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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone! I've read many forums on this website before, but this is my first time posting!

This is bound to be pretty long and it's totally not necessary to read the entire post to answer the question (so please answer whether you read all of it, skim it, or just the question!!), but my back story will give more context ;)

As a female ENFJ, my question is directed towards INFPs, especially the male ones. Basically it's this: in a romantic relationship, how often do you initiate contact with someone you're interested in? How much alone time do you need? How much contact is too much before it gets annoying? Are you flaky on your commitments?

My more detailed set of questions comes after the ------------- if you wanna skip ahead.

Okay, so here's my story------------

I am 18 years old, almost 19. I've never been in a romantic relationship before. I am violently ENFJ & have found myself falling for a 22 year old INFP who I have enjoyed a friendship with for the past 6 years.
Here's the catch though, we've never met!

I was homeschooled as a teenager & being such an extroverted type, I needed as much social interaction as I could get. Much of that came through internet based friendships. I managed to make some pretty good ones with other kids around my age who had similar interests as me. (we had blogs together!) We loved to chat about nerdy stuff & people would often bring other internet friends into our conversations and we would "meet" new people that way.

Let's say that's how "Bob" and I met. (using fake names here, lol) He was a little bit older than most of us. We were 12-13 at the time and he was about 16-17. He didn't stick around chatting our group for long & he and I ended up going off on our own tangent pretty quickly. I found him to be the coolest person I know & we had some pretty great conversations. "Bob" went off to college as I entered high school and we didn't talk often.

He wanted me to give him my phone number so it would be easier to keep in touch, but I couldn't since my parents didn't allow me to give my phone number to internet friends. I told him "lol I'll give it to you when I turn 18", thinking there was no way we'd be in touch 4 years from then.

Bob likes to say that he's violently INFP, which he totally is. Every INFP I've ever known, I've loved. But y'all are very hard to figure out, especially in a relationship that has only existed through the interface of the inter webs.

So at this point, I purposely do not make any effort to maintain contact with Bob. I figure it's a losing battle since he was in college & so busy & so far away. I always liked him, but I'm realistic. I just figured we'd lose contact, like I did with every other internet friend I had. But nope. Every 3, 4, maybe 6 months or so I get a message from INFP Bob asking me about life, how I was doing, we'd have small chats about books, he'd tell me about his life, his girlfriends, school, anything interesting. We'd talk for a few days at a time, but the one thing I learned to expect from him was that he would DEFINITELY disappear. For this reason, I tried to not get emotionally attached to him. I always thought he was super cool and always highly respected anything he had to say because I knew how much thought he put into what he believes.

Alright, so this is where it gets interesting. Fast forward to a year ago. I'm 17 years old, I've just graduated high school and I get this message from Bob. "Hey! How old are you now? Have you graduated high school yet? When's your birthday?"

I'm just like....what???? He remembered I said I would give him my number on my 18th birthday??? that was 3 years ago!!!! (do you INFPs remember this stuff?!)

I suppose I should mention this is when we begin to discover just how compatible we are. There's the whole INFP/ENFJ thing. We both TIED for the same love languages: Physical Touch & Quality Time. Our enneagrams are basically the same. We have similar life goals. We are passionate about the same things. We like the same music, food, books, cities, TV shows, and activities. I love his sense of humor. We have the same ideas about romance and find each other saying "omg meeeee toooooo" quite a lot. We fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. I've never met anyone I've shared this kind of connection with before.

So, I give him my phone number on my 18th birthday! He texts me that day, but doesn't call. I am disappointed. I thought he would call. But this is typical Bob behavior. I tell myself I've gotten my hopes up again when I shouldn't, so I let him go emotionally. I told myself I didn't care if he didn't call...he's so far away. It's not like it would work out anyways.

A few weeks later he calls. We talk on the phone for the first time and he tells me that he loves my laugh and that my voice is something he feels he's been missing his whole life. I didn't know what to say. Eventually, Bob does his thing and falls off the face of the earth again, to my dismay.

