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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I've been feeling a little blue and confused over a 'non-relationship' with an ISTP.
I've read a lot of ISTP forums and personality profiles that have directly gone against things I'd considered 'red flags' or signs of his disinterest..but I also don't want to be in denial or make excuses for him..I guess I am here because I can't tell how much is him being 'just not that into me' and how much of it is him just being ISTP. I know any advice will have to be taken with a grain of salt, but any ISTP related insight would feel greatly helpful and appreciated.

Here's some backstory:
Me, ENFP female late 20's. Him, ISTP male mid 30's. We've been seeing each other for almost 4 months now. Met on a kinky site, and agreed to be sexually exclusive right from the get go. We are in a D/s relationship, and see each other regularly, bout twice a week. He dislikes planning, mostly cause he has an on call job, and also cause he prefers to be spontaneous. After he asked me out the first time, I have done almost all initiating.
We text every day, but I text him first, ask him to call me occasionally, tell him I miss him first, ask when he can come see me next or if he can come spend some time with me. I also am the one to follow up on plans the day of, to see if they are still on, and what time he's coming and then if he's on his way.
Occasionally he will text me first, or call me just cause he wanted to, and when I say I miss him he will say he misses me too and let me know his schedule for the next few days and when he'll try and come see me.

He surprised me by buying me a scary video game a while back, because he remembered I like horror games. And we spent new years eve together.
He has told me he takes things one day at a time, isn't looking for a relationship but if it happens, it happens, he doesn't stop himself from being in one.
More recently he has told me that he is not looking for a relationship ('maybe soon', he said), but he understands that I am. He said that if I can find someone that can satisfy me in D/s as well as be in a vanilla relationship with, I should go for it..that of course, he doesn't want me to, but that he would feel guilty if he prevented me. He said it's not that he's looking for a relationship with other women and just doesn't want one with me, but he's just not looking, and that at this point in his life his lifestyle/job suites not being in one, and he likes being able to be selfish with his time..and that wouldn't be fair for me or any woman in general. He says he love loves spending time with me, super enjoys me and has fun with me even when we hang out with no sex, and that he is happy with me and feels no need to look for others. He also said that relationships, when forced, can turn into a back/forth struggle, but when it happens naturally, you see whether your lifestyles are actually compatible. He says he likes me more than when it was our 1st date, the 2nd date, the 3rd, etc. And that he's had relationships that started from nothing. And that when we are together in person, it feels like we're in a relationship. He thinks I am smart, cute, funny and fun, and he misses me when I'm gone and the weird shit I do, and relates to me with his own special kind of weirdness. He also has said that one of the best things he likes bout me is how I always let him know how I feel, and he can be very tender sometimes, when I admit I feel sad, asking me why I feel sad, or gives me advice on things I am dealing with. He also asks me what I'm up to, how my day is, etc.

He's told me about his family and friends, but I have not met any of them. My friend and her fiance happened to recently
move into his building, and surprisingly he came and picked me up and met them..and was even down to go out and eat with them.

He knows how deeply I feel for him, that he means more than just casual to me. I am not shy about expressing my feelings to him. I told him I don't need him 24/7 or to be my everything, that if we were in a relationship I'd want for us to add to each other's lives, not take away. In some ways, I feel and see that he cares about me and I see growth and deepening in our relationship, but in other ways, I fear I am kidding myself, and sticking around for someone who has already put me into a box and will do everything he can to dodge a relationship and will never want to be a part of each other's lives the same way I want to be. I get it, this is a person who has basically reiterated time and time again that he is not looking for a relationship. I don't mind being patient, but is it just as he says and it will never advance to something more?

I guess what I’d love some ISTP insight on is:
1.) Is there any chance that we will develop into a committed relationship? What are things I can do to help that happen or deepen our connection?
2.) What are signs that he's losing interest..recently he has become a little more blasé and less tender, is he losing interest in me/taking me for granted..doesn't give a shit and wants to be pointed in how this means really nothing to him beyond kink/sex/fun? Or is he just more comfortable with me now..What can I do about it?
3.) I feel confused about the whole me initiating thing..he doesn’t seem to mind, and I’ve asked if it feels like pressure or pushing when I express my feelings/ask to see him, and he said not at all. How much initiating should I do, and in what areas?

Sorry this is so long, I wanted to be clear and concise but I guess I feel a little confused :x
 

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You're really overthinking things lol.

