Love: What’s Type Got To Do With It?

Does Your Personality Type Influence Your Love Life?

By Jack Speer, ENTJ


At some point on or before February 14th, Valentine’s Day, will you take the trek to pick out flowers and a card designed to impress your Lover?  Good luck! As healthcare companies say when they’re hyping pills on TV, “some results may vary.”

In the next few days, men and women (mostly men) in the U.S. will spend $600,000,000 on flowers for Valentine’s Day. For some it will be a wonderful ritual of renewed love.  For others it will be more like, “Did you get those at Costco? I saw they’re having a great sale.”


Valentine’s Day is the American symbol of people’s search for elusive love. Our readers across the globe who come from other cultures that do not share this odd ritual are probably quite puzzled by it and relieved that they are not expected to participate.

But the big question is: “How do you find love, and can personality type help you in the search for love, in the depth of the love you share, and in keeping love bright over the years?”

Today it is estimated that a third of relationships begin online. Some are horrified by the notion, but I know people coming up on 20 years of a relationship who met online. What I find interesting is that eHarmony.com and Match.com begin with the premise that out of 7 billion people on the planet, they can help you find the one person that’s right for you.

Implied in personality type is our belief and beginning assumption that people differ wildly both by their personality type and by their individual style and self. The idea that there is some individual out there who is a “perfect match” is illusory—often induced by moonlight, hormones, and sometimes with the aid of a good wine.

There is no doubt that some people have great chemistry—which I cannot define but recognize as absolutely fundamental—and that factor propels two people to go through the work of developing a deep and lasting love. That’s why the arranged marriages that some of our readers in India experience can be so very successful over time. People grow into each other. Personality type can be a tool to help them. 
Here are other observations about the relationship of personality type and love.

1. There is no one personality type combination that is apt to produce a lifelong love. Note we did not say long-lasting relationships. We’re talking about a long-loving relationship. Commitment to a long-term relationship whether it is happy and fulfilling or not is an entirely different discussion. We are talking about lifetime loves.

2. Opposite personality types do, in fact, attract. As far as I know, there is no longitudinal (over a long period of time) study that tracks different personality types in long term relationships, but the short surveys we have done clearly point to partners choosing personality types at the other end of the spectrum. The opposite seems to be true of a person’s work life. People look for associates who tend to be of like type.

Why is this true that in love opposites attract? I’d like to hear from the readership. I tend to believe we are attracted to what we are not, and that there may be an evolutionary advantage to combining the advantages of opposite types. There is no doubt that people who are opposite most need to understand personality type theory in order to manage their differences.

3. Sensing and iNtuition often cause the most conflict. I see more Sensors and iNtuitives in relationships where one or both have lost respect for one another. The Sensor sees the iNtuitive as a person who is impractical and does not pull his or her weight. The iNtuitive sees the Sensor as obsessed with minutia and devoid of big picture thinking.  Each has a great opportunity to fulfill the other half of each other, but when respect is gone—the most fundamental aspect of any relationship—the relationship cannot last long.

4. Individually we all experience type attraction and type aversion.  It’s OK that you tend to like some personality types more than others. You may typically clash with some. I have had many type aware people tell me about a relationship with a specific type that was a disaster for them. The point is, try to learn to appreciate and relate to all the personality types, but if you have a type that you don’t relate to well, listen to what your head and heart are telling you. Never try to “make a relationship work” when you are in the initial stages. If the attraction isn’t there, I say move on.


5. Type similar relationships tend to experience co-dependencies; type opposite relationships have more independent relationships.
  Over time I’ve seen many type opposite couples who both love and like each other. They often are comfortable with different hobbies that take them away; he fishes and hunts, she does cruises. They enjoy their time apart, and are joyous to get back together. In some type similar relationships, often you see a couple who won’t make an independent decision and are practically each other’s only friends. The advantage is that they always have each other. The disadvantage is that neither can stand alone.


6. The 17th Type is J-E-R-K.
  Always remember that the type that we forget to mention is, JERK. I have seen this type in every one of the 16 types, and they form a type of their own. Never believe that a relationship with a particular type will work for you. Form relationships with types you don’t know well, and you may be introduced to a whole new world.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m off to buy my flowers and pick out my card!

Valentine’s Day Type Contest!

In our comments section, please write about the best or worst experience you ever had in a romantic relationship that involved type in some way.  We’ll select the winner, and we’ll send the person of your choice flowers or chocolate on the day you select.  If you’d rather, we’ll just send the flowers or chocolate directly to you!