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I work with a group of guys with whom I've become close with over the past three years. I am the only female in the "group," so I'm used to the dude vibe. Though I can be pretty chill, nothing bothers me worse than the guys trying to get me to talk about how I feel about a certain co-worker or some other person I know, whether the question is of a romantic or platonic nature. The guys are aware of my intense nature and would never bluntly ask me to speak of such things because they know I would probably hurt them, most likely not physically, but definitely leaving a dent emotionally. Tension has arisen after 3 years of working with this group of guys, a tension that I never thought would happen. It seems pretty obvious now why it's occurring, but I never thought much of it...

The guys are at least 5 years older than me each except one other: he's the same age as myself and an ISTJ. I never had any emotional or romantic thoughts about this "silent" ISTJ. I don't even remember how I met him. It wasn't until the past 6 months where I've actually started to carry conversations with him (he'd initiate as well - very shocking to me!). Nothing personal of course: politics, Apple, morals, work, science. I've spoken to my friends about this co-worker and they have all found him extremely attractive. The first time I got this reaction I was stunned because I never even thought about his appearance as appealing. He's not bad to look at (apparently) but he doesn't make me buckle at the knees, ie, no sexual tension (on my half at least) whatsoever. The first time I became suspicious of his motives was a couple months ago when he began to hide my things around the workplace, or instigate another one of the guys to do it (I asked around one time I saw my things missing and was very surprised when the guys told me it was the ISTJ. I turned to look at him with my jaw dropped because I couldn't believe that he was actually messing around for once.). He's told me countless times that watching me fret and defend myself is very entertaining, myself being worth the trouble to get me there in a sense. Along with the other guys I invited the ISTJ to an off-site work opportunity I found and the ISTJ was the only one who accepted and was the last one I accepted to accept (I only invited him so he would feel left out). I was nervous for him because I didn't want him to feel awkward with me (he'd been acting weird lately when the subject of me came up amongst the guys), but he carried through amazingly well. The last time the topic of giving me giving ride home came up he freaked out a bit (I made a post about this incident... for more details check my last post!) but had no problem lending me a ride when we were done working.

The guys had dinner one night and I wondered how it went because I wasn't there this time around, and for the first time the ISTJ actually stayed out longer to have a meal with them. Because I wasn't there I know they talked about how he was with me for a day. The next day the topic of taking me home came up and the guys said they had to ask the ISTJ for permission. I brushed it off, ISTJ seemed confused, but I knew exactly what was going on. To my biggest surprise the ISTJ invited me to see a show with his guy friends a few days later. He even offered to reserve me a spot. When I showed up he was as cool as ice: resumed the conversation with his best friend, calm aura and seemingly aloof and unaffected by my presence (usually the case anyways, but I wouldn't have been surprised if he was at least a little bit flustered). To my surprise his friends didn't know I was invited! It was a very unemotional gathering where the topic of cars and gaming proceed the entire evening; it was definitely Bros' Night. Because the ISTJ was the closest to me at the time I causally asked for another ride (I wouldn't go out of my way to do so) and he agreed maturely. Again, I was surprised. Was I at this point considered in his exclusive and secret circle?! He considers me worthy?! I remained calm, but I was most certainly analyzing EVERYTHING. There's a bit more...

I've been looking to purchase something that I need for school and he knows that I've been putting it off (the classic INTP in me coming out). When we were discussing the matter a month ago he pulled out his phone and made a calendar event date with my project "deadline." He threatened to harm me if I didn't get it done by the date. I found this hilarious and agreed to the verbal contract. He's texted me about this project when I ask advice-based questions (They are legitimate questions. I wouldn't ask a question if can find it on Google.) and has followed up with my progress. He is extremely interested in advising me and is now chill with giving me rides home. My boss said I should marry him and that we look cute together. My boss only received a stammered giggle from me (ISTJ was hopefully too far away to hear this comment, but he was nearby) since I didn't know how to respond to such a flamboyant statement. I don't know if the ISTJ thinks of me romantically, and I certainly haven't started thinking of him with any sexual intentions.

Extra note: ISTJ knows I'm leaving town for work for the first time really soon. He also knows I will be making trips back and forth so he will be seeing me.


ISTJ Males... Is this courtship, flirtationship, friendship? I don't know what to think of his actions. I need insight! Thanks guys :)
 

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Hello Modsiw,

Are you sure this guy is an ISTJ? Hiding your stuff, alternating between hot and cold behavior, and threatening to harm you (even if in jest), sounds downright bizarre to me. I could understand it maybe if the two of your are really good friends and like to play these sort of games with each other. However, that doesn't sound like the situation going on for you.

I think a much more common approach for ISTJs to behave when courting or befriending someone is to be kind, supportive, and loyal. For me I express this primarily by spending time with the person or going out of my way to help him/her with work or chores around the house.
 
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