What if your date is just not your type? Myers-Briggs Types and Dating
What can the MBTI® tool tell us about dating? Do birds of a feather stick together, or do opposites attract? And what makes a great date for different types? We hosted a webinar a while back about MBTI Type and Relationships, but wanted to touch specifically on type and dating, especially with the rise and popularity of online dating sites. In fact, of the 54M single individuals in the US, 49M of them have tried online dating, with 16M on eHarmony and 23M Match.com members. Ironically though, a third of the people who are on online dating sites haven’t actually gone on a date in person with anyone from those platforms. Still, currently 5% of people married in the last ten years have met their spouse online.
Extraverted and Introverted Dates
Those who prefer Extraversion are likely to be the life and soul of the party on a first date. They are perfectly happy and at ease doing all of the talking, as well as instigating the date and making the first moves. In fact, when dating a person with Introversion, Extraverts can spend their whole evening talking and answering their own questions, and even supplying answers for the Introvert, with no response necessary. And at the end of the date they might even thank the bamboozled Introvert for a fantastic time!
Often Introverts seek a quieter and more intimate setting for a first date, such as dinner for two, with low lights and soft sounds, where they can really get to know the other person. Depth and meaning in conversation is often important to an Introvert, and too much external noise might leave them reaching for the wine bottle in despair (while we haven’t done any research on the topic of Introversion and alcohol ourselves, we all know how people can use substances to self-medicate, and that includes bad dates).
However, despite their differences, an Extravert–Introvert match can often be a very good one. Those with a preference for Extraversion can be very attractive to those with Introversion preferences, who can find them easy companions with a natural flair for conversation. Just make sure you check in first before you take your Introversion-preference date to howl out I Will Survive at a karaoke bar.
Great dates for someone who prefers Extraversion might involve going to a carnival or festival or even a concert– hushed museums or libraries are to be avoided (or anywhere else where they can’t talk!). As for those who prefer Introversion, a quiet and intimate dinner for two would float their boat, but you might not get a second date if you ended up in the front row of a comedy club…
Sensing and Intuitive Dates
On a date, conversation topics of those who prefer Sensing and those who prefer Intuition can be very different. While Sensors are more comfortable talking about concrete realities – people they know, their jobs, great holidays and previous events – Intuitives are excited by conversations that involve their hopes, dreams and anything else that’s future-oriented.
A potential conversation-stopper for the two types is when the conversation starts to get into deeper details. While for the Sensor, the facts and details of a story are very important (as well as the order things happened in), an Intuitive may find these irrelevant and annoyingly tedious. Sensors, in contrast, may have difficulty following Intuitives’ abundant trains of thought and tangential conversation style.
Sensors might enjoy sloshing wine about pretending to know the difference between a Reisling and a Gewurtztraminer; for Intuitives, try something closer to a murder mystery party where Reina Terra is suspected of killing Maria Von Schnapps with an electrified trouser press, or even a movie that’s more future or idea-oriented?
Thinking and Feeling Dates
Thinking types are logical in their approach to intimacy. Feeling types simply want to be intimate and varied approaches are often welcome! To some with a Feeling preference, the cold and detached Thinking-preference-date may seem unemotional, often resulting in accusations of being a ‘cold fish’ or ‘having commitment issues’. However, to the person with a preference for Thinking, they are merely taking time to work through and understand their feelings (and the feelings of their date) in a logical way.
They are likely to feel uncomfortable and react badly to being pushed to show intimacy too early on by their (sometimes perceived as clingy) Feeling-preference partner. Those with a preference for Thinking need to know where they stand right from the start, and to have expectations clearly defined. Even the words “I love you” themselves might be open to the Thinker’s unrelenting quest for truth and classification (think Prince Charles when questioned about his love for Diana – “whatever love means”).
On the other hand, for Feeling-preference people, logic and definition defeat the whole purpose and serve as a total passion killer. Someone with a preference for Feeling is likely to believe in love at first sight or remark to their friends “you’ll know when it feels right”. These statements can seem illogical and overly sentimental to the no-nonsense Thinker. For someone with a Feeling preference, “I love you” is all that’s needed.
Thinking preference dates are bound to love impressing their date with their knowledge at a quiz night or doing a day date at a Natural History Museum; for dates preferring Feeling, turn up with flowers, whisk them off to a candlelit dinner, and maybe round off with a weepy movie where you can cuddle up in the back row.
Judging and Perceiving Dates
A ‘Judging’ approach to dating is scheduled, planned and punctual. Those who prefer judging like to plan the experience – deciding what to do, where to go and when to do it. For those who prefer Judging, getting clarity on ‘where things are going’ and knowing where they stand with the other person are likely to be very important – both on the date and in the relationship in general.
In contrast, many who prefer perceiving can feel trapped by a Judging preference date’s seemingly unbending and unending scheduling. Instead, Perceivers often take a more spontaneous and easy-going approach to dating. This can be very attractive to Judgers, particularly early on in the relationship – but it can cause problems over time, with those who prefer Judging wanting to seek closure and often commitment, and Perceivers being reluctant to be tied down.
For someone who prefers Judging, why not skip the “surprise” part of the date and head straight for your honeymoon? An all-inclusive package holiday, with a full itinerary and scheduled spontaneity sessions on the beach. Perceivers might prefer a flight-only holiday to a mystery destination (it could be the moon, it could be a 45 min. flight away – the fun is in the surprise!).