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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm a new poster but have been a faithful reader for quite some time.

I realize the adorable ISTJ's on this forum have already been badgered with questions about your modus operandi when romantically interested in someone...

... and here is, yet, the same ol' question with a little different spin :blushed:

Can anyone offer insight as to how an ISTJ might express romantic interest after reaching middle age?

I find myself completely smitten with a mature, confident, seemingly well-adjusted ISTJ man. We've been casually acquainted for about a year but see each other only 2-3 times each month for just an hour or so. Each of us are divorced after longtime, committed marriages (25+ years).

I feel certain there's a great deal of mutual attraction between us... actually initiated by him with lots of staring, watching and friendly smiles. At times, however, his behavior leaves me wondering if I'm just making something out of nothing. Aside from a fiery physical chemistry, we have many things in common and both regard our faith as the most important thing in life.

Please also offer your thoughts about an ISFJ-ISTJ relationship. Does an ISFJ have positive attributes to bring to a relationship with an ISTJ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Thrifty Walrus,

Thanks for your reply. Putting all this on a public forum seems really out there for me... it's reassuring to receive a friendly reply : )

I'm interested in better understanding your mindset if you don't mind. Like you, I'm an introvert but not necessarily shy. I make great efforts to be friendly and kind to most everyone... and save my unabashed flirting for the ISTJ I'm attracted to :wink:

But...

I'm actually quite traditional and just can't imagine making the first real move to initiate a relationship. My guess is that he probably holds this same view and would ultimately want to take the lead.
 

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Yes, but he wants to be very, very sure that he is not making a mistake and assuming too much. A frank and open conversation would clear the air.

ISTJs and ISFJs can partner to make a marriage work, but they are VERY similar. It would work best if one of them is not extremely introverted. Personally, I would suggest a long courtship--probably a couple of years. This will allow plenty of time for any problems to present themselves.

Good Luck!
 

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To solidify the consensus here... we'll look at it this way; as an ISTJ, I assume he married his first wife under the assumption that she was "the one" and had no intentions of it not working... 'we' prolong decisions, like marriage, to ensure we're making the right one. So, unless he knows exactly what went wrong in his previous marriage and has put that experience behind him, he's going to be even more cautious the second time around... this time making SURE you're someone who's going to stick around.

As Niss pointed out, a frank and open conversation would clear the air; I couldn't agree any more. As for me personally communication is key, even if its slightly uneasy questions, I've always thought this. Also, with him being 'out of the game' for some time now, him 'making the first move' because 'thats what guys do' probably isn't on the forefront of his mind. Maybe your intentions are slightly unclear to him.

Have you ever done something nice for him? Cook him dinner some time, maybe no candles, but let him know there is feeling behind it... as Niss also pointed out, some times we can be more attracted to Extroverted people, so open up a little, clear the air, make him feel comfortable and i'm sure he'll tell you / ask you what's on his heart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Niss,

I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. I think we're very close in age, so your ISTJ wisdom and insight is especially helpful for my situation. And... until just a few years ago, I spent my entire life where the stars at night are big and bright : )

I agree that ISTJs and ISFJs are very similar... I've learned so much reading this forum. My best guess is that neither of us is extremely introverted. In fact, our first few encounters left me with the impression that he is ESTJ. However I soon realized I was mistaking his maturity and confidence as extroversion. Professionally he deals with people a lot (law enforcement). Now as a seasoned veteran, he's in a position of higher authority and supervises a large group of state officers.

I like your suggestion to give a potential relationship at least a couple of years. I certainly agree. I keep telling myself that even if this winds up going nowhere, I will have learned something very valuable and will be encouraged knowing there are still really great guys out there who can make my heart race : )
 

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My best guess is that neither of us is extremely introverted. In fact, our first few encounters left me with the impression that he is ESTJ.
This will be a good thing for the relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Ryan,

I'm so glad you replied.

Your thoughts about his first marriage definitely line up with my own major analysis of the situation :laughing: I don't know for sure but suspect his wife might be the one who left their marriage. I haven't asked any questions, fearing at this point it would be an invasion of his privacy. However the topic of my own situation did work its way into one of our conversations. I was a bit surprised when he very sweetly and diplomatically suggested that a wife in "my situation" might just gather up the children and leave. I explained that it was my (ENTP) husband who unexpectedly left our marriage. Now I wonder if this was his polite way of hoping to find out if I was the one who bolted.

