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I posted this on the INFP thread, but I am curious to see what other types think as well.


What do you define as being too mentally intimate to share with others, while being in a relationship? Is there a line there that, as an INFP, you get accused of crossing when you just feel you are being yourself?

I struggle with knowing where this boundary is. When I get to know people, even if it is the opposite sex, I don't just know them at a surface level or as an acquaintance. I genuinely have an interest in really getting to know them, on a deeper level. I am not meaning in a sexual way.... What I mean is that people I get to know well, tend to confide in me what is going on in their lives -- their struggles, their regrets, their dreams, their views on life and the world. I have conversations such as this with almost everyone that I find interesting or intriguing, to me this is how I grow as a person. I enjoy making connections. I take something away from my conversations and interactions with others. I feel it is part of who I am and who I always have been. Do you believe when you are with someone that they are to be your only source of intimacy on an intellectual level? Do you feel it is wrong to make connections that have depth to them with others, while in a relationship?

For me, someone asking me to stop doing this is essentially asking me to stop being who I am. I'm just really curious if anyone shares this point of view. I can't understand how wanting to truly get to know someone is ever a bad thing. I don't understand how being in a committed relationship equates that you then need to forgo all other types of relationships... that contain any type of intimacy or connection.

I guess this is the flip side to visually looking at or admiring others while in a relationship lol I didn't think of it like that until now, but I guess I can see a huge parallel between the two. Some people feel by looking at someone you find attractive, while in a relationship, that it is a form of cheating. I guess I'm asking if you feel that making a mental connection with someone while in a relationship is a form of cheating? Is it somehow unfair to the person you are in a relationship with?
 

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Personally, I don't think so. As an ENFP I know many people on an 'intimate' level too. It's an integral part of my life to understand and click with people, but I don't feel as though I am being unfair to my SO.

If you think being intellectually intimate with people is a part of who you are, I definitely wouldn't suppress it. If you have a romantic partner, your relationship will not work if you do not act as yourself. Honesty and trust are two big things in a relationship so:
1. If you continue to be intellectually intimate with others, because that is who you are, you are being honest with your partner by not suppressing a part of yourself.
2. In a healthy relationship, the couple will trust each other. The right partner for you would trust you enough to not feel betrayed if you were intellectually intimate with other people.

It's not cheating if you don't feel the same way as you do to another person as you do to your partner (my, my, what terrible wording. I hope you understand what I mean though).

Having said that, you shouldn't neglect your partner. A romantic partner is meant to be someone no one else can be to you. Remember to do things for them that makes them feel special. Be intimate with them, intellectually and if you want, sexually (but not sexually intimate with other people unless you are in an open relationship or into polygamy).

It's just a matter of you finding the right partner who accepts who you are, and remembering the two ingredients of honesty and trust.

Do tell me if I've misinterpreted your post, as its quite abstract.
 

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I think that as an INTP myself (and others with my predisposition), I would find such a thing as intellectual dishonesty dreadfully painful. Sharing secrets is, however, very different than being forthright regarding one's position regarding the pursuit of truth and knowledge.

Mental stimulation is the most addictive. While sensory pleasures are nice, they are all too fleeting. Maybe this is a trait amongst Intuitives? Regardless, it's all conjecture at this point.

The senses sense something as beautiful, while the mind defines the very abstract notion of beauty.
 
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I think that as an INTP myself (and others with my predisposition), I would find such a thing as intellectual dishonesty dreadfully painful.
I'm wondering, what is intellectual dishonesty to you (as yourself, as an INTP)? Could you put that into more words, perhaps also place it in context? Thanks ^^
 
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I'm wondering, what is intellectual dishonesty to you (as yourself, as an INTP)? Could you put that into more words, perhaps also place it in context? Thanks ^^

Self-deceit, in order to elevate something you believe to be true. In the face of overwhelming evidence or pure reason, still holding onto old lies.

Secrets are about the self, me, that's it. I don't like sharing them.

The pursuit of truth, is something else entirely. Information is external to the self. My intellectual intimacy with others revolves around this honesty, in the pursuit of truth, knowledge or just information. I make no attempts to deceive others with any statement I make in this avenue.
 

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I posted this on the INFP thread, but I am curious to see what other types think as well.


