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Hi. I've been reading a lot of INFJ advice for weeks and am grateful for the insight!


A relationship quandary follows (I seriously debated posting this):
I've been dating an INFJ male for several weeks (I'm an INTJ female; we're both late 20s+).

I've read INFJs are slow with respect to relationships, and I can see there's been definite progress



So, the Qs:
1) Being Js, I figure INFJs also have goal-oriented M.O.s. So, how can you distinguish INFJ slow from something that's going nowhere?

I don't want to rush him, but I also can't steer this entire thing. As of now, I've decided to pull back and just let it all go. We have an upcoming thing scheduled though, so I'm guessing I'll hear from him about that.


2) If this thing gets back on track, how can I tell Mr. INFJ male I'm not happy with the state of things without offending him or coming off as random or pushy?


Sorry for the length and thanks for any advice!
 

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I agree that INFJs are sometimes slow movers, especially if they think it could get serious.
But there is "slow moving" and then there is something more akin to anxiety.
What you describing goes beyond mere INFJ carefulness and goes into the realm of some kind of anxiety that is more deep rooted than your average "I need to be able to feel safe before I expose my vulnerabilities"

How old is he and what kind of experience does he have with romantic relationships?
 

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interesting. Ive been in a similar situation but the other way around. My ex is an INTJ.
well to the point, i think the most important thing is not the way you say it, ITS THAT YOU SAY IT.
For my own personal experience, lack of communication was the biggest downfall of my relationship with my ex, her not saying anything and i keeping stuff that i should have said.
I dont know yout BF, but as an INFJ i suppose that hes really into you and he does feel strong for you.
Say what you think, if you can do it in a none aggresive way its better but the important thing is to say it.
hope it helps.
 

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How old is he and what kind of experience does he have with romantic relationships?
mid/late 20's. And I don't honestly know his experience. I haven't asked because it's not information I offer myself (not much of a past dweller). I just know he's had girlfriends in college or at least one. It's been mentioned in passing a couple of times. I don't know about since. But he's cute. And if he had the courage to ask me out, I'm sure he's asked other girls out. And they've asked him.

He did tell me some things about his childhood that made it seem to me he might need some extra care. Which I'm okay with. If I know what he needs.


I feel at times like he's going about this as if he's making a new buddy he happens to want to have sex with. The first few (physically awkward weeks), I wasn't sure if this would lead to a romantic connection or a brother-sister one for me. (And by things he's said, I get the sense he's had girls he liked/dated turn friend on him.) He told me he can be shy. He drops hints here and there that let me know it's hard from him to express himself. I don't mind shy or awkward because he's sweet. I'm just used to direct. Swift and direct. In the past, I don't think I would have had the patience for him.


I dont know yout BF, but as an INFJ i suppose that hes really into you and he does feel strong for you.
Say what you think, if you can do it in a none aggresive way its better but the important thing is to say it.
hope it helps.
Oh, not my boyfriend. We haven't discussed it, so he's not my boyfriend.

I always think to tell him in my disarmingly funny way* the little things I've been thinking, but I'm not around him enough to do it or it doesn't fit naturally into the conversation (or I forget!).

*I portray some kind of mild E-type out in the world, some kind of ENFx.



I don't want to give up on him, but I also don't want to tread water. I will talk to him at some point when I get to see him alone. It's all I can do. May not be for weeks. And I'm never aggressive with him. It's impossible to be. He's too adorable.
 

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As far as I know we mostly "feel" it . But u say u don't let him see it when u're with him. I think that's a mistake . U want him to be vulnerable but u are not. U don't need to try that hard, u can just let go, and if u are sad or unsure just let him know. The only thing we might take wrong is if u try to blame us for smth that we don't believe we did. We are veeeeeeery understanding. Just simply talk to the guy. U might be surprised how easy that is :) .
 

