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So I am madly in love with this ISTJ guy who is crazy in love with me. And it's beautiful. And usually it's easy and wonderful and the best. But sometimes it's difficult.

Like, when things get down, I try really hard to make this work, but he sort of doesn't. For me, the frustrating thing is that I feel like I try a lot to accommodate the things that he struggles with (he's never been in a relationship before this one, so there's a lot he doesn't quite get just because of that) but then when there are difficulties, he feels like he is unable to do anything, so he just doesn't try. ("I don't know how to try. What's the point if it's impossible?") But we have talked, and he's starting to realize that doing something is better than nothing.

I think he actually really does try a lot, it's just when the situation is most difficult that I think he clamps down a little bit. It irks me because he's so brilliant, and keeps trying when he can't get exactly where the bug in his AI code is, but with our relationship he feels incapable. How do I help him feel capable?

He's such a good sport. He's loosened up a ton since we've been together. He really is an incredibly fun person to be around. We love each other so much, but he has a hard time understanding me. Really, he doesn't have any sort of empathy; he can't see things from someone else's point of view. So we're trying to learn more about each other type-wise.

God, I love him so much. Sorry. But it's true; he's so beautiful, and the most wonderful person. Sometimes, though, I can't understand in the least why he'd be drawn to someone like me. I seem the opposite of his ideals!

Let me stick in a little vignette before I go.

So, he's brilliant. He coded a chess AI for fun, then a checkers one very recently. He's great at chess, and pretty much anything involving strategy. I'm always so impressed. He coded me a little java application and it's so lovely. He's a math whiz, too. As for me, I'm pretty bad at all that. The stuff I'm good at is music, filmmaking, storytelling, writing, literature things.... But he doesn't feel too much of a need for those. So whenever we play a game or something, he beats me every time. He's just... lord, he's Spock. And though I'm very good at what I do, I really just want to have comparable skill in something he's good at and thinks is important. Like... I just want one board game that he doesn't think is stupid (so, not Cranium) that I can beat him at. Because sometimes it feels like since our skills are in such totally different spheres, that mine aren't at all relevant and that he's just sort of better than me. He doesn't get this. And it probably is juvenile of me to want to be able to beat him at something... but at the same time, I just want to feel like I'm good at something he cares about. Does this make sense to anyone? (I'd really like an honest opinion on how this strikes any ISTJs.)

Despite all the difficulties, I think I would throw myself in front of a train before letting this go. I believe that we can make it work... we've done very well. We both just need to grow a bit. Any advice on what I can do to reconcile my ridiculous ENFPness with his oh-so-Spockish ISTJness would be greatly appreciated. We love each other so much, and I think that there's great opportunity for our lives together to be beautiful.

If you think this is going to crash and burn, please don't say so. I know this is hard, and if you're ENFP, too, you know all I'm really going for here are constructive comments and encouragement (because, hey, this is tough sometimes)
 

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My only relationship with an ISTJ is my boss, and it isn't the healthiest relationship so be wary of taking advice from me. It's kind of like Animal House where I'm Otter and my boss is the crusty old dean. That said, I find that ISTJ's while not appearing capable of expressing emotions, actually could feel deeply however they just don't know how to express it. Him expressing his feelings for you could be in done in other ways and likely in small gestures.

For an ENFP this may be a challenge since we love to hear affirmation in the most explicit forms possible. I'm wondering if the best way to handle your situation is to understand what these small gestures are and inflate them in your mind. After all a small gesture from an ISTJ is probably worth 100X the praise from an ENFP, since the former is so rare. Another thought is to have a life outside this relationship so you can get the affirmation you require from your colleagues and/or friends.
 
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I just posted the following reply to your post on the ISTJ forum...


@ lumbajak...you speak very fondly of the wonderful attributes that you find very attractive in your ISTJ...his unbelievable ability to code AI programs, his strategic mind, his ability to play chess and other board games. We find this immensely enthralling because looking for coding errors in an AI program kind of makes us go a bit crazy....but he sees the connections in the coding language and puts it all together to make it work...he sees the gaps (errors) and fixes them...et voila...a wonderful AI application!

On the other hand, your ISTJ is probably equally enthralled with you...wondering how is it possible that she can be such a great musician, storytelling, film-making, writing guru...you scan your environment to see how the pieces fall together...looking for connections...looking for a pattern of meaning and theme and you translate that into a story or a film to help explain the world a little bit better...you are creating your own AI code....in your ability to excel at story-telling.

I marvel and how similar we really are...just using a different language and a different code...if you can figure out a common language and communications techniques that work for both of you then the sky is the limit.

Rejoice in what you're good at and learn from each other. I have fallen victim to unhealthy competition in a relationship...I was too young to know any better and the relationship hit a crisis from which it did not rebound.

Niss has offered some excellent advice from his black book of ENFP secrets ...he is wise beyong belief...his advice on networking with others is very important...and seeking other ways to get validation...broaden your circle of friends and activities...seek out other connections...do what you do best and pull it all together for more story-telling inspiration. Don't worry if you think you are not doing enough activities with your ISTJ...you will find your balance...but keep communicating to explain to him why you need to spin around in differnet social circles.

