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Friday, August 17, 2018

The Dance Of Temperament

Although I try not to often exclude people without partners asking questions here, occasionally an interaction in my own partnership forces my hand. My apologies today to the unattached.

I've been called many things in my life; mellow or laidback have not been among the words others frequently use to describe me. If you share a partnership with someone temperamentally different from you in this respect - no matter whether you're the mellow one or the edgy, intense one - what challenges do those differing temperaments bring to the relationship?

I suspect those of you who - like me - have more edges than smooth surfaces will find it easy to answer this question. I'm also guessing many of you among my temperamental cohort have been labeled - by self and others - with some loaded adjectives. In ascending order of offensiveness, a few of those labels might include moody, difficult, obnoxious. And though I'm not certain my partner of forty plus years shares the perspective, one even-tempered friend of mine has a novel way to describe the dance of temperament he and his wife have managed to sustain over their many years: "Her edges mesh with my grooves."

So, what are some comparable loaded words that you easygoing, mellow, laidback partners hear or call yourself? In your experience - either temperament - how well do partnerships with this diverse dynamic thrive? If you have this kind of partnership, what strategies have helped you endure? And finally, for those of you in partnerships where - in this respect only - your temperaments are more alike than not: What have been the challenges that similarity has presented to you? Your strategies for enduring?


  1. Since it is pretty obvious you are talking about us :) I would be much more likely to describe you as interesting, exciting, engaging, and intellectually challenging than any of the words you list above. And I could probably list about 50 people who would not describe me as easygoing, mellow, or laid back! But, for whatever reason, our edges and grooves do fit, and I'm very grateful for that.

  2. Kim, you are the ultimate spouse. I can’t imagine Pat navigating his tempestuous seas without you!

  3. My dance of temperament only lasted 10 years twice. My hat's off to all those who have made it. I always ask them what's the secret to a long marriage. The one I remember is, "there must be something left after the passion dies." Perhaps the passion does not die for those whose edges fit grooves. Pat, I noticed what time you posted. Are you getting to bed late or getting up early?

    1. Hey Ed; Thanks for reading and commenting; been a long time. Answer to your question re late or early - depends on the day.