General Question

essieness's avatar

Are you attracted to people who are like you or unlike you?

Asked by essieness (7693points) February 28th, 2009

I’m not just talking about intimate relationships.

Do birds of a feather flock together or do opposites attract?

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50 Answers

Sakata's avatar

Yes… and no

shockvalue's avatar

I find myself attracted to people I aspire to be like…

laureth's avatar

This is one of those things where I can’t choose between the two poles; instead, I end up somewhere on the continuum in the middle. There must be something similar on which to base the friendship or relationship, or else we probably will never connect. On the other hand, too similar is boring, and differences add a dynamic kind of spice to keep things interesting.

So. None of the above?

z28proximo's avatar

The reasons people are attracted to other people the same as them are obvious, so I’ll talk about opposites.

We’re attracted to people that aren’t like us because they are interesting and different from us. It’s to learn something or because we haven’t experienced anything like it before. Its a significant other that is different from what we’re used to or just some friends that aren’t like the rest we have. It’s natural and it’s a good way to learn more about ourselves by exploring new things.

Like a nerdy person hanging out with a jock. They’ll both learn things and perhaps see things that they never did before they met.But this is just talking about interests.

If we talk about personalities being opposite, things can go bad real fast. Or two people can fit together really well. One person makes quick decisions, another is a long thinker. The long thinker is helped with quicker decisions and the quick thinker is helped by not making bad quick decisions. Or they can just end up arguing all the time and hate each other lol.

bigbanana's avatar

Most of the people I am friends with have something in common with me. For example, we love art, or love to analyze things to pieces or share the same sense of humor (this one is key). There is so much flex in friendships, however in intimate relationships, I think these components need to be there to some degree, but to keep intimacy alive, healthy and fun, I think there needs to be a spark, a challenge, something mysterious you just cant quite name, but you know you want it.

Jude's avatar

Like in some sense (intelligence, sense of humour) and, unlike, in that I like women that are little more edgy (appearance wise) and creative (love musicians/artists). I have a more classic look myself and the women (whom are a little more edgy) seem to be drawn to that.

Friends? Same as relationships pretty much.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

My best friend has a lifestyle similiar to my own (married with kids) and we share a lot of the same interests. It makes it easier to do things together and the conversation flows well.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I’m attracted to people like me, but with contextual differences. It makes it easier to have an unspoken, agreed upon, point of reference in relationships.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

Oops, I misread the question not intimate relationships rather not just.

My husband and I do not enjoy any of the same television shows or movies. We have different opinions in many areas.

cak's avatar

My husband and I are alike on a lot of things and very, very different on others. I think it’s a good mix of the two.

It seems like I went through the phase where I like the complete opposite of me, those failed, miserably.

zephyr826's avatar

On the surface, my women friends are almost exactly like me – outgoing, over-committed, a wee bit nuts. My husband and my male friends are (for the most part) very unlike me. They tend to be more reserved, with actual free time and the ability to say “no”; I embarrass them in public somewhat frequently. I wonder what it says about me.
Also, for what it’s worth, people used to tell my husband and me when we were dating that we could have been siblings, but I think it was because we looked somewhat alike, not because we were alike.

ubersiren's avatar

@laureth : Good answer—- what laureth said.

vane2396's avatar

I got to think about this for a while I’ll get back to u on this one..

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ve been in relationships where I was attracted to both sides of the equation, people like me and unlike me. I’ve had better results in being with people that have things in common with me as opposed to those who didn’t. As has already been mentioned above, I can see how one might be interested in someone who has different tastes because of the interest and intrigue involved.

I think each of us just has to find that delicate balance we enjoy most through experimentation and experience. Half the fun is trying new things and meeting new people and hopefully, the efforts will be educational and satisfying in the long run.

wundayatta's avatar

I couldn’t begin to answer this question. How can you say two people are more alike or more different? There are probably hundreds of thousands of different attributes people have. Everyone will be quite different in most ways, and maybe, in a few ways, similar.

What does the answer to this question tell you? What does it tell anyone? It’s just blather for blather’s sake. If you want to know about what people are like, then ask about what your wife, or husband or son or daughter or teacher or whoever is like. Have people describe them. You’ll get more information that way.

cyndyh's avatar

I’m attracted to people with similar values, but their background, experience, expertise, etc. can be very alike or very different than mine.

Grisson's avatar

I like people who are different from me. I find people like myself to be very tedious.

mjchatter's avatar

I have to say – and I’ve thought a lot about this in the past year or so – I have NO clue what attraction is for me. “Chemistry”? I started online dating about 3 years ago and, truly, I never know who will “do it” for me – both as just friends and as friends-with-benefits. (smile) Have a Connection helps but I’ve met people who I had a ton of things in common with and… Nothing… No Chemistry. Truly – no Clue!

gooch's avatar

Totally opposites for me.

Imastarwars's avatar

Yes and no for Alot of reasons

LouisianaGirl's avatar

i dont really know but they say opposites attract so…...

