A man and woman wrapped up in a blanket looking at each other.

Hardworking, ambitious, and perhaps a little controlling, that's the Type A personality in a nutshell. Type Bs could not be more different. These individuals are typically laid-back, creative and more 'go with the flow' kind of people. So what happens when you bring these personalities together? Will the result be a drama-filled clash of conflicting traits, or a case where opposites attract? Here’s what you need to know.

How Type As and Type Bs go about dating

Type A personalities are hardworking, results-driven, multi-tasking and goal-oriented in all areas of their life, including their love life. In relationships, they tend to:

  • Take the lead. Type A personalities want to be dominant, so they take the lead when planning dates and deciding on activities to do on the weekend. 
  • Focus on making plans. Type As hate wasting time, so they strive to be punctual and they prefer making fixed plans instead of living on the fly. As a Type A personality, if you have to meet someone at 9 p.m., you’ll be there at 8:50 p.m.! 
  • Go the extra mile to make their relationship work. Type As are incredibly loyal and committed. They strive to be successful in every aspect of their lives, and will do the work to make that happen.
  • Be competitive. Type As tends to see everything as a competition - they’ll take that “fun” table tennis game very seriously! In some cases, this competitiveness can be taken to the extreme, such as if they’re obsessed with being more successful than their partner. 
  • Be attentive. Type As might come across as being highly strung but they’re just attentive and want to make the relationship work. 
  • Feel stressed out after fights. One of the signs of a Type A is they tend to ruminate on things that cause them stress. So, they might stay awake thinking about a fight they had with their partner or dwell on a misunderstanding that their partner has already forgiven and forgotten.
  • Have high expectations. Type A personalities want things done according to their (very high) specifications. They tend to be perfectionists

Now let's look at Type Bs. Overall, Type B personalities are more laid-back than Type A and prefer to live life loose and carefree. In relationships, they tend to:

  • Let their partner take the lead. Type Bs don’t mind letting their partners be in charge of things they are not so bothered about, such as planning dates and vacations. They’re happy to go with the flow.
  • Avoid being rushed. While Type As want to ensure they don’t waste a second of their time, Type Bs want to relax and recharge sometimes without watching the clock 24-7. 
  • Deal with stress well. Type Bs are great to have around in an emergency because they keep a cool head when dealing with stress.
  • Show they care. Type Bs will show love in a relationship when they feel it, not because they want to appear wonderful. They’re not motivated by getting others’ attention. 
  • Take a loss rather than lose the relationship. Type B personalities would rather set a goal of having a peaceful relationship instead of winning or always being right. 
  • Avoid conflict. Type Bs don’t like causing drama or engaging in toxic fights. They’re likely to want to sort out relationship issues by talking them out in a calm and rational way. 
  • Have regular quiet time. Type Bs can be introverts or extraverts, but will always enjoy time to themselves in which they can recharge their batteries. They don't like to be always 'on.'

Where are the pressure points?  

As you can see, there are some areas where Type As and Type Bs mesh really well. For example, a Type A instinctively will plan dates and schedule doctor's appointments, while a Type B will happily take the backseat. However, when it comes to other areas, differences in personalities can lead to conflict and tension. Here are some examples:

  • Type A comes home and expects that the house is clean and organized according to their expectations and standards. Type B might not be as much of a perfectionist, so it won’t bother them if there are dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. Yikes, a fight could be brewing.
  • Type B tends to take a backseat in the relationship, letting their Type A partner take the lead, such as when choosing a restaurant to go to for dinner or where to go on vacation. Over time, this could lead to resentment because Type B feels their opinions are being ignored and/or harbors resentment. 
  • Type A is always on the move, chasing their goals. They might get annoyed when their Type B partner wants to relax on a Sunday instead of doing chores or working on achieving relationship goals. Similarly, Type B might feel annoyed that they can’t relax. 
  • In an argument, Type A goes for the win and wants there to be a clear outcome as quickly as possible. Type B wants everyone to be happy and looks for a compromise. The result? The argument drags on and resentment builds. 

How to make it work

For a happy union, both personalities will need to work to find common ground. Here’s how to be a better partner for your significant other.

If you are a Type A:

  • Be encouraging instead of controlling. As a Type A, you focus on your way of achieving your goals and might see Type B’s way of doing things as incorrect, which can lead to conflict. For example, instead of telling a Type B how to achieve a promotion, it’s better to motivate them and only offer advice if it’s requested. 
  • Set lower expectations. Although you set high expectations for yourself, forcing others to meet them can cause issues in your relationship. A good tip is to lower your expectations to allow your partner to have the confidence to express who they are.
  • Allow yourself to relax. Since Type Bs like to go with the flow and don’t tend to sweat the small stuff, you can learn from them. Why not relax on Sunday with a good book instead of stuffing your day with many chores? It might actually be fun! 

If you are a type B:

  • Communicate about your hopes and plans. This is the best way to ensure you’re both on the same page. So, if you’re planning a vacation, ask your Type A partner what vacation goals they have and see how you can combine your plans and ideas so you both have a good time. 
  • Be open to getting out of your comfort zone. Although dating a Type A personality can feel overwhelming, a positive spin is to see it as a challenge to step out of your comfort zone. For example, your idea of relaxing might involve vegging out on the sofa with snacks and a good movie, while theirs could be to install a pergola in the garden. It might be fun to join them in their adventures sometimes.
  • Avoid losing yourself. Although you’re okay with letting your Type A partner take the lead, don't ignore your needs and wants. Losing yourself in a relationship will lead to dissatisfaction, so speak up about what’s important to you. 

Things to work on together: 

  • Be open to each other’s differences. Don’t try to make your partner a clone of you! Understand that you and your partner have differences, and being open to them can help you both grow. So, for example, it’s healthy for Type A to become more open to relaxing more while Type B can be inspired by Type A’s relentless ambition. 
  • Compromise. Your Type A partner might go crazy with wanting their house perfectly organized, while you might want to have a full day to yourself to relax. Communicate about your needs so you can meet each other halfway. 
  • Be willing to learn from each other. While your partner’s different ways of doing things can make you scratch your head, ask them why they’re that way and why they like the things they do. This will help you gain a better understanding, from where you can find common ground.
Giulia Thompson

Giulia Thompson is an Italian-South African freelance writer and editor with several years of experience in print and online media. She lives in a small town in South Africa with her husband and three cats. She loves reading, writing, and watching thrillers. As an Enneagram Type 4, she’s creative and loves surrounding herself with beauty.