1. He said so himself. While he clearly appreciates the casual dynamics between you, he isn't actually looking for anything serious at the moment. Take him at his word and try to keep that in mind. There probably won't be a serious thing between you two, or there might be. Don't get your hopes up, though.

2. He's acting "blase" because he's comfortable around you. When an ISTP is comfortable around someone, it is evident in our behavior. We become more relaxed and mellow, and don't seem tense. However, ENFPs tend to project emotions into us so you're really only hurting yourself by doing that. Unlike ENFPs, we don't keep our emotions on our sleeves, so it can seem like we don't give a shit at times. We show we care by our actions so it's important to take that at face value. You wouldn't hear from an ISTP let alone be welcome within our personal space if we didn't give a shit about you. We would just ditch you cold turkey. However it is important to remember that you are not in a relationship with him, so to expect him to actually love you in a non-platonic way right now is kind of unrealistic IMO. You strike me as a very close friend of his that he enjoys having sexual adventures with, who happened to catch feelings along the way. This happens, and the best thing to do in such a situation is to be realistic. Don't idealize anything. That's where you'll go wrong.

3. If he said that he doesn't feel pressured by you initiating, that's enough of an answer right there. ISTPs are matter of fact in our responses. If I personally had an issue with someone asking me to hang out a lot, I would say so directly. He hasn't told you "you're annoying" or anything of the sort directly, so you're fine. Just try to not pressure him into talking about his feelings, though. He will do that on his own. Initiating conversations on when the next time you'll hang out or have sex, however, is not a bad thing. Sometimes ISTPs like it when we don't have to constantly be the one to initiate. We generally aren't pursuers as it is.

Anyway, like I said, I think you're overthinking and over idealizing your situation. Hopefully this reply helps, and maybe you'll get what you want with this guy down the line. If not, remember that you're still his friend. Friends don't necessarily have to date each other as a solidified committed couple, ya know. You'll be fine.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi there, your reply does help, thank you very much:)

You're right, I probably am overthinking and I have a tendency to over idealize things.

However it is important to remember that you are not in a relationship with him, so to expect him to actually love you in a non-platonic way right now is kind of unrealistic IMO. You strike me as a very close friend of his that he enjoys having sexual adventures with, who happened to catch feelings along the way. This happens, and the best thing to do in such a situation is to be realistic. Don't idealize anything. That's where you'll go wrong.


Good luck.
Yea, for sure, I understand we are not in a relationship. And I don't expect him to love me in a non-platonic way, I agree that would be an unrealistic and unfair expectation. It's more that I feel heartbroken because I feel that way towards him, and him saying he's not looking for a relationship means he will probably never feel that way toward me. The only thing that's real is my pain, ay caramba.
And about the being friends part, we were talking about something once, to which I said 'so, we're friends?' and he quickly corrected me and said that he'd told his friend we were 'seeing each other', and that 'of course I didn't use the word friends, duh. Lol'.
I mean, potato potato, I guess. I just realized that doesn't work in type, lol.
Lolll...yea, seriously, good luck to me, haa xD

But no, thank you for the advice. I will try and take things at face value and not idealize the situation.
 

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Just remember: tightening your grip will only make matters worse.

You aren't necessarily doing that right now, but make sure that you stave off the temptation to do so. If there's one thing that ISTPs hate, it's the feeling of being controlled. If you feel an increased desire for intimacy, romance, etc., and he doesn't seem inclined towards the same thing after however long, then my advice would be to exit the situation and look elsewhere. You can maintain the friendship, of course, but try to pursue a deeper relationship with someone else.

Staying in a situation where romantic feelings aren't reciprocated can only lead to frustration, and frustration leads to impaired judgement. In this case, that may mean giving into the impulse to try and force it out of him. As soon as you do that, you lose the friendship. Be careful.
 

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Just remember: tightening your grip will only make matters worse.

You aren't necessarily doing that right now, but make sure that you stave off the temptation to do so. If there's one thing that ISTPs hate, it's the feeling of being controlled. If you feel an increased desire for intimacy, romance, etc., and he doesn't seem inclined towards the same thing after however long, then my advice would be to exit the situation and look elsewhere. You can maintain the friendship, of course, but try to pursue a deeper relationship with someone else.

Staying in a situation where romantic feelings aren't reciprocated can only lead to frustration, and frustration leads to impaired judgement. In this case, that may mean giving into the impulse to try and force it out of him. As soon as you do that, you lose the friendship. Be careful.

Absolutely correct. The moment we feel like the other person is trying to control us is when we run away and never look back. I don't think OP is doing that, but this is still good advice.

