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What is the best way to choose your future mate?

December 17, 2009

Humans they say are attracted to each other because of some sort of “chemistry,” call it pheromones, a sense of smell, instinct, infatuation, love or just plain physical attraction, but what it boils down to is that two people can be drawn together even though they hardly know each other. That’s because Nature doesn’t really care whether they get along or not, as long as the two procreate.

But today this is not enough. We live in a highly individualistic society and couples are thrown in each other’s company far more than they were earlier. So we need to get along or poof! End of marriage compatibility! But if our instincts don’t tell us who the right partner is, then what can? We don’t want to leave it to chance. So we try to ensure that the partner is suitable. That is why we try and choose someone with the same interests as us, someone from a similar background, someone with the same values, someone with whom have a lot on common. Does it work?

One theory says that marrying a partner with a similar temperament works to some extent. This theory, based on research, says that couples with similar temperaments tend to get along better, and that similar attitudes and beliefs were not an important factor. The characteristics that were taken into account in the research were Extroversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness, Positive emotions, Negative emotions, Avoidance, Anxiety, Fearful–secure, Negativity of self-model, Negativity of other-model, Dismissing–preoccupied, Ego-resiliency and Disinhibition. Let me quote a little here:

People may be attracted to those who have similar attitudes, values, and beliefs and even marry them – at least in part – on the basis of this similarity because attitudes are highly visible and salient characteristics and they are fundamental to the way people lead their lives,” explain the authors. Personality-related characteristics, on the other hand, take much longer to be known. However, once people are in a committed relationship, it is primarily personality similarity that influences marital happiness because being in a committed relationship entails regular interaction and requires extensive coordination in dealing with tasks, issues and problems of daily living. Whereas personality similarity is likely to facilitate this process, personality differences may result in more friction and conflict in daily life.

True, the research sample is small (291 couples) and limited in the sense that it was marital happiness within the year that was considered. However I believe that the first year of marriage is an important indicator of future happiness although there may be exceptions. I think that the exceptions generally arise when some external factors (like interference of in-laws) is playing a role in the couple’s unhappiness, not their personalities.

I wanted to test this theory so I checked to see if it applied to my own marriage, which I consider a very successful one. I always felt that my husband and me were different but when I checked against the factors mentioned in the research I was surprised to see that we were pretty close in 13 of the 16 factors! And in the three factors in which we were not similar, we were certainly not opposites! I had always thought we were different because he loves exercise and I don’t, he is a gourmet where food is concerned and I am not, he is mechanical minded while I am more artistic…but if measured against the personality indicators in the research I realised that were were not that different all….quite a strange thing to discover after so many years of marriage!

Related Reading: Math tips on when to stop looking for a better partner!
10 + 5 ways to have a happy relationship and a healthy marriage
Arranged marriage vis-à-vis a love marriage – which is better?
Checking out the other sex
Do children affect the health of a marriage?
Why is the divorce rate increasing?

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56 Comments leave one →
  1. Dev permalink
    December 17, 2009 11:38 am

    Nita, it’s a myth that opposites attract. I mean it’s fine if your partner loves chicken and you like shrimps, but similarity in terms of basic values and moral choices is a must for them to get along in the long run. One can adjust with husband/wife’s annoying habits but not with different value system. So, I’m not surprised that you got 13/16 correct, because I see those factors more of important value system and intrinsic characteristics rather than mundane habits. :)

    • December 17, 2009 11:46 am

      Dev, this research is actually saying that its mainly temperament, not even values! Even I was a little surprised to read this, but then I was thinking…is it possible? After all we do have people from different cultures and even different countries marrying and living happily ever after. Then even criminals have wives who are not criminals! Why is this so? Are these couples terribly unhappy??
      I have now added a quote from the research to explain the findings better.

      • Dev permalink
        December 17, 2009 12:00 pm

        “After all we do have people from different cultures and even different countries marrying and living happily ever after. Then even criminals have wives who are not criminals! Why is this so? Are these couples terribly unhappy??”

        No, surely not. People from different cultures can certainly be happy as long as they get along in terms of basic values and temperament. Actually when I say values and intrinsic personality characteristics , I basically meant factors you mentioned like extroversion, positive emotions, Conscientiousness etc. Because I personally believe that these factors are sort of unchangeable, so it’s very important that there is not much conflict when it comes to these important factors.
        Regarding criminals having wives who are not criminals, well I cant think of any particular case, but even when it happens, I suspect that there must be some important meeting point for it to work in the long run. I mean wife may not be exactly criminal, but she must have some sort of similar mentality/aggression. Of course, no body can exactly know what makes sometimes very different people tick , but generally I will find it hard to believe that a person can love another person all his/her life if they are very different in their value system.

