General Description of Dual Relations
Duality is the intertype relation between the two socionic types that fit each other ideally according to Model A. Along with the similar concept of complementarity, it is a fundamental part of socionics, and was introduced by Aushra Augusta.
Duals are on opposite poles of the extraverted/introverted, logic/ethics, and intuition/sensing dichotomies, but on the same pole of the rational/irrational dichotomy. This accounts for duals' common rhythm while taking responsibility for opposite aspects of reality. Duals can interact on many levels and in a variety of ways, which creates a sense of fullness and variety in the relationship. Duals almost always bring something unexpected to the relationship for the other person and end up affecting them in ways they did not expect. This is because duals see certain abilities, problems, and traits in each other person that the other person is not fully aware of. However, duals must remove psychological barriers in order for expectations to be met completely. Otherwise, they will be unsatisfied.
In dual relations one partner's ego functions (1 and 2) fill the expectations of the other person's Super-Id functions (5 and 6). Likewise, duals' Super-Ego and Id blocks, though less important to the individuals' lives, interact with each other in complementary ways. Duals help each other to face their super-ego troubles in a healthy way, usually indirectly. Descriptions of duality often assume that the relationship is romantic and between people of the opposite sex. But it should be noted that dual relations occur between same-sex partners, in non-romantic friendship, in various settings, (e.g. at work,) and between people with different backgrounds.
Problems between Duality partners has an almost uncanny way of working itself out. Things that dual partners do that are cruel or mean-hearted in the eyes of external observers are often passed over as meaningless by the other partner. At the same time, common activities are often romanticized and seen as extremely meaningful to dual partners.
It is sometimes hard to notice your dual in the workplace at first, but once you do, they quickly become much more enjoyable to work with than others. When you start to connect, it can often make you wonder "wow! how did i miss this before?" Your dual will defend you against the petty squibbling of other coworkers, as well as aid you in the basic, mundane tasks of the job, making life a lot easier and much less stressful. It can sometimes be hard to stay on task when you get carried away communicating, which is often broken up by a supervisor who brings the duals back to "reality." If duals develop their relationship properly and take an interest in each other, the extravert can show initiative in forming a more intimate relationship (friendship or romance).
Romantic relationships affect the most intimate areas of a person's functioning, so dualization in this area will have the greatest affect on a person's life. The early stages of a dual romance may be similar to any other relationship where infatuation is present, but what is different is the psychological distance between the partners. The naturally close distance causes partners to relax internally and be more spontaneous than they would be in most other relationships. Duals quickly recognize that their partner is not overly concerned with their weaknesses and is not going to criticize sore spots. In romance dual partners quickly move from stereotyped romantic behavior to what is actually natural and sincere for them. Partners may find that they "discover themselves" through the dual relationship. By seeking out their true desires and natural tendencies and ignoring societal expectations, they actually enrich the relationship and gladden their partner. If a person has not enjoyed dual relations before, experiencing them for the first time will likely be a transformational experience. In the initial stage of a dual relationship, partners often "drop out" of society for a period of time to devote energy to the new relationship and the exciting process of self-discovery.
After infatuation diminishes, stable romantic relationships between duals generally grow into tender friendships with a strong element of playfulness. No matter how old the relationship is, duals are continually able to press their partner's buttons through playfully "tickling" his or her suggestive function. Since this is the person's base function, this comes naturally, even automatically. Often, simply displaying very typical behaviors associated with the partner's suggestive function makes the other person smile or laugh. Over the long term, duals tend to divide responsibilities for different areas of their life together along the lines of their Ego functions, even if this contradicts popular ideas about gender roles. This relieves psychological strain and frees up energy.
Dual relations in romance develop partners' individuality, and different dual pairs may exhibit different external behavior. Some couples may seem like they fight a lot; in actuality, they are expressing emotions that neither partner takes personally, and letting off steam and demonstrating playful aggression may well be part of the "game" that the partners have developed. Other couples may seem businesslike or even disinterested in each other in public until you get to know them better. In each case, the couple's behavior will center around the elements of each partner's Ego functions â€” especially the base function.
Dual romantic relations can have elements of conflict just like any other as irritation and stress build up and the couple experiences external pressures. The key difference is the inherent psychological comfort level and the letting down of barriers that automatically occurs in dual relations. The conflicts that do arise are usually worked through carefully (which means different things for each dual pair) and ultimately enhance the relationship and partners' individuality.
Dual relations are a "closed system" in that partners in a successful dual relationship (see disclaimer below) satisfy most of each others' psychological needs and become a self-sufficient unit. They may seem closed off and inaccessible to some outsiders, but partners have simply become more selective about their activities and outside contacts as they help each other remove unnecessary irritants and stresses in their lives. Such conditions encourage self-realization, which requires focusing energy on things that are important to you and ignoring much else.
Some romantic dual couples who spend the vast majority of their time together may experience an "identity blurring" effect. In this circumstance, the couple may lose most sense of distinction between one another, functioning not as two parts of a whole, but merely as a whole itself. This can be accompanied by a distancing of the idea of the individuals' physical selves and names from the actual conception of the partner. This can eventually reach point where the partner becomes difficult to conceive of or even picture externally-- as though images of them or their name are actually referring to some third old friend whom the partner has not seen in a while. Duality in this form could well be termed "integration"; neither partner could fully define their identity without some inclusion of the other.
All of the above â€” as well as numerous other descriptions of dual relations â€” assumes that partners have an unfeigned, deep interest in each other and genuinely fell in love. In many cases duals do not form romantic relationships because they are indifferent to each other or there are important differences between them that keep them from considering a relationship in the first place. Dual relations only imply a certain close psychological distance and ease of interaction. If partners are not compatible with each other in other ways, but form a relationship anyway, they will have unresolvable conflicts despite the psychological comfort. This leads partners to not involve each other in many of their activities, show less interest in the other person's inner life, and be less conscientious and understanding. Such a relationship will not be completely fulfilling, and partners will not feel united. Even if partners are united and experience all of the above description, there is no guarantee that something non-socionic may cause them to separate at some point, although the likelihood of this is probably less than for other relationships.
According to socionics.com "Nature has played a little trick on us. It is difficult to notice your Dual partner among all the other types and even easier to pass them by. Usually during first contact extroverts think about their introvert Dual as ordinary and simple, therefore not deserving their personal attention. In return introverts consider their extrovert Dual to be too good for them and therefore unattainable. Both positions usually belong to people who had a lack of Duality interaction during childhood." It is also possible that duals pass each other by because when they first meet they are likely to act through their Super-Ego functions, which is received with boredom from the other party.
Augusta, herself in an unhappy marriage, may have exaggerated the role of duality in human life. There has been an unspoken assumption that duals are "specially designed" for each other. Indeed, Augusta remarks in one of her works, it is unclear from Model A how people even function without duals. The answer to her question may be that people pick up different kinds of information in bits and pieces from lots of different sources, not only from the specific person that they are in a close relationship with.
Discussions about whether or not people are "meant" to be with duals are like discussions about whether humans are monogamous or polygamous by nature. There is always disagreement and arguments in favor of both sides. Most socionists believe dual relations play a special role in people's lives, but dual relations are generally not seen as the cure for all psychological and social ills as Augusta seemed to suggest in her works.
Simplified descriptions of intertype relations, including duality, sometimes give the impression that they are all the same, or that duals are somehow supposed to "balance" each other or "neutralize" each other's weaknesses, so that every dual couple will end up looking the same or having the same kind of relationship. This is a misconception. Like the 16 types, all the 8 dualities are distinct, since what each dual pair of types expects of a relationship is different from the others.