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In this episode Joel and Antonia tackle the question…  should you only date certain Myers-Briggs personality types?

 

In this podcast you’ll find:

Does type predict a good/bad relationship?

The short, unhelpful answer is – NO, you cannot predict a good relationship based on MBTI.

The longer answer is – Sometimes.

There is an entire system running when it comes to an individual – culture, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs type, etc.

We forget that attraction isn’t a choice. It is just something that happens to us.

I would caution anyone who limits their dating pool to ideal MB types. You are removing the element of surprise. You may find your ideal type just outside what you consider as acceptable.

Where most people start is which MB types are the most compatible?

The more helpful place to come from is what do you, as an individual, find attractive?

If you are making individual decisions based on massive broad-brush rules, you might have a bad time of it.

Shared values and interests are far more impactful than type.

Enneagram is another strong predictor of compatibility. It determines how a person deals with stress.

Lots of different demographic breakdowns we can look at that will influence one’s ability to maintain attraction and long-term compatibility.

If you break things down to the theoretical level of type, there is a danger. There are lots of other factors that go into a relationship than just type.

In business, just because somebody is of a certain type doesn’t mean they are the best one for the job; or, that they should be discounted because they aren’t of the right type. Character comes into play.

What should you be looking for?

What are you attracted to? Some people are very attracted to a particular cognitive function.

How willing is the other person to work on the relationship?

Can you get some of your needs met outside the relationship?

The rule is there to serve you. You are not there to serve the rule.

Are you becoming the type of person that is going to be the best at who you are so you can attract the most amazing person in your life, no matter their type?

If you grow yourself, you are going to have to shift how you find compatible people. You may not be able to find dates on singles sites or community events. You may need to broaden your horizons and travel to a distant conference where you will meet others on the same personal growth trajectory as you.

The ultimate message is you can’t predict compatibility by type. The biggest node of the system is who you are, and who are you trying to become?

Typology can become rather insignificant when two people who are on the same trajectory meet.

Typology can come into play, but shared interest is paramount.

Type is only one node in the system of the emergent of attraction and a good stable relationship. Not the only node.

Not cause and effect. Just because someone is a certain personality type does not mean they are going to be your best match.

If you are on a personal growth path and that is your primary focus, type becomes a much smaller indicator. Finding a person on the same personal growth path as you is going to be bigger.

If you aren’t on a personal growth path, type may be a bigger node in the system because it will predict compatibility in ways that may prevent conflict.

Conflict is harder to manage if you are not on a personal growth path.  

People on a personal growth path prefer conflict because it points to areas of growth opportunity.

If you are in a pair bond relationship, and you are feeling fatalistic about it,  your partner may be your opportunity for growth.

Conversely, if you and your partner are creating a dynamic that is perpetually conflict oriented your relationship may be complete.

Typology is a tool that has its uses. In some situations, it is more useful than others.

Let your pleasure and bliss guide the process. Don’t serve the tool. Let the tool serve you.

 

 

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Showing 14 comments
  • Gavin
    Reply

    This podcast is so incredibly helpful guys. I really appreciate you both for laying things out some beautifully. Now I would like your insight on my existing relationship.

    As per your interview with Jayson Gaddis, having a growth relationship does seem to be a much more defining factor than “type” compatibility. I am very much into growth and development, but my partner, not so much. She has been going to therapy for a few years now to gain some level of understanding around why she does what she does. But to me, the understanding seems to only end up being excuse to why she does what she does, and not actually taking much steps towards changing the beliefs, mindset and behaviors. I have suggested self-development books and podcast the her, and she admits that they have indeed helped more than the therapy in terms of behavioral changes. But I don’t think that growth will end up being a real value, or interest to her.

    Can I really inspire her to start valuing growth and self development as I do?

  • Raye
    Reply

    Human Design!!!! I never hear much about that system, but I love it!

    I got cold chills and warm fuzzies listening to this podcast. Thanks for the deep talk fix. I agree that finding someone who is also on a growth path is a huge part of relationship compatibility for me as well. Maybe I need to go to a conference XD

  • Mel
    Reply

    I think Tolstoy summed it up when he said “All happy families are alike, but every unhappy one is unhappy in its own way”. Happy relationships are irrespective of type, its the shared values, communication and respect that are the determining factor. In that sense, I wholly agree with this podcast.

