Successful couples share 3 key values—forget ‘opposites attract,’ says dating expert

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Old adages are often rooted in timeless wisdom: where there’s smoke there’s fire, two wrongs don’t make a right. 

But some truisms need to be put to rest, says Rachel DeAlto, chief dating expert at Match.com. When it comes to dating, if you want to find a long-term partner it might help to abandon the thought that “opposites attract.” 

“Everyone thinks opposite attract, but the reality is similarities are what you can build a foundation on,” she says. 

Three values in particular, she says, can determine whether a relationship is viable long-term.

Finances, family and lifestyle

Many people conflate personality and values. Two people who have totally different personalities can be a good fit for one another. However, their values and goals must align. 

Successful couples usually have the following values in common, DeAlto says: 

  • Finances: They agree on how they want to spend their money
  • Family: There is a shared vision for how they plan to create a family or care for their own family
  • Lifestyle: They enjoy putting time into the same activities, like travel or exercising 

Aligning on these matter more than personality traits, she says. 

“You can have someone who is extroverted and funny be with someone who is more introverted and quiet because, I guarantee, at the end of the day, they are pretty similar with how they think of family and how they handle money and how they spend their time,” DeAlto says. 

Before you get more serious with someone, have a straightforward conversation about values and future plans.

This can help you deduce whether you two will be compatible in the long-term.

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