Personality Cafe banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Warning: long post!

(tl;dr: I’ve been having bad (as in no) luck in the romance department; Do you have advice for an INFJ, 4w5 female? Thanks!)


Hello, all!

It's been a while since I've written anything on this forum, but I thought that I'd give it a go, since I have been feeling somewhat down lately. Times when I have written on this forum in the past, I received a lot of help and clarity, so thank you in advance to anyone who responds to this!

In sum, I've excelled in multiple areas of my life, due to hard work, perseverance, and luck, all except in the area of romance and relationships!

From a young age, I've always believed in (and have also been taught) the value of hard work ethic. So, it was quite common to see me with my nose stuck in a book, or happily studying. Even though I was a socially awkward (i.e.: really silent and extremely observant) as a young girl and teenager, I learned how to develop my social skills and reach out to people, and be a rather sympathetic listener and good friend (as many have told me - their words, not mine!).

As a now 25 year-old woman, making solid friendships and actively pursuing my career goals are on the top of my list, so to speak.

I always thought that I would meet a good guy one day and that things would go from there. Hell, I even thought that I would at least have a serious encounter with a guy! I was fine with the fact that nothing ever happened in high school because I was so engrossed in my studies and was still stiff around many people. I was somewhat okay with the fact that nothing ever happened in college because I gravitated towards guys who were emotionally unavailable, perhaps subconsciously to make sure that I didn't get emotionally hurt. But, as the years continue to roll on, and as my 26th birthday nears (in early Oct.), it's becoming more difficult NOT to think that something is wrong.

Many people have stated how beautiful they think I am, or how I must be a model (or constantly insist that I should become one), or how I must have to swat the guys away because I’m “absolutely breathtaking.” Again, I'm only saying this to give you a better picture, not for an ego boost. (In fact, I shy away from compliments because I get so nervous!) I take great care of myself, I'm sociable in a warm and engaging, yet calm and collected kind of way, and I try to live my life in a honest, positive way.

Honestly, I am grateful for the compliments and for the good fortune that has come my way in other areas of my life, but this off-kilter romantic department is becoming frustrating. It seems like the guys, many of whom are much older, who DO ask me out have some serious hang-ups (some have been real shady types and don't want to change themselves!), have ulterior motives, or we just aren't compatible enough for something to stick. I only seek out the essentials to compatibility, and looks come after that, but even this doesn't work. When it comes to guys my age, I think it's even worse. I have even tried to take initiative in my own small, respectful way, only to have disastrous outcomes that are laughably embarrassing.

Many times, I have gotten all the positive social cues from a guy (who was an acquaintance or even friend, not a total stranger) that he was really attracted and interested, even confirmation from his friends (so it’s not like my imagination was making up some fairy tale story), only for the guy I was interested in to do a 180 – after I 1) smiled and flirted in a friendly way (I don’t think that I could be over-the-top with this even if I tried), 2) said I was interested in him, or 3) sent a text during the day asking to hang out – and he would act like I was too interested. I was so reserved and laidback during these one or two--time attempts, but you’d think that I’d done MUCH more than the girls who almost literally threw themselves at said guys right after I tried. And these guys accepted the other girls’ advances. This scenario has happened so often that I just stopped trying.

I know that everything happens for a reason, and you attract what you think you deserve, so… I don’t know. I know that I can still improve so many areas of my life, and that introspection and true, unshakeable self-confidence is something that everyone should work towards, but I’m wondering why nothing has changed in the romantic department, or if anything ever will. Again, I am grateful to even be breathing, to have a roof over my head, and to be alive! Normally, when I'm feeling sorry for myself, I throw myself in to my work, or I go out and help others with their problems. Lately, this hasn't been so effective, however. I would just like to add a positive, real relationship into the mix, if I’m fortunate enough.

I’m sorry for being so dramatic about all of this; I would just really appreciate some help with this one! Any others who have (or have not!) had this sort of situation and can offer any advice or words of encouragement? And I’m sorry that I’m most likely bombarding you; I think I need some guidance.

