Communication is essential for any relationship to work, but simply being able to communicate freely is not a guarantee of a successful relationship. Two people have to be able to understand each other, too. You can talk all you want, but if your prospective romantic partner doesn’t understand a word of what you’re saying, then you’re headed for an iceberg.

People have different methods of communication, different ideas, and different definitions of things. What one person may define as a date is another person’s platonic movie night with a friend. If you’re not sharing what definitions mean, this can lead to huge problems after the fact (or during the fact). People have different languages, essentially, even while they might be speaking what sounds like yours.

It’s kind of like British English versus American English. I say pants, you assume they’re talking about my… well, underpants.

The point is, successful, and precise communication is what can save fights and struggles in the long run. And, while many trained psychologists don’t feel that the Meyers-Briggs type divisions are a thing, or even useful, I disagree. I feel the seperation of types can serve as a good guideline for compatibility. Why?

Meyers-Brig types can provide some indication of how people think; and people who think similarly seem to have similar definitions of things. An INTP like myself will often have a far different view of relationships (often a broader, big-picture view) and what goes on in them from someone who’s an ENTJ (who may have a far more in-depth narrow field of view, and sees things in a piecemeal fashion, rather than all at once), and so on. These differences in thought can lead to difficulty communicating the meaning of things, especially when the other person simply assumes they know what you’re talking about.

Simply talking at someone and expecting them to understand will not always work.How to solve this issue? Be explicit about what you mean. If you’re having the conversation with someone about whether or not to date them, define what you mean by “date,” and ask them to define it. Find out what their definition of courtship is, and so on.

Believe me, you’ll be much happier if you do the grunt work in trying to figure this all out BEFORE the fighting starts.

This also works for manifestations of love within relationships. Some people prefer touch, some prefer deeds, some prefer gifts. Get to know the way that your soon-to-be companion expresses love, and be sure to make nods to how they show it, when you show them your love after you’re together! I’ve seen fights break out over this, too.

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