    I do however think there are reasons type can be a significant determining factor. I don’t think someone should say “I’ll only date this type” or that we definitively can say “this type is best for this type”, but type is somewhat important if you know what it is you are looking for from a relationship.

    I know personally I want someone who I can share my world with and who understands me intuitively. As an Ni-dom the outside world already challenges my viewpoints and assessments heavily. I don’t want to come home to that as well. I wanted a partner who provided a safe environment for my strong functions so I have the energy to grow my weak functions in all other aspects of life. While I wouldn’t exclude thinkers or sensors entirely, I knew I would have better luck finding this kind of relationship with an intuitive feeler. However, the types that I have the highest attraction to happen to be NTs. I spent my first 10 years of dating life with thinkers, not purposely, its just the men I kept falling for. In each of those relationships however I kept feeling like a crucial part was missing, namely the emotional understanding.

    I’m currently dating an INFP, who I didn’t have as strong a magnetic attraction to in the beginning, but its a relationship that has proved to grow stronger, rewarding and better over time. I’m so glad I convinced myself to give an NF a shot. So, actually, in my situation I put more trust in the theory than I did with my own “magnetic attraction”, which hadn’t served me so well the first 10 years of dating. Granted, it could have nothing to do with theory and I just happened to date bad NT types and this one NF just happens to be a winner. Still, I think if left to our own devices we often pick the people who we see as completing us rather than the ones who bring out the best in us (Tolstoy also knew this I think, when he wrote War and Peace; Natasha Rostov falls for two men completley opposite to herself, but its the best friend Pierre whom she didn’t seriously consider for a relationship who ends up being the best partner for her)

    INFJ/INFP is still a growth relationship as we are very different, however, I feel permission to fully express my Ni+Fe and have it be validated. I’d rather develop my thinking and sensing outside the relationship through work and everyday life. But that is just my personal preference, and certainly not true of all INFJs.

    In summary, I agree there is no best type for any person, and any type can be good for any type, so long as their values and what they are looking for from the relationship aligns. With that said, if you know what it is you want from a relationship, type is still a useful tool.

  • Morgan
    Reply

    Hi Joel and Antonia,

    I just listened to this podcast, and I love that you both take the approach of reserving judgement in dating until you have determined if there is a natural attraction. I completely agree!

    In my case I am an INTJ woman and I am in a relationship with an INFP woman, and whenever I am referencing Myers-Briggs personality types for our relationship it is usually to work out her point of view, and the way that she thinks about things. Once my Introverted Intuition gets a good understanding of that, I can take a better stance when addressing her. As an INTJ I easily get frustrated by her lack of strength in Extroverted Thinking, but she is obviously an expert with Introverted Feeling, and she allows me to express myself without changing her regard for me. She’s a bit of a magical creature as far as I’m concerned, and I have always been attracted to her. I also create that “emotional container” that you guys made reference to in a previous podcast, and I think that’s why she’s always so level headed.

    I didn’t even know my Myers-Briggs personality type when we met, so I didn’t have it to use as reference, and I’m glad that I didn’t. I just look for people that can pull my head out of the clouds, just by existing.

  • Alicia Poroa
    Reply

    Thanks for the insightful podcast Antonia and Joel. I am in a relationship which has lasted twenty years. We have three children together. Although we love one another and have a mutual respect for each others differences I have had the sense of a strong tension between us which has been there for a long time. When I discovered my personality type and his it was like an epiphany for me in understanding the tension that exists for me, between us. I am an ENFP and he is an ISTJ and these models are complete reflected opposites. Initially I was a bit shocked and at times feel defeated in my desire to make the tension between us dissipate and our relationship flourish. After listening to this podcast I have a deepened reassurance that I can. I say I can because my partner is not really willing yet to give much attention the personality hackers system or any other new age kinda system attention, as seems to be a classic response of his type and of him as I know so far on the journey. But I also have incredible faith in him and in myself to work through this, your podcasts certainly offer me this strength to continue. When I was listening to the podcast, as I often do, am usually preparing a meal, last night it was dinner, my partner was coming in and out of the kitchen and catching snippets of the cast as he was doing his thing, making comments, a little sarcastic and undermining, but still, listening. I recognized that he seemed actually quite worried that I would be listening to someone I don’t know giving advise on relationships and that it was likely I was applying this to ours. I love how Antonia made reference to her parents relationship and spoke of their differences and how they allow one another space to step outside of the relationship to get needs met for themselves. This helped me and Gavin, my partner to recognize that we also do this for one another, somehow this acknowledgement was enough for both us to show gratitude to each other for something we’d always done. I am really interested in your thoughts about relationships that are like ours where we are reflected opposites of one another, could you offer a podcast on this topic, I know I would appreciate it and so would Gavin in an indirect osmosis kind of way. Much gratitude, Alicia

