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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone!
(I'm sorry it turned out to be such a long post. Conclusion is below.)

Yesterday my old group of friends and I saw each other again. And at least I feel this way, but when we haven't seen each other for a while, it always seems like meeting again for the first time. (I mean the comfortable kind, not the socially awkward kind.) ;)
I also met some of their partners, which shed a whole new light on those friends. (Again, the good kind.)

All this made me think about the relationships we form (friendships and romantic relationships), what kind of person we attract and who we actually need.
(I'll define "to need a person" as someone who makes you enjoy life more and supports you along the way. Not in the sense of two halves make a whole, but more like two wholes that fit each other well. If that makes any sense at all...)

When I looked at some of the couples together, it felt like a picture perfect. They just clicked, just like we did as friends so many years ago, which is just utterly beautiful to see.
And it's kind of funny how many of them can be fitted into a stereotype (which isn't all they are, of course).
In some cases, I would've never put those two people together. Imagine, 'the serious one' with 'the rebel', or 'the dreamer' with 'the more conservative one'... That said, I would never have put us together as a group of friends either, even though it works out so well.

And as I started imagining myself with a partner, as I do, I realized I have no clue about what kind of person I actually 'need'. I'm only sure about this: “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” A quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Airman's Odyssey).
But that speaks for itself, in my opinion. Yet I feel the need for specifics. (As impossible and ridiculous that is.)
I'm not asking because I want to control the situation, which should develop naturally. I just never had much experience with dating (specifically) and making new friends (as I have known these people for a long time). So I have nothing to compare it to. To be honest, my fears and past may have something to do with it too.
That aside, yes, I know we could probably work with any type of person, but apparently the absurd idea of a soulmate hasn't left my brain yet. Even though I know there is no 'one', but 'many' in fact.

So, INFPs, although I hate to generalize, we usually end up with a similar conclusion (even if we are all very different individuals). My question for you: What kind of person in your experience fitted you best in your life?

OR IN SHORT: if someone would ask me what I'm looking for in a person (in a romantic relationship or friendship) I would have no idea how to answer them. I don't know what I need, which can be easier to notice as an outsider or as an INFP yourself.

I'm looking forward to reading your replies!
(again, I'm sorry for the lenght and the possible banality of this thread)
(Also, I know I'm overthinking this... what else is new?)
 

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I really like your question. I think you articulated your post nicely and it was pleasant to read and also relatable.

I think it's easier to look back on experience and see what likely won't work than to imagine the personality of the individual I would work with. I guess I don't even want to define them as I feel learning from another, challenging myself to understand differences, etc. is so important. I don't know them yet and so how could I define them? Love is difficult to define and explain.

But from the past, they would likely be agnostic or atheist or open minded. When I look at my close friends and more successful relationships, they've pretty much all aligned with me in this area. Religion has caused problems in my relationships in the past and as much as it's possible it could be overcome, I don't see it as fitting at this stage in my life.

The second is communication. I don't need free reign to wast days upon weeks laying in bed having convos with a soul mate (as I might be tempted to if it were up to me). I mean, it might be nice, but reality requires more than that. But communication is important--being interested in each others' thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Being able to discuss things when necessary as well as enjoy connecting on an intellectual and emotional level through communication.

Both of my long term relationships have been with extroverts. And as much as I don't believe that's a condition--it does offer some mutual benefits. It gives me a reason to socialize more and get to community events more than I'd normally have incentive to. It also gives them a place to feel like they can be themselves or relax--like a safe harbor that's not so dependent on what's going on socially. I'm not really sure how important that is to me though.

I think differences can complement so long as there is a proper foundation. In fact, I think it's better like that. I really like the quote you included, and I think the 'foundation' I'm talking about is the 'looking outward together in the same direction.' To me this means having compatible values (so one is not looking outward at robbing a bank while the other's looking outward at settling down to a white picket fence house) as well as compatible goals in life. Not identical, but compatible. Something that will create a lasting foundation for negotiating differences, growth, learning, change, weathering and overcoming personal challenges as well as to the relationship.

And then I do think love is also 'gazing at each other' as in being genuinely interested in the other, enjoying the company of them, having complementary differences, being significant to each other. I think that's important too--it's the difference between joining a group and connecting with an individual.

So I don't really know either. We do change and perhaps something we needed in the past is different than now, but I like to think a soul mate would transcend beyond just fitting during certain life stages. Life is dynamic and changing, so ideally a partnership would be 'fitting' to navigate that together.
 

