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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there have been a few threads on this pairing but I'm here for advice on my particular situation.

Warning: It's not short and sweet, but I'll give you a concise description at the end of my post. If you read the whole thing, the situation is probably easier to understand.

My ISTP and I (INFJ) have been fighting for a few weeks now, mostly on his seemingly inability to be considerate of my wants and his reluctance to schedule "us" time. I perceived his unwillingness to do some activities I like as being selfish, especially since I've always participated in the activities he enjoys, and I couldn't understand why he couldn't do the same for me (nor did he understand). We also live an hour apart from each other; our schedules don't leave a lot of wiggle room (he is in the military and works full time, I am a part-time employee and full-time college student). Because of the time issue and physical distance between us, I suggested that we schedule Sundays together. This arrangement was fine with him until he told me that if he got the urge to go surfing, then he would go surfing, even though it was "our" time together. Well this offended me, as I think it's rude and inconsiderate to leave your house guest when you have guests! It also made me feel as if my time isn't important to him, and yes I did tell him so... I just happened to have also been quite moody and whiny about it (same issues over and over again = exasperated me!), and believe me, I regret it now.

Anyway, it wasn't until some days ago that we both realized that the issues we had been facing were personality issues. I now understand that he's not being a jerk (as it appears to most people), he's just fiercely independent and is resistance to anything that can be perceived as "controlling." His desire to keep his schedule open, and his reluctance to do things he's not interested in are just part of his personality, not because he does not care about me (and I did tell him that that's the conclusion I came to... before we discovered it was an ISTP thing).

Unfortunately, understanding his personality came too late, because he broke up with me a few days ago, convinced that we are too different to be in a relationship with each other. As you can imagine, I am pretty devastated. We are in love with each other, and I think it's a shame that he's thrown our relationship away. He's told me that he loves me everyday until we broke up, so obviously I mean something to him. I'm the only person he has ever opened up to... he never shares anything personal with anyone else, no one has ever seen his emotional side before (and he gets quite emotional sometimes!). Though he told me to leave him alone (initially), I emailed him trying to explain that we are not too different, we were both frustrated because we didn't understand fully what was going on, but now that we do, we can work on our differences and make them work. I don't know whether he has accepted my idea, but he has been corresponding daily with me since. His emails have progressively become more emotional and painful to read, as I can tell he's completely miserable right now. I'm worried about him and what I'd love to do is go over there and comfort him physically, but then I would be violating his much needed time and space. I want him back, I dearly do, but I don't know how to do that.

SHORT VERSION: ISTP boyfriend and I have had issues regarding scheduling "us" time and I have been frustrated by his lack of participation in activities I enjoy. We have been quarreling about this for weeks. Neither of us understood why these issues were such a problem until a few days ago (he is an ISTP, that is why!). Now we both know he needs lots of independence and time for himself. However, he also broke up with me a few days ago. He wants time and space, though he does still email me daily, updating me on how he frustrated he is without me, and can't stop thinking about me, despite being with friends and doing activities. However, he believes we are too different to be with each other. I am most determined to somehow "win" him back, or show him that we CAN work with our differences, without violating his time and space. How do I do this? Is this manageable?
 

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I read the entire post.

I dated an INFJ briefly. Initially, we came together very quickly and spent a lot of time together. Then it just stalemated for reasons I can't really explain. It took a lot of energy to communicate with him and it was frustrating. I sort of gave up on it and I have no clue as to what his feelings were about that. We're still friends though. I got him a job where I work and he's now dating an ENFP. They're very happy.

As for your situation. It's tough. The fact he's communicating with you is good but the only thing that worries me is he still is telling you that he believes you two are just too different to be together. Seems like his head and heart are fighting. Logic usually wins out for us.


Here's my answer to your questions: I wouldn't try to win the ISTP back. We can usually sense that pressure even if it's veiled. If he's asked for space and time then I would let him make the move to initiate face to face contact. If he's interested in rekindling something that will happen when he's ready to do so.

