Ladies and gentleman, isn’t love divine? More so, when a bunch of psychologists endorse your relationship based on your personalities? Ooh lala.
I have known for a number of years that I am an INFJ (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging). I have read countless articles about my personality type and, of course, my personality’s predispositions. Common traits of an INFJ include being asked the questions below and freaking out.
“Do you want to go out to this party?” “Do you want to go networking?” “Do you want to ..[insert any activity involving more than one other person]”.
All these questions are met with a big fat
INFJs are what you call “one on one” people. All my friendships are based on one on one interactions. I crave emotional intimacy. We like to feel like we are connected to people. We enjoy deep conversations and expressing our thoughts and feelings. We cannot settle for anything vacuous or superficial – if it is not deep and intense, it is truly not satisfying to us.
This is one of the biggest issues for INFJs in relationships. I can only speak from a woman’s experience, but I am sure the same is applicable to male INFJs too. As people pleasers, relationships are a way for us to showcase how much we love the other person and have a uniquely intense emotional relationship.
What better way to get instant INFJ satisfaction than in a monogamous relationship right?
Out of 16 different personality types, INFJs make the rarest combination of people to exist, which means we are often misunderstood and dating can be a real pain in the a-hole.
People find it easy to open up to INFJs and we love love this. Throughout our lives we have had to learn that having a deep and meaningful conversation with every person you meet is not a viable lifestyle and most people are not used to this. We are weirdoes to most people! We must contain the crazy.
The problem with our relationships is that they can involve a lot of one-sidedness. What is a normal conversation to me (e.g me having a rant about something which then ends up with me linking it to my childhood fears) often equates to “deep topic” conversations most people would only speak of when on the brink of tears or heavily drunk. This normally results in us emotionally attracting people that may not have the best intentions for us, purely because they feel like they have never felt this emotion before. “I have never met anyone like you before”. Boohoo – I am the 1%, of course you don’t meet many people like me.
Over time I’ve had to learn how to separate the emotionally needy people from the people I can truly dedicate my time and love to, for my own emotional health. In the past my relationships have involved me giving emotional support and receiving the minimum amount back. It was an extremely unhealthy relationship for my personality type but it made me realise that I had limited emotional resources and that I could not connect with just anyone. Everyone wants to be loved and for INFJs it can be interesting to have someone to give all your affections, but that also means running the risk of someone leaching from you.
My boyfriend is an INTJ. Some well known INTJs include Elon Musk and Christopher Nolan. So my boyfriend supposedly has similar traits to the Tesla guy and the Interstellar dude. Excellent.
My boyfriend is very decisive. Our relationship is full of decisions. Gone are the days I want to eat out and a man asks me what I want and it somehow plays like this:
This particular relationship has been different to the rest. From the onset, I was determined to let my boyfriend understand that he must not confuse his initial level of comfort around me with us sharing a much deeper connection at the start. Maybe I was just being over cautious but I will explain below why I did not need to go through any of that with him.
Based on what /I have read about the best relationship matches for me, the most commonly recommended mate for an INFJ seems to be either an ENTP or the ENFP. I believe that people often overlook any pairing of the INFJ with an introvert for fear that too much introversion in the relationship might lead to emotional incompatibility, or possibly a lack of balance in the relationship. From my own experience, I find most extroverts to be too much to take. I like to think of myself as being a shy peacock. Now imagine a garden full of peacocks. The INFJ peacock might find a human who takes interest in her/him and opens up and shows her/his beautiful feathers. Now imagine another peacock who has his feathers readily on show for all to see and thrives from being surrounded by all these humans in awe. This is how I see most extroverts and I honestly would not be able to cope. Partly because I find the most extroverts actually discourage me from coming out of my shell because of how present they are; I feel as though I do not have space to be myself because they are just so ..themselves. Is that weird?
Anyway, I digress. What got my attention when I met my boyfriend was: he was intelligent, decisive, self confident and incredibly witty. I had not met someone who made me feel like I was looking into a mirror, but with a deeper voice, more confidence and self assurance. I had not even considered his personality type or how compatible we may be because it all went very smoothly. From my own empirical evidence, we are very compatible, share similar values and we generally have the same approach to life.
From the onset we have had a natural respect for each other’s private time and space. We both need our “introvert” time, and whilst I would normally spend the day alone, we have been able to come to an arrangement where we can both co-exist in the same flat and rejuvenate our inner introvert-self. The INTJ boyfriend will be reading a book on one side of the room and I will be truly demolishing noobs on league of legends. It works wonders.
