I was contemplating this (again) as I plot out my second novel in the Fantasy Ranch series – why do opposites attract? In my own life, I don’t like interpersonal conflict. Some people seem to thrive on it, but I prefer an even keel whenever possible. While my husband and I have our differences, we generally get along well and share the same basic philosophy on a myriad of topics. My characters thus far seem to follow the same path. They have their differences (sometimes big ones), but they aren’t normally truly opposites in personality.
Enter my characters for The Minister’s Maid (which you can read more about in my NaNo-themed interview over at Musings from the Slush Pile today). Betsy is…well, she’s the salt of the earth. And crass. And she’s got issues with authority, not to mention having the hots for her exact opposite, an honest-to-God minister named Pete (or Ian…I’m really thinking his name’s going to change – Ian is better than Pete, sorry TBW readers). But I digress (the dangers of being on vacation).
Anyway – Pete/Ian is everything Betsy is not. He’s straight-laced and proper, always has been and is not all that happy that someone like her has set sights on him. Because you know, good boys aren’t supposed to like bad girls…although he may well not be as good as he seems. It is a novel, right? (Or will be.)
Naturally, since it’s a romance novel, there has to be some reason they get together – a good, believable one. Which means they have to find some kind of common ground strong enough to overcome all the uncommon ground between them. And that got me to wondering (see how my brain works? Tiring, isn’t it?) when opposites attract in “real life”, how do they make a long-term relationship work?
If you’ve made it this far (I’d apologize for the abundant parenthetical remarks, but I’m on vacation, remember?), and you are or have ever been in an “opposites attract” sort of relationship, wanna share some of your secrets? If you’re merely attracted to people with opposite personalities from yours, why? And if you’re more like me and prefer to agree more than you don’t…what do you think would be a plausible explanation for two opposites to hook up (and stay hooked up)?