A month or so later, he pops up again and we have 3am phone conversations. It is around this time he starts to tell me he's beginning to see me as "more of a peer" and less as a little girl, lol. He tells me if I lived closer, he would ask me out on a date. He says if he could drive to come visit me, he would. He's beginning his senior year of college. I send him a handmade birthday present. He falls of the face of the earth again. I am hurt, but I have learned to expect this. I am okay with it. I pray for him a lot during this time.

A few months later (this would be like Nov. 2016) Bob has a girlfriend! I am happy for him, she is pretty and seems like a really awesome person. (I'd want to be friends with her!) He deserves to be happy. Less than two weeks later, Bob obviously no longer has a girlfriend. I text him to update him on my life & learn he is thinking of grad school 3,000 miles away. (he's currently about 400 miles away) We chat like old friends always glad to hear from each other.

Bob goes through a tough time about a month later. I had no idea how bad it was, but suspected something. This explains much of why he disappears so much. I feel so much compassion & empathy for him because no one as good as he is deserves to be in that kind of pain. So, I periodically check on Bob to see how he's doing which, for a while, is not great. So I keep praying for him. He's doing much better by the beginning of this year, 2017.

We don't talk much until April (about 6 weeks ago) when I find out *gaaaasssppppp* HES STAYING CLOSE TO HOME FOR GRAD SCHOOL! I had also decided to go to college (which wasn't in my plans before--I took a gap year to figure it out) keeping me much closer to home for the next 4 years as well.

As soon as I find out he decided to stay on this side of the country for school, I text him to express my joy aaaaand the flirting begins. That same day he asks if I would be willing to do a long distance relationship with him. He says he "cares about me so much" and "is sorry he doesn't do a very good job of showing it" as well as "that he keeps disappearing"

At this point I'm just like OOOOOOEEEMMMMGEEEEEE I thought he had some kind of policy against long distance and that's why he never asked!!! But it really would have never worked before since our lives *were* going in two different directions. But, now they seem to be lining up. This is good news.

I guess this is the point where I should give a little more detail. Bob studies theology. Someday he will get his doctorate and be a college professor or some kind of thing like that. I am going to school studying music therapy & the piano & pre-law. I would love to be in ministry as a pastor's wife or a missionary as well as a piano teacher and whatever else comes my way. Bob feels the same way. However, we have differences in opinion when it comes to theology. Bob tends to be pretty liberal & identifies as a progressive. He worries he is "too liberal for me" I come from a family of moderately fundamental Christians who are very politically conservative. This is how I was raised. I'm only 18 though, so I haven't formed many opinions truly my own and I am very open minded to new ideas. I like Bob's ideas. They're different and I think I could agree with him on most things. But at first, we think that these differences are probably too much and decide not to go further with the relationship since it probably won't work out.

That lasts for about two days, lol. We talk about some non-starters for our relationship (you INFPs really love your morals, haha) and manage to work through those. We're happy. Bob says, "you're wonderful. I want to be with you. Let's give this a shot" I'm over the moon. I mean, someone this COOL is my friend?? Wait. He LIKES me? Like that?! He wants to be my first kiss and talks to me the way men talk to women in Jane Austen & Charolette Bronte novels?! This is so strange for me! It feels kinda like a dream.

About 5 days ago we had a conversation on the phone about the next steps. Neither of us want to make anything official until we can see each other in person. Next month Bob is moving somewhere that is a 3 hour $200 (roundtrip) plane ride away. He offers to fly to come see me, but says "it'll be really hard" because he'll have to save basically every penny. I feel bad about this so I'm like "you'd do that for me???" and he's like "yeah, of course"
He tells me, "I really appreciate you." and I make it a point to tell him that I'll never be a burden to him and that I'm here for whatever he needs.

Now thus far I've made it sound pretty much like a dream (because c'mon, it is), but I'm haven't told much about why I'm struggling so here goes. THIS is where I need your INFP insight!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During these 6 weeks, Bob and I have talked on the phone maybe 3 times and have had a few dozen text conversations. There are times I don't hear from him for 3-5 days or longer. Which I totally understand that he's busy, it's just that it happens without notice. I initiate most of the conversations and sometimes am left hanging or don't get a reply at all.