OK. Forget type for a second.

If you were my friend IRL and you came to me with this situation here's my response: You can't wait around for this guy. He might come around. He might not. If you guys broke up then there were issues. Forget about his issues. Were your needs being met? Maybe this is a good guy but maybe there's a better fit for you out there. Better to keep that line of communication open but go out and keep enjoying life. Stay busy and independent.
 

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My ex was an INFJ as well, and I called it off eventually as well. INFJ's tend to heavily pressure us with their emotional needs and desires, not because they think it's fun or anything, but because that is who they are. Overall perceived as whiny girls eventually to probably any ISTP. There's only so much an ISTP can do to go out of his way and eventually he drops it to no longer be under the constant strain of having to deal with it. That's what I did anyway.

ISTPs in such relationships also tend to hurt the INFJ without any sort of intention, simply because of their bold logic behavior. This usually is thrown back at the ISTP due to the INFJ's heavy emotional attachment resulting in a cycle of self torment for the ISTP, who eventually draws the conclusion that's the better choice for both people if they walked independently.

INFJ's are basically the complete opposite of what an ISTP portraits, this eventually causes the ISTP to 'lose himself' if he craves too strongly to the INFJ's needs which then backfires strongly due to the ISTP becoming even more of a fortress locking himself away.

Those are my experiences anyway.

I wouldn't recommend such a relationship as the chances for it to work are very slim.

EDIT: As pointed out up above, it was a logic vs. heart fight and my head won. I don't regret the decision one bit though.
 

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My ISTP and I (INFJ) have been fighting for a few weeks now, mostly on his seemingly inability to be considerate of my wants and his reluctance to schedule "us" time.
Now that you know/understand/assume that this is a type problem, how does it change the quote above? If you guys got back together, could you stop being hurt when (it is not "if", it's "when") he refuses to allow you to schedule "us" time in the future or just drops from the activities you scheduled?
 

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Now that you know/understand/assume that this is a type problem, how does it change the quote above? If you guys got back together, could you stop being hurt when (it is not "if", it's "when") he refuses to allow you to schedule "us" time in the future or just drops from the activities you scheduled?
That question is the same as asking the ISTP if he just could be emotional and caring all the time. I'm certain you know the answer to that :tongue:

EDIT: To an INFJ feeling, emotional bonding and activities the equivalent to an ISTP's need of being on his own, private time and logical thinking / decision making.

EDIT2: Due to emotional commitment an INFJ may even be saying otherwise and tell you they could, or 'they will try' (that's usually one of their favorite lines, I think, though it'll always be that. Trying instead of simply doing :tongue:), while it may be true to an extend the bubble will burst eventually which can cause all the more damage if it rubberbands.
 

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That question is the same as asking the ISTP if he just could be emotional and caring all the time. I'm certain you know the answer to that :tongue:

EDIT: To an INFJ feeling, emotional bonding and activities the equivalent to an ISTP's need of being on his own, private time and logical thinking / decision making.
I want daydr3am's answer, not yours. :angry:

Edit: However, Erbse, when you get to 5 edits, I'll give you a cookie.
 

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In order for an ISTP / INFJ relationship (or even just a friendship) to work, the ISTP has to be open to learning. I have a very close friendship with an INFJ (non romantic) and i'm always learning in the process. I've stumbled so many times into situations where i got him furious without even realizing it until he was about to walk out of the room. The INFJ is really going to have to be patient as well. ISTPs have a different way of looking at the world than most. Many people can relate from a logical perspective, but i think that, that's quite a bit different than actually thinking the way we do. We can be quite detached emotionally at times, and honestly incredibly insecure at others (thanks to our Fi devil function). Even for an ISTP giving the relationship their absolute best, we can be emotionally detached without meaning to be. It's not on purpose... We'll just be going through logical troubleshooting of a problem, and sooner or later /will/ trample your opinion in the process. At other times, we can be hypersensitive and cautious to peoples actions out of paranoia that we may hurt them to the extent of annoying even an INFJ.


