Opposites might not attract after all. At least not in the long term.
Reddit users, experienced in love (and loss) decided to share the mistakes they made when they chose the spouses that eventually broke their heart:
Thinking they can change that person into someone else or in some other significant way.
Listening to your significant other when they said "I'm not really like this, I'm just really stressed right now due to grad school, moving, etc.". Turns out they really were that anxious, neurotic, stressed, depressed, and negative even in the best of circumstances.
Staying with someone they're not happy with because they're too afraid to be alone.
Some people marry the "best" partner they can get - on paper, the best looking, smartest, most talented, etc - rather than the most compatible. Rookie mistake, but a common one.
I asked this question of my therapist who also does marriage counselling.
She said that the most common pitfall she sees is people falling for "opposites attract". She said, in the beginning, people marry someone different from them because they see it as a positive. In her experience, those unions will last for a while and then eventually the couple can't stand each other because of those same differences. So, she told me some variation is obviously good but the most successful marriages she's seen are the ones where the people were as similar as possible.
Marrying a profession: a lawyer, doctor, pilot, Enterpreneur etc instead of the person.
Hiding your true beliefs from them until after the honeymoon phase. Be upfront from the word go, and if they bolt, it just wasn't meant to be.
Kids. Agree on the damn kids.
If she wants kids and you don't (or vice versa), chances are it's going to come up later and bite you really hard in the ass, possibly even ending the relationship. Get that s**t straightened out early on.
Waiting for love and refusing to let love happen.
Find someone you like, who treats you how you would want to be treated, who is worthy of being in a relationship, and work on that friendship to see if love will grow. I’m not saying to date them, bang them and marry them, I’m saying spend time with them, see if you are compatible and go from there.
Settling for looks at the expense of a great personality, morals, or whatever traits people have.
Looks don't last forever.
Marrying simply because you have an "oops" child.
I don't know if it's most common, but I have seen a number of people who think it's always the best thing for the kid even if they're not super compatible. Leads to an unhappy pairing, and kids aren't blind to that dynamic.
Marrying for love and love alone.
People are always horrified when I say this, but marriage is a business arrangement in a lot of ways. You're giving someone half your stuff; better make damn sure that you can trust them with it.
Like 90 per cent of life isn't fun. It's about coordinating chores, dealing with finances, caring for children and working. Being so in wuvvvv is awesome, but it won't pay the bills. You've got to be able to communicate effectively, to trust each other and to work together towards a common goal.