Picking up where we left off last week, a third principle of relationships is that the more similar the two participants in the relationship, the better the relationship is going to be.
Some people like to claim that “opposites attract.” However, I had a psychology teacher in university who put it best – “opposites attract divorce.” This is because, though opposites may attract, that doesn’t mean that opposites make for a good relationship.
Additionally, what people are usually referring to when they say that “opposites attract” are things that are not essential to the participants involved. After all, if you want to test the “opposites attract” theory, simply take it to its logical extreme and see if it holds true – no one in his right mind would claim that Adolph Hitler and Mother Theresa would make a good couple.
The truth is that the only instances in which opposites are complimentary and work toward the relationship’s advantage are when those opposites are found within a more all-encompassing foundational similarity. For example, who each of the participants is as a person, what their goals are, what their priorities are, what their lives are going to be about, what their life-mission statements are, and so on, are all essential foundational defining principles in one’s life. And, therefore, the more similar the two participants are in such fundamental life matters, the better the relationship will be.
Now, once such a set of common values, goals, and priorities has been established, opposites in other less foundational areas of life can be complimentary toward living out those values, goals, and priorities.
This means that Miss Greenpeace International (we’re not talking here about someone who just likes to recycle; we’re talking about someone who is making it her life’s mission to ecologically “fix” the planet) will have an extremely difficult time in a relationship with someone who rolls out of bed every morning, walks over to his local corner store, picks up a package of Styrofoam cups, goes into his car, turns on the air conditioner, ignites his lighter, and holds the cups over the flame of the lighter one-by-one because he thinks it’s cool to watch the cups slowly melt away.
While this might be a challenging guy to date for any girl, for Miss Greenpeace International this relationship will be a non-starter; it will be over before it begins because, for her, “green living” isn’t just something she does; it’s who she is. It isn’t something she merely likes to do or does on a whim; it is what she lives and breathes. It is what she is about; it defines her.
Therefore, for her, this guy’s mode of entertainment and general lifestyle is antithetical to her entire presence. The more that this guy is opposite her at the core of what she is about, the more there is a breakdown in the relationship. In this context, the more opposite the two participants in the relationship, the worse-off the relationship is going to be, and the more similar the two participants in the relationship, the better the relationship is going to be.
To sum up this point, once, in an attempt to prove the theory of “Opposites Attract,” someone attending one of my lectures brought up the argument that a positive magnet and a negative magnet are opposites yet do, indeed, attract. However, what this individual failed to take note of was the fact that both the positive magnet and the negative magnets are both magnets! It is only upon that foundational similarity that their opposite forces can attract in a complimentary way.
What Is God “About”?
In order to apply the principle that similarity breeds relationship to our relationship with God, we are going to want to figure out what God is “about” in terms of how God expresses Himself to us. Figuring that out will steer us in the right direction and equip us with the knowledge necessary in order to align ourselves with and make ourselves similar to God by way of our expressing that same trait.
Stay tuned for next week’s article when we do just that…
Rabbi Eliyahu Yaakov is a sought after cutting edge international speaker on Kabbalah, relationships, parenting, and life. His recently released #1 Amazon’s Best Seller, Jewish By Choice: A Kabbalistic Take on Life & Judaism, has won wide acclaim as one of the clearest, most comprehensive, easily accessible, and practical depictions of Kabbalah and the “whys” of Judaism.