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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all you wonderful INFPs,

I've noticed, from real life observation and especially from recent personality forum browsing that INTPs and INFPs are often attracted and fascinated by one another -- however that this combination rarely works out. The INFP will often leave the relationship heartbroken and disillusioned. The INTP will probably leave confused and hateful.

:sad:

When I've read INFP descriptions about INTPs ultimate failings, I find them particularly cutting. Firstly, because they are often very accurate. Secondly, I believe that INFPs really are the only type of girl that I have ever fallen love with, and ever will. I've had fun relationships with other types, but ... INFPs are just a completely different caliber to me.They stir a powerful irrational chord in me. So it strikes me as tragic that it seems to rarely work. I imagine it is far more tragic for you guys with your Fi stewing in hurt.

I can't resist idealizing that I will find an INFP, and everything will be sublime and wonderful. I'm starting to suspect this is dangerous.

So, any insights into the combination are welcome.
Does what I'm saying ring true? Why/not, do you think?
Are there any positive stories of INFPs with INTPs?
How do you guys find us as friends? etc. etc.
 

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Hello all you wonderful INFPs,

I've noticed, from real life observation and especially from recent personality forum browsing that INTPs and INFPs are often attracted and fascinated by one another -- however that this combination rarely works out. The INFP will often leave the relationship heartbroken and disillusioned. The INTP will probably leave confused and hateful.

:sad:

When I've read INFP descriptions about INTPs ultimate failings, I find them particularly cutting. Firstly, because they are often very accurate. Secondly, I believe that INFPs really are the only type of girl that I have ever fallen love with, and ever will. I've had fun relationships with other types, but ... INFPs are just a completely different caliber to me.They stir a powerful irrational chord in me. So it strikes me as tragic that it seems to rarely work. I imagine it is far more tragic for you guys with your Fi stewing in hurt.

I can't resist idealizing that I will find an INFP, and everything will be sublime and wonderful. I'm starting to suspect this is dangerous.

So, any insights into the combination are welcome.
Does what I'm saying ring true? Why/not, do you think?
Are there any positive stories of INFPs with INTPs?
How do you guys find us as friends? etc. etc.

There is a particular person that I suspect to be an INTP and he is the closest thing to perfect that I've ever met. But that idea is futile. I can see where there would be definite problems with the pairing but I think you'd have to have a fairly rational INFP and an INTP that is a bit more developed with dealing with their emotions and wanting to communicate them sometimes. Good luck, though.
 
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I really like INFPs; most of my friends are. A dating relationship isn't impossible, but as an INTP you really have to understand how the INFP's emotions work and be able to reciprocate in a way that makes them happy in order for it to be successful.
 

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My ex was an INTP, and it seemed to work well, but, unfortunately, circumstances got in the way.
He is one of the most understanding/accepting people I know, and there was never any pressure from him, which all in all meant that I was free to speak my mind/voice my concerns without any worry. (something very much appreciated)
One potential issue I could see is that perhaps we were too similar, but then that can either be very good or very bad, simply depends. Another is perhaps that sometimes he wasn't as receptive to emotional needs as maybe he could be?... but then he tested very low T, and was actually pretty well-developed when it came to this, though I am not sure every INTP is like that.
 

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Ah! And another thing, I do have a close INTP friend, and he and my ex are one of the few with a mutual interest in concepts/ideas, so... good conversations. ^^ Sometimes other people simply aren't interested/patient enough it to handle it.
 

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I don't know about romantic relationships, but I think in real life, academically/professionally, I work really well with INTPs. We just complement each other. We mostly get each other. It unsettles them a little how passionately I tend to speak and how highly I prioritize the ethical side of things. I mean, they see my high intelligence and my strong capacity for logic and making the right observations and connections. It just alarms them that I have to sort through my emotional life first, which is supported and followed by rational thought.

The thing is, though, with other types, what Ts really hate about me is that I see their Fi or Fe, however far back it is buried, and I keep emphasizing it and bringing it out in them. It pisses them off, because usually it's not a priority to them, they don't have that function very refined or developed or anything, and because it's awkward to them, they don't like to bring it out for all to show.

