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Poll results: Which rule holds more true?

Voters
27. You may not vote on this poll
  • Birds of a feather flock together

    5 18.52%
  • Opposites attract

    9 33.33%
  • Birds of a feather, but will qualify below

    6 22.22%
  • Opposites attract, but will qualify below

    0 0%
  • Neither/both

    7 25.93%
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Thread: Birds of a Feather/Opposites Attract

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Birds of a Feather/Opposites Attract

    SW MI Planners recent remarks in the dating thread brings the age-old question to the forefront once again. Do birds of a feather flock together or do opposites attract? Do you find relationships with people that are similar to you more satisfying and if so in what ways do prefer that similarity? Or does the reverse hold true? I have a suspicion the answers may differ depending whether one is talking about dates or mates, but I'll refrain from saying more at this point and open the floor to discussion.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    I don't know.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    for me - some things my husband and I are polar opposite about and other thigns we are the same - we have been married over 21 years now and like most folks, we have had good years/months/weeks/days/hours and bad...

    I think the things that are the same should be things you value the most in your life - like we practice the same religion, that was important to me but it's not to many other couples - we have similar attitudes about child raising which really helps - we are similar but not the complete same on political beliefs (again for many couples, being opposite here is no big deal but for me, it was important) - imo, the taboo discussion in polite conversation should be similar in a couple - who wants to make polite conversation with their spouse the rest of their life?

    I think the things that are opposite should either be things you could care less about like certain homelife processes, my husband has certain ways he likes to do things with the cars, the heat, etc, since it's not big deal to me, it's not big deal

    or, opposites are good if they complement each other - for instance, the day to day life trials and tribulations I can mow over and through fine but they send him over a cliff of self-destruction but if a real crisis occurs, I often freeze up in the proverbial fetal position, and he steps in and handles everything with ease and care - so that works for us

  4. #4
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    for me - some things my husband and I are polar opposite about and other thigns we are the same - we have been married over 21 years now and like most folks, we have had good years/months/weeks/days/hours and bad...

    I think the things that are the same should be things you value the most in your life - like we practice the same religion, that was important to me but it's not to many other couples - we have similar attitudes about child raising which really helps - we are similar but not the complete same on political beliefs (again for many couples, being opposite here is no big deal but for me, it was important) - imo, the taboo discussion in polite conversation should be similar in a couple - who wants to make polite conversation with their spouse the rest of their life?

    I think the things that are opposite should either be things you could care less about like certain homelife processes, my husband has certain ways he likes to do things with the cars, the heat, etc, since it's not big deal to me, it's not big deal

    or, opposites are good if they complement each other - for instance, the day to day life trials and tribulations I can mow over and through fine but they send him over a cliff of self-destruction but if a real crisis occurs, I often freeze up in the proverbial fetal position, and he steps in and handles everything with ease and care - so that works for us

    I think LP is spot on in her answer. My marriage is very similar, although we have a little ways to go before we get to 21 years (6 years and counting )

  5. #5
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Whoah hoah, I inspired a thread?! It really is a good day

    I completely agree with [LP]. I think that the underlying beliefs and morals have to be the same in order for a relationship to work (work ethics, honesty, religion, children, etc.). Can it work if the personalities are different - yes, but only if each person recognizes that they are different are able to compromise a bit. For example, I need to chill the hell out and my hot boyfriend (as I call him) needs to recognize I am anal and not get irritated if I try to plan something for a month away. That being used only as an example of course.

    Me and my ex were a lot alike (personality wise, apparently not in the morals department). Had he not been an asshat, it could have worked out.

    I think thats why relationships of any kind are important for self growth. No one is perfect and everyone can/should grow and adapt.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    I'm a middle (easygoing, capable) and the universe has sent me more than a couple first-born (high-strung, short-tempered, DO THIS RIGHT NOW) type As. Thanks but no thanks. If I wanted to live like that, I would still reside in the same households as my father the doctor, or my sis the doctor.

    Also, my preferred pasttimes need to be considered in the "what do we do this weekend" discussions. Watching someone hit golf balls at a driving range, or do anything else for that matter, is not on my own top ten list.

    This might be a good place to state that I am not fond of unilateral decision-making. (Whaddya mean, you decided that our r'ship is over? When did you plan to let me know?) Surprises can be good, but not when the strong silent card gets played.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    LP summed it up pretty well for significant other relationships and casual friends. However, for "best" platonic friends, I've always had friends that are completely birds of a feather, for the most part.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    LP has very obviously thought this one out and I’d have to agree with much of what she says.

