an important role in a romantic relationship, it’s important to recognize that having different body parts does not deem you opposites. Instead, it’s much more then just appearance; it’s what you find personally attractive, and also, the similarities that you find strong enough to bond you together in the first place.