Why Ben and I Are Like Levitating Unicorns

It was our anniversary this last weekend. Seventeen years, and we don’t feel that old, but here it is.

The kids were at Ben’s parents’ for a sleepover, and we had the most relaxing time, eating out, going to the park, and talking about anything and everything, which happened to include me asking Ben for anniversary blog post ideas. It’s tradition, and I’ve done all kinds of things in the past, like anniversary ABCs, five things you might not know about us, 13 things I love about Ben, etc. I was feeling a bit dry for ideas this year, though. I thought it might be fun to interview Ben, but he thought that was too last minute and too much pressure, so I made him promise to do it for next year.:)

For this year, he thought I should write about personalities and marriage, and why our personality combination has been compared to”levitating unicorns”. He was referring to this blog post I sent him awhile back about why our Myers Briggs personality types work so well together:

For every Myers Briggs personality, there’s a counterpart that makes an almost perfect fit. The key is in the functions. Relationships struggle if people don’t have similar functions, or dominate functions that guide them. ENFP and INFJ being both highly intuitive people would struggle with someone who is more dominated by sensing. These two thrive on metaphors, abstractions, and the creative — trying to get them to be normal and grounded is like trying to make a levitating unicorn made of rainbows do your taxes.

I loved this article, because it described our relationship very well, but I’m also interested in the idea that everyone has someone who fits them just right, whether it’s a friendship or a romantic relationship. At our house, Anika and I are finding it fascinating to look up different personality types to find out what type is their best fit – everybody has their own levitating unicorn!;) It’s possible to be friends with all kinds of personality types, but there’s one, sometimes two types that fit just right.

I’ve discovered a friend who has the same personality type as Ben, and it has been one of my greatest delights to get to know her – it’s as effortless as it is to spend time with Ben. To make it even more interesting, her husband has the same personality as me, so as couples, we’re just the opposite, and it’s been very interesting to understand our spouses better as we talk about things from a slightly different viewpoint.

But my favourite unicorn of all will always be Ben.:) Here’s a bit of what the article had to say about why Ben and I fit well together:

Both the INFJ and ENFP will feel instant attraction to each other. They both have pieces the other one desires. The INFJ wants to be understood and needs help coming out of their shell because they are the most rare personality making them feel constantly like their ideas and feelings don’t fit in with the rest of the way the group feels. The INFJ also struggles with being quiet because their dominate function is introverted intuition — their first objective is to take information introspectively. Until this hits their emotional center and their can translate the information out-loud empathetically, they tend to keep information to themselves. ENFP are primarily information gatherers, but through extroverted intuition. To the INFJ, the ENFP talks in the way the INFJ is taking in information. This is all very pleasing and creates an ESP effect.

The ENFP on the other hand feels a strong Fi-Si loop that they can stuck in. The ENFP is the champion and is wanting constantly to involve people, spread ideas, and get things in motion. But there’s this other more introspective side they have that they don’t always know how to convey, if they should convey it. The INFJ in being more introspective knows how to help the ENFP with their emotional growth. The INFJ knows how to encourage them and let them know it’s okay to have dark thoughts, to be a little serious, to have the crazy kind of depth. Both are obsessed with people and gathering information about people because their in the NF temperament.

One article described the attraction between our types as “a moth to a flame”. When I shared this with Ben, he immediately said, “You were the moth, and I was the flame. There was no way you could resist me.” But since my personality type is very rare, I’m pretty sure it was the other way around – he couldn’t believe he’d finally found an INFJ, even though he had no idea what that meant at the time – our inner unicorns could just sense each other.;)

source

This does not mean our marriage is always perfect, though. When people say “Opposites attract”, this is true, to a point. It is also true that opposites can be annoying or frustrating sometimes. The same goes for the expression, “Variety is the spice of life.” Having no spice is boring, too much spice is gross or fiery, but just the right amount of spice is fantastic.

Ben is the perfect amount of spice for me, but that means there are ways in which he challenges me, and our differences provide opportunities to learn how to communicate better, and how to appreciate and take advantage of the other’s different strengths.

Ben is great at coming up with wild and crazy ideas, so he’s always helping me look outside the box, and see things from a different perspective. I’m the one who likes to think forever about all the details, so I can help him improve his big ideas, and ask questions that help him figure out how to make his big ideas work in real life.

He is more focused on connecting people and helping everyone have a good time, while I am more task-oriented, and focused on getting things done. Sometimes this leads to very different expectations and frustrations if we don’t communicate properly. I remember the first day after we got back from our honeymoon – Ben wanted a slow, relaxing morning, as if we were still on vacation, and I wanted to get up early and go shopping for a kitchen table, and get our little apartment in order. I’m sure the issue had come up before when we were dating, but it was our first married life example of how differently we approached things that needed to get done.

I am much more relaxed and less stressed than I was when we first got married, and Ben has learned to close cupboard doors and push in his chair at the table.;) Lots of give and take, and real life stuff happening in between our levitating unicorn moments.

