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INTPs: Do you fall in or experience love the way an NF would consider love (that is, a deep and abiding emotional, sexual, & spiritual connection)? It seems my INTP husband is not capable of these feelings towards me, and I wonder if he is capable of those feelings for anyone. In his world, love is expressed through commitment, shared goals, and kind/affectionate deeds to each other. Sex is in there too of course, but it's not "romantic" sex, and he seems to be genuinely either clueless or indifferent to making the standard romantic gestures (sending flowers, buying meaningful art or jewelry, romantic meals out, or other socially conventional romantic gestures).

We are separating for a while (at my request) and in some of our conversations regarding the separation this topic has come up. He says he couldn't see himself ever having been with anyone else as long as he's been with me (15+ years); he doesn't want to separate but realizes I'm unhappy and he doesn't know what he can do about it, so he'll just be moving out until I decide what I want to do; and if we divorce he says he expects to never remarry and "be alone the rest of his life, and probably die earlier than if he was with me." This is the closest thing to saying he loves me as he appears capable of saying. The thing is, the way he talks about our relationship me makes me feel so hollow & depressed ... I don't feel that it's really love; just a deep friendship, or a mutual obligation.

In case you're wondering how we came to be married ... well, it is not a romantic story at all. After dating a year and getting along really well, we decided to move in together. My mom, who has very old-fashioned ideas about love & marriage, threw a massive hissy fit and wouldn't stop harassing me about "living in sin" with another man. In some exasperation I told this to him. He said we could get married if that's what I wanted. He never did propose; it was just we agreed to get married and I planned the whole thing, and he showed up on the wedding day and did the deed. I asked him once if he would ever have proposed to me had I not brought it up, and all he could say was that he would "like to think he would have done that someday." For a romantic like me, that was like a stake through the heart; it was such a tepid and matter-of-fact thing to say. I know he was being as honest as he could be, though! He wasn't trying to BS me with fake professions of undying love. For his part, he has been faithful to me, has shared in the ups and downs, and has never talked about leaving me. He thinks I have old fashioned and unrealistic expectations about what love is.

I just need to know if this is how other INTPs see love. I don't know if it would change anything for me, except if it turns out that in fact INTPs do experience the feelings of love more closely to what I described, then I'll know he just doesn't love me (which would help me bring closure to this relationship).

Your thoughts definitely appreciated. Thank you!
 
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Hi, I'm an INTP, and i've been in a long relationship, that I'm currently having difficulty with for the last few weeks, the relationship has been two years, to an ISFP.
I don't speak for all of us, but i honestly don't understand the concept of love, i feel it occasionally, i think, i show it to her by being committed honest and open with her when she asks things. But you have to understand we live most of our lives in our heads, i don't speak for all of us, but i constantly second guess and theorise, wondering if anything is really true, i often contemplate is love true or is it just a hormonal reaction and a physical attraction with a connection personally. It's hard to really say, I'm sure you have what you think love is, or maybe you are sure or even correct. But i'm not sure it even exists, i can tell if I'm attracted to someone or not with ease, and if i like their personality or not with ease. As we spend a great deal of time in our heads its likely he nows exactly how he feels about you, but since our feeling functions rank so low, they are only shown under harsh conditions really, i find my emotions slip out when I'm under a lot of stress. So he likely knows but doesn't know how to phrase it, or second guesses if its anything more than just a normal attraction. I do not speak for us all, and i am still very young, I'm really not quite sure of anything to be honest, only what i know to be true can i be certain of. I hope this helped somehow? Maybe, maybe not, i havent auite adequately answered your question to be honest, but i'm not entirely sure how to either.. Sorry for that
 

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I did, I'm not sure I ever will again though, not like it was anyhow. I even recorded an album with her, and then never saw or heard from her again. Just for extra zing in the residual careening brutal torpedoed pain of it all.

I was an emotional fish because of it. Now I'm an emotion-proof deep sea diver from a former century. You know the diving suit with the heavy anchor breast plate, and generally made from bulletproof lead? With lead boots? Yep, one of those, me, underwater, kicking it with the sharks, and weird fishes.

Is love not something that changes all the time? The better love is the love that doesn't have the emotional love, if there is a deep friendship maybe that is something more potent and bonding than any other form of love?

I recently split up with a girl after four years together. We agreed it was for the best. But I did not have the overblown emotions like I did with the mindless love I had previously. And it was a deeper relationship in many ways. And I am beginning to question the criteria required to manifest a lifelong partner.

To have the emotional link and the strong friendship and soul link, that would be the ideal. But ideal doesn't exist. And many relationships survive on one strong element.

A break is a good idea sometimes, even though many say it is a definite sign of the ending of a relationship. I'm not so sure it always means the end.
 

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I don't know much about INTP's falling in love...

But I can vouch for bursting out hate...

or flying over rage...

or diving under uncertainty...

it's only a matter of time...
 