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In short- mutual understanding. I want someone to validate me as much as I validate them, but in an honest way.
Love to me is a complete understanding of how the other person ticks and what it takes for me to make them truly happy, and then do it, and I suppose I expect the same in return :)
 

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My standards, in short, are "show interest in my weird and random ramblings and then nurture me like a baby". But if you want a longer explanation...

I'd like for a person to be a good listener and have a big heart. Someone who is supportive and understands me and who an see why I am so volatile and caustic sometimes. A person who is willing to let out the good side of me, and who will bring their best side for me. I'd like for them to be very nurturing, with emotional support and a reliable shoulder to lean on, just as I want to do the same for them. I want them to make me feel safe, just as I want them to feel safe with me.

I'd like to be able to learn from that person, have meaningful talk but also silly talk and weird jokes. I like it when they're inventive and quirky. I appreciate weirdness and a childlike nature, and I adore intelligence. Short story: be smart, funny and kind. There, you win me.
 

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Don't think we can help you mich, as we don't k ow what is "good for you" just ny being similar due to our personality.

Further, I don't think you are supposed to know who the right person is for you. It's easier to determine who probably isn't a good match, and even that can be a haphazard guess. In love, when the time comes you'll know, IMHO.

I am glad you are not thinking of "soulmates" in the traditional manner.
 

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Hm this is an interesting question and I never really put much thought into this, but I'm about to try!

Someone who keeps the ball rolling in conversations. Not always of course, but I couldn't be with someone who constantly needs to be coaxed out of their shell because that is me :highly_amused: We would just sit there staring uncomfortably at each other, waiting for the other person to talk first.

Someone who can be playful and silly. I am rather serious. It's not that I don't like to have fun, in fact I absolutely love to play games, laugh and have strange and/or pointless conversations. It's just not how I am naturally. If I was with another serious person I feel like I would get swept away in the stresses of everyday life and forget to step back and just smile!!

Someone who can be sensitive. I can be very emotional at times, though I often hide it from people. I need someone who is able to notice when something is bothering because I don't always come right out and say it. I need some prodding. I could also provide emotional support to them because I understand what it's like to feel deep emotion. I think this could potentially form a strong bond.

Someone won't get bored of me. This is a big one. It's not that I'm boring, but I need time to myself. I also don't like nonstop conversation. I need someone who can just sit quietly with me from time to time while we enjoy one another's presence. I need to feel confident in the fact that this person won't leave me for someone else and that I am enough, because this is a big insecurity of mine.


If this were my soul mate, then someone outdoorsy, musical and attractive. I'm not going to be that picky though, it's not realistic :rolldeyes:
 

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The problem with adjectives that describe people is that they're entirely subjective. Everyone has a non-verbal idea of what handsome is. It cannot be described through "brown eyes, tall" as you could show the person who says this thousands of pictures of people with brown hair and tall stature that they wouldn't be interested at all.

It is called ineffability.

Therefore, you likely know exactly what you're looking for (you can abstractly envision it and feel it), but it would not be possible for you to truly describe it. Language is great but it's limited. If humanity solely relied on it then there would be no appreciation for visual art, music, mathematics, or body language.

If someone asks you what you're looking for (which I find to be one of the most annoying and lazy questions ever) say something like:

I think what people are looking for cannot be described with words as words are so limited. You just kind of know when you come across it. However, I do know that I value reliability and honesty in both friends and mates. :happy:
 

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Even with personality issues, the above rings true. Someone stated they wouldn't like someone introverted because they feel they would stare at each other without saying anything. While by virtue of fairness I try to "never say never" to extroverted qualities, I find myself usually attracted to introverted individuals, and find that conversation WILL flow like a beautiful, unimpeded river with the right person. We just like different things without even realizing what we are really "after."
 

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I don't even know if I want my hypothetical girlfriend to be extroverted or introverted. The issues with the first are known, but there are positives as well since she'd be more able to make me open up. With an introvert it may end up with two people staring at each other and being like "what you're gonna say now?". I've had such things with those very few girls (mainly INTP) in my group during studies.
 

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I don't know actually. I have also trouble to find soulmates (and tbh i have no soulmate or even very good friends). I never had experience with living together with a girlfriend or someone I loved. I even don't know if i could. I don't want a stressful life.

I can believe it can be very hard to find someone like you, but you're amazing and wonderful, so you are obviously not the reason. I think the fact you're so unique and special in a good way makes it very hard to find a soulmate. The country where you live in, is also a country where the INFP-personality is more uncommon.

I can make a long list in what i search in a lady, but than having someone entirely different to be my girlfriend, or i can just say, i don't know or it doesn't matter. I wouldn't like someone who is entirely different like me. In personalities i would like to have as girlfriend: enfp, esfj, infj, enfj, infp and maybe esfp but not entirely sure.

