Do opposites attract or do relationships work best with people like us?

Bill McAneny's picture
Published on Thu, 05/08/2014 - 11:45 by Bill McAneny

Swan love

Well yes and no, and no and yes! There has been a huge rise on online dating sites and many are now offering personality “tests” for ‘compatibility,’ which always worries me. Since time began people have been attracted to someone for a whole variety of reasons, many of them illogical (and rightly so) and, like buying a property, you often don’t know what you want until you see it and then any previous preconceptions get rationalised away: 

Yeah OK I know she’s not what I originally thought would be my type but she’s just so positive. 

But you didn’t have ‘positive’ in your ‘list of requirements.

Well I do now.

Ah so we can see how it changes and so it seems that having a ‘template’ for a partner is difficult and it’s prone to all sorts of problems. We think it’s far better to work the other way around. Meet someone and hang out. If there’s a mutual attraction then use an assessment to check out the main areas of similarity, the areas of potential conflict and, more importantly, what you can each do about that. I am an ENTP and one site told me I will get on best with an ISFJ! But which ISFJ? Also with an ISFJ I would have to learn to talk less and listen more, I would have to be less conceptual and impressionistic (she would say “woolly”), more in tune with her feelings (which she would internalise so I wouldn’t know) and learn to tidy the house before I had my cup of tea! But what if I was with another ENTP? Would that be better? Well no, not really! We’d both have to learn to stop talking over each other (although there would be some really loud and energetic conversations!) we’d both have to tune in to the other a little more and neither of us would wash the car, especially if we got a better offer.

So the moral of the story? Don’t start with the template, start with the person, explore why you get on and figure out, right here, the areas for potential harmony and potential conflict so that both of you can learn to accommodate.

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