My husband accused me of being a pop culture fluff ball today. Why? We were having an intense discussion about why people are attracted to those that are fundamentally different to them.

You see, my husband and I grew up in very different households with ethnicity, culture, socioeconomics, religion and parental life experiences, impacting on our cognitive and behavioural development.

In my view, he had a fortunate and stable upbringing. He lived in the family home for most of his childhood, made life-long school friends, given opportunities to participate in extra-curricular sports and had few disadvantages.

My upbringing was decidedly different. My parents were refugees and that in itself brought a vast number of issues. I didn’t stay at any school (bar my last few senior years) for longer than two years. Both my parents had undiagnosed mental health issues. We were dirt poor most of the time.

My husband is a logical, pragmatic and heavily systems thinking based person. Emotion is the last variable in his decision-making. His objective to any problem is finding the simplest solution that makes the biggest impact.

While my decision-making is often driven by emotion. This is not to say that I don’t have capabilities. I can hold down a high-pressure and high-level job. I can run a household. I am capable of making good decisions. But compared to my husband, I don’t like to face variables and I tend to veer towards confirmation bias.

If a stranger came up to me and asked me to peel an orange, my immediate response would be… why? Whereas, my husband would think… what’s the best and worst thing, that could happen? And peel the damn orange.

We agreed that the diversity of thinking or lack of was attributed to our differences – our tapestry of life experiences, leading to the software and hard wiring in our brains.

My argument was that given the same upbringing, my husband would not have the same decision-making abilities. He might even be a bit more like me. 

Nope. No way. My husband was adamant that given the same upbringing, he would still be who he is. He would still be the observant, boundary-pushing, thought-provoking and forward-thinking person.

His counter-argument was that while our childhood experience had some influence, the main reason for his diversity of thinking was due to his open-mindedness to challenging assumptions and expectations. Particularly those of people in positions of authority and power – like his parents and teachers.

It’s really no wonder that he had so many school detentions and reprimands. It’s also not surprising that our offspring are cheeky buggers, full of sass and curiosity.

Anyway, we debated many points and in end, I was as befuddled as this post. Back to my original point. Why are people attracted to their opposites?

My husband’s answer? It’s because of our chimp brains and natural selection.

My answer? Because of my husband’s definition of diversity of thought, I have no option but to love pop culture.

Copyright © 2020, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.


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Kathy - KN J Tales and Snippets

Creative writer and storytelling enthusiast, sharing snippets of my journey through life and parenting. Aiming to inspire, empower and ignite laughter with every word that I write.

13 thoughts on “OPPOSITES ATTRACT”

  1. Ha! My husband and I are the same way..in fact quite often we joke, if we didn’t meet each other at the right time of our lives, we would probably not even have been friends. It’s like a yin yang situation and we surely balance each other. 😀

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  2. Jase and I have had an ongoing discussion about this that past few days. He was born positive and upbeat and no matter what he goes through: loosing his mind for a few years and being institutionalized, going to prison for a few, etc….he gets through it and remains positive and upbeat, some days he’s so happy I’d like to vomit. His upbringing: only child and wealthy. Given every opportunity to succeed. I was born negative and dark with a dash of flair, a fiery red head. Upbringing: middle sister, surrounded by drunks, physical and emotional abuse. No matter how hard I work at being more positive I revert back to negativity but always with a dash of flair. We constantly debate over whether or not we are right for each other as we are so “opposite” and yet “similar”
    What a great, well written, thought provoking post! Well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe people like us, who have come from disadvantaged backgrounds need positive people to bring lightness and joy to their darkness. Maybe on some level, we recognise that these people have an inner strength that we wish we could have and so we are drawn to them. I don’t know, I’m just talking gibberish. Thanking for sharing Jase’s and your life with me. While I didn’t have the same upbringing, I can understand your struggles. I can only hope that my past won’t dictate my future, but it’s a nasty beast to defeat.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you…. upbringing and atmosphere do help form our personalities. Nature vs nurture, the age old argument. That being said, my husband and I are as different as can be… in every way. Yet it works.

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  4. I’m fascinated by this! In fact I recently read an article about it being down to whether we were oestrogen, testosterone, serotonin or dopamine based people. We tend to be attracted to the opposite of what we are. So I am very much oestrogen and my husband is all testosterone and dopamine. If I can remember where I read it I’ll let you know!! I think it also comes down to the nature/nurture debate and I wonder if we will ever know the answer to that one. Personally, I am officially now old and am only just now starting to understand what I’m about. My husband is a complete mystery to me as I am to him, but somehow it works. He’s military, I’m about as ditzy as they come. He has an important job out here (we’re Brits living in New York) and I bake and look after things, people and gardens. Chalk and cheese and I can’t make a decision for love nor money, but that’s down to poor a education and I mean that in the broadest of terms. I went to Roedean which was the best school in England at that time (it just so happened to be the worst possible school for me). Enough of my rambling … I loved your post and thanks for making me think! Katie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How interesting! I think that initially we are attracted to our opposites but then there must be similarities that help build and consolidate the connection to a deeper level. So maybe on the outer appearance, you and husband are chalk and cheese but you both have similar values and ethics, and that’s what matters most! I’ll be pondering until I’m old and grey. Thanks for reading my musings! ☺

      Liked by 1 person

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