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Discussion Starter #1
I am sure there have been many of these threads. I met a girl recently, and we hit it off (literally) right away. I have been to her house several times, we have gotten coffee, and stayed up til 3 AM talking several times at her house.

My question is this, things seem to be progressing much quicker than I anticipated (natural for a relationship of this type) and in a way I am not totally comfortable with (have certain convictions I can't compromise).

She has been burned before by a guy, and I don't want to bring back those feelings of betrayal, or make her think I don't care about her. I know INFJs often make very complicated connections, and I would rather give my right arm than hurt this girl... I really care about her. How can I redirect things away from the physical and more to emotional intimacy without insulting/hurting her or making her feel like she did something wrong? She judges herself so harshly and I am not sure I can say "no" again to her hah.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I also ask because, as an ENFJ, discussion and the like is huge to me. Maybe the physical is a way for her to feel intimacy without opening up her emotional side to being hurt...?
 

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I don't see why you can't be honest.

As a female - MBTI aside - I fail to see how someone saying "I value you so much, I want to attain a deeper emotional connection before we indulge in the physical" could be even remotely offensive? Just reassure her as much as you can when you do it say, so she knows it's a GOOD thing and not a BAD thing pertaining to her.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Aphrodite: Yes. She seems to enjoy our discussions, but she also seems to want to go farther physically than I am comfortable with. The advice is for how to redirect it.

ENTPickle: Good advice. I just want to make sure that wouldn't make her judge herself or think she did something wrong.
 

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She'll probably feel a little bad for being told no. But she needs it and she knows it. I was the same way and it made me feel bad because I knew I wasn't connecting with him the right way. I was just doing it because I could and it was easier than opening up like that. Take her away from home and out where she can use her mind instead of body. Museums and aquariums are nice. Or something else she enjoys.
 

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I think emotional intimacy takes time. Why rush it? If someone were to try to rush this with me, I'd run away.

Why not let her approach this in the way that is comfortable with her?
 

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As was previously suggested, tell her what you've told us.
Also previously stated, chances are, how the two of you interpret and use physical intimacy is a bit different.

So, I'd recommend that you explain what physical intimacy means to you and have her explain what physical intimacy means to her.
Explain that you have certain convictions that cannot be compromised for any reason, and explain that you acknowledge what her physicality means to her, but continue on, explaining you must stand by your convictions regardless.

Emphasize that she's not wrong in what she did and that you do care for her, but this isn't how you do things and can never be how you do things. If she wants a relationship with you she's just going to have to compromise here. If she is still caught up in thinking what she did was wrong, explain that you are just as responsible as she is for allowing things to turn out this way and get this far.

Sorry for all the redundancy.

And obviously, the other option is just for you to compromise, but I'm assuming that you will not/can not compromise here without hurting your integrity and/or the integrity of the relationship
 

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I also ask because, as an ENFJ, discussion and the like is huge to me. Maybe the physical is a way for her to feel intimacy without opening up her emotional side to being hurt...?
Yes, that's quite possible. The irony is that getting physically involved with someone before the emotional side of the relationship is fully developed can end up causing a lot of emotional pain if the relationship doesn't work out. You could end up getting hurt, as well, if you get physically intimate with her too soon. The reason is that if she remains emotionally detached from you in the relationship that could also involve her exiting it in the future to avoid opening up. She may need to heal from the past before being capable of committing to someone new.
 

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I am sure there have been many of these threads. I met a girl recently, and we hit it off (literally) right away. I have been to her house several times, we have gotten coffee, and stayed up til 3 AM talking several times at her house.

My question is this, things seem to be progressing much quicker than I anticipated (natural for a relationship of this type) and in a way I am not totally comfortable with (have certain convictions I can't compromise).

She has been burned before by a guy, and I don't want to bring back those feelings of betrayal, or make her think I don't care about her. I know INFJs often make very complicated connections, and I would rather give my right arm than hurt this girl... I really care about her. How can I redirect things away from the physical and more to emotional intimacy without insulting/hurting her or making her feel like she did something wrong? She judges herself so harshly and I am not sure I can say "no" again to her hah.
Here's how. Don't say no. Tell her you want to get to know her mind, first. Girls love that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great advice... thanks. One more question... she keeps saying that she is gonna scare me off when I really know her, something which has failed to be true every time. How can I help her trust that I am not going to run off at the slightest flaw? She judges herself so harshly, when she is really an amazing person.

