Love the One You're With:
Tips for Rationals with Non-Rational Partners
By Dr. Lovegood
"Our relationship would be so much better if only she was more like me..." How many times have
you heard this sad lament from a friend or relative bemoaning their current (usually temporary)
relationship woes? "We would be so much happier if he understood me better - he'd know just what
to do or say without needing to be told...", are grumblings we've often overheard. In other
words, people are saying a partner just like them would effectively read their mind and be the
Not only doesn't that happen, if it did most people would be bored and lose interest in the
partner fairly early in the relationship.
Most of us end up in a relationship with a partner of a different temperament than ourselves. This is due both to statistics (Rationals make
up less than 10% of the population), and to our own temperament - we often look for people that bring new interests and excitement to our lives ,
and this means people that approach life differently than ourselves. As a Rational, your partner may be another Rational, but odds are they are an
Artisan, Guardian, or an Idealist. Here are a few pointers on taking the differences between you and your partner into account, and making the most
of them in your quest for relationship bliss.
Idealists can be the most complementary temperament to Rationals. Idealist/Rational pairings can be highly satisfying relationships
based on exploring the world of ideas. Imagining possibilities - whether pragmatic or romantic - and creating dreams for the future can
represent the epitome of quality time for this pair. Idealists are often initially drawn by the intellectual gymnastics of their Rational
partners. Rationals can be fascinated by Idealists' sensitivity and empathy for others. If you partner is an Idealist:
- What Idealists want the most is someone to listen to what they have to say and sympathize or empathize without passing
judgment or offering advice unless they ask for it. This runs counter to your pragmatic and utilitarian nature - you will
need to train yourself to bite your tongue and not offer solutions to your partner's problems in these situations
(unless they ask).
- Idealists value harmony and seek to avoid conflict. You have a tendency to speak your mind, and not "sugar coat" bad news or
negative feedback. Your partner is likely to take what you say personally, even though you don't mean it that way. You'll avoid
unnecessary hurt feelings if you keep this in mind and practice your diplomatic skills with them.
- Your Idealist partner is probably more openly romantic than you are - and their greatest romantic need is soul sharing.
This means giving them your complete and undivided attention, with lots of eye contact. This can be hard for many Rationals,
as your mind is usually going at warp speed on interesting problems to solve, but your Idealist partner has a very keen sense
of when you aren't fully engaged so you will need to consciously focus on them.
Rationals and Artisans often make good pairs. These relationships are likely to be irreverent and action-packed as both types
are usually equally willing to ignore convention and be focused on results. Rationals can be fascinated by Artisans' aptitude for fun,
improvisation, and spontaneity. Artisans are often impressed by Rationals' theoretical approach to problems, because it is so different
from their own view of things. If your partner is an Artisan:
- Enjoy the here and now. Artisans live for the day - Carpe diem! Artisans will bring out the best in your own sense of
adventure, so have fun. Where you may run into trouble though, is that you eventually expect most activities to have some
purpose, but the activity itself may be the only purpose for your Artisan partner. Let go of the outcome, be in the moment,
and enjoy just being together.
- Develop your own set of Rational friends with whom you can discuss and explore abstract ideas and contemplate the origins
of the Universe. Your Artisan partner has much less need for this type of pondering, and may grow restless with too much of
it. Artisans are the most concrete of the temperaments, preferring to talk about things that have immediate importance, not
the "what could be" that you like to explore.
- Artisans usually enjoy surprises - the bigger, the better. Whereas a Guardian partner will often appreciate a practical gift,
and an Idealist partner a "meaningful gift", your Artisan partner appreciates the extravagant. A surprise getaway weekend to a
luxurious resort, a diamond ring or gold chain - go overboard to express your romantic side with them.
Guardians are the most opposite temperament to Rationals. While they are concrete in their communication and cooperative in action,
you talk of abstract ideas, and are unconcerned with rules, traditions, or conventions in pursuing "what works". Long term, your Guardian
partner requires the most flexibility on your part, if you are to be happy together. (To be fair, they get the same advice). If you partner
is a Guardian:
- Guardians are comfortable with much more structure than you are. Traditions, lines of authority, rules, procedures, and "red-tape"
all provide a comfortable environment for your Guardian partner, but may drive you crazy. You are always looking for a better way to
do things, and tend to ignore any rules, guidelines, traditions, or authority that you perceive to be irrelevant, unnecessary, or
incompetent. You will cause your partner great discomfort when you flagrantly "disobey the rules" or "flaunt authority", even though
that intent hadn't even crossed your mind.
- Guardians are strongest in the area you are least naturally inclined - logistics. Appreciate their ability to plan out the details
and schedules of events. Your social functions will be successful because of their ability to organize and arrange activities and
- Guardians are much better at remembering important dates and events than most Rationals. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays
are very important to most Guardians and they will feel very let down if you forget them. Use a calendar or online reminder website
so that you don't forget one of these important dates. Gifts on these occasions are important as well, and the amount of money spent
matters. It needs to be enough to show that they are valued highly but not so much that they feel resources are being wasted.
If your partner really were just like you, life would be very boring indeed. So, celebrate
the differences that add spice, understand the ones that would otherwise frustrate you, and
let your relationship thrive. Vive la difference!