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  1. #1
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Default Similar vs Different Types in Relationships

    I was thinking about how there can be ISFJ-ISFJ or INTJ-INTP or other similar type relationships, and how that works for some people, but other people have more success with a partner of a somewhat different type. So here is my line of reasoning regarding that.

    There are some aspects of each personality type that probably could be viewed as "weaknesses" or areas of growth towards a more balanced individual, or at least necessary to relate to people who are different (type-wise) from you. In romance, seems to me like people who are either naturally more balanced in type preferences or who have worked on these areas of growth in themselves, often are more successful in relationships with people who are different from them.

    But people who do not see these traits or mindsets as areas of growth - maybe even see this as the best way of experiencing the world, or way that makes the most sense - are more successful in a relationship with someone of a more similar type to them.

    What do you think? Are you more successful with someone more similar or more different from you (in terms of MBTI types)? What factors contribute to that?

    Of course there are soooo many aspects of compatibility: interests, values, beliefs, etc. Just talking about MBTI here.
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    I think types that share the same functions would have an easier time communicating because (while they have different purposes) they speak the same language OR they make up for each other's weaknesses.
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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    I have not had enough relationships to be able to generalize about this. Nearly all my serious relationships have been with other introverts, but otherwise they have been different. My longest and current relationship is with an INTP. We have very compatible lifestyle preferences, but very different ways of thinking about things. This makes the day-to-day mechanics of living relatively smooth, but provides plenty of diversity beyond that. This may not be readily apparent to others, but is very obvious to us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vetani View Post
    I think types that share the same functions would have an easier time communicating because (while they have different purposes) they speak the same language OR they make up for each other's weaknesses.
    I agree with this. I feel like I could go either way, though. My high school/college sweetheart was my opposite type (even though I thought we were the same). I remember when he'd taken the MBTI (a year into our relationship)... and, knowing nothing about it, I would've rationalized whatever type he'd ended up as. If it was the same as mine: "It makes sense why we'd gravitated toward one another!" It was just about how I'd felt... comfortable and hopeful. If wholly talking within the bounds of the MBTI in regard to romantic relationships... then it would evidently be contingent on the specific type; but to be more conclusive, I'd say (in a nutshell) that it depends on early experiences and societal expectations where a person's type/genetics might take him/her. Parents, friends... qualities which society highlights, etc. They all at least subconsciously influence/shape us and our actions/decisions.

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    Junior Member TyTy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I was thinking about how there can be ISFJ-ISFJ or INTJ-INTP or other similar type relationships, and how that works for some people, but other people have more success with a partner of a somewhat different type. So here is my line of reasoning regarding that.

    There are some aspects of each personality type that probably could be viewed as "weaknesses" or areas of growth towards a more balanced individual, or at least necessary to relate to people who are different (type-wise) from you. In romance, seems to me like people who are either naturally more balanced in type preferences or who have worked on these areas of growth in themselves, often are more successful in relationships with people who are different from them.

    But people who do not see these traits or mindsets as areas of growth - maybe even see this as the best way of experiencing the world, or way that makes the most sense - are more successful in a relationship with someone of a more similar type to them.

    What do you think? Are you more successful with someone more similar or more different from you (in terms of MBTI types)? What factors contribute to that?

    Of course there are soooo many aspects of compatibility: interests, values, beliefs, etc. Just talking about MBTI here.
    I have a bit of a different perspective, perhaps. I think it is very difficult to answer these questions exclusively based on personality type. I tried to keep my thoughts just to MBTI, as you requested... but they kept wandering. Every response I have seems to revolve around age each time I try to consider these questions that you have asked. I think when we are younger, we tend to be more tolerant, open-minded, and actively seek out differences in others and in the world. Often we are drawn to experiences and people that vary greatly from our own persona and comfort zones. It can be intriguing and exciting to meet someone at a young age that is unique and reveals or represents traits and views not previously encountered. Relationships between two very different personalities can ultimately end up where both persons grow and develop enough where those differences end up balancing, blending and enhancing one another over time....as long as communication and respect remain the focus.

