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I've been talking to an ISTJ for almost 4 months. If we're not hanging out in person, we're talking on the phone daily. Not txt, but actual phone conversations usually initiated by him. He puts in the effort to see me and I him. We have weekly meetings at church where we sit together, we work out together, see each other at group events, and just plain chill and have movie nights. We don't show any signs of physical affection, except when drunk he likes to make out with me and we'll cuddle. He's been divorced for four years and says he is ready for a relationship and to get married again. He says he likes my creativity, ability to go with the flow, and keep my cool. He says that he likes hanging out with me because "i'm fun". Its seriously been 4 months since we're started talking/first met and I DON'T KNOW if he wants to be exclusive. He feels that men should step up and be leaders in a relationship so i've avoided flat out asking "are we together or not?" to respect his values.

I've read somewhere that ISTJ's take FOREVER to evaluate someone for a relationship (although i don't know how long that usually is). I've also read "actions speak louder than words" to them, and I've read that ISTJ's are horrible when it comes to verbally expressing their feelings, especially when they like someone.

But honestly, It's been like 4 months and ISTPs, such as myself, are not ones for long drawn out courtships!:confused: I don't know whether I should forget his rule that men should be leaders of the relationship and ask him flat out what's our status or do something else. I'm not sure what that something else is cause i'm too frustrated to figure it out. I really like him and I just want definition.

Any advice?
Have you been in a similar situation where you liked a girl, did all this research, and wanted to express yourself to her? If so, how long did it take (months, years, days?) for you to express yourself in CLEAR and COMPELLING fashion?
WTF is taking so long?!
Is it me? Am I being impatient? Is this a test?
What must I do to get him to speak up without making him run away?

I am seeking advice from ISTJs, or anyone who has dealt with this frustrating process of dating an ISTJ. Thanks, y'all!
 

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Why should I be careful instead of asking bluntly?
Bluntness can be perceived as an attack or accusation. I don't know that I would say "carefully," but just be honest and sincere and then be patient; don't jump to conclusions because of an immediate reaction. Likely, if he wasn't ready for what you suggest, he'll need time to digest it.
 

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he likes to be with you because "you're fun". Not a good sign in my book. Istj's are mostly dead serious. Put some distance between you and see what he does. Or, if you can't do that, i recommend the direct approach.
exactly.
 

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He likes to be with you because "you're fun". Not a good sign in my book. ISTJ's are mostly dead serious.
I disagree. Although ISTJs are fairly serious, to call someone else 'fun' means that it meets our definition of 'fun' which I can only see as a positive. Generally people aren't that fun for ISTJs to be around constantly so I'd take this as a compliment.

I am seeking advice from ISTJs, or anyone who has dealt with this frustrating process of dating an ISTJ. Thanks, y'all!
I'm not great with feelings and do to take a fair while to evaluate things, but I also appreciate honesty and transparency.

I wouldn't like to be asked out on the spot since I'd need time to consider it, but if someone said to me 'hey, we've been spending a lot of time together, I've enjoyed it and I was wondering what you'd think about being exclusive' I'd be happy to take a step back and consider it (might take a couple of weeks though).
 

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I don't know if this will be helpful, but this is my experience...

My ISTJ guy (now husband) started out showing a lot of interest. Spent a ton of time with me, was just really sweet and devoted. When I moved, he called me every day, and we never ran out of things to talk about, but I felt like he wasn't serious, was just playing around. Honestly, I was ready to be married, and I wasn't dating to date. Maybe he found a good friend in me, and just liked talking? I was in love with him, like head-over-heels, and I knew if I didn't ask him to back off soon, I'd get my heart broken badly. I really needed some kind of commitment--I couldn't let it go on the way it was going. I wasn't going to demand commitment from him though. I didn't want to present some sort of ultimatum. I felt like that was sort of manipulative, and I wanted him to feel like he could be where he was at.

