What makes good partners in a relationship

03 Aug 2023 09:43 | Geplaatst door Marcel |

What kind of person makes a good partner. That is a question that has been bugging me for years. I will share some of my thoughts and observations about it. Most probably I will make some amendments in the future to this article (or I will delete this alltogether :) ). If you read this article, please give it some time to sink in and see if it has any merit to you.

Stubborn versus flexible

On the scale of stubborn to flexible you might prefer to have a partner that is similar in personality to yourself.

Flexible and faster thinking

Some people are flexible and can think quite fast. In a discussion they can view the situation from different sides and can easily flex with what other people bring in. Often they are good listeners. Together with fast thinking they can easily follow allong with all the flexing.

They don’t often use powerplay or even think in terms of powerplay, more often they are looking for solutions.
Often, these people are very talented. Some might choose to make safer choices in life.
A pitfall might be that they become arrogant and create the thought that they are better than others.

Flexible and slower thinking

Some people are flexible but at the same time slow in thinking. This seems like a contradiction, and it might be. They can flex with many different ideas and viewpoints, while not always being able to keep up with all the ideas.
This can make them easy targets to play around with. Just flush them with ideas and see how they cope.
I haven’t met many people in this category. They might be hiding from the nasty social situations in life :)
If you are part in this category, you might prefer people similar to you, but they are not easy to find. If you do find them, try to make them part of your life.

Stubborn, faster and slower thinking

To be honest, I haven’t yet met people who are stubborn and also faster thinking. Sure, it is all gradual and relative, but still.
And beware, fast talking doesn’t mean fast thinking. Using a stream of words might gain some time in the conversation, or even mask the slow thinking.

Stubborn people might not agree on the word stubborn, they might call it steady, steadfast, sticking around, long-term, not wandering about, etcetera. It’s often nice to use words for yourself that give a positive light.
Fast thinking is not the same as pattern recognizition, which might look fast.

I would want to point out that I believe most people fall into the stubborn group. In such a large group there will be many variations in people ofcourse. Some people might be very stubborn and get drawn to eachother even more. You might prefer someone with a similar stubbornness and slowness.

Thinking and communicating

Flexibility/Stubbornness and speed of thinking have influence on the way you think. Also on the way you “talk” to yourself and thus also on the way you talk with other people.
And when you meet someone who more or less thinks and talks like you do, you will notice that. Sometimes conciously, sometimes more as a general feeling of a click.

We don’t match, now what?!

Aha, interesting. You think you have a partner that is in a different group than you from the three groups mentioned above. It doesn’t have to be a problem, if you keep tabs on a few points a bit more than ususal.

  • Avoid drama. Again, avoid drama.
  • Make sure to be understanding towards eachother, even if you feel different.
  • If one moves slower or faster all the time, avoid irritation.
  • If one can only see one viewpoint at the time while you see many, avoid irritation (and vice-versa).

Other traits

Rough versus soft

A rough person might come accross as rude, maybe using curse words or strong language. A soft person might be offended by that. A soft person might prefer someone who is soft as well, thinking of a more empathic approach to other people.


Basic fear in life is about fear of death or fear of destruction. There might be different kinds of fear and different ways to deal with them.
According to the Stoics, fear is about something that might happen in the future, that you don’t want to happen.
Spinoza iterated on that, fear is choosing between two things that you don’t want.
Do you prefer to give people your trust from the start or only after getting to know them? Are you afraid of repercussions if you do something that is not liked by others? Do you try to ignore your own fear by overcompensating? People have different backgrounds in what kind of fear they have. I would reckon, some basic understanding towards eachother helps a lot here. No human lives without fear, but we all deal different with it.

Outgoing or homesitting

You might prefer someone who is doing this similar, else conflicts may arise. Personally, I think the healthiest behaviour here is a bit of both, but that may just be my preference.

Inward or outward virtues

My experience with Tinder is that most people there are about charisma and making an impression. If that is your cup of tea, than Tinder might not be a bad place looking for a longterm relationship. I prefer more the inner virtues, as long as I do find my partner physically attractive (she doesn’t have to be a goddess).
About impression, I once read: People who try to impress others, are often themselves easily impressed.

One trait out of the ordinary

And another thing, please bear with me :)
There are these photosets for aura photo’s. I really believe there are people mainly with red and people mainly with blue in these photo’s. People in a relationship might prefer the opposite color for a partner. And yes, maybe these aura photo’s are nonsense. But it can simply be a translation of other traits. I just haven’t found the right idea and words for those traits yet to explain it well.
And please understand that this is not about team days and all the team courses about colours and personal traits. I am trying to mean something that does have a deeper base.