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Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Why do opposites (not) attract? (2)

From a distance, you may feel attracted to a certain person. Up close, you may even regret that very thought. You start wondering how such a misjudgement could have happened. The closer you get to someone, the more you will notice differences. Some of these differences are turn-ons, while others are turn offs

Attraction is like magnetism. Magnets are drawn together from a distance but some magnets push each other away at close range. Human attraction has several layers, like physical, emotional, sexual and also intellectual (eg, my 2015 blog: Sapiosexual).

The (absence of) attraction towards an opposite has several triggers, like: eye colour, hair colour, skin colour. These differences in appearance can be attractive according to several sayings like: blondes have more fun, brunettes for men brave enough for beauty and brainsthe darker the berry the sweeter the juice, and gentlemen may prefer blondes, but it takes a real man to handle a redhead. Hence, some opposites do attract.

However, in case of someone's character, we refer to antipode (in Dutch: tegenpool) rather than opposite. Opposite characters do not attract, unlike opposites in appearance. I consider myself a positive person and negative people are a major turn off for me - even when everything else seems fine. Magnetism has a similar phenomenon:
"Magnets can also attract each other, but only if they face in opposite directions. A magnet has two ends called poles; one end is the north pole and the other is the south pole. A north pole will attract a south pole; the magnets pull on each other. But the two north poles will push each other away." (UW-Madison)

Apparently, my inner rest was the reason for our July break-up (see Monday's blog). She said we are too different because she is very busy and I'm not. However, this difference in our appearance is quite misleading: she can't sit still and must do something, while I can sit still and be very busy thinking. Some decades ago, a former colleague asked me if I ever stop thinking. His question caught me by surprise and was indeed valid: I cannot stop thinking.

Much to my own surprise, I have used the same expression ("We are too different") towards someone else very recently. Despite several opposites in appearance, our chemistry was good. The reason for breaking up with her, as I explained to her, is that our characters are antipodes.

"Most thoughts are only profiles of thoughts. They must be inverted and synthesized with their antipodes. Thus many philosophical writings become very interesting which would not have been so otherwise." A quote by Karl Wilhelm Friedrich (von) Schlegel (1772-1829), a German philosopher.

Antipode (2018) by OUL a.k.a. Allen B. Konstanz


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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