    However, I think most of us eventually reach a point later in our lives where if we aren't already in a relationship (or are starting over) and this early foundation and groundwork isn't yet established or already in place....it makes it hard to be as accepting and willing to stretch and contort ourselves into ways that wouldn't otherwise be necessary for a new potential mate. At this stage in my life, I have no desire to be with someone that I have to continuously change for, feel guilt and shame from, apologize frequently to, or be uncomfortable being around because I am inherently different than they are. I don't want to explain or defend my reasoning on a perpetual basis. I think if you meet someone, and you are both young enough and willing to put in the time, energy and effort needed to be with someone that is vastly different than how you are naturally....then that can and sometimes does work out to be an amazing relationship.

    At some point I realized that what I want and need now in a relationship is acutely different from when I was younger. I am much more interested in someone who will compliment and not blatantly contrast who I am. All relationships require compromise to be successful. There will never be someone that you don't have to adjust or tweak a few things for, but asking for or demanding a complete overhaul is something else entirely. Finding someone that accepts, understands and is capable of maintaining the same stride in life, is ideal to me; more specifically, a relationship where the other person is not always running ahead or in a different direction and then stopping and resentfully tapping their foot until I've caught up, insisting I leave my own path for theirs. MBTI has helped me a lot with this and even though I believe people are more than their personality type, I can confidently say that there are a several types I will avoid having future relationships with. Typing, despite its limitations, is a great tool to help gain perspective and insight over what we need to work on as individuals...as well as help us identify what is most imperative or beneficial to us when selecting a potential partner/mate. I think it varies greatly for each of us as to what we find essential at each stage of our life. My needs and desires in regards to a relationship and partner are extremely different than what I initially used to look for....perhaps age/life milestones/experiences are all things to consider in addition to MBTI type and functions, when thinking about all of this. MBTI type imo is just one of the factors, but it seems to me there is no real answer to these questions unless you consider other variables as well.

    Anyway, sorry I couldn't quite stick to your request and keep my response exclusive to MBTI. I realize my response doesn't thoroughly or directly answer your question, but these are the thoughts I had on the subject after reading your post. Thank you for making this thread...it's a great topic and I enjoyed exploring it a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I was thinking about how there can be ISFJ-ISFJ or INTJ-INTP or other similar type relationships, and how that works for some people, but other people have more success with a partner of a somewhat different type. So here is my line of reasoning regarding that.

    There are some aspects of each personality type that probably could be viewed as "weaknesses" or areas of growth towards a more balanced individual, or at least necessary to relate to people who are different (type-wise) from you. In romance, seems to me like people who are either naturally more balanced in type preferences or who have worked on these areas of growth in themselves, often are more successful in relationships with people who are different from them.

    But people who do not see these traits or mindsets as areas of growth - maybe even see this as the best way of experiencing the world, or way that makes the most sense - are more successful in a relationship with someone of a more similar type to them.

    What do you think? Are you more successful with someone more similar or more different from you (in terms of MBTI types)? What factors contribute to that?

    Of course there are soooo many aspects of compatibility: interests, values, beliefs, etc. Just talking about MBTI here.
    Hello!

    One way of viewing it could be in terms of different roles interacting:
    (found this a while ago http://www.infj.com/BeebeOnINFJs.htm)

    Example:

    Beebe INFP INFJ
    Hero Fi Ni
    Good parent Ne Fe
    Good child Si Ti
    Inferior Te Se
    Opposing personality Fe Ne
    Bad parent (senex/witch) Ni Fi
    Bad child (trickster) Se Te
    Demon/Daimon Ti Si

    Just imagine, for example, Good parent Ne of INFP trying to speak to opposing personality Ne of INFJ :-)
    Much to explore on this idea...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Noon's Avatar
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    @Geonat
    I tend to think of it on those terms too (then the entirely new wrench that socionics throws in it)

    Just counting significant friendships, the biggest constant is my preference for Ns.

    I used to really like INTJs. My guess was that their Te helped parent my child Ti: solid structure to budding structure, decisions to questions, implementations to propositions. The force of reasoning sparked a growth-spurt in my confidence with Thinking and sometimes made me feel a lot more intellectually secure. Beyond that, we both veered away from viewing things on Se terms & since they were generally always older, they often had a leg up on number of perspectives already fleshed out. Two INTJs in particular would blow me away with their level of insight.

