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Last updated on April 20, 2014 | by Aet Suvari


Dating and temperament types

Should you date a phlegmatic if you’re sanguine? How does a choleric match with a melancholic? And does all this even matter in the grand scheme of things?

My partner came home the other day with a personality test. He’s taking part in a sports coach seminar and they were asked to take a test with their partner and answer a bunch of questions about each other. The test was designed to find out the partner’s temperament type and how well you two match with each other.

Even before taking the test I could have told him that he’s a phlegmatic while I am a choleric through and through. True enough, that’s what the test showed. However, the result concluded that phlegmatic and choleric is the worst match between the four temperament types. Apparently these two just don’t go together at all.

I was surprised to hear that because even though I see big differences between myself and him, I think we’re actually a pretty good match. He calms me down and forces me to reign myself in when I get too fiery and I perk him up and get him out of the house. We very rarely quarrel. I’d say it’s a rather harmonic relationship.

Then I read this article about how people don’t like to date someone different and it got me even more confused.

Personally I think certain differences of opinion and hobbies and tastes only enrich us – just like cultural differences enrich countries. A certain set of similar values is obviously important if you want the relationship to be successful and to flourish, but do we really want to date people who are just like us? How important is temperament in the game of love?

Turns out, very important. All four types are completely different when it comes to dating. Phlegmatics, for instance, are sensitive and always seek for a common ground. Dating isn’t something that is fun and carefree for them – they tend to take it rather seriously and can be hurt by rejection very deeply. They are romantic and committed and are always looking for their soulmates. Sounds to me that eHarmony was invented for that type.

Sanguine people are adventurous, always up for good fun and trying new things – from the sound of it they are the typical DoingSomething folk. They love everything that is exciting and they have sensitive souls, open to all kinds of new experience – that includes different dating experiences. They are not necessarily keen to commit straight away, which means they probably wouldn’t be the best match with phlegmatics.

Cholerics don’t appreciate the fun part of dating as highly as sanguines do – for them dating is a little bit like a project with a clear-cut goal: to find a suitable partner. By the way, while phlegmatics don’t thrive with cholerics, cholerics in turn seem to prefer phlegmatics over other types (apparently because they can dominate them easily, but as a choleric I refuse to believe that 🙂 ). They’re impatient and forthright but also committed and dedicated to making a relationship work.

Finally, the melancholic type are down to earth and serious. They prefer the traditions in dating, they are cautious and considerate and focus on getting things “just right”. They don’t go well together with sanguines and cholerics but have a good match with phlegmatics.

Not a lot of people tend to have pure personality types – most are actually a combo of two. That makes the dating options more varied and explains why some types actually work better in real life than they work on paper.

Also, when it comes to dating, I really do believe that ultimately it matters more that your values match than that you share the temperament type with your date. Initially when you start dating someone, it’s not like you can hit them with a temperament-type test anyway. You can’t find out their temperament type – unless it’s bleeding obvious – but you can concentrate on values, opinions and tastes.

And then you can decide how important it is for you to share those with your date. No test can really tell you how things will work out between you two.

That said, it helps to know what your partner might be valuing in a relationship. So if you feel up for it, I don’t think it will hurt to take the relationship test together and discuss the results.

About the Author

has been reviewing and writing about the world of online dating since 2008 and the launch of Online Dating Help. A stickler for promoting ethical practices within the UK dating industry she champions the sites that get it right while highlighting those holding it back. You can follow her on Google+

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