Honestly, though, this may be a bit unusual, but I think I would prefer if my next partner were something like an ENTx. It would help though if they were really well-developed, with a higher than average emotional intelligence for an NT.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There is a particular person that I suspect to be an INTP and he is the closest thing to perfect that I've ever met. But that idea is futile. I can see where there would be definite problems with the pairing
This is very curious. I've heard 'perfect' from INFPs describing INTPs before. We are usually very far from perfect. Perhaps, there is a kind of purity to our quest for knowledge, but we're often mentally unhealthy.

Would you mind elaborating why you say it wouldn't work?
The situation seems like an unhappy paradox.

It's interesting that both INTPs and INFPs are described as 'disorganised perfectionists'. There's usually a project on our minds (a different one for every week) that we usually fail to actualize.
 

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This is very curious. I've heard 'perfect' from INFPs describing INTPs before. We are usually very far from perfect. Perhaps, there is a kind of purity to our quest for knowledge, but we're often mentally unhealthy.

Would you mind elaborating why you say it wouldn't work?
The situation seems like an unhappy paradox.

It's interesting that both INTPs and INFPs are described as 'disorganised perfectionists'. There's usually a project on our minds (a different one for every week) that we usually fail to actualize.
I guess I should've worded myself a bit better. I meant perfect for me. Not a perfect person. I don't believe in such a thing. Also, not every INTP is just like him. We're all individuals.

It wouldn't work because of more personal, concrete factors like distance and our inability to admit anything. Not because he's an unemotional INTP. I hide my feelings nearly just as much as he does.

It was very late when I wrote that. :p
 

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The only friendships I've had with INTPs that have worked long term are ones which do not get too close. However, I've found most of them to get close/intense much more quickly than I would with anyone else (and as these have always been men, there's often a romantic tinge to the friendship). It's probably because we can actually talk about the things which interest us. These never end well, though; they don't necessarily end horribly, but they end & usually include some tiff.

One major problem is, these INTPs would never apologize & never admit when they were wrong. They'd always make some excuse instead of owning up to a mistake. This can be a weak spot in me also, but hanging out with them highlighted my compassionate & humble side. They'd also seem very unaware or in denial of their own emotional motivations. Emotional motivations come through loud & clear to an INFP, like nails on a chalkboard, and when someone claims they are objective or unbiased when they are not, it just seems delusional & arrogant. Basically, those tiffs which ended the relationship could have been resolved with a sincere apology & admitting of an irrational moment. I found myself making peace, but I never saw an effort on their part, so I'd cut them out of my life. It's needs to be a two-way street when it comes to compromise.
 

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I am married to an INTP and before we were married, we were friends for 10 years and dated for 5. I can't imagine life without him. I'm not saying our relationship is perfect, but we are best friends. In fact, just today I got a message from one of my female friends asking for relationship advice because she saw me and my husband's relationship as ideal, like we were meant for each other. I have dated A LOT of guys, I'm not gonna lie. And I thought I was gonna marry two or three of them. Then we broke up. When I finally started dating my husband, I knew from the first night we kissed that he was unlike ALL the other guys I thought I had loved. He FELT RIGHT and that was the best way to describe it! And he still does feel right. So my point in this romantic story is that IT CAN WORK, don't feel so cut throat about it. It might not work with some people but with us, it works great.

I'll admit that I am borderline INFP/J and am the extroverted one in the relationship. He is much quieter and shy than me and he's much more indecisive. It's a challenge to me to always be the extrovert and the decisive one, and it can get damn annoying at times, but it works more times than it doesn't work. I'm also an only child, which I think helps me be more controlling. and when I say controlling, I mean I'm just making sure we don't float away into space like runaway balloons.

So yeah, the problems for me arise from always having to be the one to decide everything and plan it out. I also feel like a nag sometimes having to remind him about little stuff. But honestly, he is getting a lot better at remembering things and making an attempt to show some responsibility and control over his life, which is nice. Less of a burden for me. I have a hard time dealing with my own issues sometimes that it's hard to remember to worry about him too. But really, those things are not very bad. The pros outweigh the cons, for sure. The best parts of our relationship include being able to speak abstractly with each other on the drop of a hat, and always being able to joke around. We are always joking around and making obscure/abstract jokes that probably no one else thinks are funny but they crack us up. Also, when I do need to talk about my feelings, he will sit there and listen and not judge. He might not have anything to say and sometimes it's like talking to a wall, but at least I know he is listening and he cares. He shows his love for me more in his deeds and actions than in his expressions verbally. He is extremely thoughtful and attentive, never complaining about anything, always willing to help out where needed. He picks up in actions where he leaves off in words, if you follow that. and I really appreciate him, I take time to notice him and tell him he's amazing and I think he thrives on that. A lot of people interrupt him, don't let him speak, don't ask his opinion, etc, because he's so quiet. But I always resented that and I let him speak and want to listen to him! You can find that he's a brilliant man when you actually give him the attention he deserves. So yeah, it can work!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I really like INFPs; most of my friends are. A dating relationship isn't impossible, but as an INTP you really have to understand how the INFP's emotions work and be able to reciprocate in a way that makes them happy in order for it to be successful.
I missed this one.