Thanks again to anyone who reads this, really! :happy:

Love and light
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
Well I'm quite sure that it is neither a joke nor blessing, but I can understand that it might let you wonder and keeps nagging on the more lonely days. I was wondering though what you do for fun and in what kind of environments you do meet the male species. Do you get regularly get in touch with man you feel attracted to or is it very rarely?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi Named,

First off, thanks for your reply! Sorry, I'm just realizing how vague I was. I've always been single - never had a relationship, or a fling, just one makeout session more than 5 years ago. Nothing has regularly happened in that sense. :tongue:

I've been studying and working off and on since college, and I tried out two different grad schools since graduating from college (completed the second). I am more of a loner in that I am very comfortable staying in and reading a book, watching a good movie, painting, journaling, cooking, Skyping with good friends who are far away, you know, that whole thing.

However, I do make a solid and continued effort of going to alumni events when I can (I've been to three this year, and I socialized at my table and introduced myself to a few people in the venues), I've gone out to nightclubs, friends' parties, socialized with strangers and new friends at parties, restaurants, really nice events and functions, etc. many, many times over the years, this year included. I go outside and "go out" often enough to feel comfortable with being approached and with introducing myself and starting up a conversation. I have also been on a few spontaneous dates that led nowhere (either for good or neutral reasons), and I've been on a few dates with people who I didn't have a great feeling about, but gave a chance since it's good to have an open mind, only to see their serious emotional hang-ups up close and personal.

Most of the time, I just feel like I'm being gawked at by guys I do find attractive, although I think that I'm coming across as shy and reserved, or well-put together. In fact, guys have told me that "I just seem above the fray." I guess it was a compliment?

I don't develop feelings for guys extremely often (I don't know, what's the normal amount? :kitteh:) especially if I haven't seen them around/observed them for a continued period of time, but I thought that pursuing interests that foster social interaction would lead somewhere! I haven't actively been seeking any prospects, nor have I been on the prowl.

Sometimes I feel like I just need more patience, and other times, I feel like I'm doing something wrong, and that some part of me goes blank when guys I would find attractive (personality first, and looks) send signals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Ive never been in a relationship either,(although ive had flings and dated) I consider it more of a blessing than a curse. I mention that as a point of relevance because Im the same age as you(only 2 months apart)

If I were you id take pride in the fact that you dont develop feelings as often for guys, I'd imagine that it means you see through most of the BS. It might take a while to find someone, but if you keep yourself open im sure it will happen. Other people might find their partners sooner than you, but who knows? you might end up happiest because you didnt settle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Ive never been in a relationship either,(although ive had flings and dated) I consider it more of a blessing than a curse. I mention that as a point of relevance because Im the same age as you(only 2 months apart)

If I were you id take pride in the fact that you dont develop feelings as often for guys, I'd imagine that it means you see through most of the BS. It might take a while to find someone, but if you keep yourself open im sure it will happen. Other people might find their partners sooner than you, but who knows? you might end up happiest because you didnt settle.
Hi Blind Traveler,

Thank you for your reply, and for your positivity! Yes, I sympathize with you, and I agree that it's better to view the proverbial glass as half-full rather than half-empty. I am normally in this positive state, but it's been more difficult to stay in this positive frame of mind all the time. In any case, thank you again, and I hope you get into a relationship (in the near future) that's real and lasting! :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,089 Posts
*raises hand*

I'm 25. No relationships and have never been in love with anyone. I also receive compliments and reactions of surprise and disbelief when I reveal that I've yet to experience my first kiss. It's flattering, in a way, to know that I apparently don't bear the stereotypical traits of someone who you might expect to struggle in this department. But the only girls I've ever met are either taken, have serious hang-ups, or are simply unsuitable or incompatible with my introverted personality. It feels like I'm trapped in some sort of eternal limbo of singledom that only I'm aware of.

