Opposing Forces: The Laws of Attraction (?!)

An immensely wise philospher-singer once sang:

We come together
Cuz opposites attract
And you know–it ain’t fiction
Just a natural fact
We come together
Cuz opposites attract

Whatever happened to that Paula Abdul, anyhow? Where is she now? Those one-hit wonders, you know, like flashes in the pan.
The Guy sent these photos the other night after I pointed out what had to be, and what I said then, the most unseemly gay male couple I’ve ever seen. Now, keep in mind, I live in Vancouver, or as I think of it, San Francisco North. I’ve lived here all my life and see trannies, queens, and the whole shebang as often as they come.
Picture a Pillsbury Dough-kinda boy: nice protruding round belly, about 5’11, goatee, 26, kinda cute in that “If I weighed 65 lbs less, I could be a surfer! Hand me a Twinkie?” kinda way. And his boyfriend: About 5’5, absolutely skinny, 18-if-a-day, wide-eyed with do-it-to-me-now! lust, gazing up longingly. Chunky Two-Time had LoverBOY leaned up against a rather dubious chain-link fence, and it was pretty fucking obvious who was offering a little topping for the evening, if you know what I’m saying.
The Guy shuddered. And rightfully so. It just looked fucking weird, man. I’ve seen the whole Blue Oyster Cult-Village People leather crowd, the big fucking hairy bears, the demure little Asians and their Rice Queens, and the whole shebang, all right? This looked weird. I’m tellin’ ya.
But not as weird as this.
I went out with a guy once who argued that, when it comes to love, a couples’ longevity depended categorically on the balancing of the attractiveness scales. There had to be a relativity between their appearances, or it’d be doomed due to the rearing of the ugly insecurity head.
Maybe. Maybe so. Maybe not. I don’t have my Relationships Physics & Probability degree just yet. Probably a hold-up at the post office. Please, Mr. Postman, look and see if you got a letter in your bag for me. I been waiting such a long time since I ordered that degree of mine.
I think there could be some truth to it. Look at the couple in the photo, then. As I said, the Guy fired it off to me to illustrate that the Gay Odd Couple was a fitting reminder of this forwarded email he’d received that’s making the rounds as “Redneck Wedding of the Year.”
(I didn’t realize they had a rewards ceremony now. What, every-fucking-body’s got trophies now? Who’s next, huh? Bowlers?)
I confess, I feel badly putting the photo up. I’m sure they’re sweet people. Scary, but sweet. In between shooting beer cans off the fence, Jeff Foxworthy reruns, and playing D&D, they probably serve up a hell of an apple cobbler, you know?
I just don’t get the whole opposites-attracting thing, myself. I’ve always been attracted to guys who carry a few extra pounds, just like me. (Not rotund, just excessively huggable.) They should be bookish, and into film and food and life, not clubs, and smart enough to make me frustrated that I shoulda known that first.
Most couples I know are pretty on-page physically. Not too many of them would stand out in a crowd, and probably most seem natural together. The beautiful people get together, the people with perfect hair curl up together, the punks mesh’n’mosh, the granolas sing Kumbaya in harmony, the plastics meld… it’s all so consistent. Do they last? I don’t know, but they look right at the mall.
Nah, I don’t get opposites attracting. What’s the point of hooking up with someone you got fuck-all in common with? How about you? Has it ever worked for you? Are you into the relationship equivalent of magnetic field reversals or something? ‘Sup with that? Enquiring minds, yada, yada. And were you at this wedding? What kind of cake was it?

9 thoughts on “Opposing Forces: The Laws of Attraction (?!)

  1. Beth

    This is a great post, Steff, not just because it raises an interesting topic, but because it’s clear that you had a lot of fun writing it. Most of my relationship craziness stems from the fact that I’m tall and many men are not. So long ago, I got over being taller than the guy I’m with. And I’ve discovered that it takes a pretty secure guy to date a woman taller than himself. Someone in my family once asked me, “How do you find men tall enough to date?” As though there’s a big red arrow on the doorframe of my house announcing how tall they must be to enter. Sheesh. Still, I have a friend who’s not only shorter than me, he’s shorter than average for a guy, and that’s always seemed to be the unspoken reason that we haven’t dated. Even though we both say height doesn’t matter. But I guess sometimes it does.

  2. Spicy Little Pi

    I’ve spouted out bullshit to my friends about how two people in a couple need to be at about the same level of attractiveness, and how it would never work if they’re on opposite ends.

    Some believe it, others don’t, I’ve seen it work and fail, so I think it’s still crap. (but a fun argument)

    Look what the media and pop culture have done to us.

    As for the opposites attract thing…it’s hard to find someone that is completely your opposite anyway, we all have *something* in common.

