There are so many factors that go into a successful relationship.
Of course, there are important attributes such as physical attraction, having common interests, and whether or not you enjoy spending time together. Often, though, the factor that is just as important is whether the relationship is a good match personality-wise.
Have you ever heard a couple described as two people who just “clicked”? This is a way to say that they found a connection. Usually, that happens because their personalities were a good match.
So, consider for a moment how your personality type can play into relationship strength.
Factors That Influence Your Personality
Personality is a complex issue in and of itself, let alone how it influences relationships. Your personality is influenced by lots of factors.
- Your upbringing and childhood experiences
- Interactions with other people, including past relationships
- Parents and their parenting styles
- Major life experiences
- Cultural background
- Religious or faith traditions
- Traits inherited from your family
What this means is that your personality isn’t static. It does have the capacity to change over time.
For example, let’s say that you had a lot of negative childhood experiences. These could certainly have an influence on your personality as an adult (negative thinking patterns, etc.). However, with help and support, you were able to overcome them and now have a much more positive outlook on life than you did before.
When Opposites Attract
Have you ever heard the saying “opposites attract?” There are so many examples of people who had different personalities yet found a mutual connection. For instance, a person who is inertly shy may be attracted to someone who is an extrovert.
Think about it for a moment. How many romantic comedies are based on two people who are drawn to one another, yet come from very different worlds? Plenty!
The reason why this occurs could be the novelty that they find in their partner. It’s that “spark” that we all find in someone else that makes them unique, interesting, and attractive.
Taking Advantage of Different Perspectives
The advantage of having different personality types is that they allow couples to approach relationship problems from very different perspectives. This can be a positive thing in that those differences allow these couples to see a problem from varying angles. And that can help each partner recognize blind spots that they may have not seen if they were on their own.
For instance, one partner is more detail-focused, so they are better at paying the bills or doing the taxes. While the other is more empathetic and conscientious of relationships, so they’re better at ensuring the couple stays in touch with other family members, friends, etc.
The Key to Relationship Strength
Of course, there are many couples who were drawn to polar opposites and then saw their relationships fall apart. So how does personality play into relationship strength?
Here are two key factors:
- Common Ground – Couples can have differing personalities, but it helps that they both have similarities. A good example is when couples align with personal interests. For instance, both have a love of literature, are passionate about the outdoors, or enjoy going to the gym to work out together. It’s those common experiences done together that cements a relationship.
- Communication – Even if on paper a couple was a “perfect” match, their relationship can easily fall apart without effective communication. All couples need to be able to communicate clearly and consistently with each other. Without communication, it’s hard to see the relationship lasting for the long-haul.
Personality certainly plays a role in relationships. People can have very different personalities, yet still have effective partnerships. In fact, those differences can be assets for how they solve relationship conflict, face life challenges, or even have fun. However, what’s important is that these couples, like anyone in a relationship, have some common ground and effective communication.
If you and your partner have differing personalities and are struggling as a couple, contact us to see how couples counseling can help you both, 256-686-9195.