And @little_dreamer, I'm glad to help and I know this isn't easy for you. But to be honest, I think it's mostly the fact that you guys happen to get along well that caused you to fall for him along the way although it does seem like you tried your hardest not to. But as long as you are aware of the reality that he may not reciprocate your deeper feelings and you try not to force something that probably just won't happen, I think you two should be fine. It's not always easy for ENFPs to keep their emotions at bay and I understand that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ya'll are both right. I definitely understand that nobody likes feeling controlled..especially ISTP's, and men in general (they fear losing their freedom, or even sense of freedom). I would never want anyone to be with me or do things for me out of obligations, pressure, and me pushing them anyways. But with him I have learned to also be more understanding, spontaneous, and accepting. When it's relevant and appropriate, I always makes sure to be honest about how I feel and my intentions, always express my genuine appreciation and affection for him, state what's important to me, and state what I don't want (my boundaries), but that's it. I never blame him, and I take no for an answer. He also is pretty upfront with me, about his boundaries or what he realistically is willing and able to do when I request things. In that way, he is pretty good about taking my feelings into consideration, and I am pretty good at respecting him.

Haha, oh yea, we do get along well, we both have expressed we have a blast together, and to be honest, sometimes I really do wonder if he might be more romantically inclined towards me than he lets on. He can be very tender, sweet, vulnerable and affectionate, verbally (in tone of voice, reassuring words/actions/efforts, compliments, appreciation for my qualities) and physically and in actions at times. He presses the slowest, firm, most tender and deep kisses on my forehead, nose and cheek sometimes. And I love the way he strokes me and my hair when we're chilling, cuddling.

He knows I adore him, and though I feel for him at 180 capacity, I make a big effort not to overwhelm him (sometimes, haha) with my verbal affections..he takes me in stride pretty damn well though..even when he may not know what to say in response more than 'awwww' and a kiss emoticon, and asking me how I'm doing, what I'm up to, etc.

Yea, it's hopeless, I am in love with him, lolllll. We are devoted and exclusive with one another, and he makes time and effort for me when he can. I will give it a few more months perhaps, and see how it goes :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lolol, ya'll are probably both like 'what the FUCK happened to not idealizing the situation??? Smh'..
*sheepish grin* :D
I'm cool. I'm breezy. I'm as chill as a cucumber. A hopelessly romantic cucumber :') lol. I jokes. But no no, I'm trying to keep my wits about me.
 

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Ya'll are both right. I definitely understand that nobody likes feeling controlled..especially ISTP's, and men in general (they fear losing their freedom, or even sense of freedom). I would never want anyone to be with me or do things for me out of obligations, pressure, and me pushing them anyways. But with him I have learned to also be more understanding, spontaneous, and accepting. When it's relevant and appropriate, I always makes sure to be honest about how I feel and my intentions, always express my genuine appreciation and affection for him, state what's important to me, and state what I don't want (my boundaries), but that's it. I never blame him, and I take no for an answer. He also is pretty upfront with me, about his boundaries or what he realistically is willing and able to do when I request things. In that way, he is pretty good about taking my feelings into consideration, and I am pretty good at respecting him.

Haha, oh yea, we do get along well, we both have expressed we have a blast together, and to be honest, sometimes I really do wonder if he might be more romantically inclined towards me than he lets on. He can be very tender, sweet, vulnerable and affectionate, verbally (in tone of voice, reassuring words/actions/efforts, compliments, appreciation for my qualities) and physically and in actions at times. He presses the slowest, firm, most tender and deep kisses on my forehead, nose and cheek sometimes. And I love the way he strokes me and my hair when we're chilling, cuddling.

He knows I adore him, and though I feel for him at 180 capacity, I make a big effort not to overwhelm him (sometimes, haha) with my verbal affections..he takes me in stride pretty damn well though..even when he may not know what to say in response more than 'awwww' and a kiss emoticon, and asking me how I'm doing, what I'm up to, etc.

Yea, it's hopeless, I am in love with him, lolllll. We are devoted and exclusive with one another, and he makes time and effort for me when he can. I will give it a few more months perhaps, and see how it goes :)
Stick it out a little. My ISTP and I did the exact same thing for about 6 months, I put aside any hope of it developing into anything and it wasn't until I told him that I'd met someone else and that we'd have to end it then and there that he realised he didn't want to lose me.

I'd describe healthy ISTPs as having an inner contentedness that doesn't require a relationship if their social needs are being met. He's getting everything that he wants from your relationship, so why fix it if it isn't broken?
 

