It’s fair to say that the Myers-Briggs and I have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, it’s fun to talk about and dissect, and it gives some perspective on why we process the world in certain ways. Any insight on how we interact with each other can be extremely valuable. On the other hand, though, it can’t seem to decide if I’m Introverted or Extraverted, if I’m a Judger or a Perceiver. It doesn’t seem to be able to put me in a neat box (classic INFP, by the way), and isn’t that what it’s supposed to do in the first place? There are valid academic criticisms of the Myers-Briggs, as well. (If you haven’t yet taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, you can take it here.)
So, given all that, the natural thing for me to do is to develop my own psychometric based on the Myers-Briggs. (I’m tempted to call it the Macks-Bergman, but I haven’t committed to that yet.) I like having a set of neat dichotomies. In this case, though, rather that identifying personality types, I am using four different pairs to describe dating styles.
The Macks-Bergman Dating Inventory:
1) Do you prefer dates that are Social or Personal?
On a date, would you rather be doing something social – say, going to a party, sporting event, or dancing – or are you more interested in dates that are personal, like a private dinner or a secluded walk?
2) Do you prefer your dates to be Active or Conversational?
Do you think you build intimacy more by sharing experiences like visiting a museum, going rock climbing, or seeing a play, or are you more comfortable getting to know someone be talking to them over a cup of coffee?
3) Do you prefer dates to be CLassical or Modern?
This refers to how you want your date to treat you. Ladies, do you expect men to get the door for you and treat you in a generally chivalrous fashion, or would you rather they be less formal about things? Men, how are you more comfortable acting towards your date?
4) Do you prefer dates to be Organized or Flexible?
Do you get stressed out if things aren’t on schedule? Or does having an itinerary make things seem rigid and stiff to you? Additionally, do you want to do or participate with the planning, or would you rather just go along with what the other person plans out?
I want to be clear, I don’t think this would be a good basis for defining compatibility. I don’t think a PCLO would be incompatible with an SCMF, or any other type for that matter. What I think is if you want to date someone who is of a certain type, you should try to tailor the dates to their type (or at the very least incorporate that information into your evaluation of the date). If they seem to prefer Personal Conversational style dates, maybe don’t bring them to a Vikings game. On the other hand, if they like Social Active outings, a three-hour dinner at the Melting Pot might be too much of a strain. Otherwise compatible people might reject each other simply because the dates weren’t conducive to their dating style.
To make the concept a little bit more concrete, let me point to the cinematic classic Hitch. (Okay, classic? Maybe not. But it’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen.) In the movie, dating consultant Hitch tries to date gossip columnist Sara Melas. They each get the opportunity to plan a date. Hitch’s plan involved taking jet skis to Ellis Island to find her great-grandfather’s signature in a logbook. This shows Hitch is Personal, Active, Modern, and Organized. When it’s Sara’s turn to plan a date, she picks a cooking class with her coworkers (to be fair, she has ulterior motives). This shows she’s Social, Conversational, Classical, and Organized. Both dates are ultimately disastrous.
This isn’t supposed to be especially groundbreaking or deep. But I do think it’s a different way of looking at dating and date planning. Maybe you’ll find it helpful with planning your next outing. At the very least, it should help make your next date more interesting. Happy planning!