Do you know how these emotions work? Are there any insightful generalization about these processes?

I've noticed INFPs seem unable to express a it themselves. A very common phrase here is-- you need to 'get it', or you 'just don't get it'. I'm not sure if I 'get it', which likely means I don't. It's like you need a special pair of eyes to see through theirs.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experiences Ethylester. It's throwing a lot of light on some problem areas in a previous relationship I had. Don't mind me if I just have to capitalize your name.

I'll admit that I am borderline INFP/J and am the extroverted one in the relationship. He is much quieter and shy than me and he's much more indecisive. It's a challenge to me to always be the extrovert and the decisive one, and it can get damn annoying at times
I can totally picture this, my ex expressed the same annoyances with me. When I get into relationships, I can become even more disorganized introverted, allowing my partner to pick up the work. That's pretty wrong and immature I know. I think it's that the compulsion in us to immerse ourselves in our systems, research and projects is so strong that we can take advantage of any situation which allows us to do that more. When we are being looked after, and having our social obligations arranged by another, it allows us more energy to do so. This must be particularly frustrating for a partner who is not inclined to organize and extrovert either.

I'm also an only child, which I think helps me be more controlling. and when I say controlling, I mean I'm just making sure we don't float away into space like runaway balloons.
Haha awesome

The best parts of our relationship include being able to speak abstractly with each other on the drop of a hat, and always being able to joke around. We are always joking around and making obscure/abstract jokes that probably no one else thinks are funny but they crack us up
I think this is the magic of the INFP / INTP combination. Ive experienced this very intensely, some of the happiest moments of my life have been conversations with INFPs in which our conversations have taken such imaginative, unrestricted, hilarious leaps, that have left us howling with laughter. The combination seems to just compliment each other in this respect.


So yeah, it can work!!
:laughing: cool
 

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I missed this one.

Do you know how these emotions work? Are there any insightful generalization about these processes?

I've noticed INFPs seem unable to express a it themselves. A very common phrase here is-- you need to 'get it', or you 'just don't get it'. I'm not sure if I 'get it', which likely means I don't. It's like you need a special pair of eyes to see through theirs.
I think that's a really good observation about INFP's, our emotions are difficult to understand, even for ourselves. I think by saying this you have shown that you do get us to some extent, probably more than most people do. I think one of the key things is that feeling and compassion are very important to us, we would prefer someone to be nice rather than right. The things we believe in at our core aren't just intellectual concepts to us, they are part of who we are, so you need to be careful when discussing these things.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think one of the key things is that feeling and compassion are very important to us, we would prefer someone to be nice rather than right. The things we believe in at our core aren't just intellectual concepts to us, they are part of who we are, so you need to be careful when discussing these things.
Thanks for your thoughts, Luke. Yes, I think here is where our personality types rapidly part ways to great distances, and where the potential for strife arises.

For us INTPs, everything is an intellectual concept and needs to be understood if it isn't already. I think we usually apply this to ourselves and who we are too. For us, this is no way belittles the object of study, due to the almost sacred nature of the quest for Truth (which usually feels as though it is just around the corner, awaiting our discovery).

In fact, we feel like we are paying a tribute to the concept we are studying. Whereas I'm guessing most INFPs would rather be anywhere than under the analytical scalpal.

And with this realization, I profoundly hope I am not annoying you.

But there is one thing that doesn't sit right. One the one hand, I have heard INFPs complain on many a forum that they are not 'understood'. And yet, were I to attempt to understand you, you might feel attacked. It is as though do not wish to be understood intellectually. Perhaps you wish to be understood on some unfathomable, inexpressible level...