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Speaking from my own experience, men generally do not fall in love and seek a real love relationship with a woman they have a sex-with-no-relationship with. It just doesn't happen that way. A man develops romantic feelings for a woman he likes and isn't sure he can get or keep, and this just can't happen if she's already having sex with him, because he's already got her, naked and horizontal. I suspect that men subconsciously lose respect for a woman who has sex with him or any man without having a real and exclusive relationship with him, but since I'm not a man I can't confirm that.

I don't recommend holding out hope. I've never seen anything like this turn into a real relationship. It never has for me, and not because I haven't wished it. I stopped having any kind of friends-with-benefits relationship a long time ago, because they always dead end. The usual dynamic is the guy enjoying the sex with no obligations and the girl wishing for a real relationship and never getting it. Isn't that what you have now? Some friendships do turn into the best relationships, but not if the sex starts before the relationship, in my observation. He'll eventually move on when he finds a girl he really likes. You'd be wise to move on first. And just maybe things will turn around the way they did for @furryfury, because you've changed up the dynamic and raised your degree of hard-to-get.

Here's an idea: "Dear, I love our sexual relationship, we have great chemistry, you're great in bed, etc., and I like you, I love x, y, z about you and I love spending time with you, but I'm thinking about my life and what I want, and I don't want a relationship forever that's just sexual or just friends, I want a real relationship, I want someone I can spend my life with (or whatever it is you really want), and I need to start being open to that. If you want that with me then I'd be happy to be with just you, but if you don't then I can't be exclusive with you anymore, I need to be open to meeting other people." This way you're not tightening your grip on him, you're giving him a choice, he's free to step it up or lose you.
 

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IMO, friends with benefits is an unofficial relationship. People mostly do all the same things like they're official without the title.
I even heard of a couple who were parents, living and raising their children together, still FWB. WTF. Also, someone always catches feelings.
However, 1. he said that he wants to be like this, so he either has to say he wants more, or you ask him about it.
2. If he is, do something to bring it back. Maybe you got to F him harder. lol. If that doesn't work, ask him what's up.
3. I'm cool with someone else initiating, I don't feel anyway about it.

EDIT: Which website did you meet on? I might want to go there. :p
 

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From one kinky ENFP in her late 20s to another:

There's no LTR in your joint future, just a sexual agreement. There might be some romance, even a perceived high degree of romance (because ISTPs like bonding too), but that's not indicative of a romantic LTR. You're looking for the best (we tend to do that) in a situation that's designed for failure. I'm sorry that you're going through this.

If you do the ultimatum thing, nicely or bluntly, he might react in order to keep you. But his intentions won't change - and that is (or should be) your fundamental concern. The situation will keep boiling until you break it off with him. He doesn't see a reason to break it off with you because he's getting what he wants - sex, some romance, emotional intimacy, your Ne (in my experience, they adore the N function in others). You're not breaking it off because you think you will get what you want by trying to detect patterns that cater to your feelings as opposed to facts. Welcome to ENFP Fi-ville ;) Once you trip into that ditch, your Te basically goes sideways. (You can borrow mine).

This doesn't make him a bad guy, but it does make you foolish. I say that with sympathy. I dated an ISTP years ago who wanted less while I wanted more. I chose to go through that... and while I don't regret it, I really shouldn't have projected so much.

I'm not sure why people jump into sexual monogamy before establishing a real relationship, but this is unfortunately something a lot of people ask for, and even more unfortunately, what a lot of people (read: women) give. Don't agree to this in the future. ENFPs get romantically attached easily. Keep one foot on the brake until it is thoroughly obvious that the other person seeks what you want (the same dynamic) to the degree that you want (same level of commitment/sex/ D/s /whatever else). Trust that there is someone better suited out there for you.
@petitpèlerin, I'm in complete agreement with you there.
 

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1.) Is there any chance that we will develop into a committed relationship? What are things I can do to help that happen or deepen our connection? 3.) I feel confused about the whole me initiating thing..he doesn’t seem to mind, and I’ve asked if it feels like pressure or pushing when I express my feelings/ask to see him, and he said not at all. How much initiating should I do, and in what areas?

As far as I know, ISTP guys suck in leading in relationships. (I think we ISTP women are a bit better at that. ) They have no idea on how to establish and keep stable psychological distances. You are an ENFP, you are in tune with others emotions, you are aware of relationship dynamics, you see through BS, and you must take charge in here.

