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Can polar opposites work?

Dear Dr Nekia,

My man is completely the opposite of me. I mean completely. At first we laughed about it but now we are beginning to get on one another's nerves. We still enjoy spending time together and care about one another, but decision-making is becoming very frustrating. What I want to know is, is it possible to have a successful relationship with someone who is the complete opposite of you?


Polar Opposites

Dear Polar Opposites,

Yes, opposites often do attract. And yes, in the realm of relationships, anything is possible if you want it bad enough. However, because of the free will that we each have, we need to follow some simple rules to avoid colliding into one another. The first rule is respect. You both must respect the other's wants, needs and point of view. When a partner's will does not match our own we must remain open-minded and respectful so that we are able to value their presence in our lives.

With value, we will find it easier to follow the second rule: compromise. This creates balance and allows both of you to be heard and fulfilled. It also means that you each will have to put aside self-centered ways to accommodate one another without feeling like you are giving up too much of yourself. Rule number three is freedom. You will have to allow your opposite to freely express themselves and pursue their goals even when you do not agree. Do not see his opposing nature as being against yours, instead accept him for who he is; opposition does not have to be viewed as if it is a competition or a battle of win and lose. All relationships take two to work. All need some degree of respect and compromise, but relationships between persons who are polar opposites need these even more.

If either one of you tries to project your perceptions or assert your will over the other, then you will only end up feeling frustrated and resentful. Be honest and realistic about the important pillars of your relationship to help determine if this is a healthy relationship for the two of you to pursue. Some pillars to pay close attention to are parenting style, marriage goals, financial goals, religious beliefs, cultural values and planning long-term goals. These are the core relationship areas in which people find it most difficult to compromise in. So, while opposites make for an interesting and fiery union, finding someone with similarities makes for a much smoother and happier relationship.

Dear Dr Nekia,

I am torn between two men. If I could keep them both or combine them into one person I would, but since I can't do either of these things, I have to choose. I don't know how I got myself in this position, but I need to make a decision before one of them finds out about the other. How do I choose?


In Between Two

Dear In Between Two,

Your situation happens quite often. It is not difficult to find yourself torn between two lovers if you date, and become intimate with, people who do not fulfil you. I would suggest that you take a step back from both and turn your focus internally. Figure out what is that you are seeking in a partner by making a list of characteristics and attributes that are most important to you. After you have done this, measure each fella up to your picture of what it is that you truly are looking for.

Combine the result of this comparison with how you naturally feel while with each one. This should help you to begin to get a clearer sense of where things could possibly go with each of your guys. Should it be that being with one makes logical sense while the other makes your heart skip a beat, re-evaluate them both.

Relationships should never be logical and calculated, yet they should never be solely based on emotion either. Reason being is that you cannot calculate love, talk yourself into loving, or base a long-lasting solid relationship upon emotions because emotions tend to come and go. Every happy relationship should involve a healthy balance of logic and heart.

If you cannot find balance with either one of your guys, then neither may be the one for you. If you find that both men are positive assets to your life and that you genuinely care for them both, recall those relationship factors that are most important to you and consider choosing the guy who most fulfils you and who you are most inclined to fulfil in return. Should you find moving on from both or choosing between the two too impossible, tell them the truth about where you stand. Offer your honesty and ask that they be patient while you figure things out.

Of course, with full disclosure you will run the risk of losing them both, but if you remain in the middle for too long this will become an even greater risk.

Want relationship advice? E-mail

Respect your partner: all relationships take two to work, says Dr Nekia

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Published May 10, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 10, 2017 at 6:27 am)

Can polar opposites work?

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