And since we INTPs can't do that, then we should learn when to back off. Aw shit.
 

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Once again I think that is very insightful. It can feel like an analytical scalpal. I apply this scalpal to myself a lot so i think in someways both infp and intp are engaged in this quest, except for the infp it is very personal and that could be where conflict can arise. I think the scalpal is a good analogy but when dealing with infps, imagine that you are performing surgery on a living thing, so the exploratory cuts must be made carefully if you don't want to cause harm.

But I really believe that love conquers all so it is quite possible for the two personalities to overcome their differences and value each other at the deepest level.

Infp like to be understood on the intellectual and emotional level because both are connected for us. I understand that this is difficult and to be honest we can be difficult people, which is why we are very careful to try and avoid conflict on this emotional/intellectual level because it can get personal.
 

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I can totally picture this, my ex expressed the same annoyances with me. When I get into relationships, I can become even more disorganized introverted, allowing my partner to pick up the work. That's pretty wrong and immature I know. I think it's that the compulsion in us to immerse ourselves in our systems, research and projects is so strong that we can take advantage of any situation which allows us to do that more. When we are being looked after, and having our social obligations arranged by another, it allows us more energy to do so. This must be particularly frustrating for a partner who is not inclined to organize and extrovert either.
I had been frustrated for a while and I was letting him know on and off for a few years that it was frustrating to me. But little by little, he has been showing more responsibility and each time he does, I make sure to notice it and point it out and thank him for it. Simple stuff like taking out the garbage and helping with chores... I work full time I also volunteer, I am not home half the time. He spends a lot of his day reading at home if he's not picking up a few hours at his part time job (some weeks he only works 9 hours). I was resentful that even though I had the busier schedule by a long shot, I was still the one doing most/all of the housework on top of this. Anyway, I begrudgingly confronted him about it many times and to my utmost pleasure he has taken on a few daily chores and it makes me so happy and I let him know that!! that's what I mean when I say he shows his love for me in actions as opposed to verbally. I know he's helping out at home because he knows it makes me happy. (plus I'm a horrible housekeeper and he does a much better job! much more thorough! :tongue:)

As for his gripes about me, I remember he once complained to me that if felt like he had to ask permission whenever he wanted to do something or go somewhere. I took that kind of hard because I really didn't see that, and I had no idea why he thought that. I thought I was always encouraging him to go off and do his thing. I like having time alone, if he wants to go away for a few days, I would never try to stop him (in fact last year he bought himself a round trip train ticket to san francisco without telling me first. He wanted to visit his best friend and it didn't bother me at all, I was happy for him!) And when I had plans that I wanted to include him in, I always asked him first if he wanted to be included, I didn't just assume. But I guess there was something else I was doing, and I'm still not sure what exactly it was... I just hope he still doesn't feel that way because I would hate to be that crazy wife that tells her husband what to do. I would despise myself, actually. I always remember with admiration the stories of John Muir and his wife. John Muir would sometimes just leave the house with a packed lunch, say "bye, I don't know how long I'll be" and disappear into the woods for two weeks, climbing to the tops of trees in lightning storms and having staring contests with bears. His wife didn't mind, she thought it was cool. I always wanted to be John Muir's wife.

I think this is the magic of the INFP / INTP combination. Ive experienced this very intensely, some of the happiest moments of my life have been conversations with INFPs in which our conversations have taken such imaginative, unrestricted, hilarious leaps, that have left us howling with laughter. The combination seems to just compliment each other in this respect.

Isn't it magical?? That was the first thing that struck me about our relationship. It was beautiful! We could go off on tangents for hours and laugh and laugh about nothing. Pure fantasy. On the first day of our honeymoon we took a train tour for a day and I will always remember that we sat there for hours making up limericks off the top of our heads. He'd start it off, then I'd do a line, then he'd do a line, etc. We just spoke back and forth in limericks for hours. It was great. Then we started speaking to each other using homonyms and trying to make up sentences with as many of them as possible. Then the sentences became punchlines to jokes. I can't help but wonder what the people behind us were thinking when they overheard our conversations. It was awesome. The limerick theme lasted for the full two weeks of the honeymoon, as we'd break into it randomly. I could never imagine having that experience with anyone else. To me, THAT is what is amazing about our relationship. THAT is what keeps me coming back for more.