My constant fear is that I could (and most likely already have) walk right by someone like you in the street every day and not know it. Our culture is essentially a staged performance that restricts our means to develop actual intimate connections with the right people. Unfortunately, the only way to get results is to take matters into your own hands. So I would encourage you to continue taking the initiative if you can manage it. If you approached me, I'd oblige in an instant. It wouldn't be embarrassing or disastrous. It would be fucking glorious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Worst strategy ever.
Hi Haba,

Yes, it's easy to simply say "worst strategy ever," but when you're in the moment and you start to catch feelings for someone and things don't pan out as you'd hoped, and this cycle continues, it's quite easy to see the pattern forming and realize that that is the "worst strategy ever." As many know, hindsight is 20/20. I've stopped all that nonsense (to my knowledge :tongue: ) and seek out opportunities to meet like-minded people on a similar wavelength to my own these days, hence my current confusion.

Thanks all the same, I guess :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
*raises hand*

I'm 25. No relationships and have never been in love with anyone. I also receive compliments and reactions of surprise and disbelief when I reveal that I've yet to experience my first kiss. It's flattering, in a way, to know that I apparently don't bear the stereotypical traits of someone who you might expect to struggle in this department. But the only girls I've ever met are either taken, have serious hang-ups, or are simply unsuitable or incompatible with my introverted personality. It feels like I'm trapped in some sort of eternal limbo of singledom that only I'm aware of.

My constant fear is that I could (and most likely already have) walk right by someone like you in the street every day and not know it. Our culture is essentially a staged performance that restricts our means to develop actual intimate connections with the right people. Unfortunately, the only way to get results is to take matters into your own hands. So I would encourage you to continue taking the initiative if you can manage it. If you approached me, I'd oblige in an instant. It wouldn't be embarrassing or disastrous. It would be fucking glorious.
Hello Rather Unusual,

First off, thanks for an awesome reply! I'm happy that we can bond under the circumstances that we're currently in, and realize that this is a common and, even if somewhat perplexing, rather normal thing. (Or, perhaps you're already there, and I'm just coming to. :kitteh:)

I definitely hear you when you're wondering if your own introverted nature is preventing (if not even sabotaging) you from bumping into someone you just click with. And sometimes, yes, it almost feels like I'm hiding my perpetual status, even around close friends. The funny thing is, I end up giving strangers and close friends alike great relationship advice that they have all thanked me dearly for! If only I could solve my own puzzle.

So you think that giving the whole "taking matters into one's own hands" thing is a good idea? I'm not sure if my all-too-good emotional memory will allow me to risk another embarrassment! :laughing: But perhaps I might give it another go. Given the right mood, and if my intuition isn't firing off on all rounds, warning me not to trust the guy in front of me (I've learned to trust my gut after a few social blunders), who knows?

How about you? Do you take matters into your own hands when you feel like the time is right?

On another note, I've been reading about the common INFJ fear of revealing one's romantic feelings to another for fear of embarrassment. I didn't go through that when I was younger, but now I'm wondering which is better - to say or not to say...

Oh! And I'm sure it'd be more than fucking glorious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Are you close with your dad?
Well, for the last few years (especially the last one-and-a-half to two years), we have grown closer than we were before. My parents are still married (30 years this summer), and, for the most part, they don't bite each others heads off... :tongue:

Beforehand, and especially during my growing up years and teenage years, not so much. He was... constantly angry, and... reactive, in more ways than one (I'll just leave that purposely vague), and was a bit of a perfectionist, or at least tried to instill that in my siblings and me. Our relationship was not estranged, but just very (sometimes even very, very) strained.

The years have calmed him down, though, and he's much more patient now. We can laugh and talk (although our conversations are either about funny game shows or serious thoughts about the future), and we pull small pranks on each other now that don't end badly, like they used to. Our relationship is much more steady now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,089 Posts
So you think that giving the whole "taking matters into one's own hands" thing is a good idea? I'm not sure if my all-too-good emotional memory will allow me to risk another embarrassment! :laughing: But perhaps I might give it another go. Given the right mood, and if my intuition isn't firing off on all rounds, warning me not to trust the guy in front of me (I've learned to trust my gut after a few social blunders), who knows?