I'm definitely on board with the idea to do something nice for him... that kind of behavior comes natural to most ISFJs : ) But I don't think we're far enough along in our friendship for me to suggest this. I was perhaps unclear that we are not "dating" but see each other in a mutual setting several times each month.

For what it's worth, he's the one who initiated an introduction... he's the one who chooses to sit with me when we see each other... and he's the one who initiated touching and was the one to use two hands when greeting me with a handshake. Occasionally he'll make a feeler-inspired comment about family or life in general (.. so adorable!). Yet when it's time for us to part ways, he sometimes seems uncomfortable and almost eager to end the conversation so he can be on his way. I'm pretty sure I do a decent job flirting like the best of extroverts and have even thought I should probably tone it down a bit. Fortunately this was one part of my marriage that was spectacular... so unlike some ISFJs, I'm not the least bit reserved. For that, I'm thankful and blessed : )
 

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niss63;677329\ said:
Yes, but he wants to be very, very sure that he is not making a mistake and assuming too much.[/B][/B] A frank and open conversation would clear the air.

ISTJs and ISFJs can partner to make a marriage work, but they are VERY similar. It would work best if one of them is not extremely introverted. Personally, I would suggest a long courtship--probably a couple of years. This will allow plenty of time for any problems to present themselves.

Good Luck!
Yes, I would say that pretty much sums it up

edit: not sure whats wrong with the bolding, I meant to bold "Yes, but he wants to be very, very sure that he is not making a mistake and assuming too much."
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Niss and Thrifty Walrus,

Thanks guys for your encouragement.

Well I guess wanting to be ".. very, very sure about not making a mistake and assuming too much.." is something my ISTJ and I definitely have in common!
 

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For what it's worth, he's the one who initiated an introduction... he's the one who chooses to sit with me when we see each other... and he's the one who initiated touching and was the one to use two hands when greeting me with a handshake. Occasionally he'll make a feeler-inspired comment about family or life in general (.. so adorable!). Yet when it's time for us to part ways, he sometimes seems uncomfortable and almost eager to end the conversation so he can be on his way. I'm pretty sure I do a decent job flirting like the best of extroverts and have even thought I should probably tone it down a bit. Fortunately this was one part of my marriage that was spectacular... so unlike some ISFJs, I'm not the least bit reserved. For that, I'm thankful and blessed : )
Very normal for an ISTJ. Especially the bolded section. We struggle with knowing how to end the conversation so that it is not "gushy" but still is "warm and fuzzy" enough to show that we care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very normal for an ISTJ. Especially the bolded section. We struggle with knowing how to end the conversation so that it is not "gushy" but still is "warm and fuzzy" enough to show that we care.

This is reassuring to know... and very interesting! Yet it's also a bit foreign to me.

I tend to naturally pick up on someone's discomfort, so whenever this has happened I've always cheerfully and respectfully ended our conversation. Almost every time when things have ended awkwardly, I walked away thinking how I must be coming across like some pesky, overly-chatty little sister... only to find our connection is right back on track the next time we see each other :confused:

What kind of signals would he give if I'm crossing the line?? Is there a way I can make parting ways less awkward for him??

Thank you, Niss!
 

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Almost every time when things have ended awkwardly, I walked away thinking how I must be coming across like some pesky, overly-chatty little sister... only to find our connection is right back on track the next time we see each other :confused:

1What kind of signals would he give if I'm crossing the line?? 2 Is there a way I can make parting ways less awkward for him??
1 He will start avoiding you. If it's bad and he can't avoid you, there will be no doubt in your mind that his main thought during the whole conversation is concerned with getting away from you.

2 Don't think it is all about you. The more frequently you do the meet/conversation/leave the better he will get about it. If you insist on thinking it is all about you, he won't pick up on that, but will pick up on something not feeling right and will just start avoiding you.

Again: Clear and concise communication is best when dealing with an ISTJ.
 

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Well, all my friends are extroverts (specifically ESFP's), so I may be able to pass along some wisdom from the extroverted community XD

First of all, leave when the conversation is going well. It may seem counterintuitive, but it does help.

