Temperament & The Search For A Spouse


Christina Ries recently asked, “Why is it so hard to find a spouse?

Specifically, a good Catholic or Christian spouse, a spouse who shares my values, my interests, my hopes and dreams.

Joanne-75060 offered this insight: “I think it is hard for some but not for others. For people who have social anxiety or difficulty making decisions, who don’t get out enough, are easily discouraged, analytical, particular, or distracted, it is more difficult.” 

Joanne has hit on a key factor in determining the ease – or difficulty – some men and women have in finding their soul mate: temperament.  

Each temperament faces a different, unique challenge. If you are aware of your temperamental biases and tendencies, you can (perhaps) eliminate at least one stumbling block to finding your future spouse.



Cholerics have a tendency to jump into the deep end with both feet. Even when they don’t know how to swim. They can think (sometimes mistakenly): this is The One! Then, they pursue the poor unsuspecting victim, er, potential spouse with a vengeance. They might move too quickly and make rash decisions.

If you are a choleric, I would advise caution; though you hate to wait, and are 100 percent positive you are right, pray first. Then get some solid spiritual advice from a trusted priest, good friend or relative. 

Reflect some more.

Then act.



Melancholics have the opposite problem. They are likely to be the ones noted in Christina’s post by Peter-449116: spending a little too much time in the chapel and not enough time out making friends.

Melancholics have a strong romantic streak. They are looking for their own Cary Grant or Deborah Kerr. Melancholics also have high ideals and a strong perfectionist streak. They have a list, and they are checking it twice

If you are a melancholic, a little flexibility and impulsivity can’t hurt: Go ahead and reply to that guy who left you a message on CatholicMatch!

Take a chance, go on a blind date, let your friends set you up with someone.



I am not going to tell the sanguine to be impulsive, because they have that in spades. Sanguines may fail to find their spouse because they are too easily distracted, as Joanne-75060 mentioned.

They flit from one potential partner to another. The grass is always greener somewhere else. If you are a sanguine, remember to look beneath the surface. Go on several dates before you decide that there is no possibility for a relationship.

Also, you might scare a potential partner away by talking just a little too much. Sanguines always have a funny story to tell, but sometimes being the center of attention means you aren’t paying enough attention to those around you.



Finally, the phlegmatic may not find his future spouse because he never worked up the energy to ask someone out. Phlegmatics can suffer a bit from low self-esteem: they don’t want to take a risk because they might be rejected.

They might take too long before admitting their interest in someone. And if they take too long, they may lose the opportunity! They can be overly cautious and even a bit dull.

If you are a phlegmatic, I would suggest: stir things up a bit; take a chance and take the lead; make some crazy plans; tell someone you are very interested in him or her.


Whatever your temperament, finding a spouse requires knowing yourself and having the humility to face your strengths and weaknesses.

St. Catherine of Siena put it well: We need self-knowledge to have humility, and humility to be capable of mature, self-giving love.



  1. Marita-847688 June 20, 2012 Reply

    Although the temperament tests are a good idea in theory, I was never satisfied with the results or the questions or even the answers. I took it several times and each time I got a different temperament.

  2. Michaela-656424 June 20, 2012 Reply

    Not seeking, but I find the blog very interesting and entertaining.

  3. Stephen-725391 December 23, 2011 Reply

    Where was CM 40 years ago – I would not be waiting out a decision from the very people who weren’t there then – go figure!

  4. Eugene-772245 October 27, 2011 Reply

    I enjoyed this article, for a melancholic phlegmatic that I am, am amused as the author is on point. Its a no wonder am single and not seeing anyone at my age. Oh my, maybe it could be worse . life goes on anyway

  5. Patrick-606389 August 20, 2011 Reply

    Once one factors in circumstances, environment, I think it’s much simpler than that. At one point am i willing to be broken enough to accept the love of another person where nthey are and I am in Christ? I have to accept that i could have been married or at least been a closer to a marital relationship if I would be willing to compromise and give up some of my own standards besides those predesigned by Christ, The Holy Spirit and The Father. For example, there are wonderful women with children, but my own place of what I desire (not Christ but me) says I don’t date women with children, avoid women from previous marriages, celibacy a must, etc. If I were willing to break with these the search would most likely be over. But I have for now maintained those standards and while lonliness beats at my door. It has not been so painful so as break me in these areas. And that I think is the key for older daters — at what stage of brokeness will one open themselves for a different ideal and be content with the breaking — joyful even. A life of marriage is clearly one of self sacrifice by two people who are joined as a result of dying to self. Now life in Christ is all about dying to self. Some deaths are required by the life in and with Christ. Other deaths to self are a matter of choice. For me in this arena, my standards remain and I unwilling to let them go. And while I long for a mate my personal standards (which are in no way ungodly) remain as to the type of mate I am willing to die for, to and with.

    I think honesty demands, that one examine their own unwillingness to be broken for marriage and to a potential mate. Beyond personality, circumstances, but in conjunction with the expectations of Christ is the sacrifice that must be made to be wholly in a loving Christ led and filled marriage embedded in the God’s never ending and mysterious grace..

    • Maria-689654 August 21, 2011 Reply

      Hi Patrick,
      You are so blessed to have these high standards and there are so many women who are looking for someone such as you. You’ll be surprised how many “never married” women are out there. I ask my CM buddy who does stats on his profile of viewers and I asked him if there are many of the “never married” women and he said there are a good number of them; he said and they are attractive, intelligent women. Your soulmate is out there Patrick!!

  6. Jim-397948 August 18, 2011 Reply

    The Soul Mate Prayer
    Heavenly Mother, Father, God, Most Gracious and Loving Creator, I ask that You abundantly Bless me with my perfect soul mate, a beautiful soul that is for our highest good and may we experience our greatest joy together!
    I now hold the prayer and vision of this Blessing and Gift for my soul mate to enter my life all in perfect divine timing!
    I give thanks now as I KNOW AND TRUST in You and Your Blessings.

    Mother, Father, GOD, I stand in Faith KNOWING this Prayer right now is bringing my soul mate into my life.
    I stand in FAITH as I remember that to have faith inside my heart, is sufficient to manifest MIRACLES and Your Blessings.
    I thank you now Beloved God Creator for all the Blessings I have received and for the Blessings yet to come! AND SO IT IS……..AMEN

    • Maria-689654 August 19, 2011 Reply

      this is a wonderful prayer Jim and I hope and pray with you that you and I; and all CMers find their soulmate. AMEN.
      God loves you.


    • Heidi-747450 August 20, 2011 Reply

      I second that Jim. Lovely prayer and may you and Maria both find your soulmates.

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