I basically gave him space. I told him the truth--that my heart was really vulnerable with all of his pursuit, but that it wouldn't be wise for me to let things go on the way they were going. I suggested we just take a week or two off from talking to clear our heads, and maybe we would both just realize we needed to move forward with our lives in our respective towns. We made plans to talk again in a couple of weeks, after we'd had time to think. I hung up the phone thinking it was over, and I was... wow I cried. Three days later, he called to tell me he was moving to where I was, that he was going to keep calling until then, and if I wanted to answer the phone, he'd like to keep talking with me--I was completely floored. I was prepared to wait two weeks to be dumped! One month later, he showed up with all his stuff in his truck and moved into a friend's spare bedroom. Ten months later, we were engaged. Five months after that, we were married.

As far as a timeline, it took a while to get to the commitment point, but once he committed, that was IT. We were friends for a year, and then he confessed that he cared about me and wanted to pursue a relationship with me. Then I moved, and we did 10 months of the daily phone calls, occasional visits.

Funny thing is--he pursued me with a devotion like none other, and when he finally moved to where I lived, I hoped for a big confession of his feelings. :laughing: He just handed me a diamond necklace that afternoon while he was putting gas in his car (swoon--seriously, he didn't make much money at the time.. and over a gas pump? I mean, hello.), and asked to hold my hand. I finally figured out that there was never going to be a lot of love notes and confessions, but that his love was real. To this day, if I ask him why he picked me (there were lots of other cute girls where we worked!), he says, "You were fun. I liked being around you. I don't know. I just wanted you. I never know how to answer this question..."

I think, as previous posters suggested, you should avoid making demands for an immediate answer. Be honest about your own needs, and give space and time. Don't make it about getting him to say something. I always can say how I feel, on the spot, but that is not the case for my husband. He needs time to think. You might just have to get OK with a long, drawn out courtship, just like I had to get OK with not a whole lot of lovey-dovey words! :)

Hope this helps a little!
 

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@Quiet Minute: Wow, thanks for the beautiful story! My own ISTJ courtship story isn't anywhere near as interesting, but I guess I'll share it if it helps OP.

My ISTJ and I started as friends that grew closer over time. We were talking at least two or three hours every night, and he would make excuses to come over and spend time with me in person as well. He was sending out a lot of signs, and I realized that I felt the same way about him, but ISTJs need to be sure that the object of their affection is interested in them too before they make a move. Thus, he tried and failed to tell me how he felt multiple times. Like OP, I was waiting for him to make the first move. I'm traditional like that, and I was nervous as well. After waiting and waiting, I was getting sick of it, and had almost decided to just kiss him myself, when the day finally came. We spent a night watching a movie with him literally holding me in his arms and afterwards, he gathered up the courage to tell me how he felt. That whole process took about a month and a half. He made the mistake of not really saying much that first time and not actually asking me out, so this led to another month of confusion on my part, before I finally asked him and he said he considered me his girlfriend.

The thing with ISTJs is that they're so bashful around the people that they are romantically interested in that you're going to have to take more initiative than you would with another guy. @Cherryiezz, you could try sending out stronger signals that you are interested in him, and if he still doesn't initiate, it might be time to bite the bullet and ask him yourself.
 

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...I've read somewhere that ISTJ's take FOREVER to evaluate someone for a relationship (although i don't know how long that usually is). I've also read "actions speak louder than words" to them, and I've read that ISTJ's are horrible when it comes to verbally expressing their feelings...
This is fairly accurate to me.
I recently broke things off with an INFP girl I was talking to and one of the bigger reasons for it was that I felt like too much was being expected of me too soon. To her there'd be something wrong if I didn't want to see her for a few days, or if I didn't want to talk much, but that's just something I need sometimes. I'd say in most cases I can judge within 2 months if it would work out, and from there the pace I keep would have more to do with how concerned I am that she'd run off or get swooped. If these weren't concerns I'd easily waltz around for 6 months, but usually I wouldn't wait that long because I don't want to waste my time or hers. I would think 4 months should be plenty of time to gather the information necessary to form that opinion.

Actions definitely speak louder than words.