As an ENFJ, this really reveals my insecurities to me. If I could I'd love to talk to him for hours every day about everything. Whether it's how the day went, the weather, the ants on the floor, or something deep and meaningful. I want to know everything about him. I worry about him. And when I don't hear from him, I wonder if he dropped his feelings for me, if I did something wrong, if he no longer cares. Are we still on the same page? Am I nothing? Is he going to disappear again? BUT I DON'T WANT TO BE CLINGY.

I refuse to be clingy. I refuse to ask him why he didn't text me that day or hasn't called me in a week. I don't need him to do anything for me in order for me to maintain my happiness. I am independently happy. I have my own life, but I miss him. I just want to talk to him and to know that everything is okay because I overthink all the time.

I've been reading a lot about INFPs lately and have basically come to the conclusion that they aren't the best at communication & tend to disappear for times to recollect themselves and can easily loose track of time and forget about friends & family. I can understand this. I do not hold this against him. It's a part of who he his and I accept that.

But as someone who is violently ENFJ, I need to do something to care for this person. So, INFPs....what can I do? What would you want? How often do I initiate contact with him? How much space do I give him? How long is he going to hide out before calling me again? Is this lessening of contact indicative that he's losing interest or is it just an INFP thing? How serious is it when you tell someone you care for them like this?

Do you think he'll flake on coming to see me? I am concerned this will happen. I don't really have a reason to be, but I don't want to get my hopes up just to have them crushed. If he said he will, should I trust that that's true?

If you actually read all this, wow thanks. You're the best, can't thank ya enough!!

Sincerely,
an ENFJ who needed to vent
 

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Okkey. Usually i don't reply to anything, but you really deserve It. I'm like Bob, i appear and disappear faster than the wind. This is because i am an introvert but more 'cause It is very stressful to initieting a conversation, even only in phone. Sometimes i find myself fearing of being clingy. So if he is still here contacting you, you really mean something to him, something huge. But i can't tell you that he will call you every day, not unless you have the concrete chance of keep a physical touch. I can suggest you to keeping in mind his routine when you try to contact him. And the only reason that can stop him to take the plane are the money. I'm not that great at manage my money... But i believe that he will male It!

If my post is a little weird it's because english isn't my mother language. I swear i have tried my best xD

And if you are wondering, Yes, i have read the whole thing (^^)
 

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For an INFP in love (or at least romantically interested), his behavior is quite abnormal and not typical for our type. INFPs would usually devote a ton of time (maybe a little too much) to talking/chatting with you, especially if one of his top love langauges is quality time. Of course we don't know everything, and there might be other things going on beneath the surface in his life, but my best guess would be:


He's a commitment phobe (read up on it by googling for 'commitment phobia', maybe it make sense to you, maybe not).

This would explain:
- his sudden changes between being all romantic one day and unreachable the next (intimacy is both exciting and hecka scary)
- his very short relationship he had
- your difficulties to reach him and talk to him (3 phone calls in 6 weeks? if I'm romantically interested this would be the worst case scenario for me)
- his bringing up reasons why he is not a good match for you (attempt to create distance)
- his flakiness and indecisiveness in other areas (like picking a school, making actual plans for the future)
- his desire to delay making it official (a commitment phobe will further try to delay any attempt to make things official)
- your increased struggles with self-esteem and clinginess (the off/on behavior always makes you wonder whether you did something wrong, aren't good enough, etc.)
- your fear of losing him by being yourself or assertive (asking what keeps him so busy, what he is up to, or simply stating that you'd like to talk to him much or would appreciate it if he shot you a short message when he needs some time alone. If you feel like you can't communicate your needs and desires without being afraid of losing him, the chances of building a healthy, lasting relationship are very low already.)

I'm sorry to say this, but if this is the case, things are not looking very promising. Even if you end up getting together, it might not last for very long. I'm not a pessimist at all, but I have seen too many relationships display these very patterns and end up in terrible heartbreak (which tends to be onesided more often than not). Commitment phobia isn't easily overcome/healed.

I hope and pray that all of this isn't true in your case. But if I can give you some advice: Read up on it, talk with him about the reasons for his behavior, tell him you'd like to understand him and that you're struggling with the situation as well. If he really cares about you, he will understand and desire to work things out with you. If not, he might not have cared about you as much as you thought he did and as much as he said he did. If you often feel like it's onesided, then chances are it is. Don't forget, you're worthy of being loved in return. And a lasting relationship needs the work of two people.