  • Andrea
    Reply

    Great podcast–this is a really common topic, so I liked hearing your perspective. Love your emphasis on growth–so important! I’m an INFP married to an ISTJ. We’ve known each other for 10 years, married for 6 of those years. We get along very well overall. I tend to like TJ’s. Their way of thinking is strong in areas where I am weak, so I admire that and need that balance in my life. But overall, I would rather be with someone who shares common values and goals, regardless of type.

    • James
      Reply

      Hey Andrea, I’m an INTJ and had a question of curiosity for you in regards to fear of conflict. I’m really curious to know how this dynamic plays out in a romantic relationship with your TJ husband? Every INFP I’ve come to know seems to have a challenge with self doubt and fear of conflict, while being an introvert I think naturally I’m not big on conflict myself since much of it is fruitless in resolving an issue. Particularly for me I don’t let issues that are serious go, because of the damage it causes to a relationship. I have built my Fe function so that I can be more approachable in terms of connection, however whenever something happens I notice that the INFPs I’ve known have withdrawn, and when I attempt to connect to them in a non aggressive way such as ask if they are OK, or would it be alright with them if we talk about it and let them know that their actions are hurting me. Funny as it may seem me being an INTJ I still enjoy intimate connection with a partner and I wondered is their a particular way to approach an INFP to connect and overcome any issues before they build into resentment? Fe and Fi are not my dominant functions and I built on these for the purpose of having better relations with others.

      I’d appreciate anything you could tell me that would enlighten me. Thank you in advance.

  • Dawn
    Reply

    I like the 16 personalities approach to Myers Briggs. I find the addition of a fifth dimension, T (turbulent) vs A (assertive) to be a critical missing piece to the puzzle of personality typology. Myers Briggs is not perfect but it is a good starting place for determining personality and predicting preferences and life’s various outcomes.

    Reliably predicting type compatibility is probably easier for those who unequivocally occupy one of the 16 (or 32) types. People forget that the four dimensions are measured on a spectrum. I am an INTJ-A. I score extremely high, close to 100% for both introversion and thinking and very high for assertiveness. I have more neutral feelings towards I/E, S/N and J/P and see the benefits of them all but the thinking trait is superior to feeling trait, as is the assertive trait to the turbulent. I avoid feelers like the plague. A turbulent extroverted feeler is kryptonite to me, add perceiving to that mess and I run away of I can, shut down if I can’t. I hate drama. It is a struggle for me to deal with turbulent feelers in general but an ESFP-T who scores extremely high on extroversion and feeling and turbulence, would be absolutely incompatible with me. To think otherwise is naive. What’s the point of interacting with people like that? Self flagellation? No thanks. I have better things to do than waste a day recovering from a two hour interaction with an ESFP-T. I can tolerate assertive individuals who score very low on the feeling dimension, especially if they are judgers but they need a good grip on those feelings.

    People who are in denial of type compatibility/incompatibility are victims of politically correct pathologically altruistic thinking. And humans are not uncarved blocks, capable of unlimited growth and change.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      I agree that there are going to be components of type that will influence compatibility. The challenge is that it’s based on the system of the individual, not a specific type being the ideal for another specific type.

      Watching patterns in your own life emerge and honoring those patterns is smart. Giving advice indicating that all people of a certain type should connect with all people of another type… not so much. 🙂

      -A-

      • Dawn
        Reply

        I am actually agreeing with you more than disagreeing with you.

