Many of us believe that we’ve found the right person when we discover that their personalities are identical to ours. We like ourselves, we think, and so we’re bound to love the other person.
That’s not always how it works out, however. It’s not just about finding someone who is “like” you – it’s about finding someone compatible with you. There’s a difference.
Think about what a relationship would be like with a perfect copy of yourself. Yes – it would be a little strange at first, but how would it work out long-term? Would the things you have in common be the basis for a strong relationship? Or would you just end up annoying yourself? The answer isn’t clear.
One of the fun things about getting into a new relationship is that you discover just how different people are from you. While you might dress the same or have the same accent, your underlying motivations can be strikingly different – so much so that it can leave you baffled.
WHAT PREDICTS HAPPINESS IN A RELATIONSHIP?
Perhaps the more important question is what predicts happiness in a relationship? Often it is not clear.
Part of it has to do with your fundamental personality traits. You can take a free Enneagram personality test to figure out what these are. People low on neuroticism and high on agreeableness tend to have the most pleasant relationship experiences. They’re not wracked by feelings of low self-worth or continually looking for errors in their partners. Instead, they actively seek growth and look for new ways to make the relationship bloom.
It also helps a great deal if you both fundamentally agree on the same things. In other words, the things that are important to your partner should also be essential to you. It sort of doesn’t matter what these are – so long as they’re aligned. It could be something as simple as a desire to travel or as complex as a political belief system.
DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
You often hear it said that opposites attract, but is this true? Again, the answer isn’t so clear.
The main advantage of couples with radically different personalities is that they complement each other in some way. One partner, for instance, could be the brains behind the operation. At the same time, the other is the practical person who puts the ideas into action. Similarly, one person could be empathetic and the other strong-willed.
Couples with different personalities, however, can sometimes get into trouble when they enjoy different activities. One person might be an adventurer, always looking for the next mountain to climb, while the other could be somebody who likes spending all weekend watching Netflix.
In general, you don’t want to fixate on how similar somebody is to you. Instead, you want to think about how their values and qualities will slot into your life. Finding a soulmate is not an easy task, but with the right approach, it is possible. Keep your eyes peeled for the right person.