Also, how important is physical interaction to an INFJ? I can tell that even holding hands means a lot to her, so I am wary of witholding something which could really speak to her. She has fallen asleep on my arm several times as we sat on her couch and just talked late into the night,and when she wakes up she doesn't want me to leave. I want to give her what she needs, and help her realize her real worth. I know this sounds cliche, but any ENFJ could tell you what that need feels like.

Actually, sounds like her love languages are physical touch and quality time.
 

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Great advice... thanks. One more question... she keeps saying that she is gonna scare me off when I really know her, something which has failed to be true every time. How can I help her trust that I am not going to run off at the slightest flaw? She judges herself so harshly, when she is really an amazing person.

Also, how important is physical interaction to an INFJ? I can tell that even holding hands means a lot to her, so I am wary of witholding something which could really speak to her. She has fallen asleep on my arm several times as we sat on her couch and just talked late into the night,and when she wakes up she doesn't want me to leave. I want to give her what she needs, and help her realize her real worth. I know this sounds cliche, but any ENFJ could tell you what that need feels like.

Actually, sounds like her love languages are physical touch and quality time.
As an INFJ whose love languages are physical touch and quality time, I feel like I have a duty to put some input here. :p

As far as helping her trust, the best thing you can do for her is to, really, just be trustworthy. Stick around when she opens up. Don't leave her when you see a side of her that's less than attractive (everyone has one!). Don't cheat, emotionally or physically. When she's honest with you about herself, listen and accept her. Love her in spite of the "scary" or intense qualities she may have. I think those things are pretty self-explanatory, but the truth is, the things that make me trust someone is a lack of signs that they should not be trusted. The thing is, you're not going to see her deepest parts overnight...it's going to take a long time of peeling her back, layer by layer, and being a constant and stable figure throughout the process. Remind her, when she hates the side of herself that she's shown you, that you still love her. That whatever it is that she hates doesn't make you want to leave. That you love her more because you are more deeply connected. That vulnerability in her is something you want, not something you fear. That you're not afraid of her intensity, her anxiety, her anger or her deep wounds--you want to stick around long enough to see them all. But most of all, just be there. Don't leave her. And the longer you stick around, emotionally, spiritually and physically, the more she will trust you and the deeper she will let you see into her life.

As far as the physical part, it sounds like you need to set some very clear boundaries as to what you are and are not okay with. If holding hands is important to her, and you are able to give her that, by all means, give it to her! But tell her what it is that you are not okay doing. If you draw the line at kissing, tell her. If it's making out, tell her that. If it's sex, tell her that. Whatever it is, you're going to have to be clear about where your boundaries are, and why. I may be making a misjudged assumption here, but I'm guessing your reasoning for not wanting to go too far physically are for good reasons- to protect the two of you and make you closer in the long run.
Even if she's not on the same page with you, she should respect it. If she can't, you have an entirely new issue on your hands. But hopefully she'll be able to understand the intentions.

There are other ways, though, to reach that physical touch love language that aren't explicitly sexual. For instance, wrapping your hand around her when you're standing next to her. Or resting your hand on her knee while you're sitting at dinner. Or lightly brushing her shoulder as you walk by. Implicit physical touch can be just as, if not more, powerful than explicit. It's a good way to let her know that you're still around, you still love her, and that you remember that she's there. That, coupled with quality time and conversation, will help her feel loved even in the absence of sexuality.
The boundaries you set will be incredibly important here, though, because she needs to know that you are not intending to go further than a certain point. That you holding her hand doesn't mean you're expecting more physicality that night. If she knows where you stop, you can both be comfortable within your limits without worrying about where the other person intends to go.
 

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I've been in a close friendship for several years with an ENFJ, and I admit that I have felt hurt in the past, because she is very social and has many friends, responsibilites and obligations, and this sometimes leaves me feeling left out. I've found the best way we have come to terms with this problem is she is open and direct with me, always mentioning how I'm acting when I seem in a bad mood, she tries to console me and directly find out how I'm feeling, even when I close up to her. Because of this open and honest communication our friendship has strengthened over time.
 

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Wow, thank you Peg. That has to be the best advice I could probably get in this situation. Used it last night and we are doing great :). The last paaragraph especially helped.

Thanks!
Awe, yay! I'm so glad to help! :)
 
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