  3. Romantic Perv

    To quote the SO over done line from Jerry Mcguire, “You complete me.” There is some relevance to this.I agree that there should be common ground for a relationship to have any chance of lasting, but there should also be elements of opposition too. Everyone has weaknesses. If you can find a partner that is strong in some of your weak areas and you in turn prop up their weaknesses, then life in general seems to balance out better.

    Imagine a couple where both partners are untidy, cant cook, and dont understand financial responsibilities. Sure they could still make it in the long run together, but really….who would want to??

  4. scribe called steff

    Beth — Thanks! I did have fun. 🙂 I finally found out yesterday that I am NOT GOING DEAF, so I’m FINALLY feeling like myself for the first fucking time in a long time, and my writing’s bound to improve. I think I’ll stick with fewer postings still, but hopefully of a higher quality than they had been for a bit.

    I don’t think height really matters much, but it can bring some issues for some guys, for sure. Being 5’6, which isn’t that tall, I encountered a lot of guys who wouldn’t date me ‘cos they wanted at least 2 inches on a girl. Whatever. Not MY problem!

    Pi — Yeah, we all have a bit in common, but the more common ground, I find, the more strengths you can gain. It’s not just about movies and shit like that, though, which I’ve written about recently, in my American Psycho posting, but it’s more than that. Commonality of values, beliefs, hopes, dispositions, etc. I think some people are just so happy to finally be in a relationship that they might lower the standards and ignore the gaps between them and their partners, in which case that’ll always fail. But there’s no accounting for attraction sometimes. This couple in the photo may truly be in love. He certainly seems to dig her. Whatever. Good for them.

    Pervy — yeah, I don’t want a cookie-cutter guy. I want a guy who has some differences from me, can challenge me, and hopefully I can do the same. I think I have that, that we both have that, in my present relationship, and having that as groundwork has helped us endure some hard times in the short time we’ve been together. Everyone needs foundations, and commonality provides that, but so too do the complementary differences we all nurture.

    I hate that Jerry Maguire quote. 🙂

    I’d rather complement someone than complete them. I never want to be needed that much. I don’t think. I dunno. Hard question. Ponder ponder. (And I don’t have the time to tackle your last comment, but I think it was awesome, not non-sensical. I’ll tackle that tonight, after my job interview. 🙂

  5. Anonymous

    Interesting question. I think the things important to the couple in question have to be the same. Me, I don’t care if I’m the hot one or the ugly one, so long as we’re attractive to each other. I do care whether we have a general agreement about spirituality and morality, for example, even if we disagree on the particulars.

    I’ve been broken up with because I was “too gay.” It’s true, people can spot me. I’m an obvious lesbian, and I don’t care to take the steps to hide it unless my life is on the line. I like to be obvious– it makes me be a better, more honest person. This, however, is not a difference of attractiveness– it’s a deal-breaking difference of personal integrity. Note that while we were not on the same page of physical attractiveness (ex was cuter than me, conventionally speaking), we each thought the other plenty hot.

    I think the main reason people end up with physical similarities or type-similarities is because of where they meet each other. Punk-types do punk-type-things, where they meet other punk-types, for example. Hippies don’t go to, I don’t know, petroleum conventions, and thus will not met petroleum corporate types. Having something in common helps, and while I might have a lot in common with someone completely the opposite of me, I am unlikely to meet that person at all, or talk to them long enough to figure out how well we’d go together.

  6. Haaaaaaa

    Hey, where did you get pictures of my brother’s wedding? Seriously, I could send you a picture just like that one.

    I think opposites attract on a personality level, but only to a degree. You can’t spend the whole arguing. If your high strung, you may want someone who is calm to balance you off. If you’re shy, you may want someone who is outgoing to balance you out.

    From what I see, compatibility is important on an intelligence and physical level.

    All for now, gotta catch a plane.



  7. Anonymous

    Wasn’t there a study recently that basicly said that people feel most comfortable in relationships with people of similar intelligence?

  8. Anonymous

    Nothing is absolute, neither is attractions. Most people have a certain standards when it comes to finding a partner, and once in a while, a person who is totally out of your expectation attracts you in an explanable reason! This person could be completely opposite than you both physically and mentally, and yet you are attracted to him/her. So it shouldn’t matter if opposite or similarity attracts you, its the connections between two people. Attractions between two people are as much of a mystery as whether god exixts or not. Its all in what you believe.

  9. Esther

    Complete opposites can be fun, but in the long term exhausting and frustrating for both parties. Being able to communicate about these differences is important. Sometimes a case of “we agree to disagree”. As to appearance. It’s just skin deep. Couples that look like those in the picture (and I’ve seen my fair share of them) most likely have a lot of other things in common.

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