Another thing about INFP is that we NEED a space where we can talk about our feelings. It's essential to our survival. I realized that my husband is NOT that place. As long as the INFP realizes that s/he can't rely on the INTP to be the sole provider of her/his emotional needs, then it can work. I need more than just a person I can vent to who may respond with two or three sentences after I've sat there crying for an hour. I need more than that and I take care of it elsewhere. (I come here, I volunteer at a crisis hotline, I train people to be crisis counselors, I have many journals, I have other friends, I used to see a therapist, etc) If I didn't have these extra means for helping me with my emotions, I don't think I would be happy at all. My INTP husband can try and try but I need more than what he is capable of. With this understood, we can both be happy. :happy:
 

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I missed this one.

Do you know how these emotions work? Are there any insightful generalization about these processes?

I've noticed INFPs seem unable to express a it themselves. A very common phrase here is-- you need to 'get it', or you 'just don't get it'. I'm not sure if I 'get it', which likely means I don't. It's like you need a special pair of eyes to see through theirs.
I think it depends on the maturity level/development of the INFP. I tend to be very aware of my inner emotional life and what's going on with me.

Sometimes I do have trouble sorting and verbalizing it for others to understand, though. This is because I have so much going on in my head all the time that it has to be compressed into just little "impressions," concepts which can be expanded to be pages of text and pictures' worth of ideas. To turn those all into one coherent dialogue can be tricky.

Kaj said:
And with this realization, I profoundly hope I am not annoying you.

But there is one thing that doesn't sit right. One the one hand, I have heard INFPs complain on many a forum that they are not 'understood'. And yet, were I to attempt to understand you, you might feel attacked. It is as though do not wish to be understood intellectually. Perhaps you wish to be understood on some unfathomable, inexpressible level...

And since we INTPs can't do that, then we should learn when to back off. Aw shit.
We want our moral, personal, and emotional life/selves understood. We tend to be a bit on edge when people approach us and understand us from a highly functionalist or logical perspective because often we feel they are trying to convince us that our ethical framework and emotional experience are somehow invalid through rationality. It just doesn't seem that they're trying to understand us, then. It feels like they are trying to disprove or belittle us in some way.
 

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I think it depends on the maturity level/development of the INFP. I tend to be very aware of my inner emotional life and what's going on with me.

Sometimes I do have trouble sorting and verbalizing it for others to understand, though. This is because I have so much going on in my head all the time that it has to be compressed into just little "impressions," concepts which can be expanded to be pages of text and pictures' worth of ideas. To turn those all into one coherent dialogue can be tricky.


We want our moral, personal, and emotional life/selves understood. We tend to be a bit on edge when people approach us and understand us from a highly functionalist or logical perspective because often we feel they are trying to convince us that our ethical framework and emotional experience are somehow invalid through rationality. It just doesn't seem that they're trying to understand us, then. It feels like they are trying to disprove or belittle us in some way.

I agree with you. I think it does depend on the INFP's maturity (and INTP's). INFPs are idealists, but we have to be realists too when it comes to certain things. You have to know that you and the INTP are different and you have to respect that. He sees things through a rational lens and you don't. Accept this. Find ways where you can both be fulfilling your rational and emotional needs that don't include that other person. For him, he joined a book club. For me, I volunteer helping people in crisis. Together but separate. I would not want to join his book club and he would never work out as a crisis counselor. And that's fine.

Also, I am always hearing about the INTP's arrogance and tendency to belittle the INFP. I don't get that from my guy, so I guess I'm lucky. I got it more from my ex who was INTJ, who was extremely arrogant and belittling to me. My husband at least attempts to understand me and respect how I am feeling. He might not agree with it, but he will say that it's fine for me to feel how I feel and not try to change me to tell me I'm wrong. He's very open to whatever. For example, with religion, he is a strict atheist. I'm agnostic. We totally butt heads about this to the point where one discussion ended with me in tears. He is SO SURE he is right about his beliefs and I am so sure about mine, that it seems impossible to connect. So we have agreed to disagree and we just don't talk about it anymore. I never was belittled by him, more just shut out. and he probably felt annoyed with me. With my ex, the INTJ, he would have made some cutting remarks about my character and said hurtful things to me about ME as opposed to about the topic at hand. The difference is my husband the INTP would never put ME down, just my ideas. The INTJ would actually put ME down, which I could not tolerate.
 
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