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smallpeas:3043719 said:
Besides the low communication, I feel almost completely compartmentalized in his life. He's not hiding anything, but he also doesn't think to tell me what's going on unless it happens to come up while talking about something else (e.g. going or BEING out of town). So, clearly, we're not at a stage where he's actually sharing or thinking to share his life with me. I understand that.
I'm also an INTJ dating an INFJ guy and I can really relate to this. We've been together for a year now and he's still a lot more restrained than I am, even after all this time. And he does love me. I honestly don't think that it occurs to him to tell me some of these things, so I've just kind of learned to gently prompt him when I want something from him.

Here's the thing: I'm frustrated, and the inconsistency makes me feel confused. Worse: I can see this being a self-perpetuating cycle. He may or may not feel similarly towards me. (I don't know!) I'm fairly certain though he doesn't know that I feel frustrated and confused because I don't when I'm with him.
I can relate to this a lot as well. I get very neurotic about our relationship when I'm not around him, feel more secure/reassured when we're together, too.

So, the Qs:
1) Being Js, I figure INFJs also have goal-oriented M.O.s. So, how can you distinguish INFJ slow from something that's going nowhere?
I would just say to go by your gut. In my experience, INFJs are very honest people with a lot of personal integrity. Take his word at face value. If he didn't mean it, he wouldn't say it. Now, he might still say something to avoid hurting you, but he probably would not lie to you.

I don't want to rush him, but I also can't steer this entire thing. As of now, I've decided to pull back and just let it all go. We have an upcoming thing scheduled though, so I'm guessing I'll hear from him about that.


2) If this thing gets back on track, how can I tell Mr. INFJ male I'm not happy with the state of things without offending him or coming off as random or pushy?
I would recommend just being honest with him, if gentle. He's an INFJ, so to some extent, he probably senses that you are dissatisfied and is taking it very personally. In fact, that may be the very reason why he is having such a hard time opening up. He will probably appreciate your honesty and what's more, he will probably appreciate you taking the initiative. If he's anything like my boyfriend and does care about you, he will probably take your complaint very seriously and you will likely see a pretty significant change in his behaviour because he will want to fix things, if he can.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm also an INTJ dating an INFJ guy and I can really relate to this. We've been together for a year now and he's still a lot more restrained than I am, even after all this time. And he does love me. I honestly don't think that it occurs to him to tell me some of these things, so I've just kind of learned to gently prompt him when I want something from him.
He told me early on he can be secretive. I interpreted that as "private," which is what I am. So, I understand. I don't tell people things a lot of the time. But when it's someone I'm dating, experience has taught me I don't like finding out stuff after the fact, so I've learned to inform.

I can relate to this a lot as well. I get very neurotic about our relationship when I'm not around him, feel more secure/reassured when we're together, too.
Yes, I just told a friend I completely cycled through neurosis back to normal today. Writing it all out helped.


He's an INFJ, so to some extent, he probably senses that you are dissatisfied and is taking it very personally. In fact, that may be the very reason why he is having such a hard time opening up.
It's a matter of being around him enough to get to talk. I don't feel we spend enough time together. And I don't want to forge a relationship with him through impersonal communication. I need him to relate to me in person as a living, breathing human being.

Honestly, I know at least half of this is me. He's having to learn how to read me. He told me early on he's very empathetic but doesn't actually have a lot of feelings. This last part confused me till a few days ago. I sometimes feel like he's interpreting emotions from me that are expected but not present. Or maybe they're present for a millisecond 16 layers deep and he senses it. If so, happily, I "never" feel negative emotions about him in his presence.

I'm more genuinely open, expressive, and verbal with him than with most people, but it's possible that's still not a level of expressive an "empty vessel" Feeler is used to. At least twice it's seemed he thought I was going to dump him. And I have no idea why. I think he misread something. I think some of it is his not realizing I'm also an introvert. And some of it not realizing I'm mostly mirroring his (restrained) energy.


I *will* talk to him. That's the only way out of this cycle..
 