Definitely pretty bad at expressing feelings because I have plenty of them but do a poor job comprehending and translating them, so I prefer to keep them as internal abstractions. A lot of the time expressing them is a lot of "and, uh...umm...like, well, err"


If you speak up and he runs away at least you might save time on figuring out if it is a forever relationship or cuddly friends relationship.
^ This is also what I recommend.
 

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ISTJs are decisive. They tend to not spend time with people they don't see as quality, and if he is spending time with you in a romantic sense of any kind, it's likely because he sees you as worthy.

In my relationship we met on a dating site so there was never that stage of confusion of whether or not this was romantic or not. We met IRL less than a week after we started talking online, and it progressed quick....we've been together a little over a year now. We had texted for several days before the first date, he kissed me on the first date (apparently he usually kisses on a first date). I ended up inviting him back to my place when we both stated flat out that sex was off the table, and he ended up staying the night. We've essentially been inseparable since then. We were dating exclusively (though neither of us ever had a discussion about it, we both did it independently) from our first date onwards. We both actually had other dates planned after that we cancelled. It was about 3-1/2 weeks later that we fell in love...though that has evolved significantly since then as it always does. It was at that point that we "officially" became a couple, since he had this belief that in order to be official he had to know for sure he loved me. Even from early on there was a lot of talk about moving in together, marriage, kids, etc. We have a set date to move in together this fall, but even that he still is nervous about (all the "what ifs"). We talk about marriage, but he has made it known that he's not ready to take that step yet.

So anyways, what I've learned about ISTJs and evaluating a potential mate is that they can take a long time, but they are very certain when they do. And once they make such a commitment they're in it for the long haul. I think this is why it takes them so long is because they are so cautious in making sure they are 100% certain in their decision before going forward.

I think being direct with him might be good. He might just be unsure of how to bring it up, fearing how you might respond. I know my boyfriend was relieved when I was the one who took the plunge and asked if he wanted to meet, because he said it was always awkward for him knowing when the right time was (though he also said he was going to do it that night and I beat him to the punch, but he was still glad that I took the reins).
 

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ISTJs are decisive. They tend to not spend time with people they don't see as quality, and if he is spending time with you in a romantic sense of any kind, it's likely because he sees you as worthy.
This is also true for me to a fault. I've had to promise myself to stop burning bridges and give people more chances :p

Anyway the underlying point is Buckeye (as seems to often be the case) is indeed correct - he more than likely would not be bothering with you at all if he didn't think there was the chance for something there.
 

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It's definitely time for the "dump or get off the pot" moment, if you'll excuse my bluntness. Four months of FWB-lite (kissing+cuddling) is plenty of time for him to know whether he sees you as a potential mate or a "friend".

Like the others said, be honest and sincere when you talk to him about it.
 

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Totally agree with ^ @Out0fAmmo
Dude, he's been married before. He should have some type of idea of what he wants and doesn't want. And if he's not willing to give you an answer, give him a time frame-I say one week to decide. If he still doesn't know by then, then when will he know? Probably not in a looong time. So if that happens, leave him.
 

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What must I do to get him to speak up without making him run away?
For me what would work is simply asking me in a sincere sweet manner. Tell me how you feel about me. Tell me what you are interested in and that you're unsure of how I feel, etc. Tell him that you're not looking for an immediate answer, but you just wanted to express your feelings. That will give him the data that he needs to "take lead" and make your relationship exclusive.

If you came off blunt or gave me an ultimatum, that would be a major turn-off for me and I would probably give you an answer that you wouldn't like very much.
 

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Totally agree with ^ @Out0fAmmo
Dude, he's been married before. He should have some type of idea of what he wants and doesn't want. And if he's not willing to give you an answer, give him a time frame-I say one week to decide. If he still doesn't know by then, then when will he know? Probably not in a looong time. So if that happens, leave him.
That's true. My ISTJ had been married before and certainly knew what he wanted and how to go for it. He pursued me. We met on a dating site as well, and I actually tried to call off our first date. He used humor to not let me out of the date. By date 3, HE brought up commitment. He wanted to be sure of things before we got more intimate.

