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Hey e'erybody!

I'm curious if anybody out there in ENFP-land feels like they are naturally polyamorous? I wonder about the correlation between personality type and relationship style. I've been with two partners simultaneously for about a year, where everyone involved was aware and supportive of it. The relationships didn't end because of the polyamory part, they just ended because of the normal stuff (a.k.a. me not truly and truthfully feeling it anymore... possibly an ENFP thing). I have the ability to be present with whoever I'm with, and love new stimulation of course, so the idea of dating two very different people at once is appealing to me. It didn't work out in my one experience, and I'm not necessarily "polyamorous" as an identity. But I just want to have the feeling that I would be free to explore natural connections with other women, even if I'm already in a relationship. Of course, it would have to be under the right circumstances where everyone is comfortable.

My question is, does this sound like an ENFP thing? Can anybody relate?
My ex-girlfriend turned great friend (INFJ) cannot fathom wanting that in her life. She wants a single partner. Our different personality types prompted me to post here and see what other ENFP's think.
 

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I've been on this forum a long time- yes ENFPs CAN be polyamorous, yes as a type we have tools that equip us to be good at it..

No, we have less of a tendency to do this than the majority of other types, or at least desire this less because the opportunity (and therefore temptation) probably appears in front of us more often than most.

That is my experience reading 8 years of people's accounts.
 

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This all just makes me think of Hozier song, which sure, I relate to.


But I've thought about polyamory, I think I'm willing to give it a real go (I did once but it accidentally became a monogamous relationship) Mostly though I don't know how well I could navigate diplomacy and jealousy, I'm not sure if that's something you'd just learn or if that's something which polyamorous people are just naturally fine with.

I think at the end of the day monogamy is my thing.
 
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Must--go---vomit---
 

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I have two ENFP friends who are very polyamorous because they find it difficult to commit to just one person.
They're Ne and Fi is erratic and they want too many things and cannot stay in one place which naturally leads to straining relationships with other parties that desire monogamy.

One of my ENFP friend (who's also a member on here) admitted that every single one of her relationships never lasted more than a month.
 

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I have two ENFP friends who are very polyamorous because they find it difficult to commit to just one person.
They're Ne and Fi is erratic and they want too many things and cannot stay in one place which naturally leads to straining relationships with other parties that desire monogamy.

One of my ENFP friend (who's also a member on here) admitted that every single one of her relationships never lasted more than a month.
Haha. I recall you arguing for the case of ENTJ/ENFP relationships in the ENTJ sub a few weeks back.
Just defeated your own arguments with a single post. :tongue:
 
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No way. It's degeneracy. My father was one of these freaks and ruined my life.
 

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I’m a firm believer of ‘don’t knock it till you’ve tried it’. A good friend of mine is in a poly relationship and she’s said it’s probably the healthiest relationship she's ever been in. I’m naturally not a jealous person and as long as there’s good communication between everyone, I don’t see why there would be an issue.
 

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I’m a firm believer of ‘don’t knock it till you’ve tried it’.
At some point when we know ourselves well enough, we don't feel the need to try out every single thing out there, to understand how we feel about it. We just know it's not our thing and sure, could be interesting to try it nevertheless, but why bother when we aren't really that motivated. There are enough other things that look more fun to try out, which look more promising.

I might be hesitant to commit and take my time with it (if it happens at all), but I'm all in already when I'm considering it (until I figure it out). Just can't share my energy with more than one other person at a time. I'm too protective of my energy and I need it in several directions of my life, so I'm going to go deep with just one person romantically. If I'm really hooked, I could be into all sorts of open-minded activities, but sharing my partner isn't going to be one of them.

The way I am is one reason why dating doesn't really work for me. In the dating game today everyone is expected to walk in the store, pick a few items, take them home for a while (all at the same time), then return those who didn't work out. See, for me items stand out. I don't need to take home several of them to compare. I pick the one I feel a strong pull for, grab it and take it home to observe and enjoy in a sweet dream-like state that's hopefully somewhat occasionally grounded, too. If after trying it out I realize we're not meant to be together, I know I have to get it back to the store and it can get really emotional, but I try to think it's for the best and that way both of us will get another shot at getting this right next time. I'll probably avoid shopping for a while after. At some point I'll bounce back and head back out there with my heart wide open and a basket ready for something new. :)

I know some people (probably NTs) would prefer to be absolutely sure someone is right for them even before they get into it, so they'll just be lurking behind the bushes for months or years, but that's just counter-efficient to me and even more unfair than they would probably consider my approach. I wouldn't want to be in someone's radius for many months or years until they figure out whether I'm worth the risk or not. The chances I'm still seeing them as potential partners by the time they've made up their minds are slim.