Blessings!

PS: I'm a Christian and theologian myself.
 

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Hey everyone! I've read many forums on this website before, but this is my first time posting!

This is bound to be pretty long and it's totally not necessary to read the entire post to answer the question (so please answer whether you read all of it, skim it, or just the question!!), but my back story will give more context ;)

As a female ENFJ, my question is directed towards INFPs, especially the male ones. Basically it's this: in a romantic relationship, how often do you initiate contact with someone you're interested in? How much alone time do you need? How much contact is too much before it gets annoying? Are you flaky on your commitments?

My more detailed set of questions comes after the ------------- if you wanna skip ahead.

Okay, so here's my story------------

I am 18 years old, almost 19. I've never been in a romantic relationship before. I am violently ENFJ & have found myself falling for a 22 year old INFP who I have enjoyed a friendship with for the past 6 years.
Here's the catch though, we've never met!

I was homeschooled as a teenager & being such an extroverted type, I needed as much social interaction as I could get. Much of that came through internet based friendships. I managed to make some pretty good ones with other kids around my age who had similar interests as me. (we had blogs together!) We loved to chat about nerdy stuff & people would often bring other internet friends into our conversations and we would "meet" new people that way.

Let's say that's how "Bob" and I met. (using fake names here, lol) He was a little bit older than most of us. We were 12-13 at the time and he was about 16-17. He didn't stick around chatting our group for long & he and I ended up going off on our own tangent pretty quickly. I found him to be the coolest person I know & we had some pretty great conversations. "Bob" went off to college as I entered high school and we didn't talk often.

He wanted me to give him my phone number so it would be easier to keep in touch, but I couldn't since my parents didn't allow me to give my phone number to internet friends. I told him "lol I'll give it to you when I turn 18", thinking there was no way we'd be in touch 4 years from then.

Bob likes to say that he's violently INFP, which he totally is. Every INFP I've ever known, I've loved. But y'all are very hard to figure out, especially in a relationship that has only existed through the interface of the inter webs.

So at this point, I purposely do not make any effort to maintain contact with Bob. I figure it's a losing battle since he was in college & so busy & so far away. I always liked him, but I'm realistic. I just figured we'd lose contact, like I did with every other internet friend I had. But nope. Every 3, 4, maybe 6 months or so I get a message from INFP Bob asking me about life, how I was doing, we'd have small chats about books, he'd tell me about his life, his girlfriends, school, anything interesting. We'd talk for a few days at a time, but the one thing I learned to expect from him was that he would DEFINITELY disappear. For this reason, I tried to not get emotionally attached to him. I always thought he was super cool and always highly respected anything he had to say because I knew how much thought he put into what he believes.

Alright, so this is where it gets interesting. Fast forward to a year ago. I'm 17 years old, I've just graduated high school and I get this message from Bob. "Hey! How old are you now? Have you graduated high school yet? When's your birthday?"

I'm just like....what???? He remembered I said I would give him my number on my 18th birthday??? that was 3 years ago!!!! (do you INFPs remember this stuff?!)

I suppose I should mention this is when we begin to discover just how compatible we are. There's the whole INFP/ENFJ thing. We both TIED for the same love languages: Physical Touch & Quality Time. Our enneagrams are basically the same. We have similar life goals. We are passionate about the same things. We like the same music, food, books, cities, TV shows, and activities. I love his sense of humor. We have the same ideas about romance and find each other saying "omg meeeee toooooo" quite a lot. We fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. I've never met anyone I've shared this kind of connection with before.

So, I give him my phone number on my 18th birthday! He texts me that day, but doesn't call. I am disappointed. I thought he would call. But this is typical Bob behavior. I tell myself I've gotten my hopes up again when I shouldn't, so I let him go emotionally. I told myself I didn't care if he didn't call...he's so far away. It's not like it would work out anyways.

A few weeks later he calls. We talk on the phone for the first time and he tells me that he loves my laugh and that my voice is something he feels he's been missing his whole life. I didn't know what to say. Eventually, Bob does his thing and falls off the face of the earth again, to my dismay.

