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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Everyone(Long time lurker, first time poster)! I'm a 22 year old INFP male, primed to graduate and start a career in the real people world this summer. I was talking with a friend of mine earlier this week, musing over the romantic exploits(catastrophes) of our college years, when he suggested that I should start an online dating profile.

Given a glut of loneliness I've been consumed by as of late, I was in no position to argue and I began cruising a few of the free online dating sites in earnest. It didn't take very long at all to remember why I had refrained from online dating in the past; The profiles seemed incredibly superficial and there was a clear community pressure promoting casual sex and hookups. This shouldn't have come as a surprise to me, as the atmosphere of most college campuses (including my own) is perfectly consistent with the aforementioned hump and dump culture. I realize that my repulsion is somewhat undeserved; There is no reason why my preferences on the issue of intimacy should be proclaimed as better than anyone else's. Nonetheless, I took the opportunity to identify those qualities in relationships that were both absent from the online dating services/hookup culture and critical to my conception of affection. The word that repeatedly came to mind was: Dependence.

I think the idea of a truly dependent relationship holds significant appeal for many NF types such as myself. For me at least, a partnership with trust, pleasure and commitment simply isn't enough; I need to feel bound to someone beyond the context of utility. At the risk of sounding terribly pedestrian, I'd liken my ideal relationship to the brief one between Tate and Violet on American Horror Story (I honestly can't blame you if you stop reading now). To speak of one character without mentioning the other doesn't make sense; At times, they appear as two halves of the same person, completely unable to emotionally function without one another.

I'd like to pose some questions to the other NFers out there: Do you also yearn for these potentially unhealthy dynamics in your relationships? More generally, how do you nurture those sensitive NF needs in a modern world so focused on platonic sex and temporary romance? To all others: What do you need in relationships that the other types just don't get? And, as always, general relationship advice thread, Whoo!
 

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Well, I've actually never liked the idea of "completing" each other. I'd rather have someone compliment me as I compliment them. I hate the idea that you can't live without a certain person because it's says that your life is meaningless without them. I'll miss you but I'll manage being with out you. I'd want a relationship where you make each other a better person. I like the idea of having "forever" with someone but I'm still an individual. My advice to you is to just be patient. Distract yourself until the right person comes along. Wait until you know you can function on your own.

Sent from my PantechP9070 using Tapatalk
 

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First off, I'd like to say that your writing is beautiful. I'm sorry, I couldn't help it, I was just reading along and I was like "damn, this guy is good." So, uhhhhh yeah! I just had to mention it.

Second, on to the real topic, I don't feel like I yearn for anything necessarily unhealthy -- to some people what I want might seem so, but to me I don't see anything wrong. I just want sincerity, a mutual understanding and dedication to calmly and maturely settle our differences (and possibly seek to override them), emotional openness, and lots of cuddling.

For nurturing "those NF needs", I try two things: First, I try to aim my crushes/affectations towards those who I feel are more interested in serious, intimate relationships -- often those who display an emotional and sensitive side to them. Second, I attempt to make my intentions clear early. I'll be compassionate and romantic, and if they return the sentiment, then I pursue. If they shrug it off or react negatively towards it, I may ask why and try to understand why they're acting the way they are. Should the reason be a desire for a quick or solely physical relationship, I'll try to nip it in the bud.

Unfortunately, in a college with 40% women, finding the right ones is difficult :/
 
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Hello Everyone(Long time lurker, first time poster)! I'm a 22 year old INFP male, primed to graduate and start a career in the real people world this summer. I was talking with a friend of mine earlier this week, musing over the romantic exploits(catastrophes) of our college years, when he suggested that I should start an online dating profile.

