Personality Type Compatibility - Best Matches

After doing a personality test, someone asked, "Which type would make a good match as a spouse for my type?" Not knowing what resource I'd recommend, I looked at the latest thinking on this and considered whether or not the saying is true: "Opposites attract, and then attack." I learned it is true, they do! And alikes, though easy relationships to start, don't have much to offer each other and easily become ...BORING .

The Socionics approach provides a helpful guide on how to forecast the major ways relationships of the various paired combinations will psychologically develop. This approach is based on the personality typing work of Carl Jung, which we know today as Myers-Briggs Personality Types. At the same time, do keep in mind that as the MBTI® page on Facebook says,

While happy and functional relationships are found in all type combinations, and type differences and similarities are likely to be only one of possible sources of difficulty in a relationship, understanding the differences may help during trying times in a relationship.

How to Find Yourself and Your Best Match. Socionics. The Modern Approach to Psychological Types

The personality types of two people form the core of the relationship and that core can tell us various degrees of compatibility. Of course, the relationships between actual people are complicated by many different factors and life choices. However, Socionics can "anticipate the development in human relationships with incredible accuracy."

Compatible or combating relationships

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The Socionics approach has shown me that the question of compatibility between personality types involves more than oppositeness, or complete alikeness of type. The most compatible type to our own actually has some of both; some parts of the personality are in a sense opposite and some parts alike.

Not only that, but there are degrees of psychological compatibility among the various possible pairings of personality type. lists 14 different degrees of compatibility!

Those incompatible are:








These have more problems with their relationship than people with compatible personality types.

Those most compatible are:








These have less problems with their relationship than people with incompatible personality types.

(All 14 pairs are listed on a complete chart of relationships between personality types.)

So which kind of pairing, and thus which type, would make a good spouse?

Let's consider a few "degrees" of pairings as to their compatibleness, or the lack there of.

A look at five of these pairings: Conflicting, Duality, Identical, Activity, Mirror

Completely opposite types have difficult challenges

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Conflicting Pairs of Personality Types

Least compatibility for long-term interactions

In the early stages of a relationship's development, two people of complete opposite personality types can seem rather attractive, interesting. The other looks to have impressive abilities. Look out, though! As the relationship moves forward and initial problems come up, they mistakenly think that the cause of these problems is minor and can easily be fixed. NOT!

Opposite personality types can have the worst compatibility among all other relations.

Conflicting pairs:




ESTp - INFj  

INTj - ESFp 

ENFj - ISTp  

INFp - ESTj 

ENTp - ISFj 


"A well laid-out and thoroughly readable introduction to psychological temperaments and personality types."

They soon find that when further problems come up and conflict starts, the pair hits each other with arguments exactly in the direction where they can cause maximum pain! In return, the other partner may counterattack even more aggressively.

With every conflict these relations then become worse and worse. Such pairs are completely unable to protect and take care of each other's weak points which are so opposite to their own.

Best compatibility for long-term interactions

Pairs are ordered with the highest degree of compatibility first:

Two halves of a whole

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Duality Pairs of Personality Types

Two people of "Dual" personality types have the most favorable and comfortable interactions of all the intertype relations. Dual partners are like two halves of a whole! They have complete psychological compatibility with each other. They will find that they understand each other's intentions without any need to say a word.

This immediate understanding allows you to be yourself, without the need to adjust, saving both you and your partner a lot of energy! Your Dual partner will naturally protect your weak points and also appreciate the strong ones without asking for anything in return. Conflicts between Duals are very rare, and if there are any, they are normally short lived and solved without pain.

Duality pairs:

ESTp - INFp  

ESTj - INFj 

ESFj - INTj  

ESFp - INTp  

ENTp - ISFp  

ENTj - ISFj  

ENFj - ISTj 

ENFp - ISTp 

Surprisingly, it is difficult to notice your Dual partner among all the other types, and even easier to just pass them by. Only after being together for a fair amount of time do the partners start realizing how much they need each other.

There are at least two conditions for a successful relationship between Duals.

1. There has to be at least a minimal mutual attraction.

2. Most importantly, each partner truly strives for the same or similar things. This may include common interests and/or life goals, as two halves of the same whole must not repel or move in the different directions.

The more developmental stages completed by Duals in their relationship, the more unbreakable their relationship will be. If relations crumble, it normally happens in the first stage of the relationship.