A month or so later, he pops up again and we have 3am phone conversations. It is around this time he starts to tell me he's beginning to see me as "more of a peer" and less as a little girl, lol. He tells me if I lived closer, he would ask me out on a date. He says if he could drive to come visit me, he would. He's beginning his senior year of college. I send him a handmade birthday present. He falls of the face of the earth again. I am hurt, but I have learned to expect this. I am okay with it. I pray for him a lot during this time.

A few months later (this would be like Nov. 2016) Bob has a girlfriend! I am happy for him, she is pretty and seems like a really awesome person. (I'd want to be friends with her!) He deserves to be happy. Less than two weeks later, Bob obviously no longer has a girlfriend. I text him to update him on my life & learn he is thinking of grad school 3,000 miles away. (he's currently about 400 miles away) We chat like old friends always glad to hear from each other.

Bob goes through a tough time about a month later. I had no idea how bad it was, but suspected something. This explains much of why he disappears so much. I feel so much compassion & empathy for him because no one as good as he is deserves to be in that kind of pain. So, I periodically check on Bob to see how he's doing which, for a while, is not great. So I keep praying for him. He's doing much better by the beginning of this year, 2017.

We don't talk much until April (about 6 weeks ago) when I find out *gaaaasssppppp* HES STAYING CLOSE TO HOME FOR GRAD SCHOOL! I had also decided to go to college (which wasn't in my plans before--I took a gap year to figure it out) keeping me much closer to home for the next 4 years as well.

As soon as I find out he decided to stay on this side of the country for school, I text him to express my joy aaaaand the flirting begins. That same day he asks if I would be willing to do a long distance relationship with him. He says he "cares about me so much" and "is sorry he doesn't do a very good job of showing it" as well as "that he keeps disappearing"

At this point I'm just like OOOOOOEEEMMMMGEEEEEE I thought he had some kind of policy against long distance and that's why he never asked!!! But it really would have never worked before since our lives *were* going in two different directions. But, now they seem to be lining up. This is good news.

I guess this is the point where I should give a little more detail. Bob studies theology. Someday he will get his doctorate and be a college professor or some kind of thing like that. I am going to school studying music therapy & the piano & pre-law. I would love to be in ministry as a pastor's wife or a missionary as well as a piano teacher and whatever else comes my way. Bob feels the same way. However, we have differences in opinion when it comes to theology. Bob tends to be pretty liberal & identifies as a progressive. He worries he is "too liberal for me" I come from a family of moderately fundamental Christians who are very politically conservative. This is how I was raised. I'm only 18 though, so I haven't formed many opinions truly my own and I am very open minded to new ideas. I like Bob's ideas. They're different and I think I could agree with him on most things. But at first, we think that these differences are probably too much and decide not to go further with the relationship since it probably won't work out.

That lasts for about two days, lol. We talk about some non-starters for our relationship (you INFPs really love your morals, haha) and manage to work through those. We're happy. Bob says, "you're wonderful. I want to be with you. Let's give this a shot" I'm over the moon. I mean, someone this COOL is my friend?? Wait. He LIKES me? Like that?! He wants to be my first kiss and talks to me the way men talk to women in Jane Austen & Charolette Bronte novels?! This is so strange for me! It feels kinda like a dream.

About 5 days ago we had a conversation on the phone about the next steps. Neither of us want to make anything official until we can see each other in person. Next month Bob is moving somewhere that is a 3 hour $200 (roundtrip) plane ride away. He offers to fly to come see me, but says "it'll be really hard" because he'll have to save basically every penny. I feel bad about this so I'm like "you'd do that for me???" and he's like "yeah, of course"
He tells me, "I really appreciate you." and I make it a point to tell him that I'll never be a burden to him and that I'm here for whatever he needs.

Now thus far I've made it sound pretty much like a dream (because c'mon, it is), but I'm haven't told much about why I'm struggling so here goes. THIS is where I need your INFP insight!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During these 6 weeks, Bob and I have talked on the phone maybe 3 times and have had a few dozen text conversations. There are times I don't hear from him for 3-5 days or longer. Which I totally understand that he's busy, it's just that it happens without notice. I initiate most of the conversations and sometimes am left hanging or don't get a reply at all.