There are a LOT of factors in an INFJ/ISTP relationship including general intelligence, development of 3rd functions for both, and willingness to work hard at the relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@VroomVroom: His head and heart are definitely fighting right now. I've seen him deal with that in person and it was not pretty. Usually his heart won but now I'm not so sure, since he actually broke up with me. I'm just hoping if he understands or realizes that it's difficult to deal with an issue when you don't understand yourself or what the root of the problem is. At the moment, he's being a pessimist, which is unlike himself. I am still waiting for him to contact me, which is quite difficult, because whenever there is a problem between us, the only thing I want to do is fix it and it's hard to not try to tackle it, especially now that I understand.

Rationally, I know that I can't just sit and wait around for him... I do plan on waiting for him for a while, probably a couple months, but it's not going to stop me from living my life. I'm sure there are people out there who are more compatible with me but I'm not interested. I'm crazy for this guy and I can't walk away knowing that the problems we faced aren't actually that bad.

@Erbse: Were you in love with this INFJ? I think it's harder to pull away from someone when you're in love. My ISTP didn't understand what his needs were until very recently. It was pretty frustrating for me, when my ISTP would want lots of time with me, then didn't, then did again, then pulled away again because we were spending too much time together. It was annoying, really, since he received the amount of time he wanted from me and then complained about it. :angry:

@Seralya: It is MUCH easier to deal with an issue now that I understand it. As I mentioned in my post, I didn't really understand his behavior, and he couldn't understand it either, so I could only try to understand it based on his actions, which I perceived to be rather selfish. However that's not the case. I think it's easier on both of our parts, now that he understands himself better as well.

@Erbse again: Hey, I'm not that much of a stickler! :p And my ISTP is actually pretty emotional, he just doesn't know how to deal with it.
 

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@Erbse: Were you in love with this INFJ? I think it's harder to pull away from someone when you're in love. My ISTP didn't understand what his needs were until very recently. It was pretty frustrating for me, when my ISTP would want lots of time with me, then didn't, then did again, then pulled away again because we were spending too much time together. It was annoying, really, since he received the amount of time he wanted from me and then complained about it. :angry:

@Erbse again: Hey, I'm not that much of a stickler! :p And my ISTP is actually pretty emotional, he just doesn't know how to deal with it.
I was initially, but the relationship, in retrospective anyway, lasted longer it probably should have. On top of that it was a long distance one for most part, which definitely aren't the most favorable circumstances. My head eventually won over my heart, it's not that been emotionless by any means, in fact my emotions caused quite a riot but I simply suppressed them in the end (because I/we can) and made the for me more rational choice.

I'm still friends with her, and she still thinks I'm immature and that some day my warmth and emotions will come forth warming the world. Couldn't be further away from the truth there, but it's no longer any of my business to argue her views :tongue:
 

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@Seralya: It is MUCH easier to deal with an issue now that I understand it. As I mentioned in my post, I didn't really understand his behavior, and he couldn't understand it either, so I could only try to understand it based on his actions, which I perceived to be rather selfish. However that's not the case. I think it's easier on both of our parts, now that he understands himself better as well.
Just knowing the reason for this person's irritating behavior doesn't make everything happy-happy-bliss. Every time you have planned something lovely and he couldn't care less - it will hurt. It's frustrating as hell, specially if you're already exhausted from something, say, for example trying to improve the relationship. Then, a bit later, you will remember that this is just how he functions so there is no point in getting angry.

My SO is SP as well, and I - yeah, an ISTP - get irritated by his "I don't know what I want to do next week; ask me when the time comes instead" -behavior. And my FJ father gets irritated when I keep changing my plans every other day...

Edit: Like Erbse, I find it interesting that you seem to think you know your bf and the reasons for his behavior so well. How did you guys determine your types, by the way?
 