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We fall in love, but not the way you do, I'm sure. The "romantic" part seems alien to me (giving flowers, being romantic, candlelight dinners, etc). Maybe it's because we don't like mystery when it comes to love, I don't know. We tend to prefer to understand and make sense of things.

Giving flowers just feels superficial to me for some reason.
 

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A question worth asking is: how much does it matter, the conditioned response through which one is supposed to express "love"? Is it not the greatest beauty and of great respect towards you that he is honest about his feelings about this? As you say, he expresses his liking towards you to his seemingly highest potential (and that is all you can ever ask of him). That you have other/higher expectations of being nurtured/get more satisfaction out of your relationship is up for you to act upon.

As a sidenote (which perhaps depresses you further): I don't say "I love you" to my (infp) girlfriend - because it simply is not true. I have not come upon the truth of love in my own subjective experience. And how can I then say that I love? I say that I really like her, much more than anyone else and that I really enjoy time spent together. That is all I can offer, at this very moment.
 

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Iv'e been in love twice.

First time I was 15, young, new to it all, proper was mad for her for about two years. It was great actually. 'Making love' does exist. Then I got bored, started to resent her for holding me back, and we finally ended after being together nearly 5 years.

Amazing how the MBTI relationship description for the INTP is so accurate. I pretty much went along with the archetype from start to finish. And at that time I didn't even know the meaning of MBTI!

Then I met another girl and fell in love again. I was 23 and resolutely decided that I would stay with her, everything was great, etc etc. Eventually felt a little bored, but we definitely weren't on a bad footing. But it ended anyway because it was long distance and she was, admittedly, a little psychotic at times.

I'm still burning a bit from that relationship though. We were way different from the 'typical' couple. Quite a unique pair, people often told us we were such a good/great/interesting/etc couple.

So now I'm like @William808 . Emotions of steel. Fuck that shit. I actually have a huge crush on one of my flatmates right now but just don't dare to even slightly make an advance in any way at all. My last girlfriend made me feel like a shit boyfriend. Hurts, man. The INTP aim is to be the best at everything (including relationships until we get bored, heh). My ex always complained about things I had no control over, and it made me feel awful, like all her problems were my fault.

Anyway main point is that I need some time to recharge. But I already have a new crush. What do?! (I don't get 'into' peoplpe very easily). Meh. Blah blah.

:)
 

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I won't claim to speak for everyone, but for me: in 15 years of dating, I've never felt anything I would call a "deep and abiding emotional, sexual, & spiritual connection". Not even remotely close. I guess each person experiences love in their own way.

As far as showing affection, I also never got the point of stuff like shiny rocks or flowers (dying plant genitals as a sign of love?). Gift giving isn't my preferred means of showing affection. Some give gifts, some show it verbally, physically, with time, etc. Maybe you two just have two different preferred ways of giving/receiving affection.
 

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I'll try to make this exceedingly short. If he's been with you for 15 years, isn't particularly interested in you sexually, and is okay with a separation, well, I think he's probably out. I don't know how old you are, but 15 years sounds like you may have started young, and INTPs tend to lose interest in things if they're not often refreshed.

My suggestion would be to break the NF mold and just kick him right in the ass if you want to know how he really feels. If you don't want to know then I suggest not poking the hornets' nest because you might get an answer you don't want.

Good luck to you. Love is a hard thing to master.
 

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From me reading your post, I get the impression it isn't him who has questionable love, but you. You don't sound like you're as much in love as you are needy about specific types of affection and it makes you sound insecure. Your husband seems really deeply loyal to you, but then you still want more. Why do you want flowers and jewelry so much? And eating out is generally more annoying/expensive than having a nice homemade meal :/

I used to have an INFP friend who ended up having a crush on me, professing love, but during that time, she became extremely demanding of me showing "affections" in return and I ended up having to cut off the friendship since it got too much for me really quickly. Her expectations of me were illogically high for me, then she would get depressed and insecure when I didn't meet them, using guilt trips towards me in the "Don't you care about me? I get the feeling you don't care about me anymore because of blah blah blah you don't do enough of this or that" sort of way even though I never said I didn't care about her. She came to stupid conclusions based on my lack of "affection"... but if I did everything she wanted, I would have burned myself out the first day. I often felt as if she was looking for any reason to assume I didn't care about her ((even though I did care about her)) just to accuse me of not caring about her. She kept emotionally punishing me for not meeting ridiculously high standards of "love" that she had set. It hurt me to cut her off... practically killed me since she did mean a lot to me... but there was no way I'd survive under her demanding attitude towards relationships. I'm too low energy and laid back for everything she wanted. I still don't think I'm over it... she sent me an e-mail not long ago, wanting to reconnect, but I couldn't even look at it and deleted it because it would be too painful.