If it does get awkward, don't be afraid to say something stupid, it is often the best icebreaker! For example, if you are afraid of saying something stupid, just say "Well that got awkward, hope I don't say something stupid *eyeroll*" Although that may work better with extroverts than introverts....With my friends usually after someone says something like that it'll get the ball rolling again.

Lastly, for setting up a "casual" date, suggest he teach you about one of his passions. To break that down, say he is into watches, say something like "Hm, you know watches have always fascinated me. Would you be opposed to meeting up after work and teaching me more about them?" Now you shouldn't say that exactly, but it does work. That is a tip my friends gave me and it really helped me out! For example, there was this one girl I really liked, and she was/is going to go to college to become a nurse (we're both seniors in high school), so I said....actually, I see where this is going, ignore everything I said, she was actually extroverted and pulled me more along rather than me initiating anything.....hm...........

But yeah, for the whole conversation thing, leave when it's good, well, as soon as it ends (the conversation) leave. Don't try to fire it back up again or anything...

Sorry I couldn't be of more help, I think I actually confused myself throughout this post :confused:

I guess thats what I get for trying to give social/dating advice when I don't quite understand it myself! XD
 

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I would suspect he means leaving when the conversation is on a high note, instead of continually hanging around and trying to milk the last possible drop out of the conversation. We sometimes hang around like this because we have enjoyed the conversation so much that we hate to leave--it was just that good. However, as you see and feel it drawing to a close, that is when you gather your things and tell everyone how enjoyable it was instead of waiting until it is obvious that the conversation is dying.

I agree that leaving on a high note is helpful in creating a good feeling about talking to people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
1 2 Don't think it is all about you. The more frequently you do the meet/conversation/leave the better he will get about it. If you insist on thinking it is all about you, he won't pick up on that, but will pick up on something not feeling right and will just start avoiding you.

Again: Clear and concise communication is best when dealing with an ISTJ.
This is an excellent reminder and is very appreciated... the honesty and frankness of an ISTJ is sooo refreshing :cool:

Interacting with someone who takes things too personally, making it "all about them", is actually one of my own pet-peeves... I certainly don't want to inadvertently fall into this mindset.

Throughout the year or so that my ISTJ and I have been acquainted, I've noticed definite improvement in our conversation. He easily chuckles now when I say something he finds amusing or cute... and I've found it helps if I come mentally prepared with a few topics to discuss. It seems to give him fuel for the conversation... and keeps me from getting tongue-tied because my heart's all aflutter.

When I'm really interested in something or someone, my natural inclination is to ask lots of questions and gather as much information as possible. But, of course, I'm mindful to not bombard him with oodles of intrusive questions, and I try to maintain a decent balance of serious/ lighthearted topics. He usually seems enthusiastic to explain generalities about his work and will even adorably carry on at times. Does an ISTJ prefer to reveal information about himself as he feels comfortable doing so... or is asking direct questions acceptable if there is a friendship established?
 

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Does an ISTJ prefer to reveal information about himself as he feels comfortable doing so... or is asking direct questions acceptable if there is a friendship established?
It varies. In the normal course of conversation, things are said which will trigger a thought or memory in an ISTJ. If he feels comfortable sharing it, then he will do so. Direct questions are ok as long as they are perceived as friendly, meaning that they don't appear to have an agenda and are not violating personal boundaries, for the current level of the relationship.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
First of all, leave when the conversation is going well. It may seem counterintuitive, but it does help....

Lastly, for setting up a "casual" date, suggest he teach you about one of his passions...

But yeah, for the whole conversation thing, leave when it's good, well, as soon as it ends (the conversation) leave. Don't try to fire it back up again or anything...

Sorry I couldn't be of more help, I think I actually confused myself throughout this post :confused:

I guess thats what I get for trying to give social/dating advice when I don't quite understand it myself! XD
Hi Thrifty Walrus,

This is actually very helpful and makes perfect sense... and you're right that it's very counter-intuitive to what I'm feeling at that moment, wanting our time together to continue on forever :blushed:

I'm very much on my toes just waiting for an opportunity to suggest a reason we could get together, as you mentioned. My biggest hurdle is getting over the idea that he should take the lead... I guess I thought this was an ISTJ preference?

And you're a senior in high school? How intuitive and wise you are... and what a great catch you'll be for a lucky girl one day! Gee... even my own daughters are a bit too old to send your way :laughing:
 
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