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I suggest you to read through this (my personal favorite brief summarization when it comes to Myer Briggs types) :
INFJ Relationships

Strengths:
* Warm and affirming by nature
* Dedicated to achieving the ultimate relationship
* Sensitive and concerned for others' feelings
* Usually have good communication skills, especially written
* Take their commitments very seriously, and seek lifelong relationships
* Have very high expectations for themselves and others (both a strength and weakness)
* Good listeners
* Are able to move on after a relationship has ended (once they're sure it's over)
Weaknesses:

# Tendency to hold back part of themselves
# Not good with money or practical day-to-day life necessities
# Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
# Have very high expectations for themselves and others (both a strength and weakness)
# Have difficulty leaving a bad relationship
I colored it with my personal preferences.

Green = Something I appreciate.
Yellow = Something that I can be appreciative of, but it can also be annoying as hell. Depends on the INFJ ;)
Red = Annoying~

Simply being aware isn't the key to fix something, or anything for that matter. What I took from my ride with an INFJ was is that one cannot change the roots of ones personality. If you could, you'd no longer be you. My ultimate conclusion was that you either suck it up who someone else is, or walk away if you can't handle it. Trying to change simply doesn't work, didn't for me anyway. Given my mellowness and overall laid back-ness I hoped it'd cause my ex to mellow out as well, to find some inner peace and overall be less of an emotional roller coaster. Needless to say that it didn't happen, at all :p Even today it doesn't take me 5 minutes to push her buttons and make her furious. By nature it seems that ISTP and INFJ don't have any mutual ground to stand or meet on, which makes it draining on both parties to make it work.

On another note, I don't know how well you are in controlling yourself, but try to restrain yourself from physical action in a fit of an emotional outburst, for me at least that was the killer argument. I lose respect towards people that have absolutely no self control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@FearsomeCritter: Thank you for your input. As an ISTP in love with someone different from you, how willing would you be to being open to learning? Have you been in that situation before? I realize now, now that I understand how much time/space/independence he needs, that I am definitely going to have to become more patient. He is the first ISTP I've come across (or at least noticed) so I am still learning on how to work with him.

@Erbse: I'm hoping that my ISTP doesn't follow your route lol. And your INFJ doesn't seem very mature or understanding of you if she expects you to become a different person.

@Seralya: Well, of course understanding a problem doesn't make it disappear or make things happy, but for me, understanding something, or understanding where the other person is coming from, makes things much easier to deal with and accept. It makes things less annoying when you understand how something works, if that makes sense. Beforehand I couldn't get my ISTP to explain himself, which was pretty annoying, as I'm the type of person to want to know why people are the way they are. I rarely planned out our dates--the only times we made actual plans were when we went on vacations or to concerts together--so him not caring about my plans wasn't really an issue with us. The only thing I tried to plan out was when we spent time together (because of conflicting schedules). If he decides to come back to me, there's not going to be a reason to plan out our time together anymore, since I'm in the process of purchasing a house. I close in about a month and we were planning on just having him visit whenever he felt like it. (He doesn't do this now because he is uncomfortable spending time at my parents' house, where I currently live.)

At some earlier point in the relationship, I convinced my ISTP to take the Myers Briggs test. He tested as ISTP, though he wasn't fond of the early descriptions we found. Because of that neither of us thought the web pages we found sounded like him, we dismissed it from our minds. It wasn't until recently that I decided to do more research on ISTPs and found web pages describing my ISTP extremely well. As for me, I tested as INFJ years ago, in high school, then a few years later tested as ISFJ, and now I'm back to INFJ again.

@Erbse again: I am glad to say that my ISTP and I never pushed each other's buttons that often. We get along pretty well. The only times that we didn't were when we got upset over petty issues (the both of us are guilty of doing that, not a recent problem), when I became upset at him for being unwilling to do the activities I like (which was basically just watching TV or a movie with me) or when I became upset about him telling me that he'd leave me to do our hobbies during my visits. I dunno, I always had a good time with him. Couldn't keep our hands off each other. I don't mind conflict as long as we work together on the problem and try to understand each other's perspectives. I love our ability to talk and make up, except for that one last time. Thanks for the tip on the physical action.
 

