XY Theory

The New Science Behind Relationships


XY Theory® is the premise that we form neuro-social relationships based on the personality needs of individuals. What we've done is taken various personality traits and categorized them into two classes called high and low personality types. This allows us to identify an individual's personality inside of a relationship simply because we measure relational variables instead of social variables of a personality. This is essential because relationship personality™ determines how one's personality type will interact on a personal and professional level. Our “needs-based” model identifies the high and low needs of a personality type and which personalities can effectively meet a partner's needs to encourage bonding or successfully engage in business transactions. Some personalities have high needs (X) while others have low needs (Y) in a relationship, based on XY Personality™ differences. Our model enables individuals to understand their needs inside of the relationship and intentionally adapt to the needs of their partner. A simple 5 minute test is all it takes for partners to identify their unique personality using personality tags™. Furthermore, our model identifies which needs are not being met that inevitably causes unhappiness and dissatisfaction in the relationship. The neurohormone, Oxytocin is the basis for bonding and satisfaction in these relationships. It is produced naturally in the body when needs are fulfilled and increases happiness and trust.

  • COMMUNICATION: How much or how little does each partner need to feel satisfied in the relationship?

  • INTIMACY: Are you and your partner affectionate with each other or is there a shortfall of touch and verbal expressions of emotions?

  • ADAPTABILITY: Are you willing to make minor adjustments in the relationship to increase bonding and trust with your partner?

  • INTERACTIVITY: Do you have different conflict resolution styles where one partner needs to resolve the problem now and the other later?


Socially Dating - Relationally Married™


We, along with the relationships we form, are defined by our needs; by whether they're high or low relative to the partners we choose to interact with in life . . . in love . . . in business. Success in any interaction is then limited by our ability to choose similar partners, to cherry-pick complementary partners or at least partners willing and able to LEARN what they and we need individually from the partnership. Do you need someone who interacts in a specific way? X or Y type-ness comes into play and determines whether they can provide what you need in the long term. But your tolerance for their differences also determines whether your personality is more likely to affect the final outcome!

XY Theory theorizes that we use two different personalities to interact: a social and a relational personality that affect our choices in life, sometimes unknowingly. The social personality is what we use for all social interactions, including dating, and the relational personality is what emerges once we’re in a committed relationship, which often is different and incompatible. Our social personality is responsible for how we interact at work, at church and in any other social setting. The problem is, is that we also date and marry based on our social personality. There is now an abundance of research that shows that we reserve our civility, not for our loved ones and those closest to us but to strangers and mere acquaintances!

The social personality is responsible for the persona or mask that we put on when we’re in a social setting or trying to impress our date. The purpose is to help us achieve our goals in getting the job or person that we want and not necessarily who we need or who is best suited for us. To add more complexity to the mix, there are also dating hormones that blind us to the faults of the other person. So, the cliché, “love is blind”, is actually true. ​Unfortunately, the social personality often tricks us into committing to a relationship that our relational personality cannot sustain. Opposites attract, but they seldom connect to make the best partners in relationships. This is because Attraction is not the same as Connection. Here’s the other caveat. Once the social personality disappears (because these social hormones cannot remain effective forever), the relational personality kicks in and we often hear that the person someone dated is not the one they felt they were married to.

The relational personality is what emerges once we’re in a committed relationship, which often is different and incompatible. Within the relational personality, XY Theory’s two pillars or basic connectors: (XY) communication and (XY) intimacy determine how much of each, a partner needs to feel close and bonded in their relationship. Some partners have high needs (X) and others have low needs (Y), based on XY personality™ differences. This personality difference is the primary hindrance to bonding and resolving conflict unbeknownst to couples. ​We’ve found that it’s not just a couples’ interaction style, but how much or how little a partner actually requires, and how meeting those needs produces hormones like Oxytocin, that help to facilitate bonding or closeness. ​

The amount of communication and intimacy needed and received in the relationship is what affects satisfaction more than anything else. When the needs of a partner are not met, there is little to no Oxytocin flow, which causes distance and conflict in the relationship. For some couples, it’s important that their partner asks how their day was, because something as simple as this facilitates bonding. While ironically for others, one partner needs space in the relationship to stay bonded. One partner may be very private while the other has the need to share what may seem to be too much, giving the impression of neediness. We can actually predict these behaviors in couples, based on their personality types, before any interaction occurs. ​ ​


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