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Personality in Relationships |

Personality in a relationship

About personality in a relationship

Are you similar or far apart and how can you adapt?

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Personality and the Big Five model

Learn about each of the five personality traits; are you similar or far apart, and how can you adapt?

We use the Big Five personality model as a way for you to explore your own personality. You will get a summary of your individual report of all the five factors. If you wish to proceed you can also dive deeper with reports for each factor separately.

Invite your partner and get your matching report on the personality path on the "Together" tab.

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Video - Personality

What is a personality test?

A personality test is usually a questionnaire about your behavior. There are no right or wrong answers as long as you answer to the best of your ability. Some personality tests are long, with hundreds of questions, while others might have under 20 questions. There are strict guidelines to follow when making a personality test. These kinds of tests are based on a personality model and are made up of questions that have been developed and tested thoroughly.

Can one change their personality?

Personalities don’t change that much in adulthood. Traumatic or otherwise significant experiences can change one’s behavior in a systematic way, meaning not just occasionally or randomly. Some people can easily change their behavior. Every one is capable of changing their behavior even though it can be hard. But if you have managed to change your behavior, have you then changed your personality? No, not really. But brownie points to you nonetheless.

The questions is then whether or not one has changed their personality or just changed their behavior. We know that anyone can change their behavior so long as they are willing to work on it. For example, if you are a slob but you live or work with a neat freak, you can put in a little more effort to keep things neat and clean. It might be taxing, but it can pay off by keeping the peace at home or at work.

Everyone seeks out situations that feel right and comfortable for them. Extroverts go out looking for people to talk to. Introverts try to stay away from people that they don’t know. If an extroverted person had to be alone in the woods for a week, they’d probably be craving social contact when they got back. If an introverted person had to go to a cocktail party, they’d probably need a few days alone in the woods to regain their energy. Spending time alone in the woods is difficult for an extroverted person, and going to a cocktail party is difficult for an introverted person.

If you are able to change your behavior, or you convince your partner to change theirs, then you have to recognize that it’s not an easy thing to do.

"I can see that it wasn’t easy for you to come with me to that cocktail party, but it was really important to me that you came. It was great to have you there! Thanks so much!"

It is possible to change your behavior. But if these changes are to last in a relationship, it’s important to recognize the work that is being put in to change.

What is the Big Five model?

Who are you as a person? It’s impossible to give a precise answer to this question because you behave differently in different situations with different people. Perhaps it’s okay to not have a precise answer. It would be limiting and boring if there were a box to put everyone in.

In the past 25-30 years, researchers around the world have agreed on a way to describe personalities that is based on the language that people actually use. It is called the Big Five. The idea behind the Big Five is that what is important for humans must have become embodied in the language that we use since we have been developing language for thousands of years.

That is why hardworking researchers spent thousands of hours creating lists of words that describe personalities or relationships. The words were then used in surveys, and by the help of mathematical techniques, were reduced to the words that best describe different kinds of people. These words appeared to be able to be divided into five categories or factors — The Big Five personality traits.

It is possible to divide each of the factors into several sub-factors, but we have decided to only use the main factors in this survey. This is so that the person taking the questionnaire won’t have too many questions to answer.

Here are the five factors in the Big Five:

  • Factor I: Extraversion
  • Factor II: Agreeableness
  • Factor III: Conscientiousness
  • Factor IV: Temper or Neuroticism
  • Factor V: Openness to experience

Learn more about the basics of Big Five on this short video.

Video - Why use Big 5

How accurate are the results of a personality test?

Personality tests can never pinpoint a person’s personality to a 100 %. However, the five personality traits in the Big Five are well rooted in research and empirical data, so we can be sure that these five traits can be found in the real world. The next question is whether or not your report matches your personality. Do you think that the results sound like you? If you don’t, it could be because you lay in the crossroads between two reports and you ended up with the one that suits you the least? Or perhaps you perceive yourself differently than the rest of the world does? That can be a constructive hypothesis to think about.

Is it good for two people with similar personalities to be in a relationship?

Yes, it is a good thing that romantic partners have similar personalities, or rather, it’s a good thing that their personality aren’t too different. This is another example of psychologists spending years proving something that everyone else already knew.

Everyone knows that partners with very different social needs butt heads when the weekend comes. And everyone knows someone that has a different standard of cleanliness than they do. The only personality trait that can be good to differ on is temperament.

If both partners have a short temper it can lead to a lot of fighting. So if both of you have a short fuse, it might be a good idea to find out wha you can do about it and avoid unnecessarily arguments and fighting.

Good luck!

Read more about our Big Five model on our FAQ

Start on your own or together with your partner

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