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I know there have been a few threads on this pairing but I'm here for advice on my particular situation.

Warning: It's not short and sweet, but I'll give you a concise description at the end of my post. If you read the whole thing, the situation is probably easier to understand.

My ISTP and I (INFJ) have been fighting for a few weeks now, mostly on his seemingly inability to be considerate of my wants and his reluctance to schedule "us" time. I perceived his unwillingness to do some activities I like as being selfish, especially since I've always participated in the activities he enjoys, and I couldn't understand why he couldn't do the same for me (nor did he understand). We also live an hour apart from each other; our schedules don't leave a lot of wiggle room (he is in the military and works full time, I am a part-time employee and full-time college student). Because of the time issue and physical distance between us, I suggested that we schedule Sundays together. This arrangement was fine with him until he told me that if he got the urge to go surfing, then he would go surfing, even though it was "our" time together. Well this offended me, as I think it's rude and inconsiderate to leave your house guest when you have guests! It also made me feel as if my time isn't important to him, and yes I did tell him so... I just happened to have also been quite moody and whiny about it (same issues over and over again = exasperated me!), and believe me, I regret it now.

Anyway, it wasn't until some days ago that we both realized that the issues we had been facing were personality issues. I now understand that he's not being a jerk (as it appears to most people), he's just fiercely independent and is resistance to anything that can be perceived as "controlling." His desire to keep his schedule open, and his reluctance to do things he's not interested in are just part of his personality, not because he does not care about me (and I did tell him that that's the conclusion I came to... before we discovered it was an ISTP thing).

Unfortunately, understanding his personality came too late, because he broke up with me a few days ago, convinced that we are too different to be in a relationship with each other. As you can imagine, I am pretty devastated. We are in love with each other, and I think it's a shame that he's thrown our relationship away. He's told me that he loves me everyday until we broke up, so obviously I mean something to him. I'm the only person he has ever opened up to... he never shares anything personal with anyone else, no one has ever seen his emotional side before (and he gets quite emotional sometimes!). Though he told me to leave him alone (initially), I emailed him trying to explain that we are not too different, we were both frustrated because we didn't understand fully what was going on, but now that we do, we can work on our differences and make them work. I don't know whether he has accepted my idea, but he has been corresponding daily with me since. His emails have progressively become more emotional and painful to read, as I can tell he's completely miserable right now. I'm worried about him and what I'd love to do is go over there and comfort him physically, but then I would be violating his much needed time and space. I want him back, I dearly do, but I don't know how to do that.

SHORT VERSION: ISTP boyfriend and I have had issues regarding scheduling "us" time and I have been frustrated by his lack of participation in activities I enjoy. We have been quarreling about this for weeks. Neither of us understood why these issues were such a problem until a few days ago (he is an ISTP, that is why!). Now we both know he needs lots of independence and time for himself. However, he also broke up with me a few days ago. He wants time and space, though he does still email me daily, updating me on how he frustrated he is without me, and can't stop thinking about me, despite being with friends and doing activities. However, he believes we are too different to be with each other. I am most determined to somehow "win" him back, or show him that we CAN work with our differences, without violating his time and space. How do I do this? Is this manageable?
Tons of my friends are INFJ's. 90% of the girls I've liked were INFJ's. Here's what I gather happens.

We see things we value in one another. I love my friends' charisma, and they love my "don't give a crap" attitude. My INFJ friends are kinda flakey, to the point of predictability, but that's part of who they are. Its really hard to get them to do anything when people want things from them. One of my friends in particular will constantly cancel our plans because his family was doing something... totally the wrong answer in my book.

