Previous Lecture Complete and continue  


This section deals with the subjects of love and relationship. This part of life is very important for most people: many invest copious amounts of energy, time and perhaps money in their search for the “perfect" partner. At the same time these days it seems to get ever more difficult to create long lasting relationships in such a way that they contribute to the happiness and contentment of both partners and not turn into a source of frustration and continuous stress.

In our opinion there are two primary aspects that contribute to the success of a permanent relationship: First, it is important to find a well-suited partner. Second, it is important to understand and respect both oneself and the chosen partner as much as possible. Your section is intended to give you information and a few pointers regarding both aspects. Psychologists have long debated the first point - the choice of a well suited partner - and the question which of the two old adages “birds of a feather flock together," or “opposites attract" best describe it.

Briefly summarizing the position of today's research, albeit with a few qualifications, one can say with relative certainty - both. As a matter of fact, opposites can develop strong attractions towards each other. Who has not met them, couples where the first thought that comes to mind is “What do they see in each other"? The motor mouth and the man of few words; the intellectual superwoman and the lumberjack: In the course of their (love) lives, many people have experienced the flying sparks of such a relationship. Here, the difference creates the allure, the unknown is interesting and irresistible. Many of these relationships are for good.

However, (and this represents an important qualification) it requires a lot of effort on behalf of the relationship and a lot of work on ones self! Here it is, the prerequisite for a continuing relationship, that one is able take the other as he/she is. Once the initial strong attraction has passed, that can be pretty tough because the difference naturally carries a lot more potential for conflict than similarity. For instance, if one partner is extroverted and the other is introverted, the discussions probably already start on the subject of leisure time planning. One prefers to be alone or at most sharing it with the partner while the other wants to spend it in the company of a happy crowd. One or the other always lives contrary to his/her nature or else compromises are continuously necessary. This simple example already demonstrates the pitfalls of opposites.

Unfortunately, many people enter into their relationships thinking: “Once we are together, I'll change him/her" - a fatal mistake! As adults, we don't change base traits of our personality. We can naturally accommodate each other, or meet each other half way. There, caution is required so that one of them does not always feel taken advantage of or misunderstood.

If this works, an opposite partner can turn out to be a true enrichment. He/she may be able to open insights into life that would otherwise be closed to his/her partner. An intuitive type e. g. can permit the sensing type an insight into his complex world of ideas, the sensing type can open the eyes of the intuitive type for the beauty of the here and now. The perceiving type may just manage to convince the judging type to occasionally do something against the grain, and take a weekend trip - even though the garage needs a coat of paint - while the judging type brings a little order into the occasionally overwhelming chaos of the perceiving type. As long as the partner's continuous differences in the daily life are seen as interesting and exciting rather than as threatening and annoying, the possibilities are basically endless.

Experience shows, however, that problems most often arise after the initial infatuation phase if the partners are very different. The chronic tardiness of one partner that the other partner had initially tolerated lovingly and amused is now maddening. The initially enchantingly continuous talking of the other about all sorts of things becomes more and more unnerving. The absent minded professor's intellectual flights of fancy may have been truly impressive once - but when he has again ignored the gas gauge because of his absent-mindedness, and hence one sits on the road with the empty tank, one is tempted to rip off his head.

Consequently, it is much easier for love and relationship (and for friendship as well) if the partners are similar in the important areas of their personalities. Similarity creates understanding, minimizes potential sources of friction, and thus simplifies the communication between the partners. We are comfortable in the company of people whose perceptions, thinking, values and reactions are similar to ours. We share a large part of our “self" (science describes that as “I-sharing) so to speak. Because we see the world through the same - or very similar - glasses, we laugh about the same jokes, have similar ideas, and get appalled at the same things. We agree about that which is important and about how things should be resolved. That is a very central prerequisite for interhuman sympathy. It is also a good basis to constructively handle the unavoidable unpleasantries of the relationship's daily routine. The potential down side: If both partners are very similar, they don't complement the other, nor do they open new points of view for each other. Two intuitive types will unquestionably conduct intellectually unparalleled conversations - unfortunately risking that the insurance policy remains unpaid and that the laundry begins to mould in the washer. When two perceiving types find each other, they are sure not to miss any attractive event within their reach and always flexibly react to something new, but since long-term commitments are not really their thing, they would probably get into serious trouble where important long-term decisions are involved. Two feeling types could maneuver themselves into a corner when both react to critical situations with their gut while ignoring important facts.

Despite these disadvantages, research clearly shows that, although opposites attract (especially in short-term relationships), long-term partnerships tend to be successful between similar personalities. Therefore, here at iPersonic we arranged our types according to the principle of similarity. This means that similar types are positioned close to each other and have similar color tones; opposites with strongly diverging tones are positioned opposite of each other. From the type test you'll remember the establishment of four type preferences (each time with two characteristics). In principal, there are always two other types (left and right of your own type) that differ from your type in only one of these four preferences. Consequently, you have almost as much in common with those as with people of your own type. The differences between your type and the other type increase the further you move away from each other in the circle - all the way to your “opposite" on the other side of the circle. Now you will be able to immediately see who is made from a similar mold, and decide for yourself whether you would prefer to be together with somebody like you, or rather meet someone entirely opposite from you. As already mentioned above, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and this section will provide you with tips and pointers for both. Although a number of studies have already demonstrated that many long term couples show two or more common type preferences, there are also a number of very happy opposite couples in this world (something we can confirm, as we are one of them). We have obviously no intention of telling anyone which criteria to use in selecting his or her partner.

We are already at the second aspect that we think is crucial for relationships to work: one thing is for sure, the perfect partner does not exist! It makes no difference how loudly partnership facilitators around the world claim to have developed the only perfect test to help a person find Mr. Perfect or Ms. Right, experience has shown that at the end of the day, none of the many perfectly researched questionnaires, nor the most detailed psychological profiles, will guarantee whether things for two people will work or not, and for how long. For a permanently happy love relationship, it is much more crucial that both partners are willing to respect and understand each other, and are willing to constructively resolve all those great and small every day problems. In our opinion, it is easier if one knows oneself (and the other person) as well as possible. Then, it is much easier to understand the other's way of thinking, feeling and behavior. Marie Curie said: “That which one learns to understand, one does not fear any longer." If you know the other very well, it is easier to treat him/her with tolerance instead of reacting to him/her with hurt feelings, anger, or irritation. If one wants to, one can also work on those type preferences and abilities that are by nature not as well developed in oneself. This makes it easier to get along with a partner who is different in everyday life in one or more type preferences. In this way, one often learns to value the extrinsic qualities even more. It also keeps us from conveniently saying “there is nothing I can do about it, it is just how I am!" That is generally pretty unfair to our partner! Never mind discussing personality and character backwards and forwards! In our every day behavior, we always have a little maneuvering room. Resist the temptation to use your personality profile as a cheap excuse for something that grates on your partner's nerves. Last but not least, communication misunderstandings can be avoided and conflict defused when one realizes where the potential for difficulties exists, and what should be watched for.

This section deals with all these subjects. After reading it, we sincerely hope that you found lots of tips and pointers to use to shape happy love relationships and partnerships for yourself - regardless of whether you are looking for a new partner or already are in a relationship. In summary, please be reminded that the 16 personality types as they are described in this section can never cover the entire scope of individuality that characterize us a human beings. They reveal tendencies, dispositions, preferences, and that is how there are supposed to be understood. Therefore, take everything that appears to be helpful from this section. However, don't overrate the analyses of your person or your partner. After all, both of you remain unique persons in this world - if only of your specific type!