    There was a thread a while back where we found that quite a few of us had used or would be willing to make use of a computer dating service. I think it’s instructive to look at how those services are set up and their underlying assumptions with respect to the whole birds of feather/opposites attract premises. Typically there’s a questionnaire that asks: GENDER, AGE, RACE, RELIGION, MARITAL STATUS, LOCATION. Some services might include questions about income, musical or political preferences. Virtually all include a section that attempts to elicit information about one’s hobbies and interests and what they are looking for in a mate/date. Traditionally many dating services used to operate on the ‘birds of a feather’ model and used to try to match up people with the highest degree of similarities possible. However, the world has become wiser and more sophisticated and many services now allow one to input their own search parameters, thereby making customers the masters of their own fate and run on the assumption that people’s knowledge of their own desires will lead to personal happiness. We all know what we want, right? And if we get whatever we want we’ll be happy, right? Okay, so maybe not, but at least from a business standpoint you’re giving the customer what they ask for and that's usually a good idea!

    Are relationships where two people have similar hobbies really any better founded? I suppose if two people are avid golfers they could spend lots of time together doing something they both enjoy, but does this take into account, for instance, the fact that some people might require a little less togetherness? It’s extremely difficult to convey this sort of nuanced information with a questionnaire and in fact many (if not most) couples learn this sort of thing the hard way.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I think lp pretty much hit the nail on the head with her post. Having been with a variety of different "types" of people and looking back upon things, the most positive relationships were the ones where we had similar core values and approaches to life, even if how they were carried out differed. OTOH I don't want to date a male version of myself because one of me is already enough in a relationship
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Both Attract/Both Repel

    I'm also pretty much on point with lp here. Mrs. O and I have been married 26 years pretty successfully and I had a previous 12 year stint that ended badly. In both cases, there were attractive similarities and differences that came into play. My short form analysis is that you need similar core values for stability but complementary differences in the rest of your personalities for balance and perspective. You want to agree on the basics but without any differences, you'll either get bored or extremely angry eventually.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  11. #11
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Mrs. Hink has the same morals, religion, and roughly the same political ideology. We enjoy many of the same activities and believe in the ways to raise children.

    That is really where we are alike. But we do completely different things in life. I am a planner and she is an Emergency Medicine Doctor. I hate science. I have always hated biology more. I don't mind blood, but I would never want to cut open people. She finds what I do boring. This is something that I find attractive about her.

    Although I think birds of a feather flock together, I think they probably have boring dinner conversations. I am glad our core values are matched, and even more glad that we have careers that are so different and strange to one another.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I agree with LP. Especially since I stopped drinking, my SO still goes out for happy hour after work. I don't complain, but it is what it is. On the same token, now that I work from home, he doesn't expect housework to be done during the day. In the end, it is all about compromise.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    wow, it's nice to be agreed with







    oh, did I mention what a complete @$$#*%# he is?




    just kidding, really, sort of, I mean, yeah, I'm just kidding, uh, um, yeah...


    - talk to me another day and I might be ranting - which is of course another key to trying to keep a marriage (fighting with each other and complaining about each other - let it out) but that's another thread

  14. #14
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    my short and limited dating experience- including my current relationship (nearly 8 months- i think its a record for me) has taught me a few things- that even if you think that your alike someone- sometimes its not always a good thing.

    The BF and i are pretty opposite- im an anal planner, organiser, bossy boots and he is the opposite, but we have similar morals and ways of thinking. We both understand and acknowledge our differences and accept each other for how we are

    i couldnt handle dating someone as anal and bossy as me

    But i always wondered if this whole birds of a feather thing relates to socio-economics predominantly rather than just personality.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    RJ and I are a lot alike except for him playing golf and his wine obsession thingy. But then I have my southern obsession thingy and reading a whole lot. I guess it averages out. We just have wildly diverging criteria for "best friend".

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Katie & The Bear

    Katie and this Bear have been married for almost 15 years and we have been living together for almost 17 years.

    We both like to spend a night or two each week "on the town".....with that cute little phrase usually referencing a local bar. Neither of us smoke. Her musical tastes are very different than mine. (I tend to be "open" to many types of music, she tends to only gravitate to a few types.)

    She doesn't understand or care about my city planning fixation and I don't understand or care about her decorating "phases". This years phase would be those home-spun little signs that say things such as "Live well, laugh often, love much", usually adorned with a line of hearts. (When I named a De Noc suburb after her, though, she thought it was "cool".)

    Katie likes to shop. I would just as soon lop-off one of the "boys" than shop.

    Politically, I am much more libertarianish and she hangs to the liberal side. We really don't have a lot of close friends.....more along the lines of "casual friends". Neither one of us ever had a problem with the other's choice of casual friends. Katie tends to be more family-oriented regarding her brothers and sister. Me, not so much.

    Final answer: Probably more opposite.....slightly.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  17. #17
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    ZG and me

    We are similar, we are different. I don't know what the answer is; the attraction is there, physically and emotionally, and the relationship just works well. It's all good.


    BTW, my wine habit is not an obsession. It's my hobby.
    Last edited by Richmond Jake; 25 Oct 2008 at 8:14 AM. Reason: hobby

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