        • Ron permalink
          February 21, 2010 10:27 am

          I agree with you Dev. There must always be some kind of similar base to start of, but the difference between the two is equally important.One can’t always expect a relationship to be successful when both of them completely or very similar. Being similar leads us to the comfort zone,but only in the starting days, as later on it becomes boring. When there is considerable amount of difference in the relationship ,then it becomes a bit of fun and gives a sense of completeness. Because what all we miss in our self is what look for in the other person.

          i believe in ” WE MAKE FRIENDS TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SIMILAR TO US , SO THAT WE CAN STRENGTHEN OUR SELF .BUT WE LOVE THE ONE WITH DIFFERENCE SO AS TO MAKE OUR SELF COMPLETE “

  2. December 17, 2009 12:47 pm

    Nita, if similarity in personality is so important for marital success this can further explain how uncertain is the choice of a partner no matter what: we really get to know each other’s personality only after a long time! I also believe that nature doesn’t care much about our happiness, as long as we have reproduction, which can seem a a boutade, but there may be truth in it.

    Off-topic, I am often disappointed by these researches on human psychology in the Anglo-Saxon world . They are too sectorial, lab oriented and limited to tiny samples. What can they say of a complex theme such as us humans? I think as for human sciences we should add more polymathy. Big breakthroughs on any field, nature or human sciences, have often been carried out by the polymaths, of which few are left today, since extreme specialisation is the rule. Which doesn’t mean such researches shouldn’t be done, of course.

    Here a nice link on polymathy and its decline, in case you are interested:
    http://www.moreintelligentlife.com/content/edward-carr/last-days-polymath

    • December 17, 2009 2:45 pm

      Nita, the link works only if you copy and paste it in the address box of another browser window, wonder why.

      I remember when I was a boy people were stunned in Italy when hearing that Swedish couples lived together for maybe 1-2-3 years before getting married and making children. Don’t know if it was a legend, but it makes sense.

      Yes, I agree, over the years many researches can add up to something more comprehensive. But what if many of them are wrong (every tiny aspect being in real life, nature, fastened with hundreds of other aspects): this could affect the resulting comprehensive picture lol.

      Oh let’s not start a discussion on that, it would totally shift the discussion. I ‘m a digression maniac.

  3. December 17, 2009 12:50 pm

    Extroversion : Husband-yes, Me-no;
    Neuroticism : Husband-no, Me-YES!;
    Agreeableness : Husband-Me-Equal;
    Conscientiousness : Husband-Me-Equal;
    Openness : Husband-Me-Equal;
    Emotions : Husband-positive, Me-negative;
    Avoidance : Husband-Me-Equal;
    Anxiety : Husband-no, Me-YES!;
    Fearful–secure , Negativity of self-model, Negativity of other-model, Dismissing–preoccupied, Ego-resiliency and Disinhibition…

    Its too exhaustive… I have no patience for it.. But I guess, the trend is a little bit of all in both the partners.. On a micro-level, we are different, hubby is messy, clumsy, goofy, lazy, mechanical; I am organized, careful, meticulous, creative; On a macro level, hubby is more goal-oriented, calm, thoughtful, I am less-success-driven, confused etc etc.. I guess it balances out itself at the end!! :)

    p.s. the link is either broken or not working.. I would like to read the article pdf!!

    rushme, I have fixed the link. But the pdf version is not working. – Nita

  4. December 17, 2009 12:58 pm

    Guess these researches help us realize a few things ;)

  5. December 17, 2009 1:36 pm

    Dev, it is a little odd to think that people with similar temperaments may get along better than two people with similar value systems but perhaps if we leave out extreme cases it is possible.

    Man of Roma, true there is no way of knowing what the temperament of the other is beforehand, and I guess those that say that its best to live together to find out are not far wrong!! And about research ofcourse, but then research is always better than coming to conclusions based on one’s own observations. Over the years research adds up to something comprehensive. Hopefully we will know more about the complexity of human psychology in the future. And thanks for the link, will certainly check it out.