Given a glut of loneliness I've been consumed by as of late, I was in no position to argue and I began cruising a few of the free online dating sites in earnest. It didn't take very long at all to remember why I had refrained from online dating in the past; The profiles seemed incredibly superficial and there was a clear community pressure promoting casual sex and hookups. This shouldn't have come as a surprise to me, as the atmosphere of most college campuses (including my own) is perfectly consistent with the aforementioned hump and dump culture. I realize that my repulsion is somewhat undeserved; There is no reason why my preferences on the issue of intimacy should be proclaimed as better than anyone else's. Nonetheless, I took the opportunity to identify those qualities in relationships that were both absent from the online dating services/hookup culture and critical to my conception of affection. The word that repeatedly came to mind was: Dependence.

I think the idea of a truly dependent relationship holds significant appeal for many NF types such as myself. For me at least, a partnership with trust, pleasure and commitment simply isn't enough; I need to feel bound to someone beyond the context of utility. At the risk of sounding terribly pedestrian, I'd liken my ideal relationship to the brief one between Tate and Violet on American Horror Story (I honestly can't blame you if you stop reading now). To speak of one character without mentioning the other doesn't make sense; At times, they appear as two halves of the same person, completely unable to emotionally function without one another.

I'd like to pose some questions to the other NFers out there: Do you also yearn for these potentially unhealthy dynamics in your relationships? More generally, how do you nurture those sensitive NF needs in a modern world so focused on platonic sex and temporary romance? To all others: What do you need in relationships that the other types just don't get? And, as always, general relationship advice thread, Whoo!
I like your phrase "hump and dump."

Poetic.
 

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As an Enneagram type 9, I guess I wish for certain things in relationships that the majority of people would consider unhealthy. Type 9s have a desire to find a person/cause that they can kind of "melt" into, a sort of merging of identity and purpose.

I'd say that's still true for me, although I have a much stronger sense of self than before (still in need of improvement/boundaries). But I still really want to have that kind of unity in a relationship, which requires shared values/ideals/etc. If I have that, then merging comes naturally. And if I found myself in a relationship where I was turning a nose up at the thought of that, it probably means that I'm just incompatible with the person (*cough* my ex).
 

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My 2 cents: I've learned not to trust my idealism in dating.

I also have a strong desire for what you described - a desire for completeness and dependency - but I battle with it instead of embracing it. I try to balance any idealism I have with realistic expectations, and try not to look for indicators of such things when I'm with others.

I'm kinda an INFP masochist - I like to take wrecking balls to my ideals and see if they hold. But that is what I think is awesome about being human - we don't know what we want until we see it for what it is and not what we think we want. I've grown fond of several tendencies I once disdained just because I actually experienced the tendency firsthand (instead of hearing about it and making a judgment) and found out it wasn't as bad as I thought.

Finally, I would hypothesize that it is easier to build a relationship like the one you described than to find such a relationship at the get-go. And even if you did find it on the first date... you'd probably think the girl was crazy and would be an overly attached girlfriend. :p
 

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I'd like to pose some questions to the other NFers out there: Do you also yearn for these potentially unhealthy dynamics in your relationships? More generally, how do you nurture those sensitive NF needs in a modern world so focused on platonic sex and temporary romance? To all others: What do you need in relationships that the other types just don't get? And, as always, general relationship advice thread, Whoo!
If you find yourself a legit ENFJ, it will be a match made in heaven. I had me an ENFJ once.....she was amazing and I truly did love her, but realized it when it was too late....too late to apologize. lol..

I can spot an ENFJ just by looking at one's facebook pictures. My theory is: if she has a bunch of memorable and loving moments with friends and family...if she has all of her 100s of pictures neatly organized in their own albums....she's probably an NF, which is an awesome match (if not the best).

I suppose you could say that I'm a needy-type of person. It only makes sense for an ENFJ to be my perfect match because they're known as "the givers"! See where I'm coming from?

Anyways, you should check out Plentyoffish.com
It's a free dating website that I've recommended to many people.
 

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The dependency you describe suggests an insecure attachment style. It generally bodes ill for relationships, though there is, naturally, variation in strength. As an adult, you can achieve a secure attachment style through self-improvement and certain forms of therapy - highly recommendable if you want a stable, long-term relationship. We tend to attract partners with the same kind of attachment style we use ourselves, which further exacerbates any attachment issues we have.

