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Discussion Starter #1
In the ESFJ section, I noticed someone making the following statement :

Butting heads, the two are worst enemies and repulsed by each other. Working together, the two can overcome any obstacle and the attraction couldn't be stronger.
In my experience, this person hit the nail on the head. I can't think of a woman I ever connected more deeply with than my ESFJ. But when there was too much stress, I guess we kinda ended up destroying each other.

Are there any fellow INTPs who managed to make their relationship with an ESFJ work in the long run? If so, what's your secret?

How do you manage to stick together and to avoid letting stress turn you against each other? How do you manage to avoid butting heads and scarring each other because of it? How do you manage to avoid heavenly bliss turn into hell
 

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My sister is ESFJ. She has always loved me and been very kind when I needed help. However, she drove me crazy for our first 50 years, with her weird priorities and lack of logic. I wasn't always nice to her.

Finally I learned to accept and appreciate her. I learned to copy some of her ways of expressing love, even if they didn't feel quite sincere, in order to please her. Meanwhile, she seems to have changed too, more reasonable, not so annoying.

I guess it's a matter of willingly committing to the relationship, swallowing your pride sometimes, and not always having to be right.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess it's a matter of willingly committing to the relationship, swallowing your pride sometimes, and not always having to be right.
That's what we were already trying to do.

Somehow, it just wasn't enough.

I feel like there's a missing ingredient in the recipe of our relationship, but I just can't put my finger on it...
 

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Yes, well, it isn't easy. As I said, it took me 50 years. An INTP-ESFJ romantic relationship must be hard.

Are you familiar with the concept of inferior function "grip"? It's complicated, but in a nutshell: When people are under stress, they might rely too much on their dominant function, and regard their inferior (fourth) function with fear or contempt. Since INTP's dominant function is ESFJ's inferior function and vice versa, when facing a problem, each might disrespect and disregard the other's values and approaches to solving the problem.

So let's say we have a financial challenge. I want peace and quiet so I can do calculations and research, while the ESFJ is driving me crazy by crying on the phone to friends and complicating our lives by accepting a loan from slimy Uncle Pete. Meanwhile she thinks I'm unsupportive and uncaring, especially when I suggest selling a useless family heirloom to pay debts.

The solution is to develop your own inferior function so you yourself can use both sides, but that can take many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, well, it isn't easy. As I said, it took me 50 years. An INTP-ESFJ romantic relationship must be hard.

[...]

The solution is to develop your own inferior function so you yourself can use both sides, but that can take many years.
50 years? So I guess that means you're in you're 70s?

Anyway, what about those 50 years in between meeting each other for the first time and finally finding that balance? How did you avoid her getting so many emotional scars that her love started declining and getting replaced by disdain, fear and/or hate?

That's where my ex seems to be right now. Not only does her love seem to have disappeared completely, but she now seems to look down on me, be afraid of me and getting closer to loathing me every day.

And anything I try to bridge the gap between us only seems to widen if even more...
 

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Hi, @armchairphilosopher. I'm in my 60s. I'm talking about my sister, who I've known since she was born. I never understood why she liked me. I did make her cry (even as adults), and she sometimes said I was cold. But we're fine now.

Sorry about your ex. Maybe when you meet someone in your 20s or 30s, it's too late to learn to put up with some of the challenges.

For what it's worth, my sister would stay in a relationship through many ups and downs, but once she ended it, she was never tempted to give it another try, even though she might be crying over how much she missed the guy. After a while the two would be on friendly terms, but both moving on with their lives.

I noticed this because it's kind of the opposite of the way I operate.

Have you tried asking on the ESFJ forum?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For what it's worth, my sister would stay in a relationship through many ups and downs, but once she ended it, she was never tempted to give it another try, even though she might be crying over how much she missed the guy. After a while the two would be on friendly terms, but both moving on with their lives.
This is definitely where things seem to be heading towards in the case of my ex.

