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Hello ENFPs! Haven't been on here in ages and don't know many of you anymore. :/
Any of you other ENFPs dating ISTPs?

I've been together with my ISTP for almost 3 years now and we've just hit a huge breakthrough in our relationship... As you may know ISTPs tend to be very passionless and closed off emotionally, and keep their feelings bottled up. Well, mine had been pushing me away and shutting me out completely for the past six months, trying to protect me from his problems because he was miserable about his job. It got to a point last week where I couldn't deal with it anymore and tried to break it off.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing... First of all he cried, which is something he's never ever done in front of me before. He let all of his walls down and completely bared his soul to me. He told me everything I'd ever wanted to know and things he'd never told anyone. It was like I finally met the real him that had been hiding inside of a robot for 3 long years. After that I couldn't possibly leave him.

Has anyone else had this experience with an ISTP before? What do I do now?
 

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@wayupnorth is the best person to ask about this. I'd recommend checking out some of her other posts. She gave me some basic info about the ENFP/ISTP dynamic last year.

" So background - been together with an ISTP and a 40yo one for 5 years now. I broke up with him for a year because of emotional invalidation and poor communication. But he fought for me and would not go away - we are meant for each other regardless of our challenges. I also work with a bazillion of them on drilling rigs... so, yes - I have a LOT of insight!!

There is so much ot say, so I will just start off with communication and some random thoughts... I'll try and do point form, since there is a lot of information.

- They are poor communicators. You have to fight tooth and nail for them to talk. Part of it is because they do not want to, and I found mine cared so much about me he was afraid of saying the wrong thing and messing it up (perfectionist!!! - and we both are).

- Mine will run away rather than talk. I have had to say - "Don't you dare run away from me!!"

- When I have something important, I often find email is more effective. They are much better written communicators than verbal communicators. I tell him I'm writing this so you have a chance to think about what I am saying. Think about it and we can come back to it when you are ready. I hold him to it too! No escape


- We met, ironically, by "talking" online. Again, written word is waaaay better than the phone or even face-to-face. On the phone we can have literally minutes of silence, which is annoying but I love him anyway.

- You will likely not get many "words of affirmation" but you will get a lot of "acts of service". They HATE nagging but if you really appreciate what they DO for you, you will both feel very loved.

- Mine has massive issues about violations of personal space. However, when it comes to me, there is no space between us. He is the best hugger and back massager ever and toucher in general (shhhhhh it's a secret
)


- I mention these things because touch and doing nice things for you are like ways of communicating.

- My ISTP "talks" to me in grunts and raaawrs and hmphs. I have a strong intuition, so I know what he's sayin'. Body language is key as well.

- ISTPs live in the present. They do not tend to think about the future. Mine has zero sense of time. He thought we were together 6 months when it was 3 years. I'm serious. A day without a phone call seems like eternity to me, and seems like a minute to him. He is also ageless.... but he is also ego-less. ISTPs do not power trip or have major ego malfunctions.

- Surprisingly, they are extremely affected by having their hearts broken. Mine is still expressing hurt from the past, although he doesn't even know it. I think they guard their emotions so tightly and are really afraid of getting hurt. So they really need to feel loved back I find. I try and tell mine that I love him and life is better together and he is so thoughtful and wonderful. It actually makes a huge difference even though they don't seem to care.


So here's a start!! A lot to say so let's go from here
ISTPs are so enigmatic. They also wouldn't be with you unless they did really like you. When they have an opinion, they mean it and it is well-thought-out.


I really like helping out because understanding leads to cutting a lot of bullshit out right away
And it's nice to help. I am very pro-ISTP. Several of my NF/NT friends and relatives have ended up with them actually."
 

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@Crystall

I think you have to figure out what you want. You have to accept that ISTPs are never going to be completely comfortable with wearing their heart on their sleeve. You're going to have to push for them to express their feelings more; and as you can see, they obviously feel things intensely, they just have trouble translating those into words. And when they're going through something difficult, they're likely going to avoid burdening you with their issues. My STP does the exact same thing.

Are you personally okay with that? Do you feel it's worth it?
 
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