I tend to go along with the flow naturally and let him lead. We work well the way since he is so decisive and decisions can feel like a ton of pressure to me.

However, had my ISTJ not moved so quickly with me- he would have lost me. I had plenty of other dating options and if a guy were to have taken too long, I just would have moved on. He would have been drowned out by all the other noise. I'm an extrovert and I love receiving tons of input. That means I can get distracted easily. I think my ISTJ knew he would have lost me if he didn't seize the moment.

So yes, he kissed me on first date. And on 3rd date, he invited me over to make dinner for me. That's also when he brought up commitment.

Maybe your guy is a little complacent and doesn't realize he could lose you just out of shear frustration? On an online dating site it's different. We both have the knowledge we can and probably are seeing other people. Because of this, if someone really wants someone- it's important they speak up and not play games. My ISTJ just happened to be very sure of me from the start. I found that decisiveness was attractive. And I must say- be totally won me over.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't know if this will be helpful, but this is my experience...

My ISTJ guy (now husband) started out showing a lot of interest. Spent a ton of time with me, was just really sweet and devoted. When I moved, he called me every day, and we never ran out of things to talk about, but I felt like he wasn't serious, was just playing around. Honestly, I was ready to be married, and I wasn't dating to date. Maybe he found a good friend in me, and just liked talking? I was in love with him, like head-over-heels, and I knew if I didn't ask him to back off soon, I'd get my heart broken badly. I really needed some kind of commitment--I couldn't let it go on the way it was going. I wasn't going to demand commitment from him though. I didn't want to present some sort of ultimatum. I felt like that was sort of manipulative, and I wanted him to feel like he could be where he was at.

I basically gave him space. I told him the truth--that my heart was really vulnerable with all of his pursuit, but that it wouldn't be wise for me to let things go on the way they were going. I suggested we just take a week or two off from talking to clear our heads, and maybe we would both just realize we needed to move forward with our lives in our respective towns. We made plans to talk again in a couple of weeks, after we'd had time to think. I hung up the phone thinking it was over, and I was... wow I cried. Three days later, he called to tell me he was moving to where I was, that he was going to keep calling until then, and if I wanted to answer the phone, he'd like to keep talking with me--I was completely floored. I was prepared to wait two weeks to be dumped! One month later, he showed up with all his stuff in his truck and moved into a friend's spare bedroom. Ten months later, we were engaged. Five months after that, we were married.

As far as a timeline, it took a while to get to the commitment point, but once he committed, that was IT. We were friends for a year, and then he confessed that he cared about me and wanted to pursue a relationship with me. Then I moved, and we did 10 months of the daily phone calls, occasional visits.

Funny thing is--he pursued me with a devotion like none other, and when he finally moved to where I lived, I hoped for a big confession of his feelings. :laughing: He just handed me a diamond necklace that afternoon while he was putting gas in his car (swoon--seriously, he didn't make much money at the time.. and over a gas pump? I mean, hello.), and asked to hold my hand. I finally figured out that there was never going to be a lot of love notes and confessions, but that his love was real. To this day, if I ask him why he picked me (there were lots of other cute girls where we worked!), he says, "You were fun. I liked being around you. I don't know. I just wanted you. I never know how to answer this question..."

I think, as previous posters suggested, you should avoid making demands for an immediate answer. Be honest about your own needs, and give space and time. Don't make it about getting him to say something. I always can say how I feel, on the spot, but that is not the case for my husband. He needs time to think. You might just have to get OK with a long, drawn out courtship, just like I had to get OK with not a whole lot of lovey-dovey words! :)

Hope this helps a little!
wow...THANK YOU for your this post! It was truly comforting, thank you!

