Undoubtedly you have seen couples that seem to be in conflict constantly. They bicker on just about everything. They seem to be so different that you might find yourself wondering, “How did they ever think THIS would work?”
On the other hand, you probably have also seen couples that seem to get along extremely well. They just seem to gel and have so much harmony in their relationship. And you might find yourself thinking, “Do they fight about anything?”
Unfortunately, many of us find that the first type of couple is far more prevalent than the second. And, for good reason: Fundamentally, every couple has differences.
Why? Anytime you put two people together they will likely have differences in their backgrounds, their life experiences, the households in which they grew up, the challenges with past relationships, their current pressures, and especially in their preferences, needs, desires and expectations. These differences are real and have the potential to impact the relationship positively or negatively.
If you want to sustain a positive, uplifting, and fulfilling relationship you must first be aware of your critical difference and then have strategies for addressing them effectively.
In this blog, I focus on the first part, being aware of the critical differences between you and your partner.
The Couples Tendency Profile
The Couples Tendency Profile is a tool for helping partners identify areas where they are different and where they are similar. The profile compares responses across twenty dimensions:
· Family focus
· Health and fitness
· Leisure activity
· Sexual activity
· Social interaction
To use the Couples Tendency Profile, you and your partner should complete the profile separately and then compare scores. Here is an example of how a couple scored two of the dimensions. The blue represents one partner’s scores, and the orange represents the scores from the other partner.
With this example, on the decisions dimension, this couple has a 2-point difference, which the Profile describes as a slight difference, and one that the couple would likely rarely notice.
However, with the action dimension, there is a 4-point difference. The Profile recommends using the proactive or intervention strategies from Porsha Principle #4 to address.