Tommy Time

February 28, 2020

Welcome to the first Tommy Time: an anonymous Q&A column where I will answer all of your questions to the best of my ability, possibly with some humor here and there! Considering this is the first one, I want to make it special and take the time to answer this question seriously. After all, if I am going to be a philosophy major, I may as well be serious about it while I do not need to worry about finding a job and providing for a family!

For relationships, do opposites attract or are people who are similar to each other better suited for each other…?

I am of the opinion that we often come to think of false rules that we then apply to our lives. We create certain social paradigms that somehow become the established norm of how we live and make decisions. Such as the idea of having to wait before finding someone else after a breakup or, as this question asks, finding someone who is opposite to us. After all, “opposites attract,” don’t they? Well, I hate being this person but I find it can go both ways. What I find ridiculous, however, is the notion that this is how dating “should be.” Dating is not bound by social conventions or phrases and people who argue that it is have never felt a connection to someone they truly care about. Unfortunately, people in this world seem not to care about themselves or others deeply, but instead of their perception and how others see them. We make decisions to make us seem cool or more popular or more likeable but in reality, we know we are not making ourselves happy.

​We are confronted with two options every single second of our lives. Do we choose to live out of fear or out of love? I think most people choose to live out of fear and mask it as making choices out of “practicality.” To that I call B.S. Making decisions out of fear is letting others control us. It forces us to worry about how others see us and bases our worth on external perceptions of ourselves. These kinds of decisions and attitudes toward life corral us into the paradigm of social rules and conventions. It guides us into thinking, “oh, he or she is too similar to me to be anything more than a friend.” Because that person is not wild and crazy enough or not different enough from me it will not be a good relationship or one worth pursuing. That person that is similar to me can only be a friend. This wave of thinking comes from choosing to live life out of fear, of choosing to live life with our eyes closed and letting others guide us down a hall of mirrors where they all seem to distort us and make us seem unattractive.

That is why we must choose love when it comes to living our lives. We must choose to look ourselves in the mirror in the morning and say, I will make decisions that make me happy. Sure, others may see it as weird but as long as I follow my heart, I know I am making the right decision. When we search for a partner, we must follow our hearts. It does not matter if there “has not been enough time between relationships” or “they are too similar,” what matters is if it feels right. When you follow your heart, it will take you to places you never thought possible. Maybe it will lead you to someone who is the complete opposite of you or maybe it will lead you to someone so similar that in public strangers think you are twins. Whoever it leads you to will open your eyes and teach you things about yourself you could never see in the mirror. Whether this person is drastically different or strikingly similar, if you choose to live your life out of love your life will change for the better.

​No sooner after you make that first choice will the hall of mirrors others were guiding you down blow away and you’ll be left in a museum of beautiful self-portraits. The growth, value, meaning, love and prosperity of a relationship is not bound by the idea that “opposites attract.” A relationship with all those qualities comes from two people living their lives out of love and not fear. If your partner is as different to you as an apple is to an orange or as similar to you as can be, what defines a good relationship is how you got there. So, when you are looking across Sherm at a cute boy or girl, do not analyze how your heart feels and choose to live out of fear, fear of rejection or others’ opinions, but rather, listen to your heart. Hear what it has to tell you, and make the decision that makes you happy; choose love, because that is where healthy relationships are.

Do you want your question answered? Submit one here or find it on The Brandeis Hoot’s Facebook page. All questions are anonymous. 

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