I noticed this because it's kind of the opposite of the way I operate.
Could you please elaborate on what you mean by "the opposite of the way I operate"?

Have you tried asking on the ESFJ forum?
Actually, I've mostlly been posting over there so far...
 

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Could you please elaborate on what you mean by "the opposite of the way I operate"?
I might go through a few breakups with a person before the final breakup. Then I basically never want to see him again and will avoid him if possible.

My sister would not do this. She'd hang in there for years while certain problems remained unresolved. They might argue, but they wouldn't break up. Finally she'd be DONE and nothing he said could change her mind. But they'd remain semi-friendly.
 

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I met one ESFJ in my life (that I know of for sure, she did the test).

It was a date. We had wine and talked for about 2 hours and it was horrible. I felt and knew that everything I said she considered to be horsheshit (even tho I was literally telling her the deepest and most interesting things I know). And when she talked she was so horribly shallow, like small talk, yeah? Never even tried to talk about something she thought about deeply. So the "casting pearls before swine" feeling was reciprocal.

I tried to go for the date because I thought it would be interesting, considering she was total opposite of me, but no.

Eh, still managed to get her into bed :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My sister would not do this. She'd hang in there for years while certain problems remained unresolved. They might argue, but they wouldn't break up. Finally she'd be DONE and nothing he said could change her mind. But they'd remain semi-friendly.
I got treated with a full "Door Slam", with my ex's doing a full 180 emotionally, from loving me deeply to wanting to cut me and every bad memory of me completely out of her life, to the point where she started threatening me with a law suit if I don't leave our dream house ASAP.

I never experienced anything like that and I hope I never will in the future. I haven't experienced pain like that ever since I was a teen.

It was a date. We had wine and talked for about 2 hours and it was horrible. I felt and knew that everything I said she considered to be horsheshit (even tho I was literally telling her the deepest and most interesting things I know). And when she talked she was so horribly shallow, like small talk, yeah? Never even tried to talk about something she thought about deeply. So the "casting pearls before swine" feeling was reciprocal.

I tried to go for the date because I thought it would be interesting, considering she was total opposite of me, but no.

Eh, still managed to get her into bed :D
How?!

Why?!

With my ESFJ, there was at least the illusion of a deeper connection (still trying to figure out how much was real and how much I wanted to be real).

Now I realize that much of what I initially thought was a real connection was probably mostly her being curious about a personality type she was unfamiliar with and trying to show interest in me and my life because of that curiosity, but I very much doubt it went any deeper than that.

Anyway, how on earth did you end up in bed together? Was she so hot that you just didn't care about what sounds like a total lack of connection? Or were you both so much in need of a one-night-stand that you felt like "what-the-heck"?

I find it hard to get any level of intimacy at all with a woman I can't connect with. Sure, the physical attraction may still be there, but without at least either an emotional or an intellectual connection, women kind of scare me and make me want to distance myself from them, especially if they're hot.
 

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I got treated with a full "Door Slam", with my ex's doing a full 180 emotionally, from loving me deeply to wanting to cut me and every bad memory of me completely out of her life, to the point where she started threatening me with a law suit if I don't leave our dream house ASAP.

I never experienced anything like that and I hope I never will in the future. I haven't experienced pain like that ever since I was a teen.



How?!

Why?!

With my ESFJ, there was at least the illusion of a deeper connection (still trying to figure out how much was real and how much I wanted to be real).

Now I realize that much of what I initially thought was a real connection was probably mostly her being curious about a personality type she was unfamiliar with and trying to show interest in me and my life because of that curiosity, but I very much doubt it went any deeper than that.

Anyway, how on earth did you end up in bed together? Was she so hot that you just didn't care about what sounds like a total lack of connection? Or were you both so much in need of a one-night-stand that you felt like "what-the-heck"?

