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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While it seems illogical for an ISTJ to want to have a relationship with an ENFP, it appears to me that ISTJs may be in fact drawn to the ENFP personality as a romantic conquest. (Note that I used the term conquest) And an ENFP is drawn to the ISTJ's control perhaps because they like to see how far they can push the envelope. Supposedly the semi-dual relationship between an ENTP and ISTJ is the moth to the flame type, but I think that's wrong. I think the ENFP and ISTJ relationship is more a moth to the flame, in romantic terms, but which is the moth and which is the flame? I don't see alot of threads on the ENTP and ISTJ forums having difficult romantic relationships with one another. In fact I see very few threads even indicating a romantic relationship is possible between an ENTP and ISTJ. Which while this is not a true sampling of the population only a sampling of folks that are interested in knowing more about the different MBTI types, this setting would be the forum where such relationships would be discussed. There are far more threads in the ENFP and ISTJ forums on romantic relationships between these types. Very difficult relationships, where one or the other type must "compromise".

The reason I am interested in this discussion is because I have a suspicion that my ISTJ friend may have designs on me as a potential life partner. Although he has made it clear that he is not physically attracted to me, he has indicated that he finds me attractive mentally. And he has on more than one occasion exclaimed (typically while drunk) that he found me to be beautiful or pretty. He is also in a "relationship" with another woman (INFJ) who is already married that he claims to be physically attracted to and he has in the recent past had flings with men. Before you ask, yes he is an ISTJ, we had to take the MBTI test at work. This is what he tested as. While he has some life issues that don't appear outwardly as an ISTJ, he is most definitely inwardly an ISTJ through and through.

I believe he has compartmentalized his relationships with people. Is that possible for an ISTJ? I find this possibility intriguing and have to admit I find him attractive in a way even with all the complexity. (Probably because of the complexity) I always test as an ENTP but the T is not strong and when verbally administered the MBTI test the tester often catagorizes me as an ENFP. But I don't self identify with the ENFP personality, I definitely feel more of an affinity mentally with the ENTPs, but I wonder in this dynamic with my ISTJ if we are somehow feeding off of one another and drawn toward each other like a moth to a flame because of my ENFP subtype.

So the question is: are ENFPs or are ENTPs the moth to the ISTJ flame? Or is one of them more the flame that attracts the ISTJ moth?
 

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MOTM May 2011
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While all types can and do form lasting relationships, it is very unusual for an ISTJ and ENTP to do so--especially when young. After both have matured a great deal, it is easier. However, by that time (we tend to get to this level of maturity around 35-40 years of age), usually neither is up for the intense struggle of working out a difficult relationship.

The ENFP has the same functions as the ISTJ, but are reversed in order of preference, but the ENTP does not share the same primary cognitive functions and often have a strong Ti and weak Fe, which can really irk an ISTJ's sense of right and wrong. This last is particularly true of male ENTPs.

In any case, the ENFP is the exact opposite of the ISTJ in almost every way. We often see this pairing and it can be quite good or an extreme disaster, depending on the emotional health and stability of the individuals involved.

ISTJs compartmentalize very well. It is a coping mechanism used throughout their life.

Loving an ISTJ is not for the faint of heart. We are loyal and give a lot, but we are exacting and difficult to deal with.

I would suggest that you abandon any thoughts of a romantic relationship with this ISTJ. However, if youth propels you forward and if you must proceed, do it with great caution: We do get hurt in these failed relationships, but we are the flame.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah youth. Alas, we are both in our 30s. I am also older than he by more than 5 years. I agree a romantic relationship is irrational between him and me. But I'm intrigued by these hints of his that he thinks of me as wife material. Could that be possible even though he is having this secret affair with a married woman and has sexual interests leaning toward homosexuality? How can one separate out these physical interactions from the emotional connections that occur by being physical with another?
 