As an ENFJ, this really reveals my insecurities to me. If I could I'd love to talk to him for hours every day about everything. Whether it's how the day went, the weather, the ants on the floor, or something deep and meaningful. I want to know everything about him. I worry about him. And when I don't hear from him, I wonder if he dropped his feelings for me, if I did something wrong, if he no longer cares. Are we still on the same page? Am I nothing? Is he going to disappear again? BUT I DON'T WANT TO BE CLINGY.

I refuse to be clingy. I refuse to ask him why he didn't text me that day or hasn't called me in a week. I don't need him to do anything for me in order for me to maintain my happiness. I am independently happy. I have my own life, but I miss him. I just want to talk to him and to know that everything is okay because I overthink all the time.

I've been reading a lot about INFPs lately and have basically come to the conclusion that they aren't the best at communication & tend to disappear for times to recollect themselves and can easily loose track of time and forget about friends & family. I can understand this. I do not hold this against him. It's a part of who he his and I accept that.

But as someone who is violently ENFJ, I need to do something to care for this person. So, INFPs....what can I do? What would you want? How often do I initiate contact with him? How much space do I give him? How long is he going to hide out before calling me again? Is this lessening of contact indicative that he's losing interest or is it just an INFP thing? How serious is it when you tell someone you care for them like this?

Do you think he'll flake on coming to see me? I am concerned this will happen. I don't really have a reason to be, but I don't want to get my hopes up just to have them crushed. If he said he will, should I trust that that's true?

If you actually read all this, wow thanks. You're the best, can't thank ya enough!!

Sincerely,
an ENFJ who needed to vent
Ok I don't know Bob, but I am an INFP. I can tell you sometimes I'VE done in similar situations like this, and it might give you a clue as to what an INFP might resort to in those situations.

I'd also like to add that my best friend is an ENFJ, we are the best and worst communicators for each other, we get each other and REALLY DON'T get each other other at the same time lol. That ENFJ Ni is wicked crazy, but cool. This post has taught me alot about how much ENFJs give themselves and are concerned for other people. Sometimes to a fault, but the world needs your deep care for the human psyche.


So I'll begin.

First, when you mentioned the age gap when you wer 12-13 and he was 16 immediately I felt like this would of made me very hesitant to tlak to you. INFPs have morals, and stand by them even when to others don't understand. I dated a girl on the internet before and she was 4 years younger than me and even though I liked her back I still was on the fence of really considering dating her. With that said it leads to my next point. It seems like maybe there was a conflict in him having an interest in you while feeling weirded out about his feelings for a girl much younger than him and him sorting himself out to see if he is ok with that or if it violates him morally.

That to me reveals itself when he said he finally seems you as a peer. Like he must of been battling the idea of this young girl he "kind of" talks to on the internet if he should really act on his feelings for her or if it's silly to date some young girl online for a guy his age. I battled with this very idea when I dated the girl 4 years younger than me on the internet. My mind said this " Ok this girl is fun to talk to and she seems to like me BUT shes 4 years younger than me and over the internet this can never work, this sin't real, but it's enough to keep me interested". To me that gives me reason to believe it might be the reason why he's dissappearing in contact from you on and off. He was interested in you but maybe doesn't want to be. He might hold an ideal against the idea of dating you (whether it be age, the fact that it's online, idk) so he jumps back and forth struggling with his interest for you. All just my guess based of action I read and how my INFP nature would react and has reacted in the past. It's almost like he's keeping you on the side because he DOES care about you but might not be ok with dating you.

I like you religious views, your my kind of girl, I'm an INFP but definitely not liberal with my faith, this is funny because my ENFJ friend is way more liberal than me. It's your situation except less romantic and faith flipped. Just wanted to shout that out.

Also this statement I need to do something to care for this person.. Although it is very honorable, caring, and gracious, and I know as an ENFJ you cannot help yourself when it comes to this, I warn you. You need to guard your heart as well. Because I'm certain this INFP man is guarding his. And your NEED to take care of him might cause you too lose yourself especially in his times of destructive behavior. You might get lost in the forest and not see the trees. THEN when you do see the trees you will burn the forest down with a wrath against all the consistent pains it has failed to realized it's caused you. The INFP himself won't even know he's hurting you, actually he might, but since you keep giving to him he might not know it bothers you until you do lash out at him finally. My ENFJ friend was like a mentor to me, so I listened to everything he said, but when it came to action I often didn't work as hard as he desired and one day he let me HAVE IT! I've seen his wrath open up on people before and I knew one day it would open up on me, and it did, and we are still great friends because we are the only crazy people we know that understand each other but I am more cautious with him now, because that Ni pulls insults out of thin air and coughs.