When I'm "trying someone out" that could take a couple of months, but not more, so it's not like I'd walk out on someone I've been together with for ages. And in those couple of months I'm going to give my best and my full attention. I think in relationships it's good to combine thinking with actual experience, in order to make a sound decision that happens within this century.
 

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@Dennitsa

I wish I wasn't the complete opposite of you. I have no idea what I want in life or who to share that with. The only thing I know for sure that I want is to experience new things, kind of collect experiences so that I know I have not had a limited life. I only have one shot at this life thing (probably) and there's so much to sample I would hate to limit my palatte. But maybe that's just the seven in me talking.

I need to experience all that can be experienced before I settle (yeah I know it's impossible so I'll eventually have to give in or forever suffer). I very much believe that I won't know what I want until I have comparisons. I probably found my perfect path and person when I was a teenager but I discarded that because I needed to see and explore more.

I envy people like you who are satisfied and confident in their choices, really, I often feel like this way of seeing life is a curse.
 

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^ I have a feeling the ENFP guy who rejected me for his polyamory lifestyle is going to realise in future that I am the one who got away...and when that happens, I'm not sure what I'll do.
 

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@Dennitsa

I wish I wasn't the complete opposite of you. I have no idea what I want in life or who to share that with. The only thing I know for sure that I want is to experience new things, kind of collect experiences so that I know I have not had a limited life. I only have one shot at this life thing (probably) and there's so much to sample I would hate to limit my palatte. But maybe that's just the seven in me talking.

I need to experience all that can be experienced before I settle (yeah I know it's impossible so I'll eventually have to give in or forever suffer). I very much believe that I won't know what I want until I have comparisons. I probably found my perfect path and person when I was a teenager but I discarded that because I needed to see and explore more.

I envy people like you who are satisfied and confident in their choices, really, I often feel like this way of seeing life is a curse.
I don't know if it's enneagram-related, I only just recently discovered enneagrams and know very little. I scored as a 4 and it made sense to me that I'm not a 7, although I have my 7 moments, especially when I was younger and when I was in my home-country's natural southern habitat. Living in the north did change me in big ways.

As ENFPs we are all "cursed" with Ne - seeing that endless ocean of opportunities and wondering what the heck we should be doing with it. I remember very distinctively how when I was younger I was very surprised people around me could only see one option and sometimes felt discouraged because there wasn't anything else out there for them. While at the same time my problem was seeing too many options. It took so long for me to ground myself and feel my own boundaries, this process accelerated when I moved up north and started spending a lot of time alone because of the specifics of the culture that was surrounding me.

I can still get very confused and not long ago (last autumn) I was in a desperate loop, looking at places all over the world map (thank God, places away from Earth aren't yet a real option for ENFPs to include in our already very crowded equations!) wondering where I should move to, seeing images of my possible life there and being unable to decide which life I want to go for. I think it's the same with choosing between people - we do have to choose a different life. It's not going to be better or worse, it will just be different and we'd have to give up certain specifics.

When I dug deeper into my confusion, I realized I was open to a lot of places but they didn't have the same status/value to me. Some I could only like short-term. The ones that made sense to me long-term were those that fit and supported my values and long-term goals in life. That still didn't mean I couldn't go for any of them, just for the experience, but then I knew where I was at in my life and what I truly wanted, so I figured out my priorities. That narrowed down the places a lot. There was still potential for panic - oh wow, between these few options, what if I still get it wrong?! That was the moment when I decided it's ok to go with the flow by going after particular opportunities in those places (job + dating opportunities in my case) and see which one will work out first/best. Again, it wasn't random, I had done my shortlisting, so there was certain safety in that. Yet I wasn't stiff about it and was still approaching it with openness one should always have to life, in my opinion. Job didn't work out, then relationship failed and a more suitable job came along. In another city. So I'm going for it now, with certain regrets about what I'm leaving behind and potentially giving up on (by not following other options), but with certainty this move is right for me at this time. Am I absolutely 100% certain this is the best possible scenario for me? Of course not, but that's life, and I'm certain enough to commit to it and see where this leads me to.