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MOTM May 2011
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Ah youth. Alas, we are both in our 30s. I am also older than he by more than 5 years. I agree a romantic relationship is irrational between him and me. But I'm intrigued by these hints of his that he thinks of me as wife material. Could that be possible even though he is having this secret affair with a married woman and has sexual interests leaning toward homosexuality? How can one separate out these physical interactions from the emotional connections that occur by being physical with another?
Well, I threw you an out, and now you've blown your cover. You can be any age on the internet.:laughing:

I would be extremely troubled by several things in this potential relationship: Supposed lack of physical attraction (which I doubt--and which brings up other questions), Having a secret affair with a married woman (deal breaker--you marry a guy, knowing this about him, you WILL regret it), and he sounds a bit confused as to his sexual identity.

I dunno, but something isn't right. I can't lay my finger on it, but I've got lots of red flags--some with names and some without.

Separating the physical from the emotional can be easily done, but long term it is detrimental to the person. They either learn to deal with the separated or encapsulated emotions, or they regress to less healthy states.

FWIW, I was encouraging caution before, but that is no longer the case. It would be sheer lunacy to embark on a relationship with this person, based on the information in your posts.

HTH
 

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Ah youth. Alas, we are both in our 30s.
Ah. Maybe this is why I don't find your post annoying. Or maybe, as Niss stated it's usually male ENTPs that ISTJs find annoying. I can't even read the ENTP threads because they all seem like douchebags to me and I can't agree to anything they say. This is probably mostly due to the age of most ENTPs over there (teens or early 20's.)

Look at the posts this ENTP : http://personalitycafe.com/members/entrepenuer.html
that were made in the ISTJ forum. This is generally how ENTPs and ISTJs get along from what I've seen. Not only did the kid make almost no logical sense, but he annoyed a lot of ISTJs.

Anyway, the ISTJ you described sounds like a tool and if I were you, I would steer clear. Sounds like a walking disaster of a dude.

Good luck in whatever you decide and post back what happens /popcorn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Separating the physical from the emotional can be easily done, but long term it is detrimental to the person. They either learn to deal with the separated or encapsulated emotions, or they regress to less healthy states.

HTH
That's what I really needed to know, particularly with ISTJs, if it was natural for an ISTJ to withdraw emotionally from the physical act of sex. It seems to me that my ISTJ has been doing this for awhile now. He claims that sex is just an activity for him. I do believe that he is on an unhealthy bender with this "relationship" with the married INFJ woman. They argue constantly and he is quite disrespectful to her. It takes two to tango, and she keeps coming back for more. I don't get involved with him sexually. Not that he's tried to have sex with me, he hasn't, though he can be handsy at times. His known sexual activity is enough of a deterrent for me and I'm fairly open-minded. But I wondered if he could change? Perhaps this is the ENFP side of me that thinks that he could turn over a new leaf. We have a mutual older ENFP friend who also feels this way about him. As an ISTJ I would think that he would value consistency and routine. There is nothing consistent with screwing a married woman (mentally or physically) or hooking up with random sexual partners. He has said that these aren't relationships in his mind, he believes he doesn't owe these people anything, that they knew what they were getting into from the get go.

I think I'm more attracted to the chinese puzzle box he represents than to him romantically. Now the above just reflects one side of him, there are other sides of him that are quite great. He is pragmatic and he has an excellent work ethic. He is quite witty. He is there if someone needs a ride to the airport or somewhere. He cares about his elderly mother and travels to visit her as often as he can. And I can go on. It's just the sexual interactions and romantic relationship piece that I don't get at all.
 

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MOTM May 2011
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Seeing the possibilities is a text book ENFP description.

Natural to withdraw? No. Easily done? Yes. Harmful long term? Yes. Could he change? Yes. Will he change? Not likely.
 
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While it seems illogical for an ISTJ to want to have a relationship with an ENFP, it appears to me that ISTJs may be in fact drawn to the ENFP personality as a romantic conquest. (Note that I used the term conquest) And an ENFP is drawn to the ISTJ's control perhaps because they like to see how far they can push the envelope.

Nope, nope, and nope.

I was attracted to an ENFP chick simply because she was my opposite in every way. Always nice, cheerful, excited, and outgoing. Never a day when she wasn't upbeat and full of energy. It wasn't very difficult for her to make me smile and laugh even on my worst days. Definitely not someone I'd want to "control" but even if I were a control freak, she'd be nearly impossible to dominate over.