Someone who want to help making my dreams true, where i can rely on, and maybe someone who can take decision for me, where i don't want to think about, so i can free my mind for the more important decisions, instead of thinking where i should sit or what i should eat, because those decisions are insanely hard.

Someone attractive, and open to my desires. Someone open for the unconventional, and maybe someone who can open things in me that I wasn't aware of, i want to learn/experience something new.

Good thread by the way
 

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I think a lot of it is not just about the personalities, but about where you are in life and how ready you are to really open up to a person. I think I tend to like people better the better I know them, even if not all of what I learn is pretty(to some extent), the beauty is in the complexity. Think about a tv-series for example (I just watched orange is the new black which is a good example of this I think), where in the begining you often dislike some characters, but as you know them better and better, they become more and more agreable and perhaps even beautiful. When you don't understand someone, be it because they don't open up, because you don't pay attention, or because they are too different for you to understand, they easily seem shallow, flat, like stereotypes.

Of course personality matters too, but I think for a soulmate-like connection, you need both. I can't really say I have that now, I think the personalities are right and at some point perhaps we did, but now I guess I can't trust enough and use too many masks, and he doesn't pay enough attention. One thing I do sometimes wish was there, is wordless communication. I used to always imagine that in a happy relationship, in different ways (wordy communication too of course), being in sync, highly aware of each other even if subconsciously, throug bodylanguages and looks, but also just following each other's thoughts every so often. There is a little of that, but not like I imagined at all.

I'v had a picture in my head for very long that comes up when thinking about compatibility, a sort of "diagram". It is with two hills, and one field between, with bushes and stones and stuff. I and my boyfriend would stand at the hills, opposite of each other, but our field of vision, shown with circles, would very largely be mutual. A friend I had that mattered a lot to me, would stand a bit away from me on the same hill as me, but would largely have a different field of vision. Me and my boyfriend think in very different ways, but we seem to often end up with similar interests and goals etc. We have very similar frame of reference, but it is interesting to explore the other's perspective on that same rock in the field, plus it is easier living together with someone with similar tastes and goals in life. The friend I had, had similar ways of thinking about things, but largely our frame of reference was different, so it was interesting to explore his world, and as our thinking was similar enough I could understand it better when he told me about things than I otherwise would. Though in different ways, I think both these made empathy and theory of mind work better than with other people I know. But I think the processes of empathy and theory of mind is something you build up with each person, and for some it is quicker, and with some it takes a lot of time.
 

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Beautiful indeed.

My only definite requirements are: accept me and my feelings, sensitivities, quirks and even more so - find those exact things mesmerising and needed in their own life.

The rest... the rest is just bureaucracy.
 

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Having the same problem as OP, can't figure out what I want. I don't know which kind of a person would even be interested about me either, it's impossible to find that out either.

All I know is that the person should share same interests and values, but I wouldn't mind her hobbies, style or looks. If all those things were in shape, I'm kinda sure a person of such kind would steer around the things and stuff I do too. If it went down like that, I'm sure it would be something truly special. She should just have same values as me, but stay true to herself.

Problem being that I have no idea if she should be like that or something completely else. It would be awesome to date a writer kinda girl but actually any would do. (Besides astronauts being truly epic) Prepared for it all to be one huge gamble when the time comes, if it comes.
 

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someone who makes you enjoy life more and supports you along the way. Not in the sense of two halves make a whole, but more like two wholes that fit each other well.
Exactly. That's what it is.

Btw, since the title contains the word "soulmate", I will say that the definition of soulmate changes from person to person. All too often I see people on youtube rejecting the concept of soulmate based on the definition of "someone with whom you never have problems, everything is warm and rainbows and you live happily ever after". I think that these cynics who are giving this term such a ridiculous superficial definition are trying to sound smart, without actually being smart. As an anti-cynic myself, I don't understand how anyone in the world can think that a soulmate is someone with whom you don't have problems. Like... having no problems literally doesn't exist. And I don't think that most NFs who believe in soulmates believe that this would be a conflict-free relationship. So the cynics are just making assumptions based on... assumptions lol. They are clearly not understand the concepts of "soul" and "Source" to begin with.

When I looked at some of the couples together, it felt like a picture perfect. They just clicked, just like we did as friends so many years ago, which is just utterly beautiful to see.
Of course :) A partner should be someone who "gets" you, and you "get" them.
This "getting" means that you both have each other's best interest at heart, that you trust each other, and that your communication styles are a very good match, have a good easy foundation, and so you can then build something solid (with work) on that foundation.