Here's an update:
Recently, he brought up the notion that we should "talk". He basically said that our hanging out all the time isn't how things are supposed to be (we're religious and wants to have more of a courtship than a dating relationship with his future spouse, i knew that from the beginning) because we ended up breaking a lot of the courtship rules. He said that we shouldn't hang out 1:1 anymore unless it's in groups and shouldn't sit together in church because we are in the same singles group and it would "give the wrong impression" for our future spouses. He reiterated that he really, really enjoys hanging out with me (i felt he was being sincere) and doesn't want things to be awkward and asked if this was acceptable. This conversation caught me off guard and i was silent for a bit so all i could manage to tell him was that my feelings for him were more advanced than our level of friendship. He listened quietly and kind of smiled after i said that. I'm not sure what that was about. I suggested we not talk everyday and after our conversation we listened to music and chatted about something random, then we hugged and he left.

After he was gone I bawled my eyes out, i didn't expect to take the information so hard. I guess I felt he was trying to communicate that he is not interested in pursuing anything with me but still wants to be friends and hang out if it's not awkward. Does this seem like an accurate interpretation?

As the story goes, we had an event to attend with other people the next day (that we spent time training together for the past few months). I was an emotional mess and was absolutely silent the entire day. He noticed and inquired but i told him my emotions were everywhere and i was trying to take hold of them. he apologized and i shrugged. He inquired later on if i was ok and I pretty much shut him out by giving answers like "i'm fine."

A day after that my family came up to visit and he sent me a message asking if he could meet a family member and thank them for the advice they gave him about a situation he had a week or two ago. i was still a bit of a mess because i didn't have any alone time to process things and i felt rejected and didn't want him anywhere near my family but i agreed anyways. they met and a lot of other people ended up joining and distracting them from speaking. he ended up showing my sibling pictures from the event and my sister suggested he show my parents. well, i asked for his ipad and was about to take off but to my surprise he started to follow me. I didn't know what to do or how to react so i ended up stumbling over my words and said something to the effect of "oh, are you going to stay here or are you/do you want to meet them?" He said he would go with me and he ended up meeting my folks and having a small conversation with them. then other people jumped into the conversation.
Other than that, he called one time since then to handle some business we were working on then inquired about my well being (i'm assuming he was just being polite) and we briefly chatted about what's going on in our respective lives. He's out of town for more than a few days so i wished him a safe trip, he thanked me with a smiley face and wished me a "happy memorial day!!"

So that's where we stand. I think he made it clear he's not interested. What do you all think?
 

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That's true. My ISTJ had been married before and certainly knew what he wanted and how to go for it. He pursued me. We met on a dating site as well, and I actually tried to call off our first date. He used humor to not let me out of the date. By date 3, HE brought up commitment. He wanted to be sure of things before we got more intimate.

I tend to go along with the flow naturally and let him lead. We work well the way since he is so decisive and decisions can feel like a ton of pressure to me.

However, had my ISTJ not moved so quickly with me- he would have lost me. I had plenty of other dating options and if a guy were to have taken too long, I just would have moved on. He would have been drowned out by all the other noise. I'm an extrovert and I love receiving tons of input. That means I can get distracted easily. I think my ISTJ knew he would have lost me if he didn't seize the moment.

So yes, he kissed me on first date. And on 3rd date, he invited me over to make dinner for me. That's also when he brought up commitment.

Maybe your guy is a little complacent and doesn't realize he could lose you just out of shear frustration? On an online dating site it's different. We both have the knowledge we can and probably are seeing other people. Because of this, if someone really wants someone- it's important they speak up and not play games. My ISTJ just happened to be very sure of me from the start. I found that decisiveness was attractive. And I must say- be totally won me over.
Perhaps. Maybe I should up the ante? Whenever we go out dancing with other folks I get hit on by other dudes and I know he is watching, ISTJs are ALWAYS watching. I think maybe he is reluctant to start something with me because he doesn't want to end up in divorce again and maybe i'm too risky for him, which is maybe why it's taking so long. I let him lead naturally as well and i am very playful and enjoy seeing him smile and loosen up, maybe he doesn't take me seriously? maybe, since i'm an introvert as well, my signals are not clear to him. then again, with the recent happenings, it seems like he doesn't want anything to happen. I dunno *shrugs*
 
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