For "John," I'm not sure I'll ever grasp how some people choose religion over a potential soulmate (this'll open a can of worms <--). I'd like to think most people, religious or not, can at least respect someones faith even if they don't practice in it themselves, but to say someone -needs- that certain quality is like choosing one over the other (religion > soulmate). I wonder if you immediately lost tremendous amounts of respect in a person like that (I know I would).
"Dave" interests me with regards to cheating. I'm sure most INFPs can't possibly fathom cheating -- what was his excuse?
"Mary" seems pretty simple, but reliable. I wonder what she may have been hiding.
"Eric" came off as the overall most interesting, but it's hard to praise someone that can be both cruel and discarding.
At first, I didn't understand John's explanation about needing to date a Christian, but after a couple of years, it hit me that that's simply a major part of his very being, how he was raised, how his mind worked, how his heart wanted to connect to the soulmate he was looking for. I think I was justified in feeling angry and hurt, but I cannot justify in seeing anything wrong with that. Some religious men and women are happy to marry anyone of any religion, and that is fine by me. And some religious men and women want to marry someone who is just as devoutly religious, and that, too, is fine by me.
I have to point out that John didn't hold my non-religiousness against me, but that was enough to know within himself with certainty that he could not date me. He still respects and loves me nonetheless. And I couldn't ask for more honesty than that.
Mary is more interesting than I made her out to be in just that one post. She is a ball of opposing emotions, but I feel so similar to her at times that I get frustrated and end up going to someone who is less like me.
I don't automatically assume that INFPs are mostly a non-cheating group. I see lots of variety. Dave is an example of that variety. He was in a very unhappy relationship. His ex-girlfriend was a true bitch from hell. He did lots of sweet things for her, but she treated him like a servant. He bought her flowers for no reason at all, planned elaborate and romantic dates, surprised her with jewelry because that's what made her happy. He did things that, in my opinion, most guys don't even think to do.
Once, he was working at his computer and she went to the kitchen to get a bowl of ice cream. He asked her if she could get him some, too. She told him, with a blank but serious face, "No. Go get it yourself." But of course, he had to do those favors for her if she asked.
Anyway, she was being pretty mean at one point and withheld sex for a long time. He met this girl at a party -- who, years later, we found out was an INFJ -- and he told her all of his problems. She tried to be a good friend and offered a sympathetic ear. The twist in the story is that she sometimes had very low self-esteem because she was overweight and unattractive. Simply being a deep and caring person didn't cut it. Since they grew close emotionally, they also ended up having sex. He felt terrible of course, but at the time, I could only buy into these vague notions that cheating was wrong, rather than feeling compassion towards him and really understanding his ongoing pain. At the time, I should have stood up for him -- taken his side and said, "I understand why you cheated, and although others will judge you for it, you can't be blamed for everything. But I'm on your side and I would like to help you get out of this relationship that brings out the worst in you."
By clinging so strongly to that ideal, I missed all the details about his situation and how his girlfriend treated him like an animal. But I've long ago let go of these ideals and that has helped me really listen to people and judge them much, much less. Sometimes, there really aren't rights and wrongs because some parts of life are more complex and nuanced than we'd like to admit.
And Eric reminds me that everyone is human after all. I display my best side and am generally good at hiding the nasty stuff -- but it's there, make no mistake. There are no angels and demons -- just human beings.