    Rushme, the analysis as you said shows that you and your husband have some important similarities. I personally feel that the qualities of Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Openness are very important and in this you seem to be the same as your hubby! The reason I think they are important is because openness is important to communication, agreeableness necessary to the amount each wants peace and happiness in the environment and conscientiousness important for respect. For example I am a very conscientious person, to an extreme degree and cannot respect someone who isn’t. It is this quality and sincerity which makes me respect others, and thankfully my husband is extremely conscientious too! Strangely I didn’t even know this when we married although we were going around for years before we married! I just knew he was an agreeable sort and we shared so many things together, in terms of common interests.

    Vishesh, always!!

  6. December 17, 2009 1:37 pm

    Nita,it is ,yes and no.
    My personal opinion and I believe in is that two partners come together as arranged match or otherwise only by destiny.There are innumerable examples of most unexpected marriages being most successful or otherwise.
    Habits, temperament,riches etc become only excuses for success or failure of a marriage.
    It is DESTINY.

  7. December 17, 2009 1:37 pm

    Nita,

    Where are these 16 factors listed? Can you give the link – would like to try it out!
    I don’t know which theory to believe. My husband and I are very different but our basic value system and principles are the same. So the material differences don’t matter at all:-)
    If people see us – they think we are perfect complements of each other:-)

    • December 17, 2009 1:46 pm

      Minal, I had saved a copy of the article on word with the link but the link is not working anymore. However I found another copy of the news which I linked, but which does not mention the qualities. The old link which I had is here:
      http://www.apa.org/releases/attraction.html
      but it is not working anymore. As I have a copy of it saved I will mail it to you, but it is not the original pdf version which has all the details of the study. However there is no quiz, just the results of the study.

      In fact while searching for another version of this research I found another similar study which you can read about here:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3031396.stm
      I think later I might add it to the main post.

  8. Vinod permalink
    December 17, 2009 2:25 pm

    Nita

    I think we must make note of the constraints of this study. It is about the quality and happiness of couples in the first year of marriage.

    I believe that attitude and value similarity will start to count in the long term quality and success of the marriage. Value discussions/differences start to surface only when behaviour is examined over a consdierable period of time over a considerable variety of issues.

    Attitude and value similarity can make or break a marriage. They lay the foundations of the marriage. ‘Happiness’ and ‘Quality’ of the marriage builds over those foundations and gets more depth in meaning only after 10 years of marriage. Before that, the happiness experienced is of a shallow kind.

    That brings me to the question how ‘happiness’ and ‘quality’ of marriage has been measured in the study,.

    I sure hope singles do not take their criteria of choosing their marriage partners from such studies.

  9. Vinod permalink
    December 17, 2009 2:34 pm

    I think that humans struggle to balance off the need for certainty and the need to be challenged by uncertainty in choosing their life partners. Certainty is derived through looking out for familiar characteristics such as values and attitudes. The challenge for uncertainty is found through the challenge of working with different characteristics – and thus the notion of ‘opposites attract’. As humans, our happiness is made from being challenged to an extent where we derive self worth by overcoming the challenge but are not broken by the challenge. That translates to finding the right differences to work with for life in choosing a marriage partner. All this is not quite done consciously. It operates through our instincts.

    The immaturity of youth lies in over estimating their capacity for challenging and chasing after the most different kind of person, only to later find that it was a too difficult marriage bargain. But alas, not all individuals are so self-aware.

  10. Vinod permalink
    December 17, 2009 2:42 pm

    I also can’t help wonder whether there is a neat distinction between values and personality traits, as presupposed by this study.

  11. December 17, 2009 2:49 pm

    I believe successful marriage is a mystery that will never be unvalied…because it’s a mixture of everyting and some things that work for one couple, may not work for another.

    I love to watch people’s realtionships and I have hundreds of totally different stories about working realtionships (and even more of non-working!).

  12. December 17, 2009 5:04 pm

    BK Chowla, somehow I do not believe in destiny. Never have.

    Vinod, yes ofcourse I am sure that values will start to play a very important part as time goes on. I am sure that similar values do matter and in fact before I read this study I believed that this was really all that mattered. However now I think that it is quite possible that similar temperaments matter too. If two people cannot get along temperamentally the question of their value systems will not even arise will it. After all so many marriages break up even when people go by similar value systems. About such studies, they are there to make us think, more than anything else. I doubt whether anyone uses these to make life choices.
    And that question you raised is an interesting one, about values and personality traits, yes there is a difference. For example being dishonest is a value that someone has but aggressiveness is a personality trait. I think that one aggressive person and one submissive person in a marriage portends bad in the long run. The long suffering type will be unhappy and could over-react one day. Marriages often break up after 20 years, when one partner has had enough of the other’s behaviour. Behaviour which that person tolerated for many years.