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I'm more genuinely open, expressive, and verbal with him than with most people, but it's possible that's still not a level of expressive an "empty vessel" Feeler is used to. At least twice it's seemed he thought I was going to dump him. And I have no idea why. I think he misread something. I think some of it is his not realizing I'm also an introvert. And some of it not realizing I'm mostly mirroring his (restrained) energy.

I *will* talk to him. That's the only way out of this cycle..
Interestingly enough, I've been characteristically suspicious of girls I've dated, pretty much all of them. Most of their personalities didn't merit my suspicion, or really give me a good reason to question things. I think it is somewhat natural as an INFJ; I doubt that he misread something, so much as considered every possibility as to try to answer a question in his head.

You should also let him know, when you talk to him, what you wrote about mirroring his restrained energy. It's very difficult for somebody to become completely comfortable with somebody that they know is not (which I'm sure you understand now). I'd ask him if there was anything specifically that might be preventing him from being entirely comfortable. If I were in his shoes, I'd appreciate a calm, genuine concern as to my discomfort. He'll likely appreciate the same, as long as he knows that it's a concern, and not an accusation.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I doubt that he misread something, so much as considered every possibility as to try to answer a question in his head.
One day I see him and we walk around all handholdy. Next time I see him (a week later), he calls as he's picking me up and says his name (??he'd just texted me, why would I not know who it was??), I go outside, and he gives me a bro hug with back pats. I thought he was going to tell me it was over. That was an awkward dinner. I pulled it back around though.

It felt like a lot of backsliding every time I would see him those middle dates. Like we were having to start all over again with him getting comfortable with me. Oh, those were confusing times. Given that he was the flinchy one, I was letting things go at his comfort level. Maybe he was used to more demonstrative/aggressive behavior.? But I was being mindful of him.

You should also let him know, when you talk to him, what you wrote about mirroring his restrained energy. It's very difficult for somebody to become completely comfortable with somebody that they know is not (which I'm sure you understand now). I'd ask him if there was anything specifically that might be preventing him from being entirely comfortable.
I've been meaning to tell him and gently ask him for weeks. It's a time thing again.

He seems more and more in his own head when we're together of late. Staring straight at me but not necessarily saying anything. I was surprised he got as physically comfortable with me as he did last time I saw him because it's generally felt a bit hesitant. I gather more and more it's his way of expressing himself.
 

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One day I see him and we walk around all handholdy. Next time I see him (a week later), he calls as he's picking me up and says his name (??he'd just texted me, why would I not know who it was??), I go outside, and he gives me a bro hug with back pats. I thought he was going to tell me it was over. That was an awkward dinner. I pulled it back around though.

It felt like a lot of backsliding every time I would see him those middle dates. Like we were having to start all over again with him getting comfortable with me. Oh, those were confusing times. Given that he was the flinchy one, I was letting things go at his comfort level. Maybe he was used to more demonstrative/aggressive behavior.? But I was being mindful of him.


I've been meaning to tell him and gently ask him for weeks. It's a time thing again.

He seems more and more in his own head when we're together of late. Staring straight at me but not necessarily saying anything. I was surprised he got as physically comfortable with me as he did last time I saw him because it's generally felt a bit hesitant. I gather more and more it's his way of expressing himself.
I think it's very possible that, like you said, he may be used to more 'demonstrative' behavior. Most of the girls I've ever gotten close to have been extroverts, who broke any awkwardness. My current girlfriend (an introvert) and I had a very awkward relationship early on, before I found her to be a true confidant, and trust her entirely.

It's definitely possible, also, that what you wrote is his way of expressing himself. But, do consider that the 'awkward' stage you guys are currently experiencing, is just pulling out some contemplation and introversion for him. Again, early on in my relationship with my current girlfriend, things did get uncomfortable in the same way. I often just pondered, and that eased with time, as I became more comfortable expressing my thoughts vocally.
 

