These four things I personally think is fundamental to knowing and understanding your partner to get you both to a successful relationship. These are just the main overviews, as I have other posts of each which go into more detail about them – be sure to check those out!
1. Myers-Briggs Type
Not everyone is a fan of personality tests, some people even equate them to horoscopes but I can tell you as a Psychologist, there has been a lot more conclusive research done into personality tests and quite a few of them are actually scientifically valid, including this one. I mean big business use these kinds of tests when hiring professionals so if they are using it then there has to be some sort of evidence it works behind it.
Myers-Briggs, (Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers) are two Psychologists who first formulated this test as a way to categorise personality types. It has since been developed and found that there are generally 16 personality types (without boring you with the actual study etc). It is essentially an introspective self-test to analyse how you see and interact with the world around you – including people and social situations. These 16 types are used to identify people’s personality and generally everyone falls into one of these types. I mean, I’m a strong advocate for this particular test because it actually was very accurate for my type but also friends and family. The description of the type of person I am was to the ‘T’ and they pretty much described me perfectly. So with that said, that is why I think it’s so good to know your partners type. There is no so much information on specific skills, qualities, values, even career areas that people in each type generally have and so to get a better picture of your partner it’s so good to find out what there type is so that you can really understand them, how they think, their traits etc. It’s helped me massively in understanding my dating partners, not just why they are the way they are but also what they are like so that I can adapt accordingly.
It is also good for compatibility. These types are also able to help you see if you are a good match, whether your goals, traits and characteristics align or match. So, the earlier on in the relationship you know, the better you know how to approach the relationship or even know that actually it might not work – or be very hard work!
Below are the 16 types for you to get a general overview but the link below will take you to the page where you can find so much more information and be able to take the test yourself to know your own.
Here is the link for the FREE online test for you and your partner to take to find out your type! https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types
2. Attachment Type
There are four styles of attachment that are mainly formed through the specific relationships you had during your childhood. Though your styles of attachment can affect every area of your life and thus most of your personal relationships- family and friends, because here we are mainly talking about dating, I will focus on the ways these attachment types will show up in romantic relationships with their partner – their traits and the behaviours they are most likely to exhibit and/or internalise.
This type is the most ideal attachment type. These are probably your most grounded people. They probably had the best upbringing with loving, present parents and experienced little to no trauma in their childhood. As a result, they have the best interpersonal relationships with people on the level that they are able to have relatively functional, interdependent connections with people. They have good boundaries, are able to be loving without being distant or needy. If we think of them on a spectrum, they will be bang in the middle of the two extremes.
See the pictures below for the most common traits these types have.
These people will generally show up to be quite needy, anxious when you go, territorial and easily jealous. They don’t tend to have good boundaries due to being fearful of being left and or abandoned and don’t have very good self-worth. Because they were often left as a child they have internalised that they are not important or lovable to be with or have and so that will manifest in certain behaviours during a romantic relationship.
See below for some of the most common behaviours they will show.
Avoidant-Fearful (disorganised) attachment
These types are often quite difficult to distinguish from the anxious-preoccupied as the root cause (abandonment) is the same and so some of their traits will be similar. However, one major difference is that these people tend to actually seem to go cold. They are more hot and cold than the anxious types who are mainly ‘hot’ so to speak.
Avoidant-fearful types have a fear of being left and so they will tend to act first in terms of seeming to act disinterested in a relationship but then might suddenly appear to not want you to leave at all. You generally feel as though you don’t know whether you’re coming or going with these types.
Again see the image below for more traits they will tend to exhibit in a romantic relationship.
Avoidant (Dismissive) attachment
These types don’t seem to want a relationship at all. Whereas the Anxious types are ‘hot’ (so into the relationship, needy, clingy), these types are the complete opposite. They are very cold and appear as though they don’t need anyone at all. They may not even see the point in having a romantic relationship for that sake, they therefore might just enter one for convenience or to meet their needs (sexual/physical/monetary/cultural factors). Probably one of the worst types to be in a romantic relationship with in my opinion, they generally have commitment issues and don’t hang around long enough during conflict or anything that feels like it’s ‘too much’ for them.
Here is the link for the FREE online test for you and your partner to take to find out your type! https://quiz.attachmentproject.com/
See below for more traits they’ll likely show in a romantic relationship.
See my ‘Attachment Style’ post post for an more in-depth look into where these types came from and how they manifest in later relationships.
3. Love Language
I think there is enough talk on love languages over the years for people to have an idea of what they are but if you live underground or in a isolated place, then see below for more information on the five love languages.
What I want to do here is instead of explaining what they are, we’ll focus on specific examples for each because that is more important. I mean you may know that your partner’s love language is gifts – but what gifts?! There are so many different types hence why if you get something for your partner and they turn their nose up at it – it’s probably because it’s a type of gifts they don’t like.
A personal example. My love language isn’t gifts but like most people, I do appreciate a gift however I appreciate certain types of gits more than others. So if you get me a picture frame, or a keepsake, I’m going to love than more than chocolates or sweets. So my gift niche is more sentimental that edible as you can see a few other types in the picture on the side. Likewise, others might have a more specific type of gift they prefer over others.
It is the same with the other languages too. I mean physical touch is broad! What do they like mainly, cuddles, hand holding, a foot massage?
Likewise with each type, there are a few things to also avoid which you can see from the grid image on the side. Knowing how to effectively show love to your partner increases the bound between you both and helps you achieve a healthier happier relationship together as well. I don’t see any downsides with at least trying to adopt these languages into your relationship, but again it’s best to learn this early on when you’re getting to know the person as certain things may be out of your comfort zone, like physical touch, or not affordable, like expensive gifts, or just impossible, like lots of quality time.
Talk about it with your person so that you’re both able to meet each other.
So here are a few specific ideas for each of the five!
For a closer look into each of the five and why they are important, have a read of my ‘Love Languages’ post .
Everyone has different boundaries and to be honest, you’ll know them as you’ll see them show when you are in a relationship with that person.
Boundaries generally will look like, “Babe, I don’t like that, please don’t do that again.” “I didn’t appreciated it when you did _____, if you do it again then I’ll have to reconsider my relationship with you.” These will be boundaries that they are trying to tell you although subtly. But it is important for you to pick up on them and if you are not clear then ASK! It’s key to having a successful relationship. No one wants to be with someone who they feel doesn’t respect them or does things to deliberately annoy them.
Communication, understand and compromise is crucial to boundaries in a relationship.
It is super important that you not only know what boundaries are but that you also have some yourself in every relationship you have, family, friends and romantic ones!
If you aren’t sure what boundaries are meant to look like, then I’ll suggest reading Boundaries by Drs Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Together, they have written this fantastic book that will tell you more about what boundaries are and what they look like, how to make some, and the importance of maintaining them.
Implementing boundaries into all of your interpersonal relationships will help you have so much better relationships with people in general and help develop your self-worth and self-esteem.
They even have a specific edition tailored especially for people dating which you can also find on Amazon here.
So those are the four interpersonal things I think are quite important to know about your partner. How they relate to their worlds, be it introverted so they need a lot of down time, or extroverted so they need a lot of time with others. What attachment styles they have so you can have an idea of the typical behaviours they will show and also be able to identify them before you get involved to see if you can really deal with and handle certain traits. What their love language is so you can show them love in the way they will really appreciate it. Lastly, what their boundaries are so you can have a healthy connection with great understanding and communication.
Essentially these things will help you to know how compatible with one another and therefore how smooth your dating relationship will be!
Hope it helps! If you have any questions or even think there are other interpersonal things I should have added to the list, then let me know in the comments below!