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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow Dreamers! I'm new to the forum, driven here by questions that I don't know how to answer and a lack of understanding sounding boards. I've known I'm an INFP for years now (one of the best things to ever happen to me), but unfortunately, that hasn't helped me in my search for True Love, only in my understanding of others and why certain relationships were not working out...a good thing in and of itself, to be sure.

(Sorry in advance for the TMI-ness, but I get the feeling that you all know what it's like to circle around in your own head with no outside perspective....)

A couple of weeks ago, I completely gave up in my search. I was broken, defeated, 100% positive that he didn't exist. I was in a bad, dark place. Normally, giving up is just a temporary setback - tomorrow is another day and all that - but this time was for real.

That night, I dreamed of him. I couldn't tell anything about him, but I got a distinctly Idealist vibe and the feeling we hadn't met in the real world.

Now I'm driving myself crazy with wonder. Did my brain conjure him up because I was so depressed? If so, why do I remember having an even vaguer dream many years ago when we were both younger? I wasn't depressed then, not that I can recall anyway.

I spent a number of years loosening my personal standards for The One and now I have a dream indicating a loose personality type. I don't know whether to trust it or not. It all seemed so clear two weeks ago, but with each passing day, more logic seeps in and my doubts grow.

Am I selling myself a bill of goods that doesn't exist? Or did he somehow know to reach out to me at that time? Is such a thing even possible? It all looks so....out there....in text. Knowing that other people - total strangers - will see it and probably think I'm either nuts, a hopeless romantic, or a combination of the two. Plus the part of me that believes feels like I'm betraying him for sharing this with anyone else. But I have to have perspective.

So, has anyone else out there been in a remotely similar position? Or am I off the deep end on my own here? :unsure:
 

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It's likely that your subconscious created "him" to fill the needs that couldn't be met in waking life. It was probably a sort of coping mechanism that your brain used to ease your psychological stress. I'm sorry, I don't think your One actually exists. :(

You're definitely not crazy, but you may be holding out for something that may never arrive. I think your best bet would be to let go of this The One. A real person can never live up to an ideal, and you deserve a real person. Dreaming up the perfect guy/girl is very common (just go check out the Gooey Insides thread in the INTJ forum), but also a little unhealthy. That said, I do hope that you find what you're looking for. Good luck <3
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, that's ultimately why I came here, Kylie...needed to hear someone else say it for the sanity check. (So thanks for being honest!)

Even if I sent the message to myself, was my subconscious driving me toward someone with a similar type, or was I just reflecting myself? Hard to tell from here, though it's probably both.

I thought I'd let go of the high ideal years ago, opening my mind to more possibilities. Looking at things objectively, I must have been hoping that only looking for a vague type would be different than a full-on Ideal Type.

Unfortunately, admitting the most logical truth doesn't help ease my inner Idealist. Sigh. :sad: Thanks for the tip on the INTJ forum thread; will definitely head that way to at least wallow in similar misery. :)

Maybe this is enough to free my mind regarding the non-Idealist (potentially) in my life....that's a whole other story, though probably the catalyst for the dream in the first place.....
 

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@TrueNorth It was most likely just a reflection of the type you felt would be your ideal. Whether that type of person really is someone that you'd match well with romantically is for you to discover if you do find someone similar. It's true, reality doesn't mesh well with our idealistic tendencies. I'm sure many of the INFPs in this forum have been in a situation similar. *virtual hug*
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I guess I'm still in a recovery period. My last bf was an INFJ who essentially abused his powers of reading people to manipulate them. When things were good, they were amazing, but when they weren't and I figured out what he was doing, I was subjecting myself to quite a bit of negativity (ultimately what drove me off). It makes it hard to risk a relationship with a non-Idealist; I don't want to ruin a friendship if it's not going to work out, but I don't want to shut him down in the name of idealism, no matter how grounded in experience the decision is.
 