You're not the first INFP to come to this section to ask if an INTP in your life loves you or not and the stories keep sounding the same where the INFP looks for all the flaws of the INTP and gets insecure about the relationship even when the INTP didn't do anything wrong. For 15 years, your husband has stayed loyal to you and has gone through everything with you. He's never talked about leaving you and says he will likely never remarry and will die earlier if you divorce. Doesn't that say a lot right there? INTPs are pretty quick to cut off relationships when they see no value... but he has stayed by your side for so long. If he didn't have deep feelings for you, he would have left long ago.

My form of affection is subtle and quiet, but always present. For me, my loyalty/dedication to someone is the biggest show of love I can think of. Physical affection doesn't appeal much to me and I don't think it's necessary when I feel a strong bond to someone. It should be about honesty, being close friends and being open so we can talk about anything on an even playing field ((no side puts the other down because there is a high level of understanding between both parties involved)).

That's my 2 cents.
 

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Of course, everyone feels the emotion of love, but I think some types fall out of it faster than others (INTP being one). 15 years is a very long time, most people do not last that long, you guys are very lucky.
 

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I fell in love and had very strong feelings but I may be unusual for an INTP.
I love to touch hold hands kiss on the neck be a pillow on the couch.
But after 12 years she told I was not good enough so for the last year she is trying to move out.
So I am also a kind and sentimental guy as well. So an INTP can feel emotions but I need to feel safe to express them.
And as an INFP you need to let him know what the little things are that you need. This is what my INFP girl friend let me know and I loved to give. But I also understand animals buy watching them and I can do this with her. So often I knew her moods with out words. So I guess it can be done but it's something that has to worked on. I made it a puzzle or game to think of something she would like and not expect.
I did not expect love to be an effortless thing or something I could ignore.

Hope this helps
 

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I can't speak for all INTPs but I have been in love more than once (still am). And for me the experience is much like you describe. For me, it begins with a strong intellectual connection and then builds into a strong sexual and spiritual connection as well. I would never fall for someone I didn't have an intellectual connection with, at least to some extent, and I could feel very emotionally inspired by and spiritually connected to that person in my own mind but not necessarily share that bond with them in our interactions. Actually, that was only the case when I was in love with another INTP; although we didn't ever get super emotional with one another, I think the sentiment was there. As for your situation, idk. He is a male INTP and that may make a difference, or he may just be a much stronger T than I. Sounds like he has very weak Fe, but he obviously wants to be with you. It may not be passionate love in the way you need to be fulfilled but I do think he loves you. And to me, romance is not necessarily candlelit dinners and flowers. It can be, but would likely be more subtle and personal. Perhaps "accidental" picturesque scenes, no doubt begun with an exciting or romantic gesture, but they'd really be special when we would find ourselves there...perhaps not trying and just letting happen is a secret to true romance and passion for the INTP, who may find themselves thinking instead of feeling.
 

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I've had feelings of love before. It was the kind of love where I wanted to be with them forever and could visualise how our lives would go in future and how, even though we might not always get on, we'd be mostly happy. I experience very, very strong emotions with love, to the point it can make me feel ill (especially as I'm fairly apathetic about most things in life). It's a bit like living in a very toned-down room (all soft colours) then someone coming in and shooting neon paint all over the walls.

However, despite the strong emotions, it's unlikely I'll express them to the person. I always think it would make them think I was clingy etc. so I keep it to myself. I'm a very controlled person generally, so I can manage to hide things well, until it makes me depressed or ill (but then, I'm sickly anyway and I have boughts of depression with no cause, so people probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference).
 

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All my relations have been out of a sense of obligation.. However.

he seems to be genuinely either clueless or indifferent to making the standard romantic gestures (sending flowers, buying meaningful art or jewellery, romantic meals out, or other socially conventional romantic gestures)

This part seems to ring heavily true to me. I'll (obviously) explain:
First holidays/birthdays:
(Christmas, thanksgiving, memorial day, valentines day, birthdays etc.). I like the concept of remembering someone's sacrifice or feeling thankful for what I do have, or being charitable or showing someone that I am in a relation with that they are important to me. However, it all feels fake. I'm not giving you a present because I want to, I am giving you a present because it is a social convention and an obligation. Tell me which would you rather have a present on your birthday and Christmas OR a present in say, march and maybe September? Because I felt like getting you something (genuine) instead of felt obligated to (fake).
(I also dislike them because it hints towards only feeling certain ways during certain parts of the year and that also annoys me.)

To him, it might be the same thing for the "typical" romantic gestures. Going through the motion because it is expected instead of something he wants to do. He might be trying to show you affection in other ways that feel more genuine to him.
 

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On a few occasions I've fallen completely in love with a few people... they've all either become close friends, or people that I have a difficult time connecting with. I've been in one romantic relationship - it lasted about a year before a bitter break-up. She was a J (from a strict Chinese family that only allowed for purely linear thinking... She was the type that learned English by reading a dictionary.... which is not a very good approach) while I was (and still am) a very carefully organized mess.

Chemistry, metallurgy, ecology, and physics have been filling my time since then, though...
 
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