IBERnineD's avatar

Oddly enough my friends and I approach situations differently but share the same humor. As for my boyfriend and I we are VERY different but in the end it balances us out.

augustlan's avatar

Many people in my life are very different from me on the surface, but underneath – where it really matters – we share very similar mind-sets. As an example, both my ex and my husband are registered Republicans, while I am a strong Democrat. However, on the actual issues we are all pretty much in agreement. I think that may mean that they are ‘closet’ Dems ; -)

saranwrapper's avatar

Like me but usually the guy is more of an asshole than I am.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I’m attracted to people who are more like me. If our likes are the same, you just have a closer bond, I think. If you have someone who is more of the opposite, I see more of a potential to not get along & I’d lose interest.

Jack79's avatar


Unfortunately I tend to attract the wrong type of women though, so what I like is not an issue.

bigbanana's avatar

@Jack79 , but hey Jack isnt THAT the issue…

onesecondregrets's avatar

I’m attracted to people who need or want to be saved (mostly those who don’t realize it too).
In other words, I’m attracted to people who are just as fucked up as I am if not worse. I don’t know if the latter is possible, haven’t met ‘em yet.

wundayatta's avatar

@onesecondregrets—oooh. That’s a big one. Hard to get out of, too. Do you ever take care of yourself?

adreamofautumn's avatar

I tend to be attracted to my polar opposite. I wonder if this means I don’t like or trust myself very much or if it’s just a weird preference thing? Hmm…i’ll try not to read too much into it!

onesecondregrets's avatar

@daloon…it is isn’t it? and I think the answer to that is no, and that’s how I got to the place I’m at now. I’ve never felt more alone in my life, haha. But NOW I’m working on taking care of myself, so no biggy.

augustlan's avatar

{Hugs} to you, OSR.

onesecondregrets's avatar

I need a million of those, thank you very, very much augustlan :).

augustlan's avatar

Any time, girlie. PM me if you need a shoulder, ok?

LouisianaGirl's avatar

@onesecondregrets I`ll give you hugs too if you need them!

wundayatta's avatar

@onesecondregrets: I wish I had some advice, but I’ve never really thought about this issue. Is counseling a possibility, or are you already there?

Oh wait. It’s a self-esteem issue. I know about that. One way to attack it is to start to identify the negative thoughts you have about yourself, and put some mental distance between you and those thoughts. That can help with the lack of self-esteem.

On the other side—taking care of yourself—it seems to me you’d need a program of baby steps. Things to practice. Slowly you get better at it, until after a while, you are pretty good at following through on things that are good for you.

So I lied. I had some advice after all. These are just brainstorming ideas, of course, I have no idea how well they might work.

Hinata_88's avatar

Im attracted to people that like me! ^_^

cyndyh's avatar

@onesecondregrets : I feel for you. One of my best buddies spent years like that. Learning how to take care of yourself takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s really worth it. Best of luck to you.

onesecondregrets's avatar

I don’t know how this thread kind of became focused on how pathetic I am, haha but I am sorry for it guys. :(.

@augustlan…you’re an amazing person for being there for a stranger but I’m awfully terrible at outwardly reaching out for help. I appreciate it more than ever though, I can say that much. Thank you.
@LouisianaGirl ..thank you so much darling. :).
@daloon…yeah, no counseling. I’ve been thinking about it though. That maybe therapy and a few happy pills wouldn’t hurt. I mean, I’ve always had these bouts of being in the shitter but I’ve always gotten out of them on my own. This one, I think I took too many blows from life in a short period of time that it’s too hard to bounce back on my own, and I’m struggling too much with myself to make it actually happen plus my circumstances aren’t agreeing with me. It happens though.

Took me until recently that I was back to being dissatisfied with myself. I just went through the first time in my life where I was actually okay with who I was, go figure right? I know I have problems with myself, to identify those negative things.. I just don’t have the motivation to do it. Been there too many times.

I just don’t even know these days. Thanks for that inkling of advice though. I really do appreciate that you’d even take the time to put them out there for me. So thank you, genuinely- thank you.
@cyndyh…You couldn’t be more right. It does take a lot of time and effort and pshh who has either of those?! :P. Thank you though. :).

augustlan's avatar

@onesecondregrets Just want you to know that I’ve been where you are. Getting therapy was the best decision I’ve ever made. Give it a try – make sure you find someone you are comfortable with – and I think you might be amazed by the outcome!

wundayatta's avatar

This is a rhetorical question, but it still annoys me. Why is it that people feel they have to handle depression on their own? I know the answer. I used to be one of those people. I used to not understand.

I don’t know if meds are indicated or not. However, if you think this is beyond your ability to cope, then, for sure, get a shrink to evaluate you, and also, get some therapy. Meds have really helped me.

Another thing. I wish people didn’t joke about them as happy pills, because that spreads the wrong impression. They can’t make us happy. All they can do is make us not sad. Happy, we do on our own. That’s what therapy helps with.

