The short answer is no, at least there’s no evidence for this.

In fact, the research shows very clearly that it’s our similarities that attract us.

Since 1950 there have been 240 studies to determine whether similar traits for such things as interests, personalities and values actually lead to attraction.  In 2013, two psychologists, Matthew Montoya and Robert Horton, did a meta-analysis to determine the combined results of all the studies.

What they found was that similarities overwhelmingly draw us to our partners – so much so that this tendency actually crosses cultures.

So why is the axiom “opposites attract” still so prevalent today?

According to Matthew Johnson in his book, Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex and Marriage, there are a few reasons.

Contrasts tend to stand out – even if couples are similar in many ways, it’s the differences that lead to disagreements and therefore draw more of the couple’s attention.

Small differences become larger over time – studies show that partners take on complementary roles the longer they’re together.  A wife might be only slightly more adventurous than her husband but over time both will acknowledge the former as the risk taker and the latter as “cautious”.

Pop culture – the “opposites attract” theme works well in movies and TV shows because it creates conflict, an effective element of good storytelling.  As this theme gets perpetuated, it becomes part of our collective consciousness.

While opposite traits, particularly personality traits, may appear to draw two people together, there is no evidence that this is the case and certainly no proof that it leads to successful relationships.

If anything, it’s our similarities that generate more attraction.

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