As I see it, choosing to settle down somewhere/with someone doesn't mean I'll stop experiencing new things (I too am concerned about the limits of my lifespan), because I'm looking for someone in particular who will want to constantly learn and grow with me. As Susan Sontag says: "I am only interested in people engaged in a project of self-transformation." I believe it's possible to be with one person but experience an abundance of discoveries, adventures and different lives together. I guess I'll spend my life chasing that and because I can vividly see it in my mind, I can recognize it when it happens/there is potential for it and so I won't have to try out several things simultaneously or compare, it will stand out for me and I'll jump it. :)
 

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^ I have a feeling the ENFP guy who rejected me for his polyamory lifestyle is going to realise in future that I am the one who got away...and when that happens, I'm not sure what I'll do.
Would you take him back? You'd think after doing that self-discovery he'd be a better and more mature person... sometimes we find each other at the wrong time in life.
 
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Would you take him back? You'd think after doing that self-discovery he'd be a better and more mature person... sometimes we find each other at the wrong time in life.
Hmm. I'm not sure. Because in this time I'd gotten over him very quickly, especially since we were supposedly "best friends" and he didn't even tell me he was seeing a girl (in an "open relationship")? I found out on my birthday from someone else, after I made a fool of myself and went up and kissed him on the lips quickly before he left :/ And also he said he was too "busy" to ever read the letter I wrote him expressing how I felt, yet he had randomly told me prior to all of that that I'm everything he has ever wanted...but something about timing.

I kind of think, if the timing wasn't right then, then it will never be. And surely if he isn't the settle type now, he will never truly be, and I just can't feel secure with that :/

Also he was already 24 or 25 so you'd think he'd have learned by now? Obviously I just didn't excite him enough. What are your thoughts
 

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I don't know if it's enneagram-related, I only just recently discovered enneagrams and know very little. I scored as a 4 and it made sense to me that I'm not a 7, although I have my 7 moments, especially when I was younger and when I was in my home-country's natural southern habitat. Living in the north did change me in big ways.

As ENFPs we are all "cursed" with Ne[...]
I guess so. I'm just seeing the perspectives of the ENFPs on this forum and I can't help but feel like this is a problem that I have more than the others. If you do more research on the healthy stages of sevens you'll see I'm an unhealthy enneagram seven with that kind of 'escapist' syndrome. Although, yeah, I think it's pretty common for Ne to make ENFPs seem like sevens or be able to relate even if they aren't.

[...]
I can still get very confused and not long ago (last autumn) I was in a desperate loop, looking at places all over the world map (thank God, places away from Earth aren't yet a real option for ENFPs to include in our already very crowded equations!) wondering where I should move to, seeing images of my possible life there and being unable to decide which life I want to go for. I think it's the same with choosing between people - we do have to choose a different life. It's not going to be better or worse, it will just be different and we'd have to give up certain specifics.
[...]
I'm in the same position. I went to see my family over the weekend obviously my aimlessness isn't reassuring for them.

As I see it, choosing to settle down somewhere/with someone doesn't mean I'll stop experiencing new things (I too am concerned about the limits of my lifespan), because I'm looking for someone in particular who will want to constantly learn and grow with me. As Susan Sontag says: "I am only interested in people engaged in a project of self-transformation." I believe it's possible to be with one person but experience an abundance of discoveries, adventures and different lives together. I guess I'll spend my life chasing that and because I can vividly see it in my mind, I can recognize it when it happens/there is potential for it and so I won't have to try out several things simultaneously or compare, it will stand out for me and I'll jump it. :)
While, yeah, I think we all need someone who's willing to grow with us I think I'm beginning to realise that the perfect person for you and their growth path might just clash with you. Simply being with someone who can adapt might not be enough room for you to work on yourself or explore. So that leaves you with two choices: 1, find the person who will help you at this particular stage of this journey and accept that things may fall apart or 2, walk it alone, after all can anyone else really fulfill me but me? Or maybe I need more than just the one person to be able to influence and challenge me into becoming a more mature person.