So to sum it all up, I love Ben like crazy, and thoroughly enjoy him as much as when we first got married – actually, I think I enjoy him even more. We’ve been able to work through some of the bumps and challenges in our differences, and I’m so thankful for our relationship. He really is the most wonderful person to be married to – my beloved spicy unicorn!

Curious what personality type you are, and who is your perfect match? You can go to 16 Personalities, take the test, and then google your type + “best matches”. And don’t feel discouraged if you aren’t surrounded by people who are your “perfect” fit – like I wrote, we all need some variety! There are ways for all personality types to connect and find some common ground, and I’m finding Myers Briggs to be such a helpful tool for doing this!

 

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8 thoughts on “Why Ben and I Are Like Levitating Unicorns

  1. Happy Anniversary!

    We have loved researching personality types in our family ever since you blogged about it in your birthday favourites. It has helped so much in understanding our family dynamics. I am an INTP and my husband is an ENTP. There are definitely moments where I wish one of us was a “J” when organization is needed. However I love that our cognitive function drivers and co-pilots are the reverse from each other. So much can get done when we are working together! We also now understand our kids better. I hope that it will make homeschooling somewhat easier as I acknowledge each of their individual personality types. I am not a sensor and now I realize what a difference there is between my two sensor children and myself as an intuitive!

    • Wow, so interesting that you and Kyle are so similar!! I’m very curious what your home is like! Sounds like fun!! And yes, this tool is hugely helpful for parenting and homeschooling!! All Anika ever wanted was a book to read. She got annoyed when I tried to find crafts or activities to go along with what we were learning. Kaylia, on the other hand, could spend her entire day cutting and gluing and colouring, so now’s the time to get out all the activities!! I find it slightly overwhelming, but lots of fun!:)

    • I’m very curious what your personality is! In my years of roommates, you were one of the easiest people to live with!! I have magical memories of our year together!:)

  2. Happy Anniversary! I loved this post. Since I am also an INFJ I always enjoy your personality posts because it’s like a little insight into my own life 😊. Interestingly, in our home Elijah is the ENFP and I have to agree that I was super drawn to him in a unique way from the moment he was born. It is a little magical like a levitating unicorn! Lol Of course the relationships is different being parent/child but I can definitely see the way those types interact. My brother is also ENFP so I’ve also experienced it from the sibling side. I found it harder as a sibling because ENFP’s are so radiant and draw people to them so much it was a little more difficult as an introverted judging sibling to be beside that. I see Alli struggling with that too because she’s also INFJ. Also interestingly, when I looked up Ernest and my personality types together I discovered that his type ISTJ is an ENFP upside down! An ISTJ has the same functions as an ENFP but in the opposite order. Where the ENFP is weak the ISTJ is strong and vice versa. I really appreciate the groundedness of Ernest’s ISTJ. We always he is the solid oak tree and I am the butterfly floating around it. I need that solid space to land sometimes and he needs the perspective of someone from some different angles. My closest cousin on my dad’s side is also ISTJ and we get along awesome as well. It’s also neat to see that personality type on a female because it definitely changes it.

    • I think it’s so amazing that you get to have an ENFP son! How fun is that! I’m sure your connection with him will be such a beautiful thing through the years. Also, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have a child with the same personality as you!! Trying not to feel a bit jealous!! I love my kids, but there are some tough patches I need to figure out when it comes to their personalities – having a thinker when I’m a feeler has been interesting, and my little sensor wants to connect in completely different ways than what I’m used to!

      And Ernest being an ISTJ is very interesting to me as well – it makes me curious what personality types your parents are.:) I was listening to a podcast awhile back that talked about how intuitives raised by a sensor will be better at connecting with sensors, and a sensor raised by intuitive parents will have an easier time connecting with intuitives. They learn to “speak each other’s language” better than people raised by parents with the same type as them. I’ve already told Anika she shouldn’t bother dating a sensor, because she’s an intuitive, growing up with two intuitive parents, so she’ll have a tough time relating to a sensor! Partly joking. I’m sure God + love can overcome anything, but I do think our life experiences influence what kind of people we connect with easily!

      I love the picture of the oak tree and the butterfly! I remember talking with your mom shortly after you had started dating Ernest, and she described him as being very steady and solid, and the perfect fit for you!:)

      • I’m curious on my parents types as well! I’m betting I have at least one sensor parent.
        One thing that I have been finding interesting is where we fall on the continuum of a certain type. For example, my N and J are extremely strong. I identify with very very little S or P for myself personally. But my I and F are not as strong. I still lean more towards those two but I identify with some E strengths and struggles and some T strengths. I think the E is because of being raised in a home where shyness and introversion were literally not allowed so I have developed my E traits a lot more. Not sure on where the T comes from…I think maybe traits I have had to develop too. Anyway, I’m just finding that interesting lately!

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