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Do you do a lot of texting back and forth? If so, is his demeanor any different? Maybe you could get him to write down his thoughts. The descriptions mention it's a lot easier for INFJs to communicate that way, and I know for me that's true. It takes a while for me to get to know someone well enough for me to be able to speak as volubly as I write. It might serve as an ice breaker to the next step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Do you do a lot of texting back and forth? If so, is his demeanor any different? Maybe you could get him to write down his thoughts.
No. If I text, he texts back. But I'm resistant to texting a lot because we're both introverts and I'd prefer in-person contact. I don't want to get stuck in text-relating mode. Plus, I think he's better in person than in writing. Demeanor-wise, he's basically the same. He might be looser in person, in my perception. Because I can see his light, bouncy mannerisms.
 
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Move in with the guy or vs., basically the guy needs more involvement, attention from you, put his mind at ease, don't let go, hold on, it will be worth the investment of exposing yourself, guiding whenever needed. Keep it real as real can be. Life is short, get moving.
 

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I found just by telling my INFJ friend what my concerns/worries were, he was super responsive, invited my dad and nine-year old over for dinner, told me we would invite my best friend and her husband over for dinner when she comes home from China, talking about our weekend plans, and yes, we could see each other during the week. I think you just have to tell him what you're thinking/feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Something clicked inside me in the last days, and I feel myself completely shutting down on this whole thing. I think a piece of my heart finally broke in this. And now it's not the same. I don't know that I can see him in the next days (2+ weeks since I last saw him) without lashing out or falling apart. So, I feel like it's better not to see him. I'd say till some time when I no longer think I'll lash out/cry, but at that point, the emotion will have died down, and I won't want to see him again at all.

It's all too bad.

My present options are go to this weeks-ago planned thing in the upcoming days and be a shell of myself (vs getting angry or melting down) OR not go and spare all of us the discomfort. There is no possibility of speaking to him alone before showing up to event. He told me as much, which is basically what incited all of this in me. Yet after already telling him I didn't think I should go, he became disappointed. This guy who's barely communicated with me in weeks. Why? It seems he'd wanted me to meet someone important in his life (only briefly in town). Of course, he never posited it this way, until his "do-as-you-please" response to my "I'm not sure I still want to go" instigated a revised "I definitely think it best I refrain."

I can't see a positive outcome in going. I won't be able to talk to him alone. Leading to more of the same. . . . . .

So, I'm going to tell him I'm not going, that I'm sorry for missing his friend and letting him down but if it had been that important, he would have said something in the last 2 weeks. And that having to tell him any of this via impersonal communication is terribly saddening.
 

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I hope you'll reconsider this, at least until you talk to him. I think you're reacting with fear and that your mind is so full of options that it's exhausting and it's easier to leave than address it. Why not tell him how you're feeling? I felt terrible last night. At 7 last night, I felt sick to my stomach, filled with sadness, and did burst into tears with my friend. And the outcome? Good stuff that I didn't see coming. All I could see was the potentially bad frightening stuff. What really happened? Good stuff. Then tonight, even better. Why don't you tell him that you'd like to talk with him beforehand? Sometimes these guys are worried about being rejected. You can see it as he didn't plan two weeks ahead or you could see it as this is so important to him, and he didn't know how to go about it, and at the end of the day he really wanted you to meet this person. I'm sorry if I'm being too direct. Why can't you see him? How far away from each other do you live?

Something clicked inside me in the last days, and I feel myself completely shutting down on this whole thing. I think a piece of my heart finally broke in this. And now it's not the same. I don't know that I can see him in the next days (2+ weeks since I last saw him) without lashing out or falling apart. So, I feel like it's better not to see him. I'd say till some time when I no longer think I'll lash out/cry, but at that point, the emotion will have died down, and I won't want to see him again at all.

It's all too bad.

My present options are go to this weeks-ago planned thing in the upcoming days and be a shell of myself (vs getting angry or melting down) OR not go and spare all of us the discomfort. There is no possibility of speaking to him alone before showing up to event. He told me as much, which is basically what incited all of this in me. Yet after already telling him I didn't think I should go, he became disappointed. This guy who's barely communicated with me in weeks. Why? It seems he'd wanted me to meet someone important in his life (only briefly in town). Of course, he never posited it this way, until his "do-as-you-please" response to my "I'm not sure I still want to go" instigated a revised "I definitely think it best I refrain."