I don't think the perfect one for me would want to follow me across the world. I think the perfect one for me would ground me and I'm not willing to be grounded yet.
 
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Monogamous heteronormativity is so ingrained in our minds that people flinch at the mere idea of going beyond that. There’s nothing wrong in being monogamous (I personally lean more towards it), however if that’s all you know, how could you possibly be certain that poly relationships won’t work for you? On top of that, people will base their decisions on pre-conceived notions that may or may not be true. That’s why I think in the case of poly relationships, it’s better to just give it a go in the right, healthy framework and then come to a conclusion that way.

Just can't share my energy with more than one other person at a time. I'm too protective of my energy and I need it in several directions of my life, so I'm going to go deep with just one person romantically. If I'm really hooked, I could be into all sorts of open-minded activities, but sharing my partner isn't going to be one of them.
Fair enough, but I always find it a bit weird when people say they don’t like “sharing” their partner. Your partner isn’t something to be shared ‘cause they’re not an object and you don’t own them. If my SO said that to me, I’d LEG IT. It’d make me uncomfortable because I'd see it as them trying to control me. Also polyamory isn’t a one-sided situation; you’ll be getting just as much out of it as your primary partner/other partner(s).

In the dating game today everyone is expected to walk in the store, pick a few items, take them home for a while (all at the same time), then return those who didn't work out.
Again, it depends on the dynamic of the relationship. Being poly doesn’t necessarily mean you’re constantly having orgies lmao. My friend and her boyfriend for example, will have a conversation about anyone they meet and potentially want to date. But before they do anything they always make sure the other person is cool with it. And if they’re not, then it’s just a matter of talking about it and communicating how you feel.

I wouldn't want to be in someone's radius for many months or years until they figure out whether I'm worth the risk or not.
I do think it’s important to not rush into things. My last relationship ended because I just jumped into it without much thought (which is very unlike me). We both found each other attractive, we were compatible and I just went with the flow. I caught feelings and that’s when he had to move back to the states. We didn’t want to do long distance because neither one of us wanted to move to the other person’s country in the long-run so what was the point? Perhaps if I had waited it out a bit and actually talked more about our future plans then maybe I could’ve saved myself the heartbreak.

And in those couple of months I'm going to give my best and my full attention. I think in relationships it's good to combine thinking with actual experience, in order to make a sound decision that happens within this century.
You said it yourself, there’s only so much you can do in theory, it’s different when you test it out for yourself and see what happens. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.
 

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Hmm. I'm not sure. Because in this time I'd gotten over him very quickly, especially since we were supposedly "best friends" and he didn't even tell me he was seeing a girl (in an "open relationship")? I found out on my birthday from someone else, after I made a fool of myself and went up and kissed him on the lips quickly before he left :/ And also he said he was too "busy" to ever read the letter I wrote him expressing how I felt, yet he had randomly told me prior to all of that that I'm everything he has ever wanted...but something about timing.

I kind of think, if the timing wasn't right then, then it will never be. And surely if he isn't the settle type now, he will never truly be, and I just can't feel secure with that :/

Also he was already 24 or 25 so you'd think he'd have learned by now? Obviously I just didn't excite him enough. What are your thoughts
You're talking to a 24/25 year old at a similar stage. I'd like to think that this is not a permanent state of my life. I wouldn't say "never" but I dunno when.

I don't know enough about your situation but maybe you are right about him, maybe there wasn't enough there and obviously if you have no residue feelings for him then that kind of solves that story if he ever tried to come back to you.

I do have a belief that "the one that got away" is probably the one you just have to let go because after all of that messing with feelings and time apart that you can't simply rekindle it.

I'm trying not to just project here... but I'm doing that a lot.
 
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While, yeah, I think we all need someone who's willing to grow with us I think I'm beginning to realise that the perfect person for you and their growth path might just clash with you. Simply being with someone who can adapt might not be enough room for you to work on yourself or explore. So that leaves you with two choices: 1, find the person who will help you at this particular stage of this journey and accept that things may fall apart or 2, walk it alone, after all can anyone else really fulfill me but me? Or maybe I need more than just the one person to be able to influence and challenge me into becoming a more mature person.

