Personalities in Love – Book Review

I heard about this book on a blog I follow, and was intrigued. I ordered a used copy on Amazon for under $5. My husband and I read it together, over the course of several long car rides, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Donna Partow’s style is highly entertaining, and we shared some good laughs over her hysterical anecdotes and brassy turn-of-phrase. It also opened up some deep discussions between us, and we often refer back to what we have learned, many times in a week.

“Personalities in Love: Understanding Yourself and the Man in Your Life” focuses on how the male and female versions of each of the four basic personality types interact with one another, as well as giving practical relationship advice throughout. I would recommend it to both married and single women {especially the first of the three sections}, since an understanding of your own personality will be of benefit no matter what stage of life you are in.

In the first section, the origin of the four general personality categories is covered briefly, and then you get to take an adjective-based personality test to determine which personality is more dominant in you. This was really fun for my husband and I. {Hint: there is an appendix with definitions for each adjective in the back of the book, and you DO want to use it–some of our answers changed after we read the definitions.} The original personality categories have been renamed by many authors, and Donna Partow has her own set of titles: Popular, Powerful, Perfect, and Peaceful. We learned from the test that David is generally a “Peaceful,” but is actually a good mix of all four personality types. I am mostly a “Perfect” woman. {If you are now picturing Mary Poppins smiling serenely as she tells her charges that she measures to “Practically Perfect, in every way,” please know that I did too, and laughed.}

In the rest of section one, we are introduced to each of the feminine personalities. A picture is painted of each personality in its purest form {wow, that was a lot of “p’s”}, and the strengths are identified and the weaknesses uncovered. I swallowed hard when I went through the list and description of all my weaknesses, as most were spot-on, and rather convicting. A section on “How to Make the Most of Your Personality Type” closed out each chapter, and honestly, it made the whole book worthwhile. These portions are very focused on seeking the power of God in order to truly flourish in your temperament, and, especially following the sections on weakness, were extremely encouraging! The book would sorely lack without this constructive advice.

Section the Second acquaints us with the man version of each personality, along with his strengths and weaknesses. There are plenty of real-life stories sprinkled throughout in order to illustrate the different facets of each personality, and they were both entertaining and informative. I think my favorite part about this section, however, was the “What Your Man Needs From You” portion at the end of each chapter. Since the author is writing to women, she is focusing on understanding how a woman’s personality relates to her husband’s, as well as being sensitive to the specific needs her husband has, due to his own personality. I really appreciated the fact that it wasn’t all just theory {Partow promised that it wouldn’t be, in her first chapter}, but I was provided with very down-to-earth applications and specific ways to encourage my husband.

In the third and final section, each of the possible relationships that can result from mixing the eight personality types is considered, as well as the relationship difficulties different couples can expect–yet overcome. It’s short, sweet, and to the point.

Okay, personal note. I realized something, as I read through the book with my husband. Although all people are usually a blend of personalities, with one personality dominating, I think that as a Christian grows in their walk with Christ, allowing themselves to be changed, the Holy Spirit actually adds some of the strengths that normally fall to other personality types, and overrides some of the natural weaknesses. {Hint: “weaknesses” of a personality type are simply the types of sin that that person is naturally prone to.} David is an amazing example to me of what can happen when a person yields themselves to God…his test revealed that he is quite balanced in his blend of personalities. We know that this isn’t “natural,” because personality type manifests itself in childhood behavior, and he would have been mostly “Powerful” as a child. So deliberate choices in his life to yield his habits/actions/words/inclinations to the authority of God have resulted in him becoming a very well-rounded individual, with many strengths to offer. Romans 12:1-2 in action!

The overall tone of the book is cheerful and optimistic. Partow is forthright, but friendly. She’s very transparent about her own struggles, and honest about the weaknesses we all have. Whereas a secular writer would turn to self-help or a therapy approach when dealing with the personality weaknesses, Partow recognizes the need for the Holy Spirit’s power to triumph over them.

Regarding further resources on this subject, Partow often references the authors Dr. Tim LaHaye {The Spirit-Controlled Temperament} and Florence Littauer {Personality Plus} throughout the book, citing their work as part of what she has built upon to create “Personalities in Love.” I have not yet read either of those titles, but I have read The Spirit-Controlled Woman by Beverly LaHaye, and although certainly a useful book, I found it a bit dry. Partow’s Personalities was definitely more “fun,” but not necessarily what someone looking for a scholarly work would be seeking. It’s not as detailed or extensive as the Myers-Briggs personality classification system, however it was written with the busy woman in mind, and is a light-hearted, quick read. It is ideal for someone starting out in personality studies, anyone who desires a Christian perspective on the general subject, and those who want a frolicsome refresher coupled with solid advice for appreciating how you and your man fit together.

::clears throat:: "This post may contain affiliate links!"  Just so you know, buying through a link on the blog could help me earn some no cost to you. There! All is disclosed. ::ducks out::

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  1. Rachelle Cobb
    March 13, 2017

    Amanda, thank you for sharing! I’m so glad to read how you and your husband read Personalities in Love together. It’s such a good, thorough book, isn’t it? And I’m a little jealous that you can read together on road trips. My husband and I love taking road trips, but we both suffer from too much motion sickness to pass the time reading LOL. 🙂

    1. Amanda
      March 13, 2017

      Thanks​, Rachelle! We definitely enjoyed it. That’s a shame about the motion sickness. Do you guys use audiobooks instead?

      By the way, congratulations on being the very first one to comment on this brand new blog! Thanks for stopping by!

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