What do you define as being too mentally intimate to share with others, while being in a relationship? Is there a line there that, as an INFP, you get accused of crossing when you just feel you are being yourself?

I struggle with knowing where this boundary is. When I get to know people, even if it is the opposite sex, I don't just know them at a surface level or as an acquaintance. I genuinely have an interest in really getting to know them, on a deeper level. I am not meaning in a sexual way.... What I mean is that people I get to know well, tend to confide in me what is going on in their lives -- their struggles, their regrets, their dreams, their views on life and the world. I have conversations such as this with almost everyone that I find interesting or intriguing, to me this is how I grow as a person. I enjoy making connections. I take something away from my conversations and interactions with others. I feel it is part of who I am and who I always have been. Do you believe when you are with someone that they are to be your only source of intimacy on an intellectual level? Do you feel it is wrong to make connections that have depth to them with others, while in a relationship?

For me, someone asking me to stop doing this is essentially asking me to stop being who I am. I'm just really curious if anyone shares this point of view. I can't understand how wanting to truly get to know someone is ever a bad thing. I don't understand how being in a committed relationship equates that you then need to forgo all other types of relationships... that contain any type of intimacy or connection.

I guess this is the flip side to visually looking at or admiring others while in a relationship lol I didn't think of it like that until now, but I guess I can see a huge parallel between the two. Some people feel by looking at someone you find attractive, while in a relationship, that it is a form of cheating. I guess I'm asking if you feel that making a mental connection with someone while in a relationship is a form of cheating? Is it somehow unfair to the person you are in a relationship with?
Considering I had what amounts to a mental orgasm after meeting, talking to, playing mental games with a certain person...all of which culminated in one specific "moment"... I would say that yes, it is possible to be mentally intimate. We never hinted at liking each other, we never said anything affectionate - we just existed on the same mental plane.

So yes, if you are a mental sort of person, or even if you are not - mental intimacy is cheating.

Of course - I cannot say that he felt the same, except he remembers that moment as fondly as I do. So I know something happened.

When you are with your mate - I believe you should be with a mate who meets you intellectually, spiritually, and physically - or else you will find solace in another person who meets your needs. Which leads to strife.
 

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I seriously don't get it. My best friend is an ENTJ, and we can hold better and longer conversations than I've had with anyone I've ever dated, but if he was a girl, or I was homosexual, then it would be possible to cheat on my SO by being excited by engaging in mentally stimulating activity with him? Maybe this is an NT thing, I can't say it rings true as something that is possible, or even makes sense to me.

That's crazy cool though. I want a mental orgasm!
 

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I seriously don't get it. My best friend is an ENTJ, and we can hold better and longer conversations than I've had with anyone I've ever dated, but if he was a girl, or I was homosexual, then it would be possible to cheat on my SO by being excited by engaging in mentally stimulating activity with him? Maybe this is an NT thing, I can't say it rings true as something that is possible, or even makes sense to me.

That's crazy cool though. I want a mental orgasm!
Mmmm....I can't even describe it. We weren't even talking about anything remotely related to sex, yet I was overpowered by the moment.
 
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Actually, I'm being a goof. Sounds like something I experience through music. I occasionally find dancing to a good mix much more enjoyable than sex, especially if I'm drunk at the time. Like an orgasm that can last for minutes. Not sure I can qualify it as a mental thing, more like an emotional orgasm.
 
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My rule of thumb: If I wouldn't do something in front of someone's face, I don't do it behind their backs. If I did, either:
a.) I'm being dishonest with myself/or others
b.) I'm in a controlling/potentially abusive relationship
c.) The other person is in a potentially controlling/abusive relationship
d.) Combination of above- We're both blind/in denial about our chemistry

If I am comfortable enough to talk to this person and if his/her partner and/or my partner is/was in front of that person, and I wouldn't change a thing about how I behaved, then I have no problem with getting to know someone. I have nothing to hide. If I'm behaving in a way that would make any person's partner feel like it's okay to flirt, then I keep myself aware of my own behavior.

Some people are really charming to a lot of people and naturally draw out that attention in others.

I find a lot of people intellectually stimulating on varying levels. I find it harder to emotionally connect on a deeper level with someone else to the point where we confide in one another as close confidants. The question depends on both people's intentions.

