The Unquestionable Impact of Personality in Relationships

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In this installment from my ‘Ask Me Anything’ series, which you can find on my social media channels, I delve into the topic of personality in relationships.

“How important do you think personality is in a relationship? Are some personality aspects more important than others?”

Personality is an unfuckwithable relationship criteria.

Now, there’s many different types of personality tests out there. They probably all offer some amount of helpful insight, but I like two of them the most: MBTI and Big Five. I’m a big fan of MBTI as it’s helped me deeply understand myself and my husband (both INTJ). However, I know that many people aren’t fans of it for a variety of reasons.

From what is currently known scientifically, the Big Five personality traits stand out as particularly beneficial for assessing compatibility with a romantic partner. As the name implies, there are five such traits, each being a spectrum with two ends. Understanding where you and your partner fall on each spectrum can be immensely helpful for understanding one another.

Openness: Reflects a person’s willingness to explore new experiences, ideas, and creative expressions. In relationships, high openness fosters a diverse and enriching experience, as partners explore new activities and share intellectual connections together. Differences in openness, however, may lead to misunderstandings or feelings of distance.

Conscientiousness: Indicates a person’s level of organization, reliability, and attention to detail. Conscientious partners create stable and dependable relationships, consistently fulfilling commitments and managing shared responsibilities. A gap in conscientiousness levels can spark conflicts over planning, punctuality, and responsibility sharing.

Extroversion: Characterized by an individual’s energy from external activities and social interactions. It influences how partners engage socially within the relationship. Extroverted couples may enjoy an active social life, while introverted pairs might prefer quieter, more intimate settings. Balancing social and alone time can be challenging when partners have differing levels of extroversion.

Agreeableness: Denotes a person’s tendency towards kindness, cooperation, and empathy. High agreeableness in both partners leads to supportive, loving, and harmonious relationships. Significant differences in agreeableness can result in conflicts and a lack of understanding.

Neuroticism: Measures a person’s emotional stability and tendency towards anxiety, moodiness, and negativity. Lower neuroticism (higher emotional stability) correlates with more stable and healthier relationships. Higher levels of neuroticism may increase conflicts, emotional sensitivity, and instability within a relationship. Women tend to be more neurotic than men, just saying.

There’re infinitely many ways that these traits can show up in each of us and how they can interact with other people, so there aren’t any clear-cut generalizations that can be made. The best thing to do with personality tests like the Big Five is to use them as a point of introspection and relationship analysis.

For fun, here are the results for me and Alex. While we have hiccups in our relationship as any married couple would, such things are minor, and we have excellent compatibility (I think a big part of this compatibility is because we have nearly identical value systems).

Briana: Extraversion 35%, Conscientiousness 98%, Neuroticism 3%, Agreeableness 11%, Openness 96%

Alex: Extraversion 7%, Conscientiousness 87%, Neuroticism 6%, Agreeableness 21%, Openness 70%

Conscientiousness is one is my non-negotiable in a relationship. Meaning we must both be rated high here. I’m a huge planner and always always follow through with what I say I will. I expect the same respect from a partner. I’m not going to argue with someone about the validity of my need for this either.

In the Big Five personality assessment, I score higher on extroversion compared to the Myers-Briggs, where I identify as distinctly introverted in my daily life. It seems that my Te (extraverted thinking) might be interpreted as extroversion in the Big Five framework.

Me and Alex are both fairly disagreeable, but I think that’s just how our brains are wired. We rarely debate anything with each-other because we have similar core values. We see problems to be solved everywhere and we often work together to solve them. While we tend to be agreeable in the relationship, we aren’t very agreeable to others and won’t bend just to make others feel better.

We both score super low in neuroticism too. I can’t fuck with anyone who is neurotic for long amounts of time. We live in different realities and likely agitate each other equally.

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