How about you? Do you take matters into your own hands when you feel like the time is right?

On another note, I've been reading about the common INFJ fear of revealing one's romantic feelings to another for fear of embarrassment. I didn't go through that when I was younger, but now I'm wondering which is better - to say or not to say...

Oh! And I'm sure it'd be more than fucking glorious.
I think it can be easy to give up when we don't receive instant gratification for our efforts, because we're not used to making that effort and we use the lack of instant results as a way to confirm our insecurities to ourselves. This is probably true for females especially who are used to being approached. But the thing is, the kind of guys that would understand and appreciate you are rare enough that youre unlikely to find them if you just limit yourself to the ones who approach you. It's still wise to be cautious and selective about it, of course. But then knowing about MBTI/enneagram is potentially a huge advantage in that regard.

I would take matters into my own hands if I could, but unfortunately the opportunity to do so has never come along and I'm still lost as to how to proceed in that regard. :(

But I know that INFJs have a huge depth of emotional investment in a relationship. I imagine it would be difficult to know when and how to reveal our feelings to someone, given what is at stake. So many people just hop from one person to another, but INFJs would rather spend longer holding out for that true connection...but I guess it's easy to lose hope that it will ever come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Hey Rather Unusual,

I definitely hear you there. To add to that, the worst thing for me is how subconscious yet rather painful the (not always accurate) assumption that one would automatically appreciate our efforts, or at least respond in ways that match my standard of morally upright beahviour and appropriate responses in social settings, can be. I logically understand that not everyone will see eye to eye, but I've also learned that, once I have begun to make an emotional investment in someone, I have accidentally made the assumption that people who seem morally upright and in agreement with my way of viewing the world would automatically respond to situations in a similar way that I do. Hence the number of awkward moments that I have had in the past.

I have also learned that it is not too common to meet people who are extremely emotionally honest with themselves, or even emotionally aware, for that matter. I'm trying to remind myself of this all-too-real fact, not only to make sure that I don't make a serious emotional investment (as you so accurately described above) to people I am only compatible with on the surface, but also take people as they are. Now, I'm trying to give myself the time to see the multiple layers that others more compatible with me have to offer. However, even when I'm putting myself in situations where I'd be more likely to find someone who's compatible, I only worry that I've been accidentally shutting myself off in such a way that I make it seem like I'm fine without a partner and I don't send out LOA signals. I've done this before, so I can only imagine how often I might mistakenly do it now! I think this is the growing issue for my love life these days, because I've been in enough social situations and have engaged to meet someone pretty cool by now. On the other hand, I do agree that finding that kind of rare connection really does take time, so, while I should be make sure that I'm aware of the signals I'm sending out, I also shouldn't be so impatient, even though it feels like I've been waiting forever! :kitteh:

On the plus side, I have really learned so much about myself, my internal contradictions, and what sorts of qualities I want (and would likely need to have) in a partner. I can only imagine that I would have deluded myself into really bad, unequal, and unhappy partnerships had I gotten what I thought I wanted when I was younger, so, while I had a moment of "crisis" when I posted this, letting out all of that negative and unbalanced energy definitely helped me center myself once again. I have returned to the knowledge that many things happen for a reason (perhaps a simple reasoning to apply to all situations, especially unfortunate ones, but a helpful mantra nonetheless).

If you don't mind my asking, what situations, or lack thereof, are impeding you from reaching out to a girl who piques your interest? I don't want to pry too much, but I would like to help you, as you helped me! :happy:

Love and light,

unikestyle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
I'll share my thoughts... I think it's just a result of INFJ communicative/interpersonal intricacies being so different from what most are used to encountering. Exactly what elements of that nature I'll have to think about, but I think people can be uncomfortable with the raw humanity; I think even when we're cool as a cucumber certain normie folks can sense a latent incongruity. Funnily enough that's what will make it so nice when you have found someone adequately fitting. And that person will probably fall straight up head-over-heels for you.