In short, clingy and needy is not something you can be in a healthy relationship. Better fix that first.
 

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Clingy - too affectionate with the wrong person. Needy - needs too much attention from the wrong person. Cold - needing too much along time from the wrong person. Dependent - getting too close to the wrong person o3o...this is what I see, pick the right person and you will just be you :3 otherwise if you love someone who does not think of your strengths and strengths or good things they may look at them as weaknesses or problems.
 

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I wouldn't say I want to be dependent on someone, but I need intensity, and this tends to push a lot of people away because they can't handle it (not even in a romantic context, just in general, although this is more pronounced in relationships.) Basically I feel like I have to hold back a lot of the times.

But I don't want to feel dependent on anyone. I don't need anyone to complete me, but I get the idea that trust, pleasure and commitment sometimes doesn't seem enough.

All that being said, I didn't mind the whole hook up culture when I was single. But if you're looking for a serious relationship. you have an uphill battle if you want to try online dating. You have to really know what you're doing, and even then it's a lot of work. Too much investment and not enough return if you ask me, but it can be good to see what you like and don't like and as another way to meet people as long as you don't use it as a crutch.
 

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Your dreamy description of dependency is very romantic, but what would happen to you in real life? What would you do if that other part of you were to walk away? What if you lose yourself into this, and can't recognize anything anymore? Could you really limit someone to be your other half? Isn't it a lot of pressure? What if it fails, where do you stand?

Also, don't you think it's cruel to stretch your ideals over your lover's face? You said "For me at least, a partnership with trust, pleasure and commitment simply isn't enough; I need to feel bound to someone beyond the context of utility. " What do you mean by utility? As in; "Oh, I have to find a mate and have kids to fulfill that picture perfect happiness, plus bills are less expensive yay" kind of thing? Is it because you feel this is using someone as a mean to an end? Isn't pulling ideals on someone the same?

And seriously, getting to a relationship filled with trust, pleasure and commitment seems awful hard to me. Because I have idea of what trust, pleasure and commitment could be. And I know that's something that exist in my mind only, and I have to compose with was is happening in reality too.

I used to look down on people casually dating, because to me it seemed like none of them were really trying and that what they called love wasn't Love. Which is kind of true, since everyone has a very personal definition of it, right? I still hate online dating sites tho, it feels like a cheap and shallow meat market with flashy advertising. It's toying and twisting a very deep need we all have, and that's very ugly in my opinion.

Anyway.

Growing up, I had a deeply rooted conviction that there was someone out there carved just for me. My first love came along and I thought I had found it. We were together for roughly four years, which is forever when you're a teen. He came from a foreign country especially for me and it was insanely romantic; distance is a wonderful magnifying glass. It's very naive but I was convinced we'd be old together; we'd make plans and talk about kids, the future and how we'd get back together even at 40.

It took me two years to get over the break up, I'd be sobbing and whining about him for hours to my poor friends whenever I'd get drunk. We are still close friend now, and we dated 10 years ago, so I guess we did have some real solid chemistry, but I also think that the distance fueled my idea of him, and from a realistic point of view our relationship might not have been as intense if it wasn't for that longing that made idealize him. I know I loved him very, very much, but my image of him, all polished, gem-like, was wrong and fake.

For a while I was angry and got into casual sex as a relief/need for confirmation. I went through quick, easy relationships, hurting my partners along the way because I couldn't even really understand what was happening inside of me. I think I tried to prove to myself I was strong and still attractive, without having to wear the hat of being someone's girlfriend. In fact, I think I was scared of being left behind again. I never really minded physical intimacy, so I also had many friends with benefit since I was in my late teens. To me sex doesn't necessarily come along with love. But I definitely use sex to express it. And I'm glad I don't feel any shame about that. I guess the fact that sex has become so trivial in our society has good parts as well too.

