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Discussion Starter #1
Dear all,

I met an ISFJ at a dating event and initially it seemed like everything was going great -- he started texting me right after, and asked me out almost immediately. We went out twice but the second time he was a) 20 minutes late because he overslept and b) avoided eye contact, both of which are very bad signs when it comes to dating, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and continue observing.

Well, now we have settled into a kind of pattern. We text every day, almost constantly, about 4 hours on average til I say I'm going to bed. If the conversation goes quiet, he will ask me what I'm doing or send me a joke, something to prompt a response. I have tried to "backlead" him by dropping hints on where I would like to go, and I have even asked him out on one occasion, but he rejected me (he just didn't feel like going out that day)! Meanwhile the texts keep coming yet he just won't ask me out.

It's getting harder for me /not/ to put hope into this, so I am thinking of withdrawing quietly. However, a) it is possible that he sees me as a friend and I do not want to hurt him by going cold all of a sudden, and b) I would like to gain some insight as to what is going on.

What can I do?
 

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ISFJ's can become habit-bound people.

My ISFJ friend would love to date women... so long as it doesn't interfere with his gaming hours or interrupt a daily routine in his life. After telling him that yes, you probably would have to give up on Warcraft if you seriously wanted to date someone, he became less enthused on the idea of dating.

If he's texting you that much, he likes you. The problem is that ISFJ's aren't leaders. You did the right thing by asking him out and he rejected you likely for the reasons I already described. It didn't fit with his plans for the day.

As for what to do about the situation... I suggest doing what I had to do not long ago.

A girl was flirting with me over facebook, which is fine. I asked her to go on a date with me, she agreed but then kept stalling and moving it back. She kept flirting with me though. Eventually, I confronted her on this and basically put my foot down. We're either seeing each other face-to-face or there's nothing going on here. So she ignored me and stopped talking to me, which is fine because it ceased to drag-on.

Figure out a way of confronting him and preventing this from dragging on. He either commits to dating, and shows it to you with action or you two aren't dating.

OR

You could try subtly hinting that another guy is trying to date you. It'll likely just depress him and make him go reclusive, but it might also spur him into action.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Razare for the quick response! I don't think I will continue to see him as more than a friend, but your reply opens up a few ISFJ-specific questions:

1) ISFJs aren't leaders -- I understand that from what I've read about them. However does that mean they aren't used to taking the initiative in a romantic relationship (although I would think they would, if they liked the other person enough? Plus aren't they supposedly traditional?)

2) How do ISFJs react when friends or partners pull away from them (in this instance, text less)? Are they more likely to withdraw, or are they likely to do more to engage the person, all the while hoping that nothing is wrong? (I'm assuming confrontation isn't an option -- both of us are conflict-avoidant)

3) Is a text/online relationship as "solid" as a face-to-face relationship?
 

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Sorry, just a quick reply from me on this.

3) No, I don't think a purely textual/online relationship is as solid as a face-to-face one. I don't mind texting back and forth with someone, (especially if it's with a close friend I haven't seen in a week or so), but, at least in my mind, nothing quite beats physically sitting down with someone and talking/laughing together. In my mind, there's something inherently impersonal about talking to someone solely through text, but that might be because I like being able to read someone's expressions when I'm talking to them.

It feels like there's more of a connection when you can look someone in the eye.
 

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Plus aren't they supposedly traditional?

Traditional means to what they've known and value; their personal, close 'culture', not necessarily some outdated, distant sexual stereotypes.

2) How do ISFJs react when friends or partners pull away from them (in this instance, text less)? Are they more likely to withdraw, or are they likely to do more to engage the person, all the while hoping that nothing is wrong? (I'm assuming confrontation isn't an option -- both of us are conflict-avoidant)

Atleast for me, definately withdraw - no loudly, just sorta curl away from the relationship sadly, assuming the person doesn't care for me anymore. Maybe worry, depending on the sort of person they are and my typical relationship with them, if something is up. I'm unlikely to initiate any kind of confrontation - even just confronting the situation.