And, as long as I’m bitching… I wish people weren’t so taken aback at gallows humor. At least amongst depressed people, and especially those thinking about suicide, I’ve found that, counterintuitively, it really helps. My life was saved by a friend who was discussing with me all the ways we could kill ourselves. At first, it was kind of serious, but it soon became clear how pathetic we were, and the next thing I knew, we were laughing uncontrollably. There is something about confronting ridiculous ideas head on that makes them lose their power.

Sorry. Off topic, I know. But when it surfaces, it surfaces. If you don’t scoop it up in your net, right away, it’ll go away, never to be seen again.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@shockvalue: You aspire to be like me, hmm? I knew you wanted to be me from that facebook picture! :P

I find myself being friends with people like me in the sense that we have common interests, but being romantically interested in guys that have some common interests, but also have something completely new to teach me. For example, I’m one of those english-history-language-art type people, but my ex was a math-science type guy. We had other things in common, but we would appear to come off as total opposites. It was great because we had different perspectives and found a good balance. Physically, I’m attracted to guys who don’t look like me for the most part.

ronski's avatar

I completely like guys that are like me. Since music and art is a big part of me, I have to date someone who has a strong appreciation for both. This doesn’t mean that he has to be an artist, or even a musician (even though I only date musicians apparently), it just means he has to understand them.
Do I want a guy who is just like me in every way? No. Just someone who is into the same stuff and understands me. I personally like the guy to hit on me first, so I’m sure that says something about our differences as well.
Sometimes opposites attract, but I’ve never seen it work out…even in a friendly way.

amandala's avatar

Romantically, I like guys that have a lot in common with me. I don’t want to date a carbon-copy of myself, but I need something to connect with. I play piano, paint, and write, and I look for guys that are involved with music and art. One of my ex’s played drums, so he would try to teach me how to play. I love that kind of thing.

With my friends, I look for different kinds of personalities. I don’t want to hang out with someone that’s just like me. I grew up with a girl that literally did everything I did, wore everything I wore…it was awful. I like my independence and my quirkiness, and I don’t know if I’d be able to build a strong friendship with someone that doesn’t have that kind of confidence in themselves.

SeventhSense's avatar

Lots of fun from following your posts^^ and don’t take this wrong but a few laughs as well
I am attracted to people who are human first and foremost. And people who have generally experienced some real suffering I can be very close with. It doesn’t have to be profound or anything but just the fact that they didn’t hold themselves back from ALL of life or think that they were exempt. People that I like understand their fallibility but can still laugh at themselves because life is ridiculous and God has a great sense of humor. I like people who can be approached and can look me square in the eye. I am attracted to people who are not afraid to be touched and who are as comfortable with a hug as a handshake.
Like most people I am far too consumed at times with people who “care not whether I live or I die” as Morissey once said.
But as I grow in self esteem and age, I find less need to gain anyone’s approval. And I like people who challenge me but without agenda or malice. As for women, I seem to get madly attracted to women who have been all wrong for me at times, but I’ve learned. And as far as the opposites attracting, well they might be a complement to us and a missing component in our own awareness.
On a lighter note, I am a Libra and I am very often attracted to Aires. Now they are opposite on the Zodiac. Mars and Venus-Love and War. So who knows. Maybe it’s like the two polarities on a magnet + -. Some good friction but also real energy.

mary84's avatar

I attract and is attracted to people who share the same life philosophy as me; they want the same things from life as me basically, and share my ability to take life with a pinch of salt and usually they share my sense of humour also. So yes I would say I attract people who are more like me.

twilightlover's avatar

My bestfriend and i are polar opposites, but thats what i love about her. Its good to meet someone with different interests than yours, It never gets boring.

Coloma's avatar

I think diversity in friendships is a good thing, as long as there is some common grounds, interests. Intimate relationships, I have discovered work best with similar personality and temprament syles. I am a good balance of outgoing and social as well as somewhat to myself. I need a similar balance in relationship. I don’t do well with the introvert type man at all, I am bored and frustrated and they tend to feel too much pressure to be ‘on’ and can feel overwhelmed at times.

It is hard to find good balance and common ground in any relationships/friendships.

Right now I am re-evalutaing several friendships where I have come to realize that we have/are all in different places at this time and the commonalities are getting more and more diluted for personal, spiritual and psychological reasons.

I think that opposites attracting is usually a less compatable situation for longterm relationships of all kinds.

MissA's avatar

In my early twenties, I dated a wonderful man who had his shirts custom made by a small, exquisite tailoring firm. He also wore a certain brand of suits. I married a different man in my thirties who, no joke here…wore the same brand of shirts AND the same brand of suits. What does that say about me???

These were incidentals…that I didn’t know at first. However, let me say that these men couldn’t be further apart in philosophy or anything else. I’m still not sure who the right one should have been…but, I probably should have remained single.

As for your actual question, as a rule, both. I am intrigued by differences and feel the core comradery of the same.

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