As INFPs it seems logical to me that we would pursue a perfect mate in our journey for happiness, because it joins intense positive feelings and people, right? But as cheesy as it might sound, happiness comes from within, and love is all around. A very kind member of PersC sent me that article you might like:

Childish vs. Mature Love & Relationships - Personality Junkie





Wow what a long post
 

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The idea of a 'Tate and Violet' relationship is nice I suppose, but maybe I have trust issues and would KNOW that one of the pair must slip up somewhere along the time and, if you are counterbalancing, then both will crash down on the floor!

However, two people can hug and if one lets go, the other can still hold that position perfectly well. That's what I want from a relationship, but maybe that's not brave enough of me. So maybe dependency is the idealised relationship, which can only appear through absolute faith and fearlessness? :)

Maybe, one day, I'll have little enough fear to try... ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the advice and the love guys!

Your dreamy description of dependency is very romantic, but what would happen to you in real life? What would you do if that other part of you were to walk away? What if you lose yourself into this, and can't recognize anything anymore? Could you really limit someone to be your other half? Isn't it a lot of pressure? What if it fails, where do you stand?
Thanks for the personal history and linking the article; I found them both very thought provoking. I think the common theme I've grasped thus far has been one of coming to terms with reality. The "I'll crutch on you if you crutch on me" allegory presented seems appropriate (When one of us falls we aren't going anywhere, together or alone). It's certainly a valid criticism of juvenile affections, as I can name more than a few handfuls of co-dependent relationships(including my own) that have imploded on themselves when the wheels finally had to hit the ground on Air Force One-Love.

Then again, if I were to take an honest inventory of the best moments from my life, I don't imagine many of my life moments making the list. Many of the better experiences I've had(I think a lot of people with strong Fi/Ne can relate) have been second hand. The times I've fallen into a book, movie, painting, story, etc. are the things that stand out in my mind as the snippets I'd like to remember about my time here. Even those tangible experiences that I treasure are, more often than not, anchored in misconceptions about the true nature of things (Nights spent sharing words and affections with persons who, in hindsight, did not reciprocate the feelings).

My point isn't that this childish kind of attachment isn't a delusion, but that perhaps a lifetime of pleasurable delusions is preferable to it's real counterpart. What do you guys think? How much value have you all received from sprinting away from reality? Is this a bad idea or a really bad idea?
 

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My point isn't that this childish kind of attachment isn't a delusion, but that perhaps a lifetime of pleasurable delusions is preferable to it's real counterpart. What do you guys think? How much value have you all received from sprinting away from reality? Is this a bad idea or a really bad idea?
Good in reasonable proportions. Know thyself; once you do, it's less likely things will go tits up - and if they do, you'll be better prepared to deal with it.

Fantasy, imagination and creativity are invaluable, but you should not use them to turn a creature of flesh and blood into a fairy tale figure. You could maybe use them to create a fairy tale figure out of thin air to keep you company - though I think it's better if you can connect with real people, seeing and accepting them as they are. Use your imagination in arts instead; there you can truly let your mind soar free, and you might even end up getting paid for it.
 

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Yes, I want that soul connection to feel like someone is my other half and have that emotional intimacy but I know I am probably being too much of a dreamer when I hope for that.
 

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Can't say I relate to your story. I've never been in a relationship in my entire life precisely because I abhor the idea of dependency. I know I'm incapable of feeling dependent on somebody else, so I feel like I'm okay, I see the problem in the other person, where they'll be "too clingy" and I can't deal with that. I've always longed for a partnership where we are two separate entities who enjoy each other as individuals, and one thing I do relate with what you said is the need to feel "more than useful". This, however, is tricky, because I believe that we are all using each other for our own pleasure; our own sense of safety (which gives us pleasure), and feeling connected and understanding and understood (again, pleasure), and having that sense of extra aliveness (again, pleasure). Parents have kids and love their kids and it's not selfless, ever. The entire humanity is about pleasure for self, including Mother Theresa when she helped others. She did it because it gave her pleasure. See what I'm trying to explain? I don't see this as a bad thing, though. I do need deep emotional intimacy with somebody to have enourmous amounts of pleasure, and that feeling is what makes me gravitate toward them. If I can't have the level of emotional intimacy with someone that gives me the pleasure I like, then I don't bother and remain happily alone.