I don't think the perfect one for me would want to follow me across the world. I think the perfect one for me would ground me and I'm not willing to be grounded yet.
You might be right about that clash. My perception of long-term relationships is purely theoretical at this point and probably idealistic. I'm hopeful, but not blind to other possible scenarios.

Some time ago I read about an interesting concept. The article was talking about life nowadays, our wants and evolution, and saying we could probably find the right person for a decade, but then we inevitably reach a point of saturation or whatever you want to call it, from then on we should go our separate ways and find someone more compatible to who we have become at that time. It makes sense to me logically, but I haven't met yet anyone that special to make it with for a whole decade, so that makes me think if it actually works out for that long, I'm probably never going to want to let go. Also, "till death do us part" spans across an ever-shrinking period the longer it takes us to settle down. :laughing: So maybe we could make it that long when we start later in life.

I don't think it's fair to expect from another person to fully match us or keep up with us at all times. We can't get absolutely everything we need from just one person, just as we can't give someone always absolutely everything they need. But that doesn't mean we can't get what's missing from other people in another capacity (not necessarily romantic or sexual). And it's ok if we don't always get all our needs met, if we see enough value in what we already have.

It's fine if you don't want to be grounded yet, go out in the world and explore, it will be fun and even when it's not, it will be worth it. :) I think I'm pretty happy with my exploration so far and would actually appreciate to be grounded by someone more... grounded. :))) It would make so many decisions easier to make, because I can narrow options/ideas down and he can choose from the shortlist, that sounds like a good deal to me. :tongue: I'm not saying I'll be delegating all decisions to someone or controlling all shortlists, I just see it as a really good match when partners can give that to each other, swap roles or do the whole process together until a win-win solution is reached. I wouldn't mind being gently grounded sometimes as long as my partner wouldn't mind to be up in the air with me sometimes. :)
 

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Monogamous heteronormativity is so ingrained in our minds that people flinch at the mere idea of going beyond that. There’s nothing wrong in being monogamous (I personally lean more towards it), however if that’s all you know, how could you possibly be certain that poly relationships won’t work for you? On top of that, people will base their decisions on pre-conceived notions that may or may not be true. That’s why I think in the case of poly relationships, it’s better to just give it a go in the right, healthy framework and then come to a conclusion that way.

Fair enough, but I always find it a bit weird when people say they don’t like “sharing” their partner. Your partner isn’t something to be shared ‘cause they’re not an object and you don’t own them. If my SO said that to me, I’d LEG IT. It’d make me uncomfortable because I'd see it as them trying to control me. Also polyamory isn’t a one-sided situation; you’ll be getting just as much out of it as your primary partner/other partner(s).

Again, it depends on the dynamic of the relationship. Being poly doesn’t necessarily mean you’re constantly having orgies lmao. My friend and her boyfriend for example, will have a conversation about anyone they meet and potentially want to date. But before they do anything they always make sure the other person is cool with it. And if they’re not, then it’s just a matter of talking about it and communicating how you feel.

I do think it’s important to not rush into things. My last relationship ended because I just jumped into it without much thought (which is very unlike me). We both found each other attractive, we were compatible and I just went with the flow. I caught feelings and that’s when he had to move back to the states. We didn’t want to do long distance because neither one of us wanted to move to the other person’s country in the long-run so what was the point? Perhaps if I had waited it out a bit and actually talked more about our future plans then maybe I could’ve saved myself the heartbreak.

You said it yourself, there’s only so much you can do in theory, it’s different when you test it out for yourself and see what happens. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.
I personally had a non-monogamous experience and didn't like it. It wasn't special enough for me. See, you can say/believe you can have something equally special with two different people at the same time, but to me, when there is more than one thing of whatever, it's no longer really that special. It's a matter of perception and my way or your way of looking at it are both valid, just different.

You really don't have to go through the experience to decide whether it's for you or not. There are plenty of sources of information and ways of learning that don't involve direct experience, especially when you're an empath.

Don't take "sharing my partner" that literally. :) I know we ENFPs can be sensitive to boxes, labels, etc., but that's just semantics in this case. I'm not someone who would limit another person in any way. I just know what I want and that is to feel that my relationship with my partner is special and there are no other people between us, so I want to be with someone who is happy with that. Unless those other people are just watching, I could live with that. :laughing:
 
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