Love / Sex / Dating

Issue 06 | The Serving Leader

Guardian Protector ISFJ - J.W. Marriott J.R.

Why It’s Hard for the Rest
of Us to Date Guardians

Guardians make up most men and women on the planet. What are some misdynamics that Idealists, Artisans, and Rationals should know about when dating them?

Approximately 45% of the population are Guardians. That means that nearly every other person you meet is a Guardian. Someone in your family is likely to be a Guardian. Throughout your life, you will work with many Guardians. Chances are, you will date a Guardian, and may even marry one. They’re everywhere, and so we’d say that it’s important to know how to relate to them, especially if you aren’t a Guardian. So, let’s learn how to do this right.

Clashes with an Artisan

Guardians seek closure, while Artisans like to keep their options open. Guardians are conservative, and value tradition. Artisans are liberal, and want to break the mold. Guardians seek to settle down. Artisans want to remain as free birds. Guardians value safety, security, and stability. Artisans look for danger, flirt the edge, and are unpredictable. Guardians are tame, Artisans are wild. Guardians find comfort in familiarity and routine, and Artisans are always looking for something new and different.

Clashes with an Artisan

So can this work? Well, about half the world are Guardians, and about a third are Artisans. These two types make up the majority, and so you will often find them together. As Artisans grow up, they think that one day they will grow out of their desire to mess around and eventually become responsible and respectable and respectable. But, the truth is, Artisans never grow up. They learn to smirk from early on, as they pursue wild adventures, and the same smirk follows them all the way throughout their lives. The Artisan bad-boy, or the Artisan wild-girl cannot be tamed.

Clashes with a Rational

Guardians go step-by-step, while Rationals figure out the system, so that they can skip-the-steps. Guardians follow the rules, and go with the tried and true. Rationals say, “better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.” Guardians examine the details. Rationals look at the big picture. Guardians like to establish routines, and are allergic to change. Rationals seek to innovate, and to be agents of change. Guardians want to belong. Rationals are highly autonomous. Guardians want to do things right, Rationals challenge the way things have always been done.

So can this work? Well, Guardians are the majority, and Rationals are the rarest of all. They are the most diametrically opposite. Guardians are concrete, they have normal everyday conversations, talking about work, play, family, home, sports, news, the weather—asking, “Who? What? Where? When? How much?” While Rationals engage in intense, intellectual discourse, theorizing, philosophizing, talking about beliefs and ideas, asking, “What if?” or, “Why not?” This can be rather difficult, because Guardians and Rationals are from two entirely different planets.

Clashes with an Idealist

Guardians are practical. Idealists are fanciful—often lost in their dreams and fairy tales. Guardians live in reality with both feet on the ground, while Idealists float high above the clouds, preferring to reside in their ideality of imagination. Guardians live in compartments. They have partitions which separate work friends, play friends, church friends, and family life. Idealists merge it all together, where they seek to be best friends with everyone. Guardians work hard to cultivate a relationship, while Idealists prefer it to be organic.

Clashes with an Idealist

So can this work? Well, both Guardians and Idealists want to be cooperative. But, their underlying motivations are different. Guardians seek to do what is right, that is to obey the rules, and live according to the law. Idealists have a different view of what is right. Rather than legalities, they are driven by their feelings. They are guided by their conscience rather than the law. Both are concerned with belonging, but for different reasons. Guardians see belonging as a social need, whereas Idealists see it as a place to connect.

Guardian with a Guardian

Guardians live by the motto, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” And so prepared spontaneity makes sense for them. While being unprepared can be an opportunity for adventure for an Artisan, a chance to be creative for the Rational, and a possibility for a whirlwind of romance for the Idealist, for the Guardian, being unprepared can make them feel anxious, pressured, nervous, or worried. They fear the unknown and believe that things are set up to go wrong unless one does something deliberate to make it go right.

So can this work? Well, for the Guardian, preparation is the greatest way to control what could otherwise be an inevitable outcome of disaster. When Guardians are together, the rest of us may look on and wonder if the relationship is boring, but for two Guardians, taking control is what guarantees success. What could have been a disaster now has a chance for victory. And two Guardians get that about each other. And they can gladly look at everyone else with a smile and say, “Our relationship is failsafe because we’re prepared!”

Why It's Complicated for Idealists to Date

Idealists love to be in love. They yearn to find their soulmate, the perfect one that’s meant for them. They believe in signs, destiny, romance, and true love. They love to love others, so they love to date.

Becoming the One

It is far more important to focus on becoming the person you want to be, rather than finding the one you want to be with. The more important list is not about the qualities you’re looking for, but it’s the list of qualities you are seeking to develop. In other words, we’d suggest that you focus more on becoming the one, rather than finding the one.