E-Harmony Vs. MBTI*–Can Personality Type Help Your Love Life?

By Jack Speer | April 8, 2013


Can personality assessments–identifying your four-letter type code– save, maintain, or improve your romantic relationships?  Can personality type assessments  contribute to a long-lasting relationship?

There is the concept of a “perfect match” that millions seek.  e-Harmony.com seriously believes that you can find that right one–the “perfect match”– through their online assessment using a s

Is there a “perfect match” out there that you can find somewhere on the planet  The Jung/Myers-Briggs starting point is that peoplJackHead2e are perfect or imperfect matches–they are just different from each other in significant ways.  Finding and maintaining a relationship with someone you love is the toughest gig we’ll ever have in life–but people never stop trying, do they?

Take the example of Linda Wolfe who at holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the most-married person ever recorded–in the world.  She was married 27 times, beginning when she was 16.  She’s 78 now, and living in an assisted living home, but insists he’d like to try one more time.  Then there are many other high profile relationship seekers,  Examples include Larry King, 6 times, Zsa Zsa Gabor, 9, Elizabeth Taylor, 8 (twice to Richard Burton), and Hugh Hefner, at 87, recently married, but who has lost count.

In the 21st Century, people are looking long term relationships,  whether in traditional marriage or long-term relationships.  The serial marriages of the 20th Century no longer fashionable, and  40% of the U.S. single population look for relationships through online websites.  60,000 people in the U.S. use dating websites to find relationships.  There a 30,000 members of e-harmony.com, and 20,000,000 use Match.com.

Most people who have experienced either rejection at of a broken date to the the senior prom or the frustrations of meeting real people from website cyber experiences will agree that perfect matches are few and far between.  Perfect matches also unravel because all of us change as people.  MBTI and other assessments recognizes that the main difference between people is–that we are different from each other.  Type theory sees us as different in 16 fundamental ways–or personality types.  Over the years people who study type have sliced and diced the differences into ever more subtle ways.

e-Harmony seeks to find the “perfect match” by matching commonalities.  The more commonalities we have and the fewer dissimilarities we have, the greatest chance we have a finding the perfect match, e-Harmony believes.

Type theory as having evolved from the thinking of Jung/Myers and Briggs, sees difference as fundamental, and the benefit of knowing type is being able to manage and appreciate differences.    I know of no scientifically validated research about those types that are more successful in long-term relationships, but our experiences over the last 20 years has been that there are many successful relationships with totally opposite types.  Sometimes people seek opposites to add what they don’t have to their lives,  There is some evidence that even as opposites often attract and many times have long-lasting, loving relationships, types that are closer in preferences may experience less ongoing conflict.

Personality type may well be the best tool that we have as humans to manage our differences.  To be sure, personality type is only one factor, although huge, that can be key to maintaining relationships.  Others are religion, family, ethnicity, culture, and many more.  In a committed relationship between two people who will work to grow in their relationship, personality type is a key tool.