All of the INFJ's I've met, its been almost exactly as how socionics describes the pairing. We come together, have a great time, then get tired of each other and start complaining. Then we part for a day or two, come back together and its like nothing bad happened between us.

The thing is, the two of you are very different, and from a cognitive function standpoint you each have what the other lacks, so it will naturally take energy to be with the other person. You'll both become much better people over time dispite your differences. Socionics describes the relationship as similiar to watching a very funny movie for too long. Its amazing while its funny, but after a while you just lose energy and can't deal with it anymore and need a break. My INTP brother shares the same relationship with an ISFJ, and he said he experiences the same thing, and all it takes is one day for things to return to cloud nine.

How you want to relate this information to him is up to you. Perhaps the two of you haven't realized that all you need is some space? Sometimes it just doesn't work out from a personal beliefs standpoint. In either case, both people will have to mature in their weaknesses in order to continue tolerating one another, so it can be very difficult if one person doesn't actually know where they need to improve. That's why I feel my relationship toward INFJ's will forever be one-sided until I meet one that is as self-aware of their faults as I am of mine.

But to explain his behavior some: being in the military for an ISTP is tough. Please try to understand that he has sacrificed the infinite blue yonder that ISTP's demand in order to make a living. What this means is that he values his weekends as the only time he can truely be impulsive and free. If you tell him "every sunday," that's another day out of his freedom. This is where your INFJ charisma comes into play. If you had stated that differently, he wouldn't have been defensive.

Keep in mind, the more negativity shared between the two of you, the more you will only associate those feelings with one another. He obviously likes you a lot. My suggestion to you is to make it his job to find a solution, and allow yourself to be open to it. Put him in control. Tell him that he is the only one who can make it work because he's the one with the schedule. If he can't do that, well, I'm not sure what else you can do.

Most of my relationships with INFJ's end early because I either chicken out after about two weeks because they're so intense, or I made a wrong first impression or something. A recent relationship ended because I think she was comparing me to an ESTJ she used to date. Anyway, good luck to ya, just because he broke it off doesn't mean its over. But that doesn't mean you should hurl every ounce of your momentum at him. Be casual, be calm, stop caring about him. Be ISTP.
 

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@FearsomeCritter: Thank you for your input. As an ISTP in love with someone different from you, how willing would you be to being open to learning? Have you been in that situation before? I realize now, now that I understand how much time/space/independence he needs, that I am definitely going to have to become more patient. He is the first ISTP I've come across (or at least noticed) so I am still learning on how to work with him.
I'm an oddity.

I'm an ISTP by function but i don't match a lot of the stereotype very well. (some of it is spot on.)

That's because i have an INTJ father and an INFJ mother... Both of which have Ni (my third function) as their first. Naturally i have a rather well developed 3rd function which again, is your first. I get along well with INFJs with a highly developed Ti function (ones that grew up with ISTP parents usually.)

As i mentioned, i have a very close INFJ friend, but he is not a romantic interest. Just very close... But oddly enough his friendship means more to me than most. I ignore things from him that I'd strangle most people over. I am willing to learn and push myself to do so because he's one of the few people in the world i actually genuinely get along with and enjoy being around.

I hate to say this in such a harsh way... Yes, we need our personal time... and a lot of it... But we make time for what's important to us too. In my eyes even as an ISTP (though a very weird one) abandoning you at the house to go surfing when you drove for an hour or two to get there isn't even remotely acceptable. He could have taken you with him, or called and rescheduled for another day if he really just needed his time.


Just my opinion, though i'm sure it differs from a few ISTPs here...
 

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My parents are, or at least I think they are, ISTP and ISFJ and they've made it work. I think they shomehow have split the life in two interest zones to avoid clashes.. at least it looks like it to me. Each of them will want to do stuff in their way - which, of course are very different - so, for example, a trip to my dad's relatives would be done in his way and a trip to my mom's relatives in her way. They do irritate and hurt each other at very regular basis (e.g. the "me" time vs "us" time), but they clearly respect their differences and work hard to cope with it.