So to wrap up this ramble and suggest a solution.

He sounds like he is battling himself on whether he should date you or not for whatever reason( My guesses age gap, seeing you as a peer, dropping in and out, online dating, but seems to still care about you)


Guard your own heart as well. Most of this post sounded DEVOTED to this man, like a true ENFJ, but you have needs and a life as well and this man will ultimately be concerned about his needs to the point where he might not even NOTICE your needs.

And I think the sweetest thing said in this whole post was "but I miss him" My heart went out to you girl. As an INFP this would make me heart melt, even if it was a random out of the blue text. Just a simple "Hey, I miss you." Oh my gosh. I remember my ex did that often and man.....let me tel you if this man is really an INFP then he might have a heart for that sort've stuff. I know I do. So I would say tell him that, at least once in a while, sensitivity can work on and INFP, and this is a need of yours if you are gonna have a relationship, is that you have to have a healthy amount of communication in a relationship, I see nothing clingy about it, I'm sure you two can meet in the middle about what a healthy amount is since it's an I/E relationship, but that is your need and he probably doesn't even know it. Last note, I think ENFJs and INFPs are probably the best communicators for each other, not because they understand each other so greatly because I think they are the most open to trying to understand each other IMO. My friend literally calls me up to dump his crazy theories to me that no one else will listen to lol. Good luck, I'll pray for yuh!

P.S read socionics Contrary relationships because the INFj(INFP MBTI) and the ENFJ relationship is that model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For an INFP in love (or at least romantically interested), his behavior is quite abnormal and not typical for our type. INFPs would usually devote a ton of time (maybe a little too much) to talking/chatting with you, especially if one of his top love langauges is quality time. Of course we don't know everything, and there might be other things going on beneath the surface in his life, but my best guess would be:


He's a commitment phobe (read up on it by googling for 'commitment phobia', maybe it make sense to you, maybe not).

This would explain:
- his sudden changes between being all romantic one day and unreachable the next (intimacy is both exciting and hecka scary)
- his very short relationship he had
- your difficulties to reach him and talk to him (3 phone calls in 6 weeks? if I'm romantically interested this would be the worst case scenario for me)
- his bringing up reasons why he is not a good match for you (attempt to create distance)
- his flakiness and indecisiveness in other areas (like picking a school, making actual plans for the future)
- his desire to delay making it official (a commitment phobe will further try to delay any attempt to make things official)
- your increased struggles with self-esteem and clinginess (the off/on behavior always makes you wonder whether you did something wrong, aren't good enough, etc.)
- your fear of losing him by being yourself or assertive (asking what keeps him so busy, what he is up to, or simply stating that you'd like to talk to him much or would appreciate it if he shot you a short message when he needs some time alone. If you feel like you can't communicate your needs and desires without being afraid of losing him, the chances of building a healthy, lasting relationship are very low already.)

I'm sorry to say this, but if this is the case, things are not looking very promising. Even if you end up getting together, it might not last for very long. I'm not a pessimist at all, but I have seen too many relationships display these very patterns and end up in terrible heartbreak (which tends to be onesided more often than not). Commitment phobia isn't easily overcome/healed.

I hope and pray that all of this isn't true in your case. But if I can give you some advice: Read up on it, talk with him about the reasons for his behavior, tell him you'd like to understand him and that you're struggling with the situation as well. If he really cares about you, he will understand and desire to work things out with you. If not, he might not have cared about you as much as you thought he did and as much as he said he did. If you often feel like it's onesided, then chances are it is. Don't forget, you're worthy of being loved in return. And a lasting relationship needs the work of two people.

Blessings!

PS: I'm a Christian and theologian myself.