    Man of Roma, I don’t know why the link is behaving that way! And about the research, new things are found out every day and we need not be taken in. But I feel one must keep an open mind at all times. Open to new ideas and thoughts. That doesn’t mean that one swallows everything hook line and sinker.

    axinia, in this I do agree. There is an element of mystery to love and marriage but we as humans are always seeking to unravel this mystery.

    • Vinod permalink
      December 18, 2009 8:39 am

      If two people cannot get along temperamentally the question of their value systems will not even arise will it.

      Temperaments only determine the momentary reaction to a situation. Values determine the reflected-reaction to the situation. It is very probable that mismatched temperaments will lead to hurt. But if forgiveness (both seeking and granting) is a value cherished by both, then most such hurt can be healed.

  13. Lakshmi permalink
    December 17, 2009 8:19 pm

    I think we are about 50-50 on these factors! It is interesting to notice the subtle elements that make up the chemistry.

    I have been noticing lately that we all grow up after marriage too and so things are not the same as when we met or got married. It is interesting how that affects the marriage.

  14. December 17, 2009 8:43 pm

    First the factors are so tough that I have to google to understand their meanings so I’ll skip them :)
    “similar attitudes and beliefs were not an important factor.” That is wrong I think. Those are a very important factor. Love develops only when people are at similar wavelengths!! So be it arranged or love marriage, for a happy and peaceful life having similar attitudes and beliefs is important!! Nature,choices,likes and dislikes maybe different but on some important things they have to think alike. I cant be happy with a person who beliefs women should not do jobs or I should always wear a saree or Raj Thackeray is right!! (just examples :D)

    • December 17, 2009 9:57 pm

      Ok too many typos in my comment. Kindly excuse.

  15. December 17, 2009 9:01 pm

    Lakshmi, thats so true! I have found that I have changed after marriage in some of my qualities. I can say that my partner has influenced me and I have influenced him too.

    Reema, in fact for me too one of the criteria was how a man behaves towards a woman. his attitudes to women, his broadmindedness etc were very important to me and in fact that was one of the main reasons that attracted me to my husband. However I think finally what our made our marraige click was the fact that we were similar temperamentally. We are both fairly calm people, we like peace and quiet, we like people but we like our privacy, neither of us are aggressive and so on. So I agree with you that love can happen because of similar values but when it comes to getting along more than values can play a part. If we take it the other way round, and would two people with different value systems but similar temperaments get along? I think they can as long as there are no extreme differences. I think any extreme difference, whether of temperament or values will mean unhappiness. Anyway the subject is too complicated!! :)

    p.s Reema, I think most people who go for arranged marriages or even love for that matter might go for those with similar values. That is what all people go for. So are we going to be happy with all those people who share similar values as us? Nope!

    • December 17, 2009 10:03 pm

      Yup. sometimes too much of similarity gets boring too. Actually compatibility can’t be defined in terms of similarity or dissimilarity. While opposites attract is not entirely true, “like repel” is also not entirely false. :) I feel a good compatible relationship is a constantly evolving dynamic process.

  16. December 17, 2009 10:49 pm

    I agree that Opposites Attract is just a lot of hype, one does need something (preferably plenty) in common. I also thought my husband and I were different but we do have an amazing lot on common and I – like you, realised it only gradually.

    I think I agree with you about personalities being more important that values in relationships…

  17. December 18, 2009 8:41 am

    Nita, excellent post!

    It is easy to quickly dismiss such studies since human beings are complex to start with, and relationships are an altogether different matter. Nevertheless, I think these are important, as they are minute but significant steps towards better understanding of ourselves.

    This one in particular, may provide some clues about why the “opposites attract” theory continues to be popular. The “opposites” referred to are usually values, beliefs, and attitudes. And if one were to observe the personalities, they are usually similar. So this study does have credence, to my mind.

  18. December 18, 2009 9:12 am

    IHM, yeah, it’s something worth thinking about!