I do not like big groups. He is a lot more social that I am and has different groups of friends (the mind boggles). He gets this and has always gone out of his way to make sure I am not in a situation like that, or if I have to be, that I am not there longer than necessary. When meeting his best friend, I am aware that he agave him a talking to to not freak me out. Turns out his bestie was an INFJ and we got on rather well! Small word, eh?
We take turns talking and are both really good listeners. On this front, we get on like a house on fire. I do have to nudge him every now about communication because he sometimes seems to rely on me bringing things up before he lets it rip.
We enjoy discussing big ideas and solving the worlds troubles over dinner. We have similar views on the big things and occasionally disagree. I appreciate the viewpoint he brings to the conversation as he is very rational and everything seems to be black and white to him sometimes, which boggles my righteous, overly humanitarian mind.
We enjoy talking about the future. Him more so than me as I appear to be the risk averse one. I have attributed this to the ordinary fears of an INFJ when in any intense relationship.
We do seem to lack interest in everyday living. I cannot say that I spend that much time obsessing over the ironing or the washing. Mind you, until earlier this year, my dear boyfriend had existed on this earth without owning an iron. We tend to pick the easy way to effectively carry out day to day things which we do not deem “important”. The sentence “it can wait” is frequently used on a day to day basis. We are both young professionals and I suspect a large part of our desire to succeed in our careers is so that we can hire a few assistants in later life.
So this is where we start to diverge. Me and my boyfriend are both introverted intuitive types. However, we externalise our introverted intuitive perceptions differently. The primary difference comes down to Thinking vs Feeling. For the majority of the time, our temperaments are similar.
I am attracted to my boyfriend’s objective, tough-minded thinking. Everything can be packaged in his little Thinker head. He is one of the few people I know who can take criticism and make an action plan from it without taking offence. I call him Action Plan Man.
He recently went to great lengths to prove that he sleeps less now that he is sharing a bed with me and he was obviously wrong, but he thought he was right throughout the whole coding process and whatever nerdy thing it is that he does. He tackled the problem with military precision and would completely phase out for an hour a day whilst completing the mission. I on the other hand was rolling my eyes and trying to playfully distract him as I had basically told him the answer (that I am the best sleeping buddy ever!). He asked for my input throughout the whole process and he took all my feedback well and continued on his little mission.
I cannot speak for him on this matter without tooting my own horn. Sometimes I notice how straightforward with me he is and have to remember not to take offence because a large part of the internalisation is to do with INFJs being sensitive to all emotions. So when my thinker boyfriend says something bluntly without meaning anything ill at all, it always evokes a larger than expected reaction from me.
In this respect I do believe that this is where we are well balanced. Between us we are ablate gain a lot of different perspectives before making important decisions. I do not like conflict and sometimes will go to great lengths to avoid this. It sometimes makes the situation more complicated than normal. We normally just laugh it off. There is a lot of affection in the relationship. I think he clocked on early on that this was my language of love and he has been exemplary. Likewise, I also have to be very straightforward with him about my feelings as this is the way he receives my show of affection better.
We like to use calendars to organise ourselves. If it is not in our calendars, it is not happening. The other sends an invite and we accept or decline accordingly. It really is that simple.
We are both opinionated, but this somehow has not been an issue because we are both always willing to compromise or budge. We both like to resolve matters and have been successful at each stage.
My boyfriend sometimes says he is intimidated by me and it is rather difficult to understand why because to me he’s so confident. I understand that INTJs can come across as cold, but he’s much sweeter than he likes to let on. The challenge of getting to know the real him was an interesting and enjoyable one. The more time we spend together and see how how mind works and the little things during the day he considers victories, the more I am in awe of him
My emotional sensitivity wears me down at times, but my boyfriend teaches me to separate myself from the emotions of others. His approach to most of life has rubbed on me and I am slowly starting to realise that I am not responsible for the well-being of those in my life and learning how to say “no” more often.
The moral of the story is, I could probably be with an ENFP or ENTP, but hey I am stuck with this guy, even though he has trouble believing that I enhance his sleep [insert eye rolling emoji]. Maybe the law of attraction cannot be boiled down to what our archetypes are and people are different. I recently read that people’s principles and values play a larger part in relationships than personalities. We both have the same outlook on life and are willing to put in the work. It could just be that simple!
Anyway, INFJs, go get yourselves an INTJ! (or anything else, just be compatible!).