A : Your question reveals one of my dating guidelines: since people reveal themselves through time and interaction, be open to exploring compatibility by allowing a relationship to unfold over time and interaction. Your example reminded me of a presentation I attended at a matchmakers conference a few years ago. The presenter, a research professor of anthropology and the scientific advisor to a division of Match.com, Dr Helen Fisher, had developed a theory that while each of us is a combination of all four personality types, each person primarily expresses one of four broad personality types.
In her book, Why Him? Why Her?, Fisher explains how understanding your partner’s personality type can help you navigate the ups and downs in a relationship. From your example, it appears that you are primarily an “Explorer,” while your boyfriend is primarily a “Builder.” “Explorers” are typically described as novelty-seeking, energetic, risk-taking, and adventurous; whereas “Builders” are characteristically cautious, conventional, stable and respectful of rules and traditions.
While your differing temperaments can pose challenges, such as that experienced during your travel, they can also result in powerful complementary teamwork. An example of this complementary teamwork: as you had mentioned the two of you share the life goal of wanting kids, your future family life can be enriched by the sense of adventure (provided by you) and security and stability (provided by your boyfriend).
Both of your mindsets will likely determine the prospects of your relationship. Do you positively focus on teamwork by viewing each other’s differences as contributing complementary strengths to the union; or alternatively, negatively focus on the challenges by viewing each other’s differences as weaknesses warranting modification?
Jasbina is the founder and president of Intersections Match, the only personalized matchmaking and dating coaching firm serving singles of South Asian descent in the United States. She is also the host of Intersections Talk Radio, a monthly lifestyle show. www.IntersectionsMatch.com.Jasbina@intersectionsmatch.com.