Based on research by Dyrenforth, et al 2010, written by Mara Rowcliffe, BS.
We use phrases such as “opposites attract” or “two of a kind” to describe the differences or similarities between partners. But does personality really matter to a happy marriage? Is it the similarity between personalities that contributes the most to a satisfying relationship? Or are “opposites” happier in a marriage?
Psychologist Portia Dyrenforth and colleagues addressed these questions in a large study consisting of over 20,000 participants. They used five characteristics to assess personality: agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experiences. Their analysis revealed that the participants’ own personalities have the biggest impact on their own relationship satisfaction. Those individuals who are more conscientious, agreeable, and emotionally stable report more happiness in their romantic relationships. Their partner’s personalities are slightly less influential on the participant’s relationship satisfaction. However, the differences or similarities between personalities have little affect on relationship satisfaction.
When looking for the perfect match, your own personality plays the most important role. Whether you and your partner are “two peas in a pod” or nothing alike, being agreeable, conscientious, and emotionally steady leads you to a happy relationship and life!
Dyrenforth, P. S., Kashy, D. A., Donnellan, M. B., & Lucas, R. E. (2010). Predicting relationship and life satisfaction from personality in nationally representative samples from three countries: the relative importance of actor, partner, and similarity effects. Journal of personality and social psychology, 99(4), 690.