Identical focus and view - like this pair of horses

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Identical Pairs of Personality Types

Two alike people of Identical personality type have complete understanding between them. They see the world with identical eyes. They identically process received information. They come to identical conclusions and have identical perceptual problems. Identical partners usually experience sympathy towards each other, trying to support and justify each other.

However, Identical personality types have an inability to help the other in a big way. They each basically think the same way, having identical preferences for their focus on life. Identical pairs are, for example; ENTp - ENTp and ISFp - ISFp.

Although partners with an Identical type share a sympathy towards each other, the interaction quickly becomes boring. Unless partners have common interests, are working on the same project, or one partner has sufficient preponderance in new knowledge to benefit the other, all seems boringly the same. Identical partners may for a time receive new information from or about each other and so the relationship comes alive, but just for a short period of time.

Couple that enjoys the same activity

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Activity Pairs of Personality Types

The two personality types of these pairs stimulate each other into activity. This relationship is the easiest and quickest to start. Interaction with an activity partner becomes surprisingly satisfying in the beginning, especially if both partners feel a mutual attraction.

Continuous interaction over a long period, however, becomes like an overactivation that can readily result in an overall tiredness of each other. It's like getting too much of a good thing and the partners then need a short rest from each other. After a rest, though, they can enjoy a positive interaction once again. Without such breaks from each other, though, they find they negatively, instead of positively, stimulate each other. Therefore, the Activity pairs get into an oscillating rhythm of activity, rest, activity, rest.

When it comes to doing everyday life together, Activity partners often meet with many problems. An Activity partner's advice can always be accurate, right on, but no amount of such advice will ever turn the other's weakness into strength.

Activity pairs:

ENTp - ESFj  

ESFp - ENTj  

ISFp - INTj  

INTp - ISFj  

ENFj - ESTp  

ESTj - ENFp  

ISTj - INFp  

INFj - ISTp 

Why identify best-fit type?

Communication among Activity pairs always requires adjustments. One partner may think of it as too foggy and not concrete enough, whereas for the other partner it is too unrefined -- quite a difference in views.

Collaboration is also difficult, because Activity career test myers briggs partners cannot predict each other's behavior, even in what seems to be ordinary situations! Because of this, they cannot rely on or count on each other in full. Most of the problems that arise in Activity relationships are because one partner is always Perceiving (P) or taking in what life brings and the other is always Judging (J), drawing conclusions about it. Their approaches are opposite.

Birds of same coloring

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Mirror Pairs of Personality Types

Two people of Mirror personality types experience a relationship of mutual correction. Mirror partners have similar interests and ideas, but a slightly different understanding of a given problem, and thus keep correcting each other. Each partner can see only half of one problem. Therefore these pairs always find interesting the other partner's different thinking.

Mirror partners are often very good friends. When they work together on the same project, their mutual correction and adjustment becomes a constructive criticism of each other.

Mirror partners can generally agree about setting near future goals, but they disagree about global aims. Also, these pairs usually lack a warm atmosphere between the two of them. The main discomfort in these relations is caused by the difference in Judging (J) and Perceiving (P).

Mirror pairs:

ENTp - INTj  

ESFp - ISFj  

ISFp - ESFj  

INTp - ENTj  

ENFj - INFp  

ESTj - ISTp  

ISTj - ESTp  

INFj - ENFp 

What one Mirror partner considers solid and final appears incomplete and changeable to the other. This difference may often puzzle them, especially when they carry out mutual plans. It seems to them that the other partner simply didn't get it (the main concept). Therefore, they attempt to correct each other's understanding, but usually are unsuccessful. So confident they are in their own understanding, Mirror partners can be involved in really hot disputes and can even come to blows for the sake of their own opinion.

MBTI and Socionics: Legacy of Dr. Carl Jung

In Summary

This gives a taste of how when we know the mechanism of inter-type relations, we can potentially grasp problems created by the particular incompatibilities our own personality types will have with others. The Socionics inter-type relations shows me why I and a work colleague can so easily communicate. We are one of the above "Duality Pairs" and, as it describes, that colleague and I seem to know immediately what the other's intentions are behind the words said or things done.

So, I encourage you to take a look at Socionics to help you in your relating and relationship choices. Socionics can tell us, for example, which relationships will likely require a lot of energy to communicate and which will not. Relationships, of course, are impacted by many other factors in addition to our mental preferences, so I am suggesting this simply as one of the major impacts on our relationships.

Personality Type Matching

 Last updated on February 2, 2014

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