4 Things to Remember Before You Let Your Personality Type Dictate Your Love Life
When I took the Meyers-Briggs personality test in college, the results revealed that I was an INFJ. After some quick research, I realized that only 1% of people who take that personality test get that result. The test results intrigued me, and the rareness of the personality type gave me a great boost of confidence.
Before too long, I was introducing myself to new friends and co-workers with my Meyers-Briggs personality type. In friendships and relationships, I clung to those results as a sort of identity. My Meyers-Briggs explained why I despised small talk, loved intellectual conversation, and spent hours reading good books. Identifying fiercely as an INFJ also gave me a pass at getting too far out of my comfort zone.
After learning more about personality tests in the past few years, I’ve stopped relying as heavily on my Meyers-Briggs. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking fun personality tests and comparing results with my friends and family. But I don’t think of those results as something that shape my identity.
Maybe you’ve taken a personality test or two. Some tests reveal what Disney character you are, while others help you discover what type of cheese you’d be if you were a dairy product. But regardless of which personality test you enjoy the most, here are four things to keep in mind before letting your personality type dictate your decisions and your love life.
1. Your personality type isn’t a crystal ball
If you’re a Catholic single looking for love, then it’s understandable that you’re on the look-out for someone who’s a good match. You want to get to know someone who compliments your personality and understands where you’re coming from. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to date someone you enjoy spending time with!
But just like personality tests can’t truly define who you are, they also can’t define you love life with complete accuracy either.
Sure, you may get along well with an ISFP if your Meyers-Briggs type is ESFP. But that doesn’t guarantee that a relationship between the two of you would be a home-run hit.
Instead of heavily relying on your personality test scores when you look for love, remember that personality tests are a fun starting place. However, they’re not the be-all-end-all to relationship compatibility questions.
If someone mentions their personality type in their online dating profile or on your first date, don’t read into it too much. You may miss out on a chance to get to know the other person if you make assumptions about their personality and character based on the result of a personality test.
Instead, be present in the moment with them and get to know who they are!
2. Don’t put yourself in a box
After taking a personality test, it’s tempting to believe the test results as if they were gospel truth. But don’t let a personality test define who you are. At the core of your identity, you’re a daughter or son of God, and he calls you beloved.
This isn’t to say that God didn’t create you with a specific personality. He did! But that doesn’t mean you aren’t called to grow in holiness on a daily basis.
After taking the Meyers-Briggs test, I found out that people with an INFJ personality type are typically burn out easily. But instead of seeing this as a weak area that I could improve on, I took those results as an excuse to not focus on healthy self-care habits. My personality test results became an excuse for me to stop striving for balance in my daily life.
Now, years after I first took that test, I realize that I do have a tendency to burn out. But instead of brushing it off as a part of who I am, I’m taking steps to get better at knowing my limits and learning to say “no” to certain things.
Personality tests are fun, but don’t put yourself in a box.
3. Not all personality tests are created equal
There’s no shortage of tests out there these days. While some are fun, others are used by employers to hire the right candidate. But not all personality tests are created equal.
“You should be skeptical,” Simine Vazire, a personality researcher at the University of California, Davis, writes. “Until we test them scientifically we can’t tell the difference between that and pseudoscience like astrology.”
If you enjoy taking personality tests, do some research about the origin of the test before spending too much time analyzing the results. If the questions in the test are vague, confusing, or abstract, it’s a good idea to do some checking about where the test is coming from.
Although some tests are backed up by science and psychology, others aren’t. Do you research and know how the test is populating your results.
4. Knowing yourself is a never-ending journey
Christ invites us all to strive for sainthood. Becoming aware of your relationship with the Lord and the person he’s created you to be is something that takes a lifetime. It’d be incredibly convenient if we could discover a clear path to sanctity after sorting through a few personality types. But instead, it’s a journey that only can take place when we invest into our relationship with the Lord.
“It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus,” Saint Paul wrote in his Letter to the Philippians. “I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”
Chloe Langr is a very short stay-at-home-wife, whose growth has probably been stunted by the inhumane amounts of coffee she regularly consumes. When she is not buried in a growing stack of books, she can be found spending time with her husband, geeking out over Theology of the Body, or podcasting. You can find more about her on her blog "Old Fashioned Girl."