I'm a few years older than you, and have been in a couple long-term relationships, but my experience in my single times has been very reminiscent of yours. In those times, I have, with maybe one exception, only been with women I had zero real interest in (probably the female equivalent of the strange fellas you turned down, I just accepted for whatever reason. Booze, dancefloors, loneliness). Like you, I'm regularly complimented, and have seen firsthand that I can be the epitome of a "catch" to great, very attractive women. But basically, the times I've actively pursued someone, in a less-than spontaneous way, it's always fizzled out. Granted I don't remember being really intrigued by any of them. Maybe that plays a part. Have you had an honest, deep feeling for any of these guys you've pursued ? I don't know what there is to glean from any of this. But it's occurring to me that only in my least self-aware moments have I attracted worthwhile women. When I wasn't looking toward the future. Maybe it has something to do with being societally trained to hide one's intentions and play the game when "courting" someone. And that reconciling this with our brutally authentic nature results in us coming across as "weird" ? I mean, I've reached a point where I know I only present my truest self when I really believe in what I'm doing. In all aspects of life.

Don't know if any of that seems relatable, but those are some of my tired brain's jumbled thoughts on it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,089 Posts
Now, I'm trying to give myself the time to see the multiple layers that others more compatible with me have to offer. However, even when I'm putting myself in situations where I'd be more likely to find someone who's compatible, I only worry that I've been accidentally shutting myself off in such a way that I make it seem like I'm fine without a partner and I don't send out LOA signals. I've done this before, so I can only imagine how often I might mistakenly do it now! I think this is the growing issue for my love life these days, because I've been in enough social situations and have engaged to meet someone pretty cool by now. On the other hand, I do agree that finding that kind of rare connection really does take time, so, while I should be make sure that I'm aware of the signals I'm sending out, I also shouldn't be so impatient, even though it feels like I've been waiting forever! :kitteh:

On the plus side, I have really learned so much about myself, my internal contradictions, and what sorts of qualities I want (and would likely need to have) in a partner. I can only imagine that I would have deluded myself into really bad, unequal, and unhappy partnerships had I gotten what I thought I wanted when I was younger, so, while I had a moment of "crisis" when I posted this, letting out all of that negative and unbalanced energy definitely helped me center myself once again. I have returned to the knowledge that many things happen for a reason (perhaps a simple reasoning to apply to all situations, especially unfortunate ones, but a helpful mantra nonetheless).

If you don't mind my asking, what situations, or lack thereof, are impeding you from reaching out to a girl who piques your interest? I don't want to pry too much, but I would like to help you, as you helped me! :happy:

Love and light,

unikestyle
I do think its important to consider what sort of signals you might be sending, and in what ways you might be making yourself seem inaccessible. Only the very aggressive ones will bridge the distance for you right away, but then someone that forward is usually expecting a very specific kind of response.

A lot of this results from living in an extroverted world that misunderstands introverts. We're often pressured to justify our needs because most people seem to lack the intuition to properly engage with us. They only seem willing to go as far as social norms will carry them. But then I suppose that tells us all we need to know. It's a shame that a lot of introverted girls probably just go along with what is presented to them at first and end up with all the wrong types of guys because they don't know anything else. So I agree that one positive you've gained is that you've learnt to properly gauge your standards and know what you want. But you're not impatient. I think it's perfectly natural to feel this way. I know the feeling and it sucks. It does indeed feel like forever...

In my case, it mostly seems to be a matter of circumstances. I've just never met anyone at all who seems like my type and the very few who do are always taken or otherwise out of reach. College was childish and my university course is structured in a way that keeps everyone segregated. Meetup groups are full of older people. Dating sites are useless. I also think it's worse here in the UK because the culture is so flat and devoid of social opportunities. Plus, it's worse as a guy because the expectations are harsher. It's daunting to say the least. But it also seems to be a bit of a mystery.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top