Can an Optimist and Pessimist Coexist in a Relationship?


While it might be a truth universally acknowledged that opposites attract in romantic relationships, there is something to be said for dating someone whose temperament and outlook on life are similar to yours. 

Sure, it might be good if your partner is more assertive and you’re a little less direct. It’s also good if one person in the pairing is more focused on their head knowledge and where that can get them in life, while the other follows their heart and their feelings more often than their brain. And everyone loves the moody versus sunshine troupe that appears in romantic novels more often than not. 

For the most part, no one wants to date a carbon copy of themselves who all but mirrors everything that they are. And we would never suggest that you do so. 

There’s a reason why we love diversity and we always encourage dating app users to put themselves out there and to try to connect with some people who they otherwise might not have gotten along with or had anything in common. 

Dating someone who is different from you, and sometimes, who is your complete opposite, can only do good for your soul and your own personal growth. 

But what happens when you do decide to branch out and you end up finding someone who not only completes you, as they are your polar opposite but also someone who differs from you in every single way.

While opposites do attract and we love the growth that dating someone outside of your comfort zone or different from your typical ‘type’ can bring you, is there such a thing as being too opposite from one another? Is there a line that you need to be aware of crossing? Can two people who see the world from completely different points of view actually be in love? 

We will argue yes on these points, but it’s also worth looking into further!

Can Optimists and Pessimists Create a Good Relationship? 

There are a million personality tests and ways to gauge how you and your partner see the world and whether or not those perspective-based similarities or differentiations actually affect if you pair well together. 

But what happens when the core of how someone sees the world is opposite to their partner? Enter the age-old relationship question of whether an optimist and a pessimist can be in a healthy relationship with each other. 

When one not only looks at the facts but also the typical troupes that they might be all too familiar with when it comes to our favorite romantic comedies and sweet little books, you’ll see the optimist and pessimist pairing in almost everything. 

And while this troupe is adorable and has captured so many people’s hearts on the TV and book pages, we understand that you might not want to base your entire life on a romantic pairing that is often found in popular books. 

The good news is that there are also facts that promote the optimist/pessimist pairing. 

There are a number of reasons why it’s a compatible relationship. It’s opposites attract and a balancing act at its finest. The optimist needs the pessimist to ground them and bring them into reality, while the pessimist needs an optimist to remind them that it’s okay to see beauty and joy in everything.

While the optimist and pessimist pairing might not be the easiest one to deal with and it might sometimes feel all but impossible to get along with your partner, this opposites-attract pairing is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling ones that a person could have in their lives. 

No one wants to stay stagnant in their relationships and the best kinds of relationships are where the two people grow into the best versions of themselves. And we would argue that, while it might not be a walk in the park, being in a relationship with someone who not only thinks differently than you do but who sometimes is your polar opposite might be the best way for you to grow. 

How to Be in a Healthy Relationship with Your Opposite

Now that we’ve established that the optimist and pessimist pairing can be a great thing for the two individuals in a relationship, it’s always nice to talk about how to have a healthy and balanced relationship when you and your partner think and operate completely differently. 

The sad news about this pairing is that there will be challenges and times when the two of you don’t see eye-to-eye. That’s to be expected in any relationship, but especially one that has two opposing ways of going about life. 

And while we will give a number of psychological and fact-based ways to go about being in a healthy relationship with your partner, it’s also good to remember that every relationship is different and every individual, whether they’re an optimist, pessimist, or they don’t care, will act and react to certain things in different ways.

That being said, here are some steps that you can include in your relationship to help bridge the gap that your two opposing personalities might create. 

communication is key

Communication is Key

This is the case with every single relationship, no matter how similar or different you are from each other. Always try to communicate openly and fully with your partner about anything that’s plaguing you or bugging you. 

If the two of you are able to create a safe and open space where you can share your feelings, desires, hopes, and thoughts, then your relationship will be golden. 

Because the two of you will naturally approach life and the problems that occur in it from two different angles, it’s a wise idea to establish safe spaces where you can come together as a team, voice your opinions, and speak your truths. 

As long as you keep communication high on the list of your priorities, everything else will fall into line. 

Balance life

Create Balance in The Way You View Life

When you’re in a relationship with someone who thinks completely differently from the way you naturally operate, the two of you will naturally start to balance each other out and start to see things from the other’s perspective. 

If you and your partner have talked about your differing opinions and the way the two of you approach the world with your own pre-established notions and viewpoints, you probably have been able to assess which one of you is the optimist and which one is the pessimist in the relationship, Honestly, for a number of couples, you might not have even needed to have a conversation about this topic before you figured out who was who. 

But once you know that about yourself and which side you naturally gravitate toward, it would be good and healthy for your relationship to be able to acknowledge your natural inclinations and also to be able to see when you’re giving into them a bit more than you should. 

You are allowed to feel your feelings and approach life however you want to. That’s not only natural but also necessary. 

But if you’re in a relationship with an optimist and you’re a pessimist, or vice-versa, it will do a lot of good to your relationship and your understanding of each other for both of you to be able to know when to back down and when to not give in to your natural inclinations. 

While we never want to suggest that you silence yourself or hide your feelings, there is something to be said about knowing when to speak up and when to pipe down. 

feel feelings

Give Your Partner the Proper Amount of Time to Feel Their Feelings

If you’re a natural optimist and you always want to see the good in things around you, while your sunshine attitude is great to have around and there are times when that joy and light is needed, it’s also good to take note of when your dedication to always looking on the bright side of life might either annoy your pessimist partner or make them feel as though their feelings are invalid.

And vice-versa, pessimists, when you notice that your optimist might have their head stuck in the clouds or you notice that their reasoning might not be totally grounded in reality, instead of automatically bursting their bubbles and telling them that they’re wrong about something isn’t as good as they might think it is, try to see things the way that your partner is seeing them. 

Odds are, the truth of what’s happening and how the two of you should approach that lies somewhere in between both of your perspectives.

That means that when you give your partner time to feel their feelings and you validate the truth of those feelings, but you also try to take time to see things the way that they do, both of you will be one step closer to the truth of the matter and you will both grow from the experience. 

grow and growth

Grow and be the Growth When it’s Necessary

We cannot forget the entire reason that the optimist and pessimist pair so well together — it’s because the two see the world in such beautiful and different ways and because of that, you have a lot to teach each other. 

There are so many different ways that individuals can grow and learn from one another when they’re in a relationship, but the ways that you can grow when you’re matched with someone who seems like they’re your opposite in so many ways is much more advanced and beautiful than any other growth that you might experience. 

When you’re in a relationship with someone, whether they’re the optimist and you’re the pessimist or vice versa, you will naturally start to grow and see things from their point of view before they have to tell you what they’re thinking or feeling. 

But it’s also good to know and stand firm in your truth throughout the relationship as well. Sometimes, a situation needs to be approached from an optimist or pessimist-heavy point of view. That’s why it’s so wonderful to have both sides in your relationship.

There will be times when you and your partner will differ in the way that you see the world and that’s okay. You will fight. But as long as you come back together in love and understanding, everything will be more than okay. 

confused woman looking at phone with question mark background and a heart-shaped speech bubble with a surprised face emoji inside of it

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