  • Leonard
    Reply

    Antonia and Joel, a really outstanding podcast. I got quite a few insights from it. Thanks for doing what you do. :o)

  • James
    Reply

    In my experience with personal development, I find that that too can trigger the ego in others and often shows up as an insecurity, more it can trigger fear of abandonment in others that are not on this path. Anytime that I made it known that I was on this path and or showed it I was met with frivolous threats. If however when you are on this path and partners are more detrimental then not in your efforts to improve I’d see that as a good reason to complete a relationship, especially if your efforts are being derailed or it becomes toxic as in you being threatened with incarceration or threats of violence, would be my tipping point.

    Many coaches often suggest that you can’t change another, yet you can encourage them to make changes, however some coaches will also say that you can change or improve within the relationship to better the relationship even though I think it has to be done quietly or secretly if the relationship is toxic, considering that improvement can be seen as a threat to some people. So I suggest caution in those cases. Progress for me was slow due to the nature of the relationship I was in. I hold a ton of certifications in various coaching disciplines, however I dared not open a coaching practice for fear that it would be seen as a threat. So I wait, just have six years left then I’m free to do as I please.

    Antonia and Joel are correct when they say that Myers/Briggs is not all there is and you must have compatibility in values, principles, and virtues I believe to be the best judge of another’s character and they of your own. To me there is no compromise on mature love. I personally don’t care what personal challenges someone has I more so care about what are they doing about it, what responsibility and accountability to they take in overcoming it. I won’t take responsibility for them as they are not little babies, however if they are growth orientated then I’m on board with all the support they need as long as I’m allowed to grow too.

    You know I love FPs to pieces, however for some odd reason, other then they tend to have challenges with fear which then gets projected onto me as if I’m headed out of a relationship with them. I have developed my Fi and by way of Fe neither being my strong suit in communicating how I feel, still has not helped in making them feel safe. I honestly thought that my lack of Fi development made me seem emotionally unavailable, so I opened up, however I think that maybe it’s not really my problem, it’s just that I’m so responsible I make it so and in turn have created the dynamic that I should solve their fear issues. Oops my bad, I’m too darn efficient at everything. So I think this begs the question, how do I focus on the effectiveness to create balance in a relationship dynamic? Do I just pretend to be the strong silent type that’s not emotionally available, and assuage the FP’s ego by way of them thinking they got me to open up? To me that seems dishonest and not something this INTJ is wanting to do because it conflicts with my virtues. Is there a way to use the term ” It’s not what you say but how you say it” that matters, to creatively solve this issue?

  • ELIZABETH
    Reply

    You might be interested in the answer from RamsesThePigeon from the following reddit post:
    https://np.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/34aqsn/women_of_reddit_what_about_men_baffles_you_the/cqsxgvl?context=3

    • James
      Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth, I was getting at the exaggeration, delusion and multi-tracking process communication. I’m more specifically curious about Fi dominant users. I understand Fe users will talk as a reward to bond with another person, if they like or love you. However I find that Fi users don’t always do this, which to me comes off as pretentious as if they have a chip on their shoulder. I think could be perhaps some anxiety or a form of feeling self conscious. What confuses me is that if I give a very thoughtful compliment and it’s accepted and I reply with your welcome I sincerely meant what I said, and had I asked another question that was answered, but with laughter, and I offer praise for their for their answer to my question by saying something to the effect of she was good at using symbolism and indirectly also said she was smart, then said all of which is positive in it’s meaning. I get the impression that maybe she thought I was analyzing her or looking for flaws, she thinks she has and now I’m getting the silent treatment.

      So I’m curious was something like that a misunderstanding, where as I’m just being my intuitive self and noticing things, or is it a self worth issue, where as she thinks that she doesn’t deserve such praise and it makes her self conscious?

      If it’s the first reason then I feel invalidated, because I notice everything, good, bad and ugly, if I mention the good it’s genuine, if I mention the bad I’m being genuine in a caring way by pointing out an area of opportunity for self growth and I can’t help but be honest and authentic. Two things I can do, I can clear up a misunderstanding and I can validate any woman that is going through a rough time of things and offer support and affection however I’m at a loss of what to do. I’d ask but that in the past with dominant Fi users had led to passive aggressive behavior by them to include gas lighting. I’m direct and if asked I’ll tell someone if something is bothering me and what it is, and let them know if it is about them or not and what they can do to support me. Do anyone have any ideas? Intimacy is not my forte, yet I make a lot of effort to be emotionally available and don’t want to shut out feelers because they hate that.

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