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Negotiator and Director
This was the second most common combination in our sample (18 percent of couples), and I can see why. Although Negotiators and Directors are extremely different, they think alike. Both are abstract and creative, and turned on by books and ideas. Both like to talk at length and in detail about their insights. And they bring complementary skills to their conversations as well as to other parts of their lives. While the Negotiator tends to see the large picture, the Director focuses on a smaller piece of the world. Also, because Negotiators live in a complex inner world full of options and ethical knots, they appreciate the Director's directness and decisiveness, not to mention technical prowess and ability to provide. On the flip side, the Director is drawn to the Negotiator's warmth and insight into people.

The problems arise when the Negotiator begins to construe the Director's aloofness and any preoccupation with work as being thoughtless and indifferent. And when accused of not caring, the self-contained Director can feel misunderstood. Sex could be an issue for this couple, too: Directors in our survey were significantly more likely to feel sex is important to the relationship than were Negotiators—29 percent versus 16 percent. Also, when asked about money, four times as many Directors said they "never" or "rarely" have respect for the way their partner handles it, compared with the other way around. No surprise here. Directors are typically far more skilled at making money than the idealistic Negotiator. But these differences may not matter so much to the Director. In answer to the question, "How often do you think: If I could marry again, I'd marry the same person," Directors were much more likely—33 percent versus 15 percent—to say "often." Overall, this is likely to be a happy match.


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