So nobody does need to become another type, it just takes a hell of a lot of time, work, patience and respect.

Oh, just one thing. If you make it work, make sure you both have friends outside as well - don't lose the contact to those friends even when it feels enough to be alone with your beloved. You'll need them to patch the hole when he wants to be alone, and he will need them to get some distance from you. Do not count on him for company.
 

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I don't know. I think every relationship is a bit unbalanced; one person naturally assumes the role of the clingier partner... not that there's always someone CLINGY, but that whoever is most aloof will pull the clingy out of the other one. In all but one of my past relationships I was the more aloof one, only the last one was I the clingier one, wanting more time together (but we were long distance and he was BEYOND ambiguous about his schedule and trying to get together, so it pushed my insecurity buttons).

But I can't see myself disrespecting the few days I have with my partner to go pursue my own interests... even if I'm the more aloof in the relationship. I don't remember a time I've ever done that, except when I've felt smothered.

I may be aloof and independent and kind of macho, but I *do* try to preserve some semblance of fairness and equality in relationships. If someone is giving up their time to be with me, I reciprocate. Like I said, unless they are smothering me or totally pissing me off / annoying me, getting up in my shit. At which point, I no longer care what message they get from my action, I'm gonna do what I want to do.

As for participating in activities that the other partner doesn't enjoy - why is that necessary? In my last relationship I was more than happy to attend his games to watch him play because I liked to see him on the field, but would I ever sign up to be on a team? Fuck no. I hate participating in team sports. Similarly, I would never ask him to go on a shoot with me because he isn't a photographer, and what guy wants to stand around at a wedding where he has to be nice to all the guests and can't even have a drink? Again - fuck that. I think it's a sign of maturity when couples can pursue their individual interests without making the other partner jealous or feel left out, and I think it's ludicrous to expect a partner to happily join in on whatever you want, EVEN IF you have done the same for them. We all need some things that are OURS and OURS ALONE.

OP, I don't know your guy and I just ended a relationship that was failing because of personality differences, so take all this with a grain of salt, I only know what I know.

I operate best and am healthiest emotionally and mentally when I have knowledge. When I have the facts. If I am forced to fill in the blanks, or to read minds, it puts me in a very bad place, very quickly. I resent anyone who blames me for not "naturally intuiting" their needs when they haven't been upfront with me - I only know what I can see, touch, taste, feel, hear, or read.

If you plan to approach your ISTP guy with a plan of action for a reconciliation, stick to the facts. Don't muck it up with a lot of sensitive emotional clutter. I am happiest when someone comes to me and says "this is what happened. this is my part, this is your part. this is an idea of how we can do this better." than if someone comes to me and says "i'm sad because of what happened and i just want you to understand, you need to be better, i need to be better" - that's so nebulous.

That's sort of where I screwed up with my ISFP ex. I approached him with the FACTS, and it overwhelmed him and put him on the defensive - I wasn't very FEELING, I wasn't taking the entirety of the situation (emotions included) into account, I was just boiling everything down into unemotional facts and figures, and action planning my way through our morass. Ultimately, our differences in problem solving was baffling to the other person, and he was too stressed and depressed to even want to try to figure out a way we could complement one another with our individual strengths and weaknesses.

I think any combination of partners CAN work, I just think it takes extra work when you're that different to start with. Most of my exes think I'm a robot, completely unfeeling and uncaring, and that couldn't be less true - I care a lot, I just don't communicate with my emotions, and I don't easily translate emotion to hard facts that I can work with.

Don't know if this was the least bit helpful, but it was fun for me to type and kill some time waiting for 10am so I can go return a blu-ray boxed set and get my money back :laughing: Bought it for the ex a month ago, right before he broke up with me. Oh heavy sigh.
 

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@DJArendee: Thank you for your response. Pointing out the military issue helped a lot. I didn't consider that standpoint.

