She's the calm to my storm. She is the eye of my hurricane.
We are all familiar with committed relationships that fail because the partners were "incompatible." Irreconcilable differences are often cited as the reason for divorce in marriage. We assumed that differences were just as critical to the viability of these gay and lesbian relationships. To understand how these relationships lasted, we explored the interpersonal fit of partners that was determined by the reciprocity of roles. Fit was conceptualized along a continuum marked at one end by differences and at the other by similarities. If role behaviors, as reported by individual partners, were characterized by differences in talents, skills, needs, and traits, the fit was of a complementary nature. For example, if one partner was quiet and the other was outgoing, the fit was considered to be complementary. A symmetrical fit was characterized by similarities between partners. Most individuals used complementary language in describing their roles with their partners.
Patterns of complementarity between partners were similar over the years; 85 percent of lesbian and 75 percent of gay respondents described their roles as different from early to recent years. The complementary patterns of instrumental to expressive roles, the relational fit between