And no, I don't control people. Your average American doesn't enter into a relationship planning to control or dominate over someone. This is 2010. I don't have the time or energy to control people unless I'm leading a project team or study group, and even then, the word "control" isn't really meant to be used pejoratively.

And also you'll find that every relationship requires compromise. Why do you think we have wars?
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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The reason I am interested in this discussion is because I have a suspicion that my ISTJ friend may have designs on me as a potential life partner. Although he has made it clear that he is not physically attracted to me, he has indicated that he finds me attractive mentally. And he has on more than one occasion exclaimed (typically while drunk) that he found me to be beautiful or pretty. He is also in a "relationship" with another woman (INFJ) who is already married that he claims to be physically attracted to and he has in the recent past had flings with men. Before you ask, yes he is an ISTJ, we had to take the MBTI test at work. This is what he tested as. While he has some life issues that don't appear outwardly as an ISTJ, he is most definitely inwardly an ISTJ through and through.

I believe he has compartmentalized his relationships with people. Is that possible for an ISTJ? I find this possibility intriguing and have to admit I find him attractive in a way even with all the complexity. (Probably because of the complexity) I always test as an ENTP but the T is not strong and when verbally administered the MBTI test the tester often catagorizes me as an ENFP. But I don't self identify with the ENFP personality, I definitely feel more of an affinity mentally with the ENTPs, but I wonder in this dynamic with my ISTJ if we are somehow feeding off of one another and drawn toward each other like a moth to a flame because of my ENFP subtype.

So the question is: are ENFPs or are ENTPs the moth to the ISTJ flame? Or is one of them more the flame that attracts the ISTJ moth?
So this person can't commit to one particular sex when he has relationships. And, he doesn't respect committed relationships because he is sleeping with someone else's wife. I am sure you can see that he is definitely not about commitment.

I do not think this is about a moth being drawn to a flame. I think this is about you having commitment issues. You are attracted to someone who can't possibly commit to you and doesn't find you attractive. I believe are attracted to non-commitment. Intimacy must be very hard for you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So this person can't commit to one particular sex when he has relationships. And, he doesn't respect committed relationships because he is sleeping with someone else's wife. I am sure you can see that he is definitely not about commitment.

I do not think this is about a moth being drawn to a flame. I think this is about you having commitment issues. You are attracted to someone who can't possibly commit to you and doesn't find you attractive. I believe are attracted to non-commitment. Intimacy must be very hard for you.
He doesn't consider his current sexual partners "relationships". And as Niss64 replied it appears that ISTJs can easily separate emotions from the act of sex. Long term is just not healthy. This may seem strange to say but I think the flings with men is because it's easier (faster) to take a man home than a woman. I think jumping to committment issues may be too early to call. He is obviously committed to taking care of his mother and he has close friends that he is committed to just not romantically. The 'relationship' with the married woman is troublesome all around. While he doesn't call that a "relationship", my observations of them together indicate there is a 'relationship' of sorts. They like to call it a 'friendship' and maybe it is. Just not one that I would want.

As for myself, I do feel drawn to him. He fascinates me. Sexual attraction? Not really, on both sides. More intellectual curiosity at the moment for me at least. Like watching a porn, while I may not get particularly turned on by merely watching the actions on screen there is certainly a heightened awareness that comes from it. Intimacy is hard for everyone as it deals with vulnerability and trusting another not to hurt one emotionally or physically. I certainly don't have commitment issues, you're just going to have to take my written word on that as I do not want to divulge too much of my personal life on the internet.

i do get a sense from him that he has designs on me. Perhaps not sexually, but something that I can't quite lay my finger on, and has only been hinted at in conversations and actions. It feels like he is starting to set up house and he is thinking I will fit in nicely as we have similar tastes in furnishings and art and life goals. He had a rude awakening with one of his recent flings that had him needing to change residences. I think this was a bit of a wake up call for him and he has said as much. But it's too early to tell. And then there is the married woman factor....
 
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