When I was younger, I thought an indicator of a healthy relationship was doing (almost) everything together with your partner...boy was I wrong...you need to nourrish yourself and so does he...and then the both of you will be able to nourrish a relationship in a healthy and productive way.
 

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oh honey i am in the exact same boat... as an enfp i am always needing an ego boost or an expression of my ISTJ man's adoration of me.. the problem is that they just dont operate that way... the fact that you know he loves you is a huge accomplishment for this relationship... an enfp knows they are loved through the way the other person makes them feel and an istj knows they are loved by the way the relationship is progressing logically.. so at times both of your best efforts might seem to go unappreciated.. he shows you by attending to fundamental needs of the relationship ie: bills paid, cars in running condition, house organised, income needs being met, and the like... you show him your love by telling him how much you adore him, by being affectionate with him, by laughing at his jokes, talking nice about him to friends, buying him his favorite things.. both ways are necessary but not as openly appreciated by these two signs... As long as you both realize that this is just how the other works and you can both come to simple solutuion to meeting each other's emotional needs (your need to be admired openly, and his need for acceptance and stability) you can both be very fulfilled! I can tell you that he must adore you to give you so much of himself. It was hard for me to realize that.. but my istj and e have been through a lot and I now know that he loves me for sure even when I doubt it because he seems to not show it,, when in fact he thinks he is. All he would have to do is tell you something about you that he likes or appreciates once a week or even every two weeks... he might not like this idea because it seems "forced" or too planned.. but it would fulfill one of your most basic and powerful needs as an enfp... and maybe you could fulfill one of his basic and important needs by reading up on a subject that seems not interesting to you that he is developed in and discussing what you think about it with him... so he can have an intense highly logical conversation with you about one of his forte's. It is important to an istj to connect with someone on an intellectual level. Show him how smart and logical you can be. This will blow his mind.
 

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God, I love him so much. Sorry. But it's true; he's so beautiful, and the most wonderful person. Sometimes, though, I can't understand in the least why he'd be drawn to someone like me. I seem the opposite of his ideals!

Let me stick in a little vignette before I go.

So, he's brilliant. He coded a chess AI for fun, then a checkers one very recently. He's great at chess, and pretty much anything involving strategy. I'm always so impressed. He coded me a little java application and it's so lovely. He's a math whiz, too. As for me, I'm pretty bad at all that. The stuff I'm good at is music, filmmaking, storytelling, writing, literature things.... But he doesn't feel too much of a need for those. So whenever we play a game or something, he beats me every time. He's just... lord, he's Spock. And though I'm very good at what I do, I really just want to have comparable skill in something he's good at and thinks is important. Like... I just want one board game that he doesn't think is stupid (so, not Cranium) that I can beat him at. Because sometimes it feels like since our skills are in such totally different spheres, that mine aren't at all relevant and that he's just sort of better than me. He doesn't get this. And it probably is juvenile of me to want to be able to beat him at something... but at the same time, I just want to feel like I'm good at something he cares about. Does this make sense to anyone? (I'd really like an honest opinion on how this strikes any ISTJs.)
Okay, so I really need to say the following: you need to believe in your awesomeness! What I'm reading right here is insecurity speaking, that you're comparing your lack of strengths to his multitude strengths.
It's not true! He's not doing that, so why are you?!
He wouldn't be so head over heels for you if you didn't have boat-loads going for you!

I think you have to BELIEVE that you mean the world to him. I mean, the first paragraph talked about how he's IN LOVE WITH YOU. And he's never been in a relationship before, so obviously you're THE FIRST person that has ever seen how wonderful HE is.... If millions of others had been in relationships with him before you, then being that very first girl to unlock his potential wouldn't be such a special thing now, would it?

I get what you're saying though - I have a crush on Spock, too... have you seen Star Trek 2009?! OMG I almost DIED when I saw that Vulcan for the first time, so I know what you mean!
I love logical, stoic men! They make me feel like I've died and gone to heaven :)
 

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On another note, my father is an ISTJ.
The best way to approach an ISTJ is by speaking his language: LOGIC.
When you want to get him to do something, you need to make a case for it, present him with all the facts. If, say, you need to get him to make an effort to touch you or compliment you, do something like this: take a "5 love languages" test and print the results. The statistics showing if touch or words of affirmation - that's right, literal facts and numbers - can be presented to him as YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS.
Also, doing type research on your type and his type would help, quoting data that says things like "ENFPs needing lots of affirmation" (which I have read several times).

In short, ISTJs respond to factually-based cases. So don't just be like, "I feel... sad.... :(" Present your needs like a lawyer-psychologist combo, and he will respond, I promise.
 

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@lumbajak i would like to invite you to read a little on the "what attracts my ISTJ man to me? I'm an ENFP" thread. It might be of some help to you. :)
 
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