I can't see a positive outcome in going. I won't be able to talk to him alone. Leading to more of the same. . . . . .

So, I'm going to tell him I'm not going, that I'm sorry for missing his friend and letting him down but if it had been that important, he would have said something in the last 2 weeks. And that having to tell him any of this via impersonal communication is terribly saddening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Why don't you tell him that you'd like to talk with him beforehand? [...] Why can't you see him? How far away from each other do you live?
He's been out of town. I'm not entirely sure how long because he didn't tell me he was out of town till I randomly texted him and he told me he was out of town. Two separate times in two separate places. I don't know if he was back in the interim. Why? Because he never contacted me. (I'm guessing he was though.)

We set the date 2 weeks ago. I guess that was enough for him.

I asked if I could see him before the day of the thing. Basically, he's busy. Going out of town again from just returning and coming back only the day of the event. With said person in tow.

Sometimes these guys are worried about being rejected.
I'm worried about wasting my time and emotion. At some point, the other party has to do some sort of reciprocating or it's going to go to pot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Something clicked inside me in the last days, and I feel myself completely shutting down on this whole thing. I think a piece of my heart finally broke in this. [...]

So, I'm going to tell him I'm not going, that I'm sorry for missing his friend and letting him down but if it had been that important, he would have said something in the last 2 weeks. And that having to tell him any of this via impersonal communication is terribly saddening.
Quite honestly, the only reservation I have in doing this is possibly spoiling his ever happy mood.
 

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If that's your only reservation, I'd say dump it. Truly--all you want to do is tell him the truth. If he's momentarily unhappy, but you are truthful, what's the worst that can come of that? I think what you should think about is exactly what do you want to convey to him? To me it sounds like "I like you a lot and would like to spend more time with you. I don't understand what you're thinking or feeling, but I'm concerned about getting attached, or getting closer to someone who isn't really wanting the same thing with me." Is that accurate?

If you're only hesitation is not wanting to spoil his mood, you're going to spoil it any way by not going, so what's the point? Tell him how you feel. Yes, it would be nicer in person, but the worst of all answers is just not to tell him and go away. That would be such a waste.



Quite honestly, the only reservation I have in doing this is possibly spoiling his ever happy mood.
 

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Quite honestly, the only reservation I have in doing this is possibly spoiling his ever happy mood.
He's not ever happy. INFJs are not ever happy, if it seems that way then he is definitely trying to please you. For me when I love someone deeply, I will force myself to be happy in front of them despite the circumstances emotional, mental, physical that I may have. This reminds me of the first girl I ever "dated", we would have a few dates here and there but I would leave large blocks of a few weeks. The girl rarely initiated and it somewhat fell apart from there.

As for your current problem, just state it outright to the INFJ. If he is still returning your texts that means he has yet to wall you yet (this is a good thing). Along with the gal above me, I'd also say you should dump your honest opinion on whatever is going wrong on him. He will most likely respect your honest opinion and do something to change. If he objects for whatever reason, ask him his reasoning and be respectful of whatever he says, be sure to ask about his ulterior motives and what his "greater good thought process" is doing. Everything I say/communicate is usually what I want to say/do. On occasion there is a mishap, but to some extent, even blunders and accidents are acted out for a greater goal. Whether it is to teach a friend a lesson or to give an opportunity to someone else. We INFJs have a really interesting logic system where we may come to a solution without our logic being quite visible. My INTJ friend has a lot of problems with this. Our logic is not readily visible and our actions don't always follow the decision making of opportunity cost in the eyes of the logical.

wow... went a little on a tangent.
tldr: talk things out with the INFJ. Make sure you are fully engaged without any questionable emotions. INFJs can feel that.

edit. btw thanks for sharing, I now see why I got dumped xD.
 
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