Let's say for example you were my ex, or in this situation, and I suggested you come visit me whenever you want (you pick the day and how often), as long as we spend time together every week (unless something of significance arises, like a sport competition/tournament). Would that make you/him defensive or possibly view my request as controlling or anything of that nature? Is that, in general, enough space/freedom for you?

@FearsomeCritter: I feel the same way! I'm guessing maybe he was just taking my time/effort for granted, and/or he needed space but didn't how to express it. He's not very good at expressing himself.

@Seralya: That is great advice, thank you. I did used to count on him for company.

@chiagirl27: I hope I didn't send the message that I expected him to participate in my hobbies with me; the only things I ever really asked from him was to watch a TV show or a movie with me (we love/d to snuggle together on the couch and watch TV together, but sometimes didn't find shows we both liked). From my perspective this is something that requires little effort and doesn't take up much time so I couldn't figure out why it was so hard to say yes every once in a while, whereas I was more than happy to watch whatever he was interested in. It did bother me that I watched his shows but he refused to watch mine. I still don't really understand, but it's not worth mentioning to him anymore.

Thanks for the advice on sticking to the facts, I think that will help if we come to that point.

If anyone is interested... my ISTP has decided that we can be "friends" now. He's trying to force himself to be okay with the idea of me dating someone else (he kept bringing that up during our conversation at random times)... so I guess he is still trying to move on. :unsure:
 

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I'm in a similar situation. I have a boyfriend who is 100% an ISTP, for sure. At first I thought he might be ISFP, because he spent a lot of time with me and my emotions =P. Now It's gotten harder and harder communicating. We still love each other, he is an awesome person. But, I am trying to get him to learn that I need a little emotional support. I know he didn't think it hurt, but I was depressed and crying and he looked awkwardly in the other direction. Uncomfortable with the level of emotion. I know I have to be patient. I really should have no problem with it but I always imagine something good happening, but me being an INFJ, I can also imagine us breaking up horribly.
 

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I don't know. I think every relationship is a bit unbalanced; one person naturally assumes the role of the clingier partner... not that there's always someone CLINGY, but that whoever is most aloof will pull the clingy out of the other one. In all but one of my past relationships I was the more aloof one, only the last one was I the clingier one, wanting more time together (but we were long distance and he was BEYOND ambiguous about his schedule and trying to get together, so it pushed my insecurity buttons).


As for participating in activities that the other partner doesn't enjoy - why is that necessary? In my last relationship I was more than happy to attend his games to watch him play because I liked to see him on the field, but would I ever sign up to be on a team? Fuck no. I hate participating in team sports. Similarly, I would never ask him to go on a shoot with me because he isn't a photographer, and what guy wants to stand around at a wedding where he has to be nice to all the guests and can't even have a drink? Again - fuck that. I think it's a sign of maturity when couples can pursue their individual interests without making the other partner jealous or feel left out, and I think it's ludicrous to expect a partner to happily join in on whatever you want, EVEN IF you have done the same for them. We all need some things that are OURS and OURS ALONE.
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I agree with these parts. When my husband and I were dating, he was actually the clingier between the two of us because I was his first serious girlfriend. After we got married, he relaxed I guess and I was more like what the hell? Why isn't he obsessed with impressing me anymore? :tongue: His true independent nature came out and it kind of threw me off. So I feel clingy by default and it makes me a little uncomfortable. I hate being the clingy one but I hate being clung to too much, so it's the lesser of the evils I suppose. Besides he doesn't mind the clinging. He goes off into his own world and then willingly lets me pull him into mine....

Separate activities are necessary! You enjoy each other's company so much more when you're not bored and resentful doing things that the other doesn't enjoy. He's into cars, I'm into animals and nature. We do our separate things and then meet up for activities we have in common such as sports movies or friends.
 

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Once my boyfriend was done impressing me, I could tell he was an ISTP. But when he was trying to impress me... I swore he was an ISFP. XD
 
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