I’m just going to say it—we can sometimes be contradictory with our sayings and idioms. On one hand, we like to say, “Birds of a feather flock together,” as a way of labeling an entire group or to make assumptions based on who our friends are. Which can be completely true. On the other hand, we also like to say that opposites attract. Which is a scientific fact when we look at magnetism.

When it comes to relationships, I’ve seen both occur. I know people who are attracted to people who are just like them, people they have everything in common with. And yes, relationships need to have some similarities between people in order for them to work and have common ground in at least some areas. Sometimes, like attracts like.

But I know myself and others well enough to say that some of us are better off with someone who is our opposite. For instance, one of my roommates is the opposite of me in many areas, but we both learn and grow and challenge each other because of it. And from that, I know I’m better off marrying someone who is opposite of me. I need someone who is different so that I’m constantly challenged and changing.

So be careful when it comes to people who are exactly like you because they may not help you grow as a person. To have a healthy balance, we should have all different types of friends from all different seasons of life with a variety of personalities. The person who rubs you the wrong way might be exactly what you need in order to grow.