2.) What are signs that he's losing interest..recently he has become a little more blasé and less tender, is he losing interest in me/taking me for granted..doesn't give a shit and wants to be pointed in how this means really nothing to him beyond kink/sex/fun? Or is he just more comfortable with me now..What can I do about it?
I bet he has grown a bit too comfy (=lazy) with the whole arrangement. He himself said that he prefers to relationships to develop naturally, and now you feel a natural need to get a clear understanding on where you stand. I do not see why you should not discuss this with him clearly and openly. I think bringing this up to him, and discussing how you feel is the best solution to the situation. At the bottom, why don't you firmly decide for yourself what this guy means to you? Do you really want to be with him forever?
 

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I love the adventure of ENFP's but you guys are kind of intense when it comes to relationship expectations (if that's your goal) and communication. There is a distinct difference between someone an ISTP can have sex with and someone an ISTP genuinely likes being around. If you are in the second category there is actually more of an emotional connection, because it is very nice having someone close who understands us for us and that we can confide in when we want/need to.

Pushing or forcing ANYTHING is the fastest way to chase us off. Talking about feelings scares the shit out of us. Needy and emotional people become intolerable to us.

So if you want to start things with an ISTP, let things progress naturally without force. Be open to new things and prompt adventure and chances to explore. If you have been around the ISTP for a while, you might be smothering them. They might not realize it and hence why it isn't spoken. Repetitive things become boring. If you pull away and give an ISTP a little bit of space, they will start realizing they genuinely miss being around you if they do indeed care. I never know that I appreciate someone until they aren't around me. But don't give them too much space, or they will think you lost interest and it's time for them to move on.

Be there and be excited and prompt doing things. When you are away, give them space. You do that over a long course of time and it's essentially guaranteed that they will grow a deep connection with you. We are looking for life long friends with benefits for whom we trust more than anything. Being uninterested in a relationship I think is a good thing, because then emotions are in check and not masking the intensions of a person's actions. If you force something, it probably isn't meant to be.
 

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I'm not going to offer you suggestions about what to do. Rather, I'm going to tell you about my experience as an ISTP. Perhaps something may be useful in figuring out what action to take in the situation described.

I was wild. Perhaps not so much so that people could see it externally, but internally. I ran free without regard for social norms. The idea of being restricted, restrained or controlled never crossed my mind. In retrospect that behavior might appear inconsiderate or selfish. That was not my intent. I wanted, and still want, to do what I want to do. I do not like being impeded and revile to the utmost losing my freedom. I do not intend to hurt or harm anyone. I just like to be happy and doing what I want to do makes me happy. I often am alone in doing what pleases me because it is easier and disadvantages no one.

One thing that never crossed my mind was entering into a relationship with a female. It is as though that word was alien and never a part of my vocabulary. I don't know that I have ever heard a man use the word in a romantic context. It seems the private domain of females. It strikes me as almost incomprehensible in its meaning, and implies an exclusive committed involvement with a woman. That means denial of freedom of movement and pursuit of pleasure. That strikes me as being as inviting as pouring sand in well greased ball bearings.

When girls entered my life and I found how much fun sex was, I had the notion that I should have sex with all of them between puberty and menopause twice. The first time because it was a challenge to gain their cooperation and a lot of fun when you got it. The second time because there was no BS involved, we both knew we were going to do it, and we got at it without pretext. After that I was looking for the next available. I have said this to women and they were boggled, bewildered and amused.

Women, it seems, want to find their guy and cut him out of the pack. Then he becomes her exclusive property. Homemaking and parenthood seem the natural outcome. Not all women do this so please understand that I speak in gender generality.

Men love to get out and enjoy sex. The fertilization process is fun, and when so engaged seldom consider that fatherhood might be involved. Generally speaking, many men involved sexually with women are having a biological blast and not considering their partners as potential spouses. No doubt that there are ladies doing this as well.

So you advertised for the sex of your choice and found it. It appears you both got what you were looking for. It sounds to me that he has been upfront with you about his intent and is not interested in developing a relationship. As he is an ISTP that is no surprise. You are exactly what he wants as things stand now. As long as the sex is good he will likely be interested. If you become more pain than gain he may drop out.

There have been women that I was loathe to lose because of what had developed between us. They had become more valuable over time and we had really come to enjoy each other's company. Being an enjoyable companion means a great deal.

I can offer no solution, just an insight into the male ISTP thought process. I hope it is helpful.

I hope that I have not offended anyone with my very candid comments. Being offensive is not my intent. Candor and truth can be useful tools in solving problems. Deception adds nothing of value.
 
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