Birds of a Feather
By Dr. Lovegood
When people first learn about personality types, they are apt to think that it would
be good to find someone else within the same subgroup who is not exactly the same. For
example, it's very common to hear Idealists say that the only way to have a good
relationship is to find another Idealist. That way both partners will have similar but
not identical ways of looking at the world and will have the same kinds of ideas about
how relationships work.
Different temperaments are looking for different things in relationships. Guardians
want a loving partnership where they work along side each other and face life's trials
together with fortitude. Artisans want a playmate, someone with whom they can share the
joy of the sweet buffet of life. Rationals want a mind mate, someone who can listen to
their ideas intelligently and have ideas of their own to debate. Idealists want a soul
mate, someone with whom they can share their deepest desires, dreams, and fears and who
will share back.
Since the temperaments want different things, it might seem sensible to stick with your
own temperament in love. Since Idealists both want deep sharing at an intimate level, it
seems natural to think that the best way to find a soul mate is to look for someone who
also wants a soul mate. However, this can backfire. Two Idealists may find themselves
with no emotional stability. Two Rationals may find that they end up regularly debating
to the point of arguing. Two Guardians may become so serious that they never learn the
joy of play. And two Artisans may play so much they may never do anything else. We can
all benefit from learning to be partners, learning to play, and learning to share
thoughts, ideas, dreams, and fears with our lovers.
While finding a partner of the same temperament might be the surest way to find
partnership/playmate/mind mate/soul mate, this kind of pairing has some of the same
risks as a pairing between two people of the same type. The risks tend to be less
since the partners have somewhat different things to offer.
Damien is an Artisan Promoter (ESTP), and he is with Erika, who is an Artisan
Composer (ISFP). They love to surf together. They have jobs with a lot of flexibility
so they can go to surfing events around the world. Their apartment is small, which
doesn't bother them since they only use it to sleep. All of their money goes to surfing.
A couple of years ago, they found themselves in financial trouble because they bought
whatever they wanted without concern for whether they had the money or not. They're
still paying that off and run pretty high credit card balances, but they are leaving
themselves a much bigger margin. People ask them what they will do when they grow up.
Damien laughs and says that growing up is simply not on his to-do list.