I find it hard to get any level of intimacy at all with a woman I can't connect with. Sure, the physical attraction may still be there, but without at least either an emotional or an intellectual connection, women kind of scare me and make me want to distance myself from them, especially if they're hot.
The latter. I wanted a one night stand, cos I was out of a relationship that ended 2 months prior, and she too... but an interesting synchronicity happened that day - on my way to the date I decided not to take the tram but to walk through the park.. and as I am walking I see my ex (the one from the previous ended relationship), whom I haven't seen ONCE since the breakup. So that in itself was a sign. We were happy to see each other, talked for a bit.... and she wished me luck with the date.. and I was like "eh, she's (the ESFJ) a christian girl anyway, I doubt anything will happen" :D

Day after the ESFJ date I realize, "damn, the sex with the ex was amazing, why would I bother with these ONS girls that I have NO connection with?"... so I send the ex a message, and I offered her "a massage". She immediately responded like "that sounds like an offer of a friends with benefits sex, am I right?". She was. She came over 1 hour later and we literally made love for 6 hours straight :D
Oh, and she is INFJ, but a radical feminist /she even studied gender studies and called me biological essentialist during arguments/ .. so I had to break it up 3 months later, when I felt I started to fall in love with her. Unfortunately she thought that this FWB situation is a godsend for her, because she probably regretted that the first attempt of the relationship didn't work, and thought she could make me fall in love with her again.. anyway, she fell in love with me, deeply, so the breakup was really bad for her. It took me a month to recover, because I was emotionally attached to her because of the sex, but that went away after a month :D (yeah, I thought that I will be able to make this FWB situation work without any feelings, but I was dead wrong. I thought that Friends with benefits movie is complete shit (and it is, seeing it from a movie critic perspective) but the story it portrays is true. You can't have a FWB situation without falling in love with her. Maybe you fall in love with her even faster, because ALL YOU DO is fuck, watch Harry Potter maratones, drink wine and walk through the parks. There was literally nothing negative about her or me, during the 3 months. So it was easy to project my Anima on her... and she saw her Animus in me, 100%. FWB is a bad idea. Never again will I try that. Only stable, "to-be-married" girls.)

Now I am alone, doing Jungian individuation. Not gonna have any girl until I integrate my Shadow fully. Don't wanna risk having babies when I am 26, jesus christ :D That would ruin my progress in life.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
on my way to the date I decided not to take the tram but to walk through the park.. and as I am walking I see my ex (the one from the previous ended relationship), whom I haven't seen ONCE since the breakup. So that in itself was a sign. We were happy to see each other, talked for a bit.... and she wished me luck with the date.. and I was like "eh, she's (the ESFJ) a christian girl anyway, I doubt anything will happen" :D
This kind of reminds me of my own current situation.

My ESFJ ex broke up with me 2 months ago, with a "Door Slam". But, since we bought a house together and we don't really didn't have anywhere else to go, we were stuck with each other throughout the rest of the lockdown, driving each other crazy.

This drove her into the arms of my oldest friend, a female (lesbian) INTP I've known for 19 years, which is half or my life. They started developing more and more feelings for each other, and they're now an item. It took me a while before I found out and I only managed to accept the situation a couple of days ago.

At the moment, I still live in the same house with my ex. I sleep in a different bed in a different room, and my ex's new girlfriend sleeps in what used to be my bed whenever she stays over. And somehow we've all come to a point where we've accepted the situation, we accept each other's presence in the same house and we try to deal with it as casually as possible.

Getting to know a female INFJ through chat and having what's basically an instant connection with her is one of the reasons I managed to get to that point. It helped me realize that much of what I thought was a great connection with my ESFJ was maybe not so great after all. It made me realize that maybe I was in love with an ideal of this ESFJ rather than this ESFJ herself. And that's the moment I figured that maybe I should let go of the resentment I felt towards both her and her new girlfriend and accept that we need to go our own ways.

