Whenever I need to feel like a kid again, I can just pop The Sound of Music into the DVD player and let the last twenty years melt away. I don’t think there is an actor or actress alive who is as soothing as Julie Andrews is to me.
I love Captain Von Trapp and Fraulein Maria’s love story in film because they grew to love each other (versus falling in love at first sight) – and because they loved each other despite their opposite personalities. There is no telling why I am inspired by such stories. ~wink~
Movies can teach us a lot, if we are paying attention. For that reason, we should be careful what we watch because we can “learn” something true or something false. The more inappropriate movies we watch, the easier it becomes to believe lies – especially about relationships.
This particular movie made me love music even more than I did already. It showed me the strength which can come from family love. And, it allowed me to see that two people can love and connect with each other even if they seem to have nothing in common at first. By the end of the movie, their personalities had not changed, but they had connected in some powerful ways – through music, love for their country, and love for the children.
Are you and your sweetie opposites? If so, do you still have interests and passions in common? Consider these tips for connecting with your opposite:
- Find out what matters to your sweetie, and experience it with him or her. If you are always pulling in one direction, and your sweetie is always pulling in another, you will never get anywhere. But, if you take an interest in what matters most to him or her, you will have an opportunity to connect in a powerful way.
- Make it clear that you are not trying to change him or her. If you are planning to move toward marriage with your sweetie, it should mean that you have thoroughly considered your differences and decided that you can (and will) live with them until death do you part. ~smile~ One sure fire way to wound and discourage your sweetie is to constantly try to change him or her. If you are unsatisfied with him or her, don’t go through with the marriage. Even if you try to hide your dissatisfaction, it will shine through eventually. It is not doing you or your sweetie any favors if you settle. When you have the chance, show your sweetheart that you appreciate those characteristics that make him or her different than you. When Eric tells me something he appreciates about me, it builds me up and makes me feel like he is happy to have me as his wife.
- Find traits, hobbies, and passions you have in common and capitalize on them! Eric and I are about as opposite as two people can be, but we both grew up with an interest in relationships, we love to experience new foods (even traveling to do so), and we are dog lovers. And our greatest commonality is our faith in Jesus Christ. Even though we have gone through our fair share of disagreements due to our completely different ways of looking at the world, we do have some great interests in common. If you and your sweetie are sure you want to pursue marriage, and you are determined to connect despite your differences, I would encourage you to find as much common ground as possible and draw your attention to your similarities. Don’t ignore your differences, but don’t dwell on them.
Please, please, please don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that you seek out someone who is completely opposite from you. A marriage between two opposites is extremely hard work. However, if you grow to love someone who is indeed your opposite (as I did), you can have a terrific marriage and connect if you are willing to work at it and put each other’s needs ahead of your own.
Eric and I do have opposite personalities (quite literally per the MBTI), but we don’t have opposite ideals and goals. It is those ultimate goals which keep us driving forward: a desire to help others, a determination to grow and honor God with our marriage, the hope of raising a family, and the biggest goal of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
So the goal is not to try to marry your opposite, but to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit when choosing a marriage partner. No matter who you marry, there will be opportunities for growth. God knows where we need to grow, and we often end up with a spouse that helps us in those areas. ~smile~ Eric is less rough around the edges than he was in the beginning of our marriage, and I am more willing to speak up from my initial shy self. We are still a work in progress, and we will be until the very end. ~smile~
Whether you and your future spouse are opposites in a few ways or in several, you will probably be tempted to look on your differences with disdain. Why can’t she be more easygoing like me? Why can’t he be more serious like me? Take it from me – you will be a lot happier if you learn to appreciate your differences than if you spend your married life trying to change each other. It is easier said than done; but, remember that you and I don’t have the power to change anyone. Only God can change a heart. Embrace your differences, pray for your sweetie in areas where you believe he or she needs to change, and love him or her regardless of how differently you see the world.
I can’t talk about opposites this extensively without mentioning The PAIR Test! Eric and I offer this amazing test to couples as a service (you can learn more here). This assessment shows how closely you and your sweetie rank in various categories, thus showing you areas where you will notice little tension or considerable tension should you decide to get married. It is a great tool to help you prepare for marriage, and great for helping you determine if you and your sweetie are a good match for each other. (It’s also even good if you are engaged or married to help you understand each other better!)
Opposites attract, opposites aggravate, and opposites rub against the grain while simultaneously smoothing out rough edges. Whether you marry someone who is your opposite or not, you will encounter opposites in your family, work, church, and community; so, it pays to learn to love them! ~smile~
Are you and your sweetie opposites? If so, can you live with those differences for a lifetime?