    But eventually we could clash over something involving Fi. As I grew more confident in my Ti, I also began to experience their Te differently. Found that with INFJs I can get the similarity of INTJ with none of the difference. The only thing lacking is the parent T/child T dynamic that might literally force me beyond my intellectual comfort zone - which may be good or bad depending only on the aspirations I have at any given stage of life.

    That's cognition-wise. Purely personality-wise, I might get along much better (and have) with an ISFP than an INFJ if the former is Alpha and the latter is Delta.

    So one way I'm seeing similarity vs difference in relationships is through the sphere of relating which you value most. If you need intellectual compatibility, a similar type would work best. If you need general companionship, a similar temperament may rise over functions to the top. If you like to challenge yourself, or need a lot of variety, or don't need closeness as much as something simple like mutual commitment, then type or temperament may not come into the picture at all.

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I was thinking about how there can be ISFJ-ISFJ or INTJ-INTP or other similar type relationships, and how that works for some people, but other people have more success with a partner of a somewhat different type. So here is my line of reasoning regarding that.

    There are some aspects of each personality type that probably could be viewed as "weaknesses" or areas of growth towards a more balanced individual, or at least necessary to relate to people who are different (type-wise) from you. In romance, seems to me like people who are either naturally more balanced in type preferences or who have worked on these areas of growth in themselves, often are more successful in relationships with people who are different from them.

    But people who do not see these traits or mindsets as areas of growth - maybe even see this as the best way of experiencing the world, or way that makes the most sense - are more successful in a relationship with someone of a more similar type to them.

    What do you think? Are you more successful with someone more similar or more different from you (in terms of MBTI types)? What factors contribute to that?

    Of course there are soooo many aspects of compatibility: interests, values, beliefs, etc. Just talking about MBTI here.
    Agreed. Even Jung said that introverts tend to marry an extravert for compensation and his idea of anima being opposing to persona shares a similar idea. Naturally not everyone seeks the same kind of compensation, some dont want any compensation since they are happy with what they got and prefer someone who is able to work within his own ways of reasoning or what ever, and some(like myself) prefer to develop their weaknesses so that there isnt that much need for compensation.
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    @Noon Thank you for your time and sharing your insights on this. Have read it more than twice now.
    Your illustration of how one's extraverted function may received by the other's introverted (Te to Ti) function was very helpful - makes sense.
    Just a question: from your text I concluded that you were INFJ (Se inf just like INTJ and child Ti) but from the signature symbols I read TiNe indicating INTP (I may be mistaken on both)

    Fruitful relationships may be found everywhere - intellectual stimulation may be found at work, as exchange in a forum like this, or, one-sided, by reading a good book. They are all relationships in a wider sense.

    I guess that knowledge about each others MBTI stack might help in avoiding unnecessary conflicts in a relationship.
    On the other hand it could become too intellectual and almost unbearable, a kind of substitution for feelings when feelings would be the most direct and honest response. Perhaps one would rather have a "you're an idiot" than a long explanation along the lines of "at this specific instant my spontaneous Ni suggests that your getting a facial tattoo while drunk might have been slightly impulsive. I have now sent this information for process to my Ti. Please hold while an appropriate Fe and Se is forming so that we may discuss its implications before I allow them to emerge."

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    I'm with an INTP. We are more alike than different. Generally we have a lot of the same weaknesses, but different strengths. It has been difficult working out who is going to do which of the heinous practical boring stuff we both hate. We've got most of the absolutely necessary regular stuff divvied up between us. The other icky stuff we tend to do together for moral support. We also tend to cut each other a lot of slack on the being a grown-up thing because we both hate that stuff so much. This means we don't always get a whole hell of a lot done. Half of our kids have, however, survived to adulthood and it looks promising for the younger half so far.

    Overall, it's an easy, low-conflict, high-camaraderie relationship, which is what we both prefer. I think it really is a matter of preference and the way we do things is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Which is a very good thing, generally.
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