    Vinod, that is indeed a good point…but is the ability to forgive a value or a personality trait? I think it is a personality trait. However it is possible to see this as a religious value too. For example amongst Christians it becomes a Christian thing to do. However I think if we leave out very religious people then this becomes a personality trait. There are variations of this. People who just can never forgive, people who take a long time to forgive and people who forgive quickly and people who just don’t remember! So I personally think it is a personality trait.
    However there is one value which can help a marriage and that is values towards marriage. If both people have the strong value that marriage is a permanent institution it can go a long way in ironing out problems. In the west where this study was understaken I think this value may be missing.

    Mahendra, thanks. I think one should not dismiss anything out of hand. The knowledge of the world is increasing day by day and we need to be open to all information. We need to debate it, think around it, analyse it but we should not be too hasty in dismissing it. I think that is what shows a youthful mindset. Openness. Again a quality which both me and my husband share even though we are no longer young! :)

    • Vinod permalink
      December 18, 2009 12:11 pm

      Nita, in general, I am disturbed by the way values such as forgiveness today are spoken off as personality, as if it is something one puts on for an occasion and that too to look good among people. Forgiveness is a value that is related to humility. Only when is humble about one’s own weaknesses and fallibility is one able to forgive the other’s misguided behaviour. Unfortunately with the taboo on speaking about anything remotely similar to religion one cannot directly talk about humility and forgiveness as virtues in themselves that ought to be reflectively cultivated and made a part of one’s character. Instead, it has to be packaged as a personality trait that can help one win reputation points or move up the career ladder using a-religious terms such as openness of mind (which is again a branch of humility).

      Secondly, people use ‘personality’ as if justifying their faulty character traits – “It is my personality that I get angry like a rhinoand charge at you”. Instead, such faulty personalties are indications of poorly inculcated values. Plain speak about values has become a thing about the past. Everything has to be sugar coated now.

      • December 18, 2009 12:42 pm

        vinod, why do you think a personality trait is something put on? I am not sure I get it. Some personality traits can be put on, some are not put on. One can also pretend to have values which one does not. In any case humility is a personality trait which can stem from a value and as you said a poor personality trait can reflect poor values. Either can be put on.

        • Vinod permalink
          December 18, 2009 12:55 pm

          Nita, I may be working with a non-psychological definition of personality and more with the popular definition of it. Hence the incoherence in my comments.

          Personality in popular parlance is often spoken of as if it is something practiced by way of speech, dress, fashion and choice of words. Personality, in popular lingo, includes notions like hairstyle and fashion – the stuff related to appearances and less to do with behaviour. In contrast to that, I believe personality is about behaviour and is really a reflection of values and the depth to which they have been cultivated in the character of a person, which itself is a function of factors controllable and uncontrollable by the individual’s cogitation.

          In short, I think I am a bit muddled here myself. :)

          • December 18, 2009 1:54 pm

            Vinod I had an inkling that you were going by that meaning of personality but I was not sure. Personality traits in psychology mean something else, more like character traits. Character and personality traits are a reflection of one’s values, no doubt about that but the same personality or characteristic may have different values behind it. For example some people are not social. So do they have the value of a hatred of humanity? Not always, because one may have and another might simply have the value of wanting to use their time properly. Anyway, you know what I mean!

          • Vivek Khadpekar permalink
            December 18, 2009 3:55 pm

            Vinod,

            If this helps you any, in many pockets of urban India ‘personality’ goes exclusively with speaking English. No English, no personality. :-)

            • Vinod permalink
              December 19, 2009 3:12 am

              What can I say, Vivek? May the gods help the Indian middle class.

          • December 19, 2009 1:44 pm

            Vinod’s deliberations reminded me of an old two-para post on my blog: http://skeptic.skepticgeek.com/2008/03/08/personality-vs-character/ :)

  19. December 18, 2009 12:38 pm

    Nita, can you spend some time to explain these characters a little (one liner per attribute, perpas)? Would help to do similar analysis. I am not really sure I understand all specially Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, Positive emotions, Negative emotions, Avoidance, Anxiety, Fearful–secure, Dismissing–preoccupied, Ego-resiliency and Disinhibition…which is pretty much all!

    • December 18, 2009 12:39 pm

      And yeah, I went through original article and research pdf to find before I asked.

    • Vinod permalink
      December 18, 2009 12:45 pm

      Ashish, google for ‘Big Five’ Personality Traits and you will have the wiki link show up among the top few search results.