Usually, I can tell when subtle the lines are blurred enough to be considered innocent or not. If I don't have anything to hide, then genuinely knowing someone through mutual respect is not harmful to anyone or any relationship, then I know I'm not being way out line by being myself. Some friendships truly are platonic if people are both honest and conscientious about their intentions.
 

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The senses sense something as beautiful, while the mind defines the very abstract notion of beauty.
That is SO 150% true.

And in response to the question... it would have to depend on your partner. My husband is openly ... er, not intellectual. I'm a Ph.D. student. Naturally, I'm going to want to have that intellectual stimulation and he cannot provide it. He therefore has no problem with me having as many intellectually stimulating conversations and getting to know people mentally as I want, provided that I respect some emotional and definitely physical boundaries.

The difficulty comes in, for me, when people who are highly attracted by intellect can become emotionally infatuated with me. This is almost always a total surprise to me when it happens, as I don't see myself as particularly attractive compared to other people they could go after who are actually available. In those cases, I face a conundrum because I often value the friendship. So I usually just go for a policy of openness and honesty about what can and cannot happen, with them, and with my husband about what that person feels and how I responded to it, to reassure him. *shrug*
 

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I'm not sure that intellectual intimacy is cheating per say, but I do think it can definitely lead to it. Especially for us NFs (or maybe it's just me), who fantasize so much that our thoughts can eventually seep over into our actions. If someone (or you) are in a relationship, I'd tread lightly. I've found that it's easy for me to fall for someone if I have that connection, even if they have a significant other. Even if I don't want to. Even though I never act on it.
 

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If it helps, the guy I'm dating and I had a conversation similar to this only about emotional stimulation. We've both been in other relationships before and I told him I was feeling guilty because I felt like I'd given away my emotional virginity. He knew exactly what I meant. I would guess that intellectual intimacy would be similar. I'm not sure if it's cheating but if you share it with the wrong person, it could lead to disaster later on.
 

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Nope. I spread my lobes for everyone.
Nyah, I do the same, except that I do feel that listening is like a one way street, and I myself experience it as being on uneven level, compared to having a two-way conversation where you know you're on even levels and have a mind blowing mental exchange.

This subject has often crossed my mind, but I haven't really reached a conclusion. I think personal intimacy could be 'cheating', but it depends heavily on the subject.
 
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I definitely don't consider intellectually connecting with someone cheating in even the slightest form. Though I will say it gets tricker from a trust/jealousy standpoint if it's with someone of the same gender you're intimate with. In that sort of case, it's best just to only hang out with the person when your SO's around, so there's no trust issues and everyone's involved.
 

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Ah, this is a tricky topic.

a) some types (XNFP for example) are simply built to share like that. To not share on that level is crippling in a way.

b) what are your intentions? If you are looking to cheat, it is cheating. If you are being friends, it is not. Do you feel less loving toward your romantic partner after one of these conversations? Then it's a problem.

c) how is the other person handling it? Are they making moves that feel uncomfortable, or is this an intellectual exercise as well?

I have been blessed with two INFP besties who are both guys (I'm an ENFP girl), and have had some really deep and personal conversations about emotions and sex with them both. I could easily crush on them and make more of it, but they are both married. I adore both of their wives, and my marriage broke up due to infidelity, so I make sure I don't go there at all. But I really need their love and support as I heal from an abusive marriage, and would go crazy without those conversations.

Take what you will from my ramblings; I hope something there helps.
 

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@TyTy everything you said I totally get and am the exact same way. I find it a lot easier to connect with woman than I do with men this way, mostly... And I've also pissed off a lot of boyfiends in the process. Who's to say this is my fault? I despise superficial relationships of any kind, especially friends. If you're not going to truely connect with someone, what the fuck is the point!?
 
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In my opinion, intellectual intimacy isn't cheating, but it could maybe lead to emotional intimacy that could be considered cheating if the person began to neglect connecting with their partner in favor of doing so with the friend.

I do think this is a pretty subjective question, as everyone has their own comfort zones and concepts of what cheating is. There are some people who are OK with open relationships so long as the other partner only has casual sex and doesn't really connect emotionally with the others, there are those who would be tolerant of emotional and intellectual intimacy as long as it never became physical... for this reason communication is extremely important in any relationship.
 
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