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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have noticed in relationships - particularly in people under 30 - that sexual roles seem to be the largest factor in self-reported satisfaction with the relationships, much to the detriment of other personality needs. I am not referring to just sex, but to the interaction of partners on a wider spectrum, but based on some implied sexual roles.

I will give one example of an ENFP I knew, only because I have been studying ENFPs lately. She always had a hard time getting deeper connections with people and was frustrated by that. She was acting out on a basic ENFP need to establish deeper connections. She was a bit shy and this probably also factored into her difficulty getting the kind of intimacy she wanted from friends. She was rarely satisfied with the conversations she had or the relationships with friends, because she always wanted something deeper.

That same girl had a successful live-in relationship with a guy five years older than her who she described as a "black box". If she tried to get into his head he would not appreciate that. I remember asking her some basic questions to determine if he was an Intuitive or a Sensor. Her response was that "He keeps most of that in himself. and I know for sure that he will never tell me what he wants." But she was totally okay with that. In fact, once she told me that she was "grateful" that he had so much "patience" with her. And what I realized over time was that the success of this relationship was really about her wanting a sexual partner who was some kind of authority figure who she could greatly respect. And I am pretty sure the sex matched up with that need as well. In her particular case, she wanted some kind of dominance, but I do not think my point is about stereotyping dominance or submissive needs. Really, the most abstract form of my point is that we all have certain preferred sexual role needs. Whatever those sexual role needs are, when we find someone who can provide that it becomes a very strong attraction in a relationship and can completely blind us to even more important personality needs.

In my example, it never even occurred to this girl that in all of her friendships she was longing for deeper connections, which exactly match to her MBTI personality needs as an ENFP. But in her sexual relationship, she abandoned all of those needs almost completely, and she instead used a preferred sexual role as her one and only determining criteria for success of the relationship. So strong was the override of personality needs by sexual roles that she was not even aware of the fact that her basic personality needs were not being met.

Now, I can hear a lot of people object right away and say "But that is really immature. People grow out of that." And my response to that is "What is the divorce rate?" Yeah, people grow out of that, about 5 to 10 years after they mistakenly get married to someone who never met any of their basic personality needs. At some point, the sexual roles stop being the primary gravitational force, and people actually have to talk to each other. :) And at that point when an ENFP is in a marriage with a Sensor type, the conversations may be difficult. There are always exceptions. Your mileage may vary. :)

MBTI seems to be oblivious to this issue, and maybe it should be. But is there any personality theory that tries to absorb this idea? Or is there a good article or discussion online talking about how sexual roles can override personality needs in relationships?
 

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Probably explains my first relationship, which was with an ESFP woman. We had nothing in common and nothing to talk about, but we did have mutual attraction and that drove it for a time. The relationship eventually fell apart because our life goals were too different. We continued being friends for a while before growing apart. She ended up moving to another state and joining the army.
 
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