    • December 18, 2009 1:44 pm

      Ashish: I am giving some explanations here but please do not take them to be perfect or comprehensive.
      Neuroticism according to its definition is “a mental or personality disturbance not attributable to any known neurological or organic dysfunction” but many of us have some elements of it for eg, being hyper or over reacting to situations.
      Conscientiousness “the trait of being painstaking and careful, or the quality of acting according to the dictates of one’s conscience. ”
      Positive emotions – being someone who is basically a happy person and not the complaining melancholy sort.
      Negative emotions – a person who is always complainign and seeing the worst of people and situations
      Avoidance – avoiding tackling issues which one feels uncomfortable with.
      Anxiety – being in an anxious state quite often, often due to small things.
      Fearful–secure – This is related to anxiety in the sense that some people always feel insecure about say being loved.
      Dismissing is often dismissing of issues and is in a way related to Avoidance and preoccupied is related to dismissing because it means a person who is preoccupied with something and therefore avoids confrontation or communication or issues.
      Ego-resiliency – this means the ability to bounce back after being upset or hurt without it affecting one’s self esteem.
      Disinhibition as the wiki says is “Disinhibition is a term in psychology used to describe a lack of restraint manifested in several ways, including disregard for social conventions, impulsivity, and poor risk assessment”.

  20. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    December 18, 2009 3:51 pm

    //The characteristics that were taken into account in the research were Extroversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness, Positive emotions, Negative emotions, Avoidance, Anxiety, Fearful–secure, Negativity of self-model, Negativity of other-model, Dismissing–preoccupied, Ego-resiliency and Disinhibition.//

    [GASP!!!]

    No wonder so many young people leave the decision to their parents! :-)

  21. rags permalink
    December 18, 2009 6:36 pm

    Me really confused after reading all the comments.:)

    A lot of things go into mate selction (looks, career, social background) and after crossing all of this one looks for compatible values, attitudes and similar interests, and even then there is always an element of surprise and unpredictabililty. Which adds to the thrill and fun because we humans wouldn’t have it any other way, life would be too boring without all that suspense. :). And if things happen right and you’re lucky you get your soul mate.

    Having similar temperament and attitude will make life easier as there will be lesser things to talk over and negotiate and consequently lesser energy expended on keeping the marriage stable. If your spouse is also a good friend then I think most problems can be solved amicably without too many fights.
    Vinod made a very nice point there, the right balance between certainty and uncertainty is what keeps a marriage alive and exciting as well as secure and stable.

    You know nita, atleast as far as mate selection is concerned I feel there is an element of destiny involved. And also the fact that your partner/spouse has a patient ear. :)

    rags, in fact I think having a similar temperament makes it easier to argue! :) At least in our case it does because we like different types of movies, different kinds of food, I talk more, he talks less, I spend less, he spends more and so on! We are both equally aggressive though. But for example take a couple where one is aggressive and the other submissive, it is unlikely that they will argue!! :) Anyway, talking about destiny, dunno why I don’t believe in it. I mean I believe in things happening by chance, but that’s chance, not destiny. – Nita

  22. December 18, 2009 7:50 pm

    Didn’t know that researchers can make marriage even more complicated with jargons :). Nice post.
    A little patience there, a bit of understanding, utmost care for each other and unconditional love can make a fairly tale life.

    Xylene, now you are talking values! :) – Nita

    • Vinod permalink
      December 19, 2009 3:10 am

      Man in incapable of unconditional love. This applies to the over-glorified motherly love too. The love of a human being is always conditional and limited.

  23. December 18, 2009 9:24 pm

    I had written my reflections on the same .
    there are times when people with opposite personalities have had successful married life and there are people with perfectly matched traits heading for divorce .
    important thing in relation is adjustment and compromise which many youngsters are no ready to adhere to.

    http://anjugandhi.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/a-perfect-relation/

    Thats true anju, but often what we think is different, isn’t. As I mentioned in the post if you had asked me before I read about the criteria employed by the study, I would have said I am very different from my husband! I might even have said we are opposites! For example I am talkative, and he is quiet!! :) But then I guess the psychologists are looking at it differently – Nita

  24. December 19, 2009 12:02 am

    There should be a study on whether people read such studies, how seriously do they take them if they do and why, and whether they use such studies when they go on a date or when they look for a potential mate. I can imagine two people bringing a chart with them on the first date and asking each other how neurotic, conscientious etc. each one is, and scoring these points on the chart to figure out their compatibility. I’m not sure that such studies offer any more than an astrology chart comparison, and are mainly intended to reassure people, though in a more “scientific” garb to give it a measure of respectability: study – published in a journal – fancy terms. Voila!! :)

  25. December 19, 2009 12:25 am

    This topic is quite confusing. I think, parents, if they act in the right spirit could get the best possible partner for their children. But the problem starts when they start becoming selfish and determine the match looking at the dowry amount, status etc.