Hey thanks so much for the honest response! Really appreciate that. I've considered the whole commitment-phobia thing with him before. I think it could be that, but I'm not convinced that it is. (I can come up with reasons that explain his actions other than commitment phobia for 3 of your 8 points......but that still leaves 5)

I kind of downplayed an important section of the narrative because I feel I shouldn't share his private struggles on an internet forum, haha. So, there are even morel layers to the onion. But this could also be me just trying to make more excuses because I want to believe that something will work, even though there's a good chance it won't.

I'd like to talk to him about this, I just don't want him to feel like I'm angry at him or accusing him especially since we are not in a relationship. He and I both do not feel comfortable saying or really acting like so until we actually get to see each other in person. So, I don't want to overstep a boundary here. I don't have the right to.

I'm just more struggling with what to do in between now and then. I don't feel ready to let go of him this time, like I have in the past. But..... when does it get to the point where I have to?



Geez, kind of writing stream of thought here. Don't feel the need to respond to that, lol. Thanks for the reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok I don't know Bob, but I am an INFP. I can tell you sometimes I'VE done in similar situations like this, and it might give you a clue as to what an INFP might resort to in those situations.

I'd also like to add that my best friend is an ENFJ, we are the best and worst communicators........
New to the forums, just quoting so that it's obvious I'm replying to you, haha

But wow. Thanks so much for that! Very astute observations skills! I think the age gap might actually be part of it. Now that I think about it, he'll definitely say weird/random/out of the blue things regarding my age every once in a while. I never thought much of it before though probably just because it's a non-issue for me. My parents are 12 years apart and my grandparents were 20! A 4 year gap is actually ideal for me, even though I'd be ok with 2-10 or possibly more, depending. But, maybe that's not the case for him.

Yeah, I do need to be reminded about the whole guarding your heart thing. I can totally see myself getting lost in loving someone like him. It could happen so easily. I can feel it kind of happening already which means I've gotten a little taste of what the heartbreak would feel like and maaaannnnnn I am SO not down for that. So I'm trying to keep an emotional distance which is really really hard for me. I don't think I'm being successful at it, ha.

I think the situation in which we would have that "communication needs" conversation should/would happen in person, when we finally get to see each other and decide if we're actually going to do this or not. He offered to fly to come see me first, which I guess is promising. Or maybe it could be so that he could decide not to come last minute (never thought about that before....scary)

I just don't know what to do in between now and then. As an INFP, I mean, would you find it offensive or annoying for me to come straight out and ask? Should I just wait for him to contact me in case he's in one of those destructive modes or battling his inner demons (which there happen to be a lot of...that I know)? We aren't in a relationship, so I don't want to overstep boundaries here, ya know? I know INFPs need a lot of space to feel things out and I completely do not understand that since I'm the opposite, so I don't know how to gauge how much space is enough.....uurgghh now I'm just rambling again.

It's actually funny because one of my closest friends is an INFP and dude. She used to drive me INSANE for the same exact reasons Bob does. like. omg. The funny thing about it is that I actually feel comfortable enough around her that I did confront her about it. LOL Turns out I was misinterpreting her not texting me back or initiating contact or not "hanging out" enough. She's told me that she feels I'm one of the only people on the planet who just "gets" her w/o any explanations. We don't talk all the time, but when we do it's always super deep and great. We don't hang out much either, a lot because she's always traveling and I'm so busy. But there's tons of love when we do. It's just difficult because that's a friendship and this whole thing has gone romantic. LOL

I think you're probably right that he has no idea what he's doing leaves me confused & slightly hurt. I just don't know how to go about telling him that. BECAUSE I don't want him to call me everyday because I asked him to. I want him to do it because HE wants to. Otherwise, it's not authentic and I'll feel like I'm making him do something he doesn't want to do, which is wrong, at least in my eyes.

It's just that when I think about the life we *could* have together, I just know it would be frickin' AMAZING. And I know that I could satisfy his needs in the relationship. No problem. I'd do anything. So that's not an issue. I guess the issue is really me, and what I need. Man, I just don't feel like the potential is worth giving up before it even started just because I feel a little lost & confused. Why does this stuff have to be so hard????

lol, anyways THANK YOU for the thoughtful reply. I'll think about it long and hard. :)
 
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