This lesson is about attraction. When it comes to love, they say opposites attract. But is this really true? Might similarities be better predictors of a successful romantic relationship?
To answer this, we look at the story of a loving couple Ryan and Jasmine. At first glance, they seem very different, but actually Ryan and Jasmine are well aware of a big similarity they share.
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Ryan Said fell in love at first sight with a beautiful woman named Jasmine Merino. But this was not your run of the mill love story. Ryan was born a female and Jasmine was born a male.
Said and Merino met on Instagram, and their connection was instant. When they first met, he couldn’t keep his eyes off of her! While both were transgender, their experiences had been polar opposites. One transitioned to life as a woman, and the other transitioned as a man. Despite this difference, there was one big similarity. They each understood the difficulties that the other had been through. And when the going got tough, they were able to support each other. In fact, Merino says their relationship is perfect because they both know what it’s like to be male and female. It helps them to understand each other.
We’ve all heard that opposites attract. But the truth isn’t quite so cut and dry. Studies show that people are more likely to be attracted to those with similar features, at least initially. People seek partners with similar education levels, religious ideals, and political orientations.
But do these similarities actually make for happier relationships? Researchers Nathan Hudson and Chris Fraley found something interesting. The deciding factor isn’t actually whether the people are similar. What matters is whether they see themselves as similar. Those who thought their partners were similar tended to have more satisfying relationships. Perhaps that’s why Said and Merino work well together. At first glance, they may seem very different. But they see their similarities.
Hudson and Fraley also found that a person’s attachment style can be a key factor. And that makes sense. We develop our attachment styles at a very young age, and they affect all of our future relationships. They found that people who avoid intimacy are more satisfied with partners who are somewhat similar. It helps them continue their avoidance. People who anxiously attach to others, however, either want a partner who is the exact opposite or one who will attach right back.
So it’s a mixed bag. Differences between partners can create a “tension of opposites” which can stimulate relationships. But similarities can bring people together and keep them together.
For Said and Merino, their differences (and similarities) seem to be working out. At the time of their interview a few years back, they had been together for two years. They hoped to marry soon and have children using his eggs and her sperm.