In reviewing my dating history, I've found I've fallen in love with both sensors and intuitives, thinkers and feelers. There was only one thing that was common in all of them: my mission to understand each one of them. It's very important for me to understand how to communicate with my mate. I don't want to change anyone and I don't want someone to change me. I'd rather we accept each other as is and continue to grow in the relationship and independently.
My last boyfriend was an ESFJ. He was the only one whose MBTI type I knew before we started dating. I told him about our differences in cognitive functions but he was determined to date me because he knew we had things in common. But for the first time I had an added skepticism due to MBTI.
On the forum, I often share openly about my relationship with my INTJ ex. I usually say it was the most compatible relationship that I've ever had. And this still holds true. But we did not meet and become attracted to each other because of MBTI. We met on [Get Your Perfect Match.com]. There is a certain filtering process that happens before a person contacts me there. That's why I liked it. So before the INTJ and I even met, we already knew what each other sorta looked like and we had each other's basic qualifiers out of the way.
For instance, before we met I already knew our common commitment to fitness and health, we knew our common stance on religion, I knew we both weren't smokers, our education level was the same, even our financial bracket was the same. We knew we shared favorite authors, favorite night spots, how often we each enjoyed an alcoholic beverage and favorite hobbies. And it was very much "out there" on our profiles that we had the same political and also had a liberal mindset. We both knew we were looking for a long term commitment. All this was known before he approached me and before we had our first date. Those were our basic qualifiers. What a great set up, right? The chances for romance are pretty high. I knew nothing about MBTI and it wouldn't have made a difference to me if I did. All those "basic qualifications" would have been much more important.
This filtering process on the net is important to me. I don't like being approached in public by strangers. I feel like they don't know me and I'm just some piece of meet they are sexually attracted to. Obviously that can happen on the internet as well and people can lie, but there is a way to filter and make it a bit tougher for that kind of thing to happen.
I've also had other dates where we had these "basic qualifiers" in tastes and values. But there was no attraction on my end. I still don't think that is due to MBTI. I think a lot of it has to do with physical attraction. Sure, someone is a brain, has my hobbies, has published many journals in my field, runs ultra marathons, but I feel like I'm hanging out with my sister when I'm with them. It's not going to happen for me.
And I wouldn't bother dating someone if they didn't have the above basic qualifications, even if they were considered the most compatible type "in theory". It would be a waste of my time. It also would be a waste of my time if I bothered to find them gorgeous, yet they were completely culturally different and I had no respect for what they did in life and they had little respect for what I do. "Let's just have sex" wouldn't do it for me.
I think both my INTJ and I were very careful people who didn't waste time on dating people we knew weren't for us from the get go. We had a similar background we could talk about these things. He told me much later about MBTI and him being an INTJ. We tested me too. We found out I was an ENFP. But he couldn't believe it. He guessed ENTP. We didn't use MBTI in the relationship. We both used other psychologists who had published books on relationships.
Our relationship did hit a crossroad and I decided to end things. But I won't say that INTJs are bad. I don't know all INTJs. And my partner was NOT just an INTJ. But even so, we had our problems. I found him incredibly selfish at times. I really believed that if I was ever on my death bed, he would actually make me get up to go and get my own glass of water. Does that mean I lack understanding? Does that mean I think all INTJs are bad? Hell no. But the reasons I think my INTJ and I got along were not due to MBTI at all. It was because we had shared values and many other things in common. Also, I work my ass off in relationships trying to understand where my mate is coming from. It's not easy for me to throw in the towel.
And at what point do we say "okay he's different because of functions, but it's still not for me"?
I came to this forum to understand "what happened" in all my relationships based on MBTI. But still to this day, I'm attracted to whom I am attracted to. It has nothing to do with MBTI. But MBTI is a very useful tool in understanding someone you are already with. It's useful in my private teaching. It's also a shorthand way to describe someone to someone else who knows MBTI.
But when you're in a relationship, doesn't intimacy go deeper than just cognitive functions?
I've always said finding a date is easy but compatibility is harder to find. Look at all these divorced rock stars and models if you don't believe me. They are all sick of each other.
When seeking a potential mate, I am not going to add tension to a relationship by only looking at "compatible MBTI type" yet having different values, hobbies, work ethic, finances, educational background, etc. And I'm not going to avoid sexual attraction just because MBTI theorists say "we get along". There's already too many sexless relationships. I mean really, I "get along" with my girlfriends too. But a romantic partner does need to have something a little different to keep me committed. And I don't think any guy would appreciate it if I thought of him as one of my "girlfriends".
I have to be careful. I can see other people's views sometimes too easily. Especially if I love them. I know I can "get along" with just about anyone. But I'm looking for an equal partnership. Not someone whose cognitive functions I deem as compatible with mine. People are people. They are not functions. I've never been attracted to a function alone. It's attached to someone. Someone beautiful, hopefully. And getting to know a person beyond their functions is just a beginning in compatibility and attraction. There are so many other factors involved.