Day after the ESFJ date I realize, "damn, the sex with the ex was amazing, why would I bother with these ONS girls that I have NO connection with?"... so I send the ex a message, and I offered her "a massage". She immediately responded like "that sounds like an offer of a friends with benefits sex, am I right?". She was. She came over 1 hour later and we literally made love for 6 hours straight :D
6 hours?

Nice!

It's been many, many years since I've had that kind of marathon sex.

How old were you back then?

Oh, and she is INFJ
Another INTP who's into INFJ women, I see?

Why is it with (some) INTP men and (some) INFJ women that draw them towards each other?

but a radical feminist /she even studied gender studies and called me biological essentialist during arguments
Yikes!

yeah, I thought that I will be able to make this FWB situation work without any feelings, but I was dead wrong.
I had a one-day-stand with the lesbian INTP who is now dating my latest ex-girlfriend, something like 18 years ago, when we didn't really know each other that long yet. It felt more of a business deal than anything else, with both of us basically being lonely and in need of a physical connect. But I fell in love with her shortly afterwards, which totally ruined the deal, and we never shared a bed together since.

This same lesbian INTP also had a fling with my 4th ex, by the way, who is an INFJ female herself.

I just realized that at least 50% of the women I've been in a relationship with slept with another woman at some point in my life, and 33% of those slept with the woman who's been longest in my life and whom I've shared my own bed with once.

Note to myself : never introduce any any women in my life to this lesbian INTP ever again!

So, yeah, my love life is weird... to say the least!
 

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me realize that maybe I was in love with an ideal of this ESFJ rather than this ESFJ herself
That is what is called Anima projection. Every man has the same thing with a girl if he's not careful.
here is a wikipedia page about it, but it can be kind of overwhelming for someone not familiar with analytical psychology - Anima.




It's been many, many years since I've had that kind of marathon sex.
How old were you back then?
that's a year ago, so 25. There was obviously still a lot of passion between us, else it would not happen that way. When I say make love I mean that, it wasn't just sex. We were deeply immersed into each other, feeling everything.

Another INTP who's into INFJ women, I see?
- well I thought I am ENTP a few years ago, but this coronavirus lockdown showed me clearly that I am INTP - I've been locked inside for 3 months without any issue. I do calisthenics to keep fit, read psychology books for fun and work as a game developer and write articles on Medium to make money ever since I quit my sysadmin job :D
anyway - an ideal partner for ENTP was INFJ and I kind of stuck with it, as my ex's character was kinda what I was looking for. My best friends are Feelers and I don't think I would have a successful relationship with another Conceptualist. We would just boost our faults. So I obviously need some NF. But who believes in this MBTI shit anyway :D Cognitive functions are more important, so is Big Five.
According to JP's Big Five test I am more disagreeable than 100% people who took the test (tens of thousands) and I am more open than 80% people.. and I am less orderly than 99% of people... so being with a girl that is too agreeable or too orderly would drive me crazy - I see that in my flatmates - they are orderly and I see their orderliness almost like OCD. And being with someone agreeable who is not able to say no? No, thanks.
Anyway. MBTI or not. Some introverted feeler would be nice.

I had a one-day-stand with the lesbian INTP who is now dating my latest ex-girlfriend...
So, yeah, my love life is weird... to say the least!
this is really weird. You attract homosexual female partners into your life. Really look into that Anima thing, you may be controlled by an archetype. That's what happens to transsexual people, they identify with their inner Anima, because they fail to differentiate it from their Ego.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm glad you're seeing other possibilities and beginning to move on.
I'm trying.

It's still pretty hard, though.

I have a 60m² library that I can't just easily move to another place, and today my ex told me that she still insists that I let her buy me out and pay rent for that room as long as I use it. And even if I don't let her pay out, I'd have to pay a fee, corresponding with the budget she invested in our house more than I did.

I can't imagine doing something like that to someone I shared so much with for 10 years.

I can't imagine doing something like that to even a rather superficial friend.

I couldn't imagine she could ever do something like that to ANYONE.

That does kinda ruin my vibe...
 
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