Opposites Don't Always Attract. Here Are The Signs You And Your Partner Are Too Different

The sweet, wholesome quiet girl gets stuck working with the troublemaking bully for a class project. It's awkward and standoffish at first — but they get along better than expected. After a surprisingly deep conversation, the two teens realize that there's more to each other than they initially assumed, and they share a passionate kiss. They fall in love and both change for the better. Does this sound familiar? Or, what about the uptight businessman who meets a free-spirited woman by chance at a coffee shop, and for whatever reason, the two completely different people can't stop thinking about each other? After a few surprisingly great dates, they overcome their differences and become a happy couple.


Everyone's seen the movies and read the books; if you like the romance genre, there's no escaping the opposites-attract trope in the fiction world. But after watching and reading so many of these charming stories, many people forget that these scenarios are fiction. After all, there's a reason why the movies and books end at "happily ever after." Sometimes, opposites attract in real life, but partnerships with such drastically different people often don't work out in the real world. So, you should keep an eye out for the indications that you and your partner might be too different to get your real-life happy ending.

You're always arguing

Of course, minor disagreements are typical when you've been with someone for a while. Maybe your partner gets annoyed when you forget to turn the light off every time you leave a room in your shared home. Or perhaps you roll your eyes when your partner would rather watch an action movie than a romantic comedy every time you go to a movie theater. These little disagreements can be annoying, but shouldn't be serious issues. However, it's not healthy when a couple feels like they spend more time arguing than getting along, and no one should stay in a partnership when abusive fights occur (via Marriage). If arguments lead to screaming or physical fighting, leave that toxic relationship.


"Often couples have the same argument repeatedly without realizing it. The context changes, but the themes — or roots — of the argument remain the same. Couples need help identifying and addressing those themes so they can work through what's really bothering them," Dr. Maggie Vaughan, a psychotherapist, told Lifehacker. If you and your partner discover that you have that same-themed argument every day, put your finger on what the primary issue is, and if you still can't get past it, you might be too different for the relationship to work any longer, as you'll likely continue having the same argument, building more resentment and anger in the long term.

You want completely different futures

When you're first starting to fall in love with someone, your feelings at the moment will likely cloud rational thoughts, and you'll probably want to be with that person forever. But as time goes on and the honeymoon phase ends, you'll need to talk about the future. If you and your partner want entirely different lives in the future, you might be too different to stay together. "Too many drastic differences... You'll just have frustration, arguments, and built-up resentment. The relationship will eventually crack, so it's better to go your separate ways before you end up feeling like you wasted a lot of time," Trina Leckie, the host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, told Elite Daily.


Don't feel like you and your partner need to have the 100% same plan for everyday life for your relationship to work. For instance, if you want to be a businesswoman and your partner wants to be a writer, there's no real problem with having a completely different career path. However, if you desire to live in a small apartment in a busy, exciting city and party every weekend, but your partner wants a quiet life in a spacious house in the suburbs with a bunch of kids, those visions for the future are likely too different for either of you to be happy if you try to stay together forever.

Completely different values

You shouldn't expect to have the complete same personality and interests as your significant other. Thus, you can probably like different music genres, have different favorite ice cream flavors, and have different opinions regarding whether reading or watching TV is more fun and still have a healthy relationship. However, opposing values are problematic. "If one partner is OK with flirting outside of a marriage and the other isn't, clearly their values aren't the same. Likewise, having opposite values about money, raising children, and other important areas can doom a relationship. Values are one area where opposites can be so different that the relationship may not work," Frank Thewes, a private practice therapist and founder of Path Forward Therapy, told TZR. No one should have to change their core beliefs for a relationship, so if values are causing problems, you might need to end it.


There's some gray area in this topic, as you might be able to reach a compromise in some scenarios. For example, if you and your partner have different political beliefs but genuinely love each other and want to stay together, you might be able to come to an agreement where you just never talk about politics together. However, if your partner believes in open relationships and isn't satisfied without hooking up with other people, but you're only comfortable with a monogamous relationship, it probably won't work out.

You have different attitudes toward sex

There are ways to navigate a relationship with mismatched libidos, as this doesn't have to be an instant dealbreaker, and talking to a sex therapist might help your relationship. Plus, you and your partner can often work out sex-related differences through discussion. "A good place to start is to see if you both have a growth mindset around sex. Specifically, if your partner is interested in talking about your sex life, trying new things, and making sure you're both getting your needs met. If so, you will find it easier to check in about sex and see if you're on the same page...What's most important is that you're both willing to listen and stay open to trying new things with each other," Dr. Emily Morse, Ph.D., a sex expert and host of the Sex With Emily podcast, told POPSUGAR.


If the issue is about something more specific than different sex drives, you might have a problem. For instance, if you want to talk about sex with your partner, and they don't feel comfortable discussing the topic, there's an issue, as communication is often crucial for satisfying sex in a relationship, but you can't force your partner to talk about anything they aren't comfortable with. Moreover, if your partner is already satisfied with your sex life but you're not pleased with it and feel like you need to try new things in the bedroom that they aren't open to, you have another problem.

The relationship problems are affecting your health

When the differences between you and your significant other are extreme, it might affect your health. "The aspects of the person's personality that are polar opposite to the other person causes their partner to have biological issues (migraines, gut problems, 'phantom pains,' etc.), psychological issues (anxiety, depression, lower self-esteem, etc.), social (withdrawal from peers/activities, increased alcohol/substance use), and spiritual (belief crisis, withdrawal from worship)," Keischa Pruden, a therapist/owner of Pruden Counseling Concepts, told TZR. At the end of the day, a relationship may feel like the most important thing to you, but it's never as important as your health.


Furthermore, some signs that your relationship is toxic include you starting to act differently, feeling nervous about expressing yourself, and not telling your loved ones the truth about your relationship, per Poosh. If the differences between you and your partner are causing any of these signs to occur, your relationship is likely unhealthy and might start affecting your health. Avoid letting it escalate to that point by ending it before it becomes toxic. It will probably hurt to break up with someone you love, but if your differences start interfering with your health, you should put yourself first.