If someone has a Type A personality, they're likely to be a go-getter who climbs corporate ladders, reaches goals left and right, and yet somehow manages to volunteer and learn new skills on the side. (Seriously,
how do they do it?) But when it comes to relationships, there are some habits Type A people have that their partners may find difficult to deal with, and it usually has a lot to do with the fact they're super demanding of themselves.
Since Type A folks are typically always on the go, and lead high-stress busy lives, it's easy for them to fall short in relationships. But that doesn't mean they can't
find a better work/life balance, and improve their relationships, if they so choose. "Being in relationship with a Type A person who knows they are a Type A can mean they might be able work on being more conscious and curbing their reactions more," psychologist Dr. Kate Dow tells Bustle. "It depends on the person and if they are capable or willing to do this, for the sake of the relationship."
In a case where both partners are willing to slightly adjust to accommodate each other's personalities, the relationship can certainly settle in to a better flow, and become healthier with time. And if that sounds like something you or your partner needs to do, read on for a few habits experts say can backfire for some
Type A people in relationships, so you'll know just what to work on.
They're Often Not Available
Since Type A people are always on the go, they often aren't interested in spending time at home, relaxing with their partner. "They tend to be workaholics and give all their time and energy to it, so they will not be very available," says Dr. Dow. "This means [their partner] cannot depend on them for much attention."
The idea of sitting on the couch may seem like the stuff of dreams for a
Type B personality person — or someone who's more relaxed — but that's more of a nightmare scenario for someone who's Type A. And keeping that in mind is important. To have a happy relationship, it'll be all about striking a balance for both partners, and finding activities you both can enjoy.
They Can Be Controlling
While Type A folks don't
mean to be controlling, they often are by their very nature. And that can affect their partner, who may not feel heard when they express an opinion. "[Type As] tend to be controlling of their environments so they will want things done their way in the relationship or environment," says Dr. Dow. But they can learn to strike a better balance and loosen up a little, especially if they're willing to make a change for the sake of their partner.
They Can Get Irritated Easily
For anyone dating a Type A person, they likely already know these folks can be a bit irritable. But that's only because they have so much going on at one time, and are usually stressed out as a result.
That, and it can also have something to do with their control issues. "Being highly organized may mean they have a lot of pet peeves,"
psychologist Dr. Perpetua Neo tells Bustle. "For instance, they may like things to look a certain way, or be organized in a certain manner. They may feel irritated if this isn't the case; but in relationships, it's about compromise."
For someone who likes to relax at home at the end of a long day, it can be surprising to see a Type A partner still "on." As
clinical psychologist Michael Alcee, PhD tells Bustle, "They have a need to be 'on' and this can often make it feel like [their partner has] to be too. Put another way, they tend to be perfectionists and get uneasy with delving into their vulnerability. Unfortunately, for their partners, this is one of the most important ways that we all have to connect as emotional beings, and so it can be easy to feel lonely when you are with a Type-A person. It is like they are there, but 'not there.'"
They Can Be Hard On Themselves
For the partner of a Type A person, it can feel like nothing they do is ever enough. And that's because "Type A personalities have a difficult time loving, accepting, and valuing themselves if they are not producing or getting something accomplished," Alcee says. So really, it has nothing to do with their partner. But that doesn't make the feeling any easier to deal with.
"Type A personalities need to be reminded or taught that they are valuable in of themselves, regardless of what they achieve," he says. "Put simply, they need to be shown and given a taste of what unconditional love is." And once they reach that level, the relationship can be easier and healthier for
They Can Be Competitive
A competitive streak can definitely come in handy at work, but it isn't always a helpful trait when it comes to relationships. As Dow says, a Type A person "can be competitive and therefore not supportive of [their partner's] accomplishments if it outshines theirs." If they hear of their partner's promotion, for example, they might not be able to hide their jealousy, or feign excitement for their partner. And that can be problematic, for a variety of reasons.
Being in a relationship means being supportive of each other, and when Type A people can't do that, life can start to feel like more of a competition. And that's definitely not fair.
They're Often Perfectionists
Again, because Type A people are perfectionists, they often want things a certain way. And as a result, can be highly critical of their partners. "The have perfectionistic tendencies of themselves and others, so it can be difficult to not feel criticized all the time," Dow says. Their partners may feel like they're always doing something wrong, which can make for a bumpy relationship.
Keep in mind, though, that it's always possible for Type A people to change their ways, and tone down these traits. "Sometimes problems in a valued relationship will motivate them to go against the grain and try something new, and sometimes it can be their own lack of contact with themselves that will spur them on," Alcee says. "At that point, Type A individuals need to have someone, like
a therapist or a compassionate partner, to help mentor them in the joys and benefits of being and feeling." Once they can see that letting go, and occasionally relaxing can be a good thing, they'll be more inclined to do so. And that can definitely improve their relationships, and allow them the space to be better partners.