3) Is a text/online relationship as "solid" as a face-to-face relationship?

No, though it can depend on the friendship - I'm a non-dater.
 

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Evidently I lied. XD

2) If someone were to pull away from me, more often then not, especially if it's a good friend, I'll think I'm the one to blame. I'll begin worrying that I've annoyed them and will immediately send them an "I'm sorry, I'm being annoying. I'll stop texting you now" apology. If I get some sort of indication that I was right, that I was bothering them, then I'll stop texting them all-together. If I get a text back that says something along the lines of, "don't worry about it! You're not bothering me!" then I'll keep texting them back. Albeit with less frequency, regardless, in case I do become annoying.

I might as well add that I don't text very often. I'll usually only do so with close friends, or my brothers, or the odd co-volunteer if they need a camera op or whathaveyou. So, although obviously not all ISFJs are the same, at least in my case, if I text you back more than once, it's usually a sign that I do have some sort of (platonic or otherwise) feelings for you.

I also do agree with Razare's assessment that we're habit-bound people. For the most part, anyways. I tend to like to plan my days, and if something completely unexpected comes up when I already made plans (ie. having to drive in last minute to help someone with editing their story when I was going to drop by the bank or go out on a drive), I'll usually decline. Unless it's urgent, or someone needs me there, or I'm bored out of my mind.
 

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Sorry, evidently I've opened the commenting flood gates.

Re-reading your initial post, I kind of want to say that his inability to make eye contact may have something to do with him oversleeping. I know I'd feel guilty as hell if I overslept; I'd probably initially avoid eye contact as well, simply because I'd be afraid you'd be pissed at me.
 

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he might need to give it time to grow some trust between you two. But honestly if i liked a guy and was single and we had already been on a date, i would want to go on another. Especially if i felt they were hinting at it. I prefer people that are direct with me... so maybe just come right out and say what you are thinking, cowering away slowly will just hurt his feelings.
 

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1) ISFJs aren't leaders -- I understand that from what I've read about them. However does that mean they aren't used to taking the initiative in a romantic relationship (although I would think they would, if they liked the other person enough? Plus aren't they supposedly traditional?)
No, ISFJ males wont take the initiative from what I've seen. They're traditional in values, as described by other ISFJ's here.

I'm just curious what kind of guy you're looking for?

If you want a take-charge guy, that's going to move the relationship at a brisk pace forward, ISFJ's aren't for you. They take years to get to know well. You slowly build trust and closeness with them.

It may sound like a lot of work, and why bother? Well, to that I would say that they lack a lot of the faults other personalities have. However, you're an INFP and I'm uncertain that match-up is ideal. An ISFJ later in life is likely to be too stubborn for you to deal with.

INFP's tend to be change-oriented types, which is the opposite of an ISFJ. They take years to budge. They'll pleasantly listen, and simply disagree because they know what they've come to know over their life.

2) Yes, they'll withdraw and assume you don't like them anymore. He wouldn't behave like a lot of guys and try harder.

3) No.
 

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Just some ideas on what to look for in personalities.

INFP's often deeply connect with INFJ's and ENFJ's.

The INFP forum likely has some threads on this topic. Though, it's hard to choose when you don't even know what most people you meet are.
 

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Dear all,

I met an ISFJ at a dating event and initially it seemed like everything was going great -- he started texting me right after, and asked me out almost immediately. We went out twice but the second time he was a) 20 minutes late because he overslept and b) avoided eye contact, both of which are very bad signs when it comes to dating, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and continue observing.

Well, now we have settled into a kind of pattern. We text every day, almost constantly, about 4 hours on average til I say I'm going to bed. If the conversation goes quiet, he will ask me what I'm doing or send me a joke, something to prompt a response. I have tried to "backlead" him by dropping hints on where I would like to go, and I have even asked him out on one occasion, but he rejected me (he just didn't feel like going out that day)! Meanwhile the texts keep coming yet he just won't ask me out.