Going back to the original question, no, I've never yearned for something dependent or that would engulf my entire being, losing myself. That's my worst nightmare and why I remain single. Although I'm currently in a pseudorelationship of sorts, the reason I'm okay with being involved with this person is because we are totally separated and we stand strong as individuals, while loving each other deeply beyond words. If there comes a moment where I feel I'm losing my sense of self, I will leave. Or if I feel that the other person becomes too dependent on me and loses his ability to stand by himself, I will leave him.
 

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Thanks for all the advice and the love guys!

...

My point isn't that this childish kind of attachment isn't a delusion, but that perhaps a lifetime of pleasurable delusions is preferable to it's real counterpart. What do you guys think? How much value have you all received from sprinting away from reality? Is this a bad idea or a really bad idea?


Most people advocate balance in personality rather than extremes. A healthy personality type is one that is balanced, one whose dominant function is balanced by the auxiliary, one whose dreams are balanced by reality, whose logic is balanced by compassion, etc.

A lifetime of pleasurable delusions from being in the realm of dreams and fantasy is ignoring the flip side of the coin, which is an intense alienation from meaningful relationships and social norms. The dreamer self in you will argue that you don't need those things, but deep down inside, you do. We all do.

This is because the needs of human beings are complex. Introverts may have very large social needs though they may deny it or fight against it due to their preference for being alone. Thinkers have emotional needs even though they don't understand it in themselves. Dreamers have practical needs too, although ask me in any other context and I'll rant against the imperfections of real life just like any other INFP.

I think there are needs that require us to step out of our comfort bubble, and because stepping outside of our bubble is uncomfortable, we prefer to just say "well I don't need or want those things anyways". In my experience I end up starving myself until the discomfort of stepping outside of the bubble is less than the discomfort of starving. But sometimes that can be a long time and I end up subjecting myself to torture by holding onto my ideals.

To step out of our comfort zone requires courage, and this is one of the best 'traits' in a person irrespective of personality type. It is not the same as being rash, but rather it is a willingness to step outside of bubbles, of boxes and preference and paradigms and to go into the unknown because at the unknown is something there that is important to you.

And it is not like you are giving up dreaming - you can still dive into books and enjoy the comfort of alternate realities and fantastic experiences any time you'd like - you just aren't giving up real life in the process.
 

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As a 32 year old INFP male, yes, such resonance.

I never understood, for the longest time, why a codependent relationship was unhealthy. They are, though, because such a love, even in its feiriest heights, denies all of the rest of reality. This is of course fantastic at the time, but unfortunately cannot be held onto forever, because being that in love is exhausting, and life is a relentless foe that will constantly pull you apart, and cause you to resent each other, even to use each other as excuses. If you have any other life goals, be prepared to have to immolate them as sacrifices on this blazing pyre of your destructive passion. You will sacrifice yourselves similarly.

At the same time, how to live without taking passion as deep as it can go? To do any less smacks of inauthenticity. I imagine it gets easier as you slow down with age, and of course as your heart grows wider; this is the healthy way out - develop the breadth, regularity and depth of your compassion, not just the intensity, and extend it past your lover. My own solution, being too much of a junkie, craving the deepest fire, was to accept that I can only have this oh-so real and pure love in small, occassional doses.
 

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@Marc Vesper

I can understand where you're coming from. There are however ways of deepening a romantic relationship in ways I believe many INFPs would love; karezza is one such approach, focusing on pair-bonding and how to enhance it. I think it ticks all the boxes for your hand-me-down INFP - focus on slow, deep, profound emotions instead of shallow, quick kicks; long-term, stable relationships instead of serial monogamy; and safe, abiding togetherness instead of strong individuality.
 
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