What I have seen too often in couples is that people will assume the worst about their partner's intentions. They also hide information, and are perpetually fearful of communication. I don't understand how you can be in a perpetual state of thinking that your partner is saying something to you or doing something with the intention of hurting you. That is so ridiculous. I wouldn't think that he's hurting me on purpose! If I did, I wouldn't be in that relationship o_O
It is when you are open and unassuming about your partner's actions and words, that this "getting each other" happens. It's trust.

I realized I have no clue about what kind of person I actually 'need'.
One learns about one's needs with experience, by being exposed to relationships. And I'm not saying only romantic relationships, I'm saying all kinds; romantic, friendships, family, at the work place, etc.
You cannot refine what you truly need unless you are exposed to the elements, because only by interacting with life can you know yourself. You can't know yourself in a vaccuum.

My question for you: What kind of person in your experience fitted you best in your life?
I've dated (not relationships) all kinds of personalities, behaviors, needs and physical attributes. And after much sorting and being repulsed by things I thought I wanted, turned out I actually didn't appreciate certain traits that I thought I would like, such as extreme introverts who need tons of time for themselves.
My only true relationship taught me A LOT about my true needs. My partner was incredibly reliable and consistent, which was something I didn't know I needed until I had it. These traits impacted me very much and so I know I need that in a future partner as well. I also learned that I need someone who is extremely affectionate, and I learned this because my ex-dates were cold as ice and passive and only wanted to receive affection not give it, so when my ex-relationship was extremely affectionate it blew my mind and made me realize how thirsty I was for someone so expressive and generous with their energy and time. So I took note, and now I know that this is a requirement too.
There are plenty of other traits I didn't know I needed. And I would've never known how happy they made me had I not encountered both types of people: people without those traits and people with them. The contrast between people made me see my needs. You cannot know your real needs if you don't date around, there is just no way around it.
I also need punctuality, decision-makers, decisive people, confident, good heart, who watches my back
This person also has to need what I have to give to them. If they have no use for my gifts, then it doesn't matter if they have what I want, because there would be no space for my contribution. So they would have to need someone who is emotional, very communicative, affectionate, slow moving in terms of achieving goals, fearful, second-guessing, housewife type in the sense that I'm super nurturing and loving and I'm obsessed with nesting and home and cleaning and cooking, spiritual, and so on.
I have found that the absolute hardest part of dating the type of people who are decision-makers, confident and so on, is that ime these people regard themselves as "rationals" (typically SJs and NTs) and they insult my spirituality, they will literally have no respect for it at all. So I will not be with someone who doesn't feel peaceful with exactly who I am. I have no problem feeling peaceful with non-spiritual people, because my spiritual path is mine and personal, I don't aspire to share with anyone. But these non-spiritual "rationals" aspire to share their non-spirituality with their spouse.
So that's some of what I've learned about my needs so far :) It's super exciting to always be learning about yourself, that's what I love about dating :D I always get new self-revelations about my ideal life.
 

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I think a lot of it is not just about the personalities, but about where you are in life and how ready you are to really open up to a person. I think I tend to like people better the better I know them, even if not all of what I learn is pretty(to some extent), the beauty is in the complexity.
:star:
 

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What kind of person in your experience fitted you best in your life?
My "clicks" (soulmates, if you will) can't be boxed into any one category. The only way I recognize them is that buzz of energy I get by being around them. I say that there is not a type of person I NEED (I fully believe that we should be whole in our own being, and anyone tagging along for the ride is a bonus whom helps us improve, but we have the qualities we need to live), but all my "clicks" have helped me smooth edges here and there.

I've tried describing my ideal romantic partner, but the lists tend to paint me as my own perfect partner. From experience I know that I cannot stand someone too much like myself, so I tend to leave the action / behavior related traits open. As long as we have similar values, open communication, and a passion for our individual lives, that's enough of a foundation for me to build something upon.

It would be very cruel to, out of billions of people, have to find one soulmate. As of now, I've found mine probably around four times. It's just something that I've felt. Cannot articulate it, but I know it in an instant.
 

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What kind of person in your experience fitted you best in your life?

A person who can enjoy abstract conversations and who I can naturally have a conversation for hours. A person who isn't emotionally overwhelming, and likes to talk things out. A person I can joke around with, without worrying about hurting them or confusing them of my affection. A person who is willing to help out when I am in trouble, or need an extra hand. A person who is gentle, but firm. A person who is independent, so when I want to be alone, does not make them insecure.

