Creating the Myers Briggs of Love

Saeid Fard
May 18, 2022


We set out to create an MBTI-like personality instrument to help people better understand themselves in the world of love. The goal was to develop 16 personality types to effectively differentiate us in 1) how we conceptualize love 2) how we integrate partners into our lives 3) what we want out of love and 4) and our reliance on partners for our overall wellbeing.

We established four underlying pairs of dichotomies.

  1. Independence vs. Interdependence. Our desire for integration with our partner.
  2. Romantic vs. Pragmatic. What defines our early attraction to a partner.
  3. Entropic vs. Centered. How we cope with uncertainty and stress in love.
  4. Daring vs. Anchored. Our need for novelty and thrill in relationships.


At Dimensional, we use personality science to help people improve their lives and relationships. A central element of our platform is the concept of Archetypes: traits that summarize us in one of several contexts. To date we have 5 Archetypes: Spirit, Identity, Work, Love, and Career.

While we measure users in detail across over 100 underlying traits, the ensuing alphabet soup of traits can be overwhelming for casual users. Archetypes serve as a sort of 80/20 summary of those traits across contexts and help us relate to one another in more simple terms.

While there are existing generalized archetypes for Identity and Work (like Myers Briggs and DISC), there is no such equivalent in the arena of romantic love. Surprising, given that it is perhaps the most consequential to our overall life satisfaction.

In that spirit, we sought out to create a Love Archetype.


The most important question in developing any archetype, which is by definition a reductive exercise, is to ask "what's the fewest number of traits we can use to capture the greatest essence of a person?"

For the sake of simplicity we decided that, like Myers Briggs, we would limit ourselves to four sets of opposite traits. Why choose four traits and not five or even three? This is where personality testing becomes part art, part science. It is a balancing act between simplicity and comprehensiveness. Too few traits and you'll fail to capture enough difference in people; too many and you'll miss the whole point of the exercise in the first place.

As arbitrary as this might seem, even the most scientific instruments make these kinds of choices. The Big 5 consists of five traits for no particularly empirical reason. There are Big 6 inventories and even Big 2. Some go further and split the Big 5 into 10 or 30 sub-traits. The number of traits we use to measure people is simply a matter of field of view.

With four traits in mind,  The combination of those opposite traits would yield 16 Love Archetypes in total. The four best traits would need to best satisfy the following conditions.

  1. Traits should be mutually exclusive. That is to say, they should not strongly correlate with each other. In the realm of personality science, there will always be some correlation between factors within a model, but to get the most bang for our buck, we should select traits that are least correlated. For instance even in the Big 5 model we find that Neuroticism is negatively correlated with Extraversion.
  2. Traits should be relevant to love. The traits we choose should be immediately relevant to romantic love and compatibility. For instance, while extroversion is arguably the most important general personality trait, it is not immediately relevant to the world of love.
  3. Traits should expose differences between users. In psychometric terms, we refer to this as "group difference," meaning that there should be a material difference in the population on a particular trait. For instance, if we measure "desire to be loved" as a trait, we would find that the vast majority of people would score high on that trait and it would be a very poor differentiator between two people.
  4. Traits should be non-judgmental. Types cannot be "good" or "bad." Our goal in creating love archetype is help people understand themselves and one another; not to label some people as "good" lovers and others as "bad."

With those criteria in mind, our team compiled a list of suitable traits to fit in our model. We wont reveal the exact list (which is our secret sauce after all), but it included everything from attachment and love styles to measures of general personality. In all, we used 18 elements from the Dimensional personality inventory and mapped those elements onto 4 parent traits.


1. Independence vs. Interdependence

The first polarity we wanted to explore is a measure of the degree to which we want to integrate our lives with that of our partner's. Of course the nature of any relationship is the sacrifice of some elements of our personal freedom, but there are degrees to it. For instance, some couples prefer to lead relatively independent and social lives and view their time together as an opportunity to update one another on their lives. They may be wary of jumping in a relationship too soon and take time to be truly vulnerable. On the other end of the spectrum are people who prefer to fully integrate their partner in their life: sharing friends, hobbies, and goals. They are quicker to open up and share a life with someone.

2. Romantic vs. Pragmatic

The second polarity deals with our psychological conceptualization of love. On one end of the spectrum, romantic types easily crush on people. Though they might not admit it, they quickly fantasize about what a life with someone could look like. They project onto that person all of the qualities they desire in a partner. They can fall for many different types. On the other end of the spectrum are more pragmatic lovers who view potential partners in terms of "fit." They are less prone to fantasy and might take longer to fall for someone.

3. Entropic vs. Anchored

The third polarity deals with how we react to stress or uncertainty within our relationships. Entropic lovers experience the highs and lows of a relationship more acutely. Their partner's assessment of them means a lot to them and so they strive to meet the needs and expectations of their partner. They need reassurances of love from their partner, especially during times of conflict or relationship stress. Anchored lovers, on the other hand, are more self-reliant for emotional soothing. They need less validation from their partners and so might also be less likely to innately volunteer it. They are able to compartmentalize conflict in their relationships.

4. Daring vs. Centered

Our final polarity deals with our need for novelty and thrills in romance. Daring people want a life of thrills and excitement. They live in the moment and need excitement to stay stimulated. Anchored people derive pleasure from a slower pace. Though not necessarily introverted in the classic sense, they are more drawn to simplicity and stability and eschew overstimulation or chaos.

The 16 Love Archetypes

Together, these 4 pairs of dichotomous traits translate into the following 16 archetypes.

  1. The Realist (IPCA)
  2. The Adventurer (IPCD)
  3. The Dove (IPEA)
  4. The Nomad (IPED)
  5. The Voyager (IRCA)
  6. The Wildheart (IRCD)
  7. The Arrow (IREA)
  8. The Energetic (IRED)
  9. The Anchor (TPCA)
  10. The Enigma (TPCD)
  11. The Devoted (TPEA)
  12. The Weaver (TPED)
  13. The Constant (TRCA)
  14. The Magician (TRCD)
  15. The Admirer (TREA)
  16. The Idealist (TRED)

Find your archetype

If you want to know your Love Archetype, download Dimensional for free on the App Store. Learn more at

About the Author

Saeid Fard has 9 years of experience working in personality testing and is the founder of According to the Dimensional personality test, he is an INTP and his top strengths are Humor, Creativity, Perspective, Appreciation of Beauty, and Social Intelligence.


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