    Destination Infinity

  26. Kanagu permalink
    December 19, 2009 12:29 am

    I enjoyed this post Nita… Seems to be the research group has took pain in formulating those question… But i dont know what to comment on this post… :(

  27. locutus83 permalink
    December 19, 2009 4:43 am

    I can’t really think of any “best way” to choose my future mate. I don’t believe in horoscopes or destiny. The detailed personality analysis seem too complex and unreliable to me (one’s temperament could change over a period of time, and it is very tough to categorize oneself accurately on all factors as black or white – most of us are all varying shades of gray) even though I enjoy taking such tests on the net for fun.

    But I do believe that one should really get to know his/her potential spouse thoroughly before marriage over a decent period of time (6 months to 1 year at least?), irrespective of whether it is a self-arranged “love” relationship or parent-arranged “arranged” relationship. In that process of getting to know each other, I think people should look out for four key factors:

    1. Open-mindedness
    2. Compassion
    3. Mutual Inspiration (ability to APPRECIATE, inspire and encourage)
    4. Shared Activities (willingness to do things together)

    These four critical factors help strengthen any relationship, be it friendship or marriage or even a parent-child relationship.

    Open-mindedness helps one appreciate ideas, attitudes, likes, tastes and points of view different from his/her own. For example, I may be a carnivore libertarian capitalist who loves New Age and Hip Hop, and my partner may be a Vegan environmentalist socialist who loves Classical and Jazz; but if we both are open-minded, we will tolerate each other and maybe even appreciate each other’s tastes.

    Compassion helps one empathize deeply with others’ feelings and problems.
    I think mutual compassion is a strong bonding factor for married couples, even stronger than romantic love which is generally ephemeral. Your heart cries when the other hurts. You thus learn to take good “care” of each other, feel with each other, and a strong long-lasting bond is formed. The Dalai Lama also said that true love is 100% compassion and 0% passion.

    Mutual Inspiration is a factor which is given very little importance in relationships but is vital. It is vital for shared growth and happiness as a couple. You get inspired by your partner to improve, grow and excel as a person. The key motive is happiness at the others success, and the key traits are the ability to encourage, appreciate, inspire and help.
    Appreciation is vital as it is food for the soul, and the most important emotional want of any person. It is said that most marital problems and marital boredom set in due to lack of appreciation.
    The song “Tumse Hi” from the movie “Jab We Met” is a fantastic song which describes inspiration.

    Finally, shared activities also help strengthen a relationship. Shared activities need not necessarily mean shared tastes and values. The activities could be mundane day to day activities like cooking, washing, cleaning, shopping, deciding the house budget, planning a vacation, going to the movies, eating together, playing games, watching T.V., going for a walk, et cetera. This helps share the workload and things get done faster with eventual approval and jurisdiction of both parties. I think doing household tasks together is vital for modern urban working couples.
    If you do a lot of “things” together ;), you definitely have more fun and bond well. A couple that works together and plays together, stays together.

  28. December 19, 2009 5:28 am

    I believe there aren’t any successful or failed formulas for a perfect match. Matched personalities can be boring as well :D

    • Vivek Khadpekar permalink
      December 19, 2009 12:10 pm

      Spot on, Kiran! I was waiting for someone to come up with this. :-)

  29. vasudev permalink
    January 8, 2010 10:14 am

    where is the questionnaire?

  30. Ankur permalink
    February 11, 2010 11:11 pm

    nice one nita…was readin ur blog first time bt already a fan..

  31. Aman permalink
    July 6, 2010 7:48 am

    There is no criteria or formula for a happy married life .Two people can be different but can still be one.Happiness comes from within and the thoughts and ideas of two people can be different but still they live together as one .

  32. April 6, 2011 1:15 pm

    Hmm.. one of the few very good blogs i’ve read..!
    You shouldn’t have stopped blogging..

  33. vanita singh permalink
    May 26, 2011 5:47 pm

    Marriage is pure chance.There is no logic involved.So just pray to god that everything turns out well in the end.

  34. Nikita permalink
    August 22, 2013 3:14 pm

    nice post..

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