|Why Him? Why Her? - Him Her 10|
Foremost, Patrick was instantly likable; he had a fine-tuned sensitivity to those around him and a superb talent for handling people. He radiated warmth and authenticity. Moreover, Patrick "cared." He spent his spare time teaching English to immigrants from Africa and Asia and sending supplies to war refugees in foreign camps. Indeed, his verbal skills, his easy way with people, his compassion and his mental flexibility enabled him to thrive in countries where few dare to work and many fail who do. Patrick was a Negotiator through and through.
But his secondary type, the Explorer, was also highly visible. Patrick was infectiously spontaneous. When asked during the wedding ceremony to sip some wine, he good-naturedly responded, "All of it?" During one of the rock numbers, he grabbed the mic and did an Elvis Presley imitation in his stately white wedding suit—the antics of the true social risk taker. And all evening, he wove through the balloons to every table and dragged complacent "singles" out to swing to the rock Ôn' roll. Patrick was a fine blend of the verbal, imaginative, compassionate Negotiator and the energetic, novelty-seeking Explorer. Suzanne must have sized him up as soon as she saw his photo and read his essays on Chemistry .com.
I didn't spend much time with Suzanne on her wedding night; she was understandably very busy. But she had told me she was primarily a Director and secondarily a Builder. So I could make some educated estimations about her temperament.
As a Director, Suzanne was most likely more focused than her new husband; she probably shot straight for her goals in a determined yet inventive way. Along with that gorgeous face and hourglass figure, Suzanne was almost certainly more forthright, analytical, exacting and autonomous, too. And as a Builder, she was probably more conscientious and cautious than her new mate.
The "Right" Fit
Most remarkable about that lovely wedding, Patrick and Suzanne fit one of nature's patterns perfectly. As you recall, their primary types, the Negotiator and Director, gravitate to each other. Moreover, their secondary types, the Explorer and Builder, can balance one another, each providing strengths the other needs. So as I watched Patrick and Suzanne exchange their vows, then twirl around the dance floor, I found myself imagining how they would get along in the years ahead.
Would they still be in love fifty years from now?
I thought they would—for biological reasons.
Negotiators and Directors are very different in basic temperament. But these types can appreciate each other's mode of thinking. Both like to imagine possibilities and generate theories. So Patrick and Suzanne will probably enjoy talking together for years about their insights and personal philosophies. Yet each will bring complementary skills to their conversations. While Patrick will see the big picture, Suzanne will probably know more about a smaller piece of the social, political or ethical puzzle. Each will almost certainly impress the other with their knowledge and ideas.
These two types value their independence, although Suzanne is likely to be far better at expressing her autonomy since Directors tend to be forthright and tough- minded. But Patrick will appreciate Suzanne's frank, decisive nature—because Negotiators ruminate. They tend to live in an inner world full of soul-searching, options and ethical knots that keep them from making up their minds.
There will be mutual admiration, too. Suzanne is likely to admire Patrick's imagination and insight and his ability to understand and deal effectively with people. She will also bask in his compassion, exuberance and sincerity. And her skepticism will balance Patrick's easy trust.
But life won't be all roses for this dynamic couple. Directors admire self-control; so at times Suzanne may think Patrick's impulsivity is a bit over the top. She may become impatient with his intuitive side, too. Directors are logical, and the Negotiator's flights of imagination can leave them feeling ungrounded. Meanwhile, Patrick may occasionally find Suzanne's pragmatism maddening. Their secondary types, the Explorer and Builder, will also have an impact on their relationship: Patrick may occasionally feel hemmed in by Suzanne's caution, while Suzanne may become annoyed when Patrick is impractical.
Nevertheless, nature has given Patrick and Suzanne many complementary primary and secondary traits. With this big boost from their biological dispositions, along with a bit of work and some luck, they have an excellent chance of remaining forever "in sync," just the way they were as they swung around the dance floor that exhilarating wedding night: two very different individuals in perfect step with each other.
From the book Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type by Helen Fisher. Copyright © 2009 by Helen Fisher. Published by arrangement with Henry