As a matchmaker and dating coach, I classify people into one of two categories

They’re either relationship oriented or not. Many people, men and women alike, truly believe they are fit for a relationship. They think they have everything going for them. They’re healthy emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. They want to have a traditional, nuclear family in a two parent household where both of them can grow as individuals and together as one. But there is one key difference between the relationship oriented people out there, and everyone else

To the relationship oriented the relationship comes first

You’ve heard of all the other orientations people have; career oriented, family oriented, sexually oriented, spiritually oriented, etc. It’s your orientation that determines your character, and not all character types are conducive to relationships. There has been great debate and extensive study into which character types are “productive” and which are “unproductive“. 

You may think you’re relationship oriented and capable of what you envision, but in reality you’re really not.

You’re never going to be truly happily married, unless you have the right character

According to Erich Fromm, a neo-Freudian psychoanalyst, personality type is based on two primary needs; freedom and belonging. Kendra Cherry, did a great job of summarizing his philosophy on which I’ve paraphrased here quite a bit. 

Fromm determined there are five personality types and every one is one of them. 4/5 are “unproductive” or in the context of relationships, counterproductive.

  • Receptive Character: The receptive type is constantly in need of support; emotionally, financially, etc. They have a tendency​ to be passive, needy, and completely dependent upon others. Although these people constantly require support they rarely, if ever, reciprocate. People with this character type tend to lack confidence have a difficult time making decisions for themselves. They tend to have grown up with overbearing and controlling parents or parental figures.
  • Exploitative Character: These people will deceive, mislead, and twist others in order to satisfy their selfish needs. They regularly seek people with low self-esteem or will lie about loving someone they really don’t care about. They take what they want either through deceit or force and will exploit others if necessary.
  • Hoarding Character: These people deal with insecurity by never disposing of or giving up anything. They often collect meaningless objects and will care more about their possessions than people.
  • Marketing Character: These people see relationships in terms of WIIFM (What’s in it For Me). They focus on marrying someone for their financial security or social status and tend to be shallow and anxious. They are opportunistic and capable of flip flopping on core values and beliefs depending on if they think it will get them what they want.
  • Productive Character (relationship oriented): The productive (relationship oriented) person takes negative energy and channels it into productivity. They focus on building loving, nurturing, and meaningful relationships with other people. This applies not only to romantic partners, but also to other relationships with family, friends, and their community. They are often described as a good person, parent, sibling, friend, co-worker, boss or employee. 

Out of the five character types described by Fromm…

The productive type is the only one who possesses a natural, healthy way of dealing with anxiety that results from the conflict between the need for freedom and the need to belong. For better or worse if this isn’t your natural character type but you still wish to have a healthy, happy relationship consider combining our coaching program with our matchmaking service and develop a natural, healthy way of dealing with anxiety that results from the conflict between your need for freedom and your need to belong.

Joann Ward And Steve Ward From Master Matchmakers

Authors: Joanne Ward And Steve Ward, Matchmakers at

Master Matchmakers is a high-end personal service that has been coaching and matching single men and women for more than 20 years. They hosted 6 seasons of VH1’s Tough Love. Learn more about working with Joanne and Steve at