It's getting harder for me /not/ to put hope into this, so I am thinking of withdrawing quietly. However, a) it is possible that he sees me as a friend and I do not want to hurt him by going cold all of a sudden, and b) I would like to gain some insight as to what is going on.

What can I do?
The oversleeping 20mins and avoiding eye contact during the date could be connected. Most likely he was ashamed of being late(as ISFJ's are punctual people) and realized how it could be perceived, but he does not know how to express pass the perception in a way that would seem feasible to you. Thus, he becomes discouraged and awkward, as he is overwhelmed by shifting perceptions and "what ifs".

If he is constantly seeking stimulus from you, then he is most likely interested. However, he probably suffers from self esteem issues and worries about giving you the best time possible. He probably overwhelms himself with possibilities and ends up not being able to do anything. He might not be incredibly emotionally healthy and may need time and positive reinforcement. He might fear you leaving like others in his past have, and is unfortunately acting out of his fear, which is causing doubt in your mind, which will lead you to do exactly what he feared. A self fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

Its best to be straightforward(though not harsh) with ISFJs. We value honesty. Talk with him if you have issues and actually listen and consider what he says. Get things out in the air, but be considerate.
 

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1) ISFJs aren't leaders -- I understand that from what I've read about them. However does that mean they aren't used to taking the initiative in a romantic relationship (although I would think they would, if they liked the other person enough? Plus aren't they supposedly traditional?)
I was never in a serious romantic relationship, but I do know that I take a traditional view of love. "Traditional" means that I would more likely be taking it slow.

This is different from friends though. I'm very close to a group of friends that I only met last year. It depends on the connection we have.

2) How do ISFJs react when friends or partners pull away from them (in this instance, text less)? Are they more likely to withdraw, or are they likely to do more to engage the person, all the while hoping that nothing is wrong? (I'm assuming confrontation isn't an option -- both of us are conflict-avoidant)
Withdraw, I guess. I used to talk all the time to this friend of mine. But now, we just don't talk at all, because we lead different lives and things like that.

3) Is a text/online relationship as "solid" as a face-to-face relationship?
Not for a romantic relationship.
 

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i've had a similar problem to this but i don't know if it's related to being an isfj, a 9w1, or a combination of both. basically, i'm pretty well endowed when it comes to expressing myself through text. now, with people i'll never see face to face it's not a bad thing but when it does come to that i feel like i did not truthfully represent my personality.. while knowing i really did.. it's just that my quirky, fun loving little perceptions like to hide when i'm around unfamiliar people. it's as if something from the subconscious decides to pull a 180 and throw up a friendly facade of nice guy. Not that it's disingenuous but it's like a part of me is gone, letting a polite, but toughened exterior test the waters. i swear i don't mean to do it, but it happens. after awhile, i'll open up. maybe not on the first meeting, or second, or third, but i will, once i kind of, sort of know you, maybe.
 

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2) How do ISFJs react when friends or partners pull away from them (in this instance, text less)? Are they more likely to withdraw, or are they likely to do more to engage the person, all the while hoping that nothing is wrong? (I'm assuming confrontation isn't an option -- both of us are conflict-avoidant)

This is the only one I really have a good answer for. Whenever I feel that a good friend is pulling away, I feel a little bit betrayed but defeated at the same time. I do assume it's my fault... in fact, it's hard to imagine how it would ever not be my fault if someone started talking to me less. I'd start talking to them less as a result, and waiting for the friend to talk to me first, because otherwise I would feel like I was digging into a wound. If they didn't acknowledge that I was contacting them less or didn't make any effort themselves to keep us in contact, I'd try to start distancing myself from them.

I know this is a bit over-detailed and I might seem crazy, but that's my honest reaction.
 
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