It would be very cruel to, out of billions of people, have to find one soulmate. As of now, I've found mine probably around four times.
I agree. I believe magnetism can happen multiple times, due to different aspects that fit. Oh, I certainly hope so, if not I cannot be hopeful.
 

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My question for you: What kind of person in your experience fitted you best in your life?

OR IN SHORT: if someone would ask me what I'm looking for in a person (in a romantic relationship or friendship) I would have no idea how to answer them.
First, hi, I'm an over-thinker too! :) But I also purposefully ignore things sometimes as a coping mechanism so I'll share my story of how obliviousness worked out for me, ha.

To be honest, I had no idea what I was really looking for in a partner either. All that I would have been able to tell you as an adolescent who'd finally become aware of the world of romance would just be that my ideal partner would make me feel cared for and loved, and that they would be articulate and intellectual. I also knew that I liked tall, elegant people. Funny thing... I doodled a lot... but almost always women. One of the few men I remember drawing was in a picture where I had sort of made a loose likeness of myself as some sort of elven princess... and I drew a tall, slender man with soft brown skin, dark wavy brown hair, emerald eyes, and delicate features as my prince... I didn't think too much about his character, really, though. Which brings me to the point that I didn't really have much interest in general...

While many of my friends seemed to be very clear on their strong emerging feelings towards boys, I had sort of a confusing experience while growing up regarding relationships. I felt romantically attracted to a few females before I understood that could even happen (as in, why did I feel so hot and fluttery around certain people???). I also felt some predictable romantic feelings for a few males, but an unpredictable sense of distaste for romantic/sexual physicality. The idea of kissing someone, even someone very attractive-looking, usually struck me as "ew"... one exception being a friend I was very close to. It was all very confusing, so I just generally avoided romantic relationships while having crushes from afar. Still, over time, noticing who I had romantic feelings for as well as what sorts of dynamics arose and played out in my close friendships, I gained some idea of what worked for me in terms of a good partner. Looking back on the history of who I felt drawn to and connected with, what I could conclude was this:

- I get along well with people who are jovial and enjoyed relaxing and play...
- ...but who also are very serious and responsible about their work, studies, hobbies, or duties.
- I get along well with people who are a bit "nerdy" in some way - intellectually into the ins and outs of something, whether that's photographing old buildings or trick snowboarding.
- I get along well with people who are accepting, welcoming, and straightforward.
- I get along well with FJs and SFs mostly - people who are warm, gregarious, practical.
- Despite my relationship avoidance, I still imagined myself someday in the far future in a monogamous relationship with a marriage and eventually children, so naturally my interest in a partner would be limited to someone who wanted that, too.

WickerDeer said:
I think it's easier to look back on experience and see what likely won't work than to imagine the personality of the individual I would work with.
Yes, I agree. For me the two most important things I learned were, first, I can be attracted to someone with emotional lability but any serious interest on my part can suddenly snap off, permanently, if they behave recklessly as a result. My second and hardest lesson learned was that I can get easily absorbed in someone else's vision and agenda and that I need a partner who pushes me back into myself. @Braverose mentioned how people's stereotypical qualities seem to emerge when they are in pairs... I think in part not just because of the heightened contrast but also because a well-matched partner can stabilize and energize us to be more wholly ourselves.

I guess if there's one thing I take away from all of this it's that if I give myself time and trust, I do know what I like and what I need, even though I can't do much in terms of predicting the future. As it turned out, my ISFJ - now my husband - and I stumbled upon each other at work. I was actually in a period of transitioning from college bliss to learning the ropes of the real world and was just trying to get my head above the water... I had no interest in entering into a relationship at that time. But, anyway, he was persistent, and because I'd seen him in action at work, I respected and trusted him. By the time he seriously asked me out, I had grown to know him well enough to consider giving it a chance despite my usual disinterest. He had all the above qualities and then some... and it worked out. I do feel like he is my soulmate, though I believe soulmates are created as much as found. Something in him and something in me speak to each other on an incredibly deep level and it is healing for us both... just being near him makes me feel valuable and special and loved.
 

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“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
YAAAAAS. There we go, this right here. RIITE HURR.

I usually read all the thread answers, but then sometimes I get super impatient and just need to answer. Then go back and read thread answers and feel the need to go back and edit my answer. :frustrating: :frustrating: :frustrating: :frustrating:

I need someone that's accepting. Cuz I'm an idiot. A silly, wacky, random idiot. Affectionate. Can discuss/debate as well as sit and listen, depending on context. Wants to communicate things out. I like intense contact, sometimes I'll overshare just because.
 
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