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So, has anyone else out there been in a remotely similar position? Or am I off the deep end on my own here? :unsure:
It's likely that your subconscious created "him" to fill the needs that couldn't be met in waking life. It was probably a sort of coping mechanism that your brain used to ease your psychological stress. I'm sorry, I don't think your One actually exists. :(
-----While I have the capacity for logic and reason, I admit that I at all times feel connected to something mystical. I call it God, the universe, and/or nature. This state of existence can easily lead to what is called magical thinking. I suppose the difference between magical thinking and intuition is that intuition is based upon observations--though it is often difficult to explain how we know; we "just know." And while I value objectivity as a tool, I do not believe it is the right tool to establish truth outside of the scope of observable phenomena. Perhaps God speaks to us. But you never know the purpose of a message. What if you have a feeling that someone is about to die (and imagine it's from God), and you run out the door to save them, but it turns out that person is all right, but while you were out your house exploded. Hehe. Really, I'm just saying we can't know for sure whether divine signs exist, and assuming they do, we still can't be sure what they mean.
-----Here's some excerpts from some old letters that describe what I mean:
-----"I am of the opinion that science and religion are not really in opposition. They are simply two separate ways of knowing. One assumes the conclusion and creates the premise. One assumes the premise and creates the conclusion. The Scientific Method assumes there is no objective truth, and through observation and quantification, seeks to create a body of knowledge (truth) that can predict the movements of people, planets, and the universe. Religion assumes an objective truth and seeks to align reality with that truth. Same objective (truth), but different methodology. More to the point, simply because science limits itself to the quantifiable and observable doesn’t mean that things don’t exist if they aren’t observable or quantifiable. Both religion and science are also amoral—driven to a result by fundamental emotions. The technology in my book is amoral. It creates a paradise in the hands of some, and it is a tool for genocide and oppression in the hands of others. The same goes for religion."
-----"You asked whether my interest in these themes stems from an interest in the spiritual or more from an interest in the cultural. Both. I do believe in God, but I don’t ascribe to the philosophy that such a belief should limit the mind, raise barriers, exclude possibilities. I don’t really like saying the phrase “I believe in God,” because then people think they know what else I believe. They don’t. The world—existence—is what it is, and I don’t see any angels descending from the heavens to tell us what’s what, so it’s up to us to make the best of it we can. I apologize for the sacrilege."
-----"I am fascinated by the fact that your father is religious and a scientist. While I do not ascribe to the stereotype that scientists are always atheists, it has been my experience that the average scientist is less religious than the average person. My sister is very religious and a doctor—and while an avid Republican is also an Obama-ite (Obamite?). But most of my science-oriented friends are not at all religious."
-----"You wrote, “God – however we describe or define God – has got to be bigger than any one way of knowing.” That is a beautiful way to put it. When Gandhi was asked if he were a Hindu, he replied, “Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.”
-----"I loved the passages from your memoirs (though I’m sure without the total I lack a full understanding). The dome imagery reminds me of something I once read--Nietzsche, Joyce, Aristotle, Bhabha?—with the idea being that the more eyes placed in different perspectives viewing the same thing (a coin, I think), the more accurate the picture of the thing itself. I think that is true even assuming there is no objective reality. From a literary perspective, the Bible is the story of one character, God, who changes through the story. But another way of looking at it is that it only the people who change, and that affects how they interpret God. “But that does not mean that God is not a raven.”
-----So, one way to look at it is as kyliecarefree says. It is your subconscious at work, trying to communicate with you--trying to tell you something. This is a perfectly reasonable perspective. It might be healthier, too, since the belief in a soulmate can have dire consequences for us. See: Myth of the soulmate | infp Blog Myth of the soulmate | Thoughts on the INFP Personality Type from an INFP. After all, we don't believe all of our dreams, right?
-----Or, at the same time, maybe it is something more. Maybe it is some cosmic combination of things that allows the universe or God to speak to us from time to time. Maybe. Rationally, I doubt it. Irrationally, I believe it. Irrationally, I feel it. Or you can try to view it both ways at once. Isn't that possible? Isn't it possible to access multiple frameworks simultaneously to look at something? If you do feel like the universe is sending you a message, I still encourage you to not make assumptions about that message. Maybe your soulmate is out there, after all, but I wouldn't hold out for someone who looks like the person in your dream. But acts like the person in your dream? Maybe, yes. Perhaps it is evolution--our biology informing our conscious and subconscious minds about what we are supposed to look for in a mate. But you'll have to decide--and balance that decision.
-----I think our dreams are so powerful because of the combination of Fi-Ne-Si (which is why it is important to develop Te). I'll tell you, I know I incorporate some of my dream experiences into Si. So something I never actually experienced is floating around in there with the rest of my actual experiences. I've flown in my dreams, so I think I know what it would be like to fly.
-----Okay, so now for the confession. I have had the exact same kind of dream. Just once. It was long before I knew about MBTI. It was well after I was married. And, based on your post, it was far more detailed--or at least I retained much more detail. And anytime I talk about it, which is only rarely, I always hold back some details. Oddly, I just wrote about in a "dreams" thread:
-----"Alternate dimension dream:"
-----"I am sitting in a big, open room in a house. I'm wearing clothes of colors that I would never wear. There are people everywhere, and I know them. A touch on the shoulder, and I turn and smile. That's it. But within the dream I felt totally at home--like this is the way it had always been. Like I was within someone who had lived a whole different life. I remember knowing everyone there, but I don't know any of those people--they don't exist. But it felt real."
-----I didn't say I saw her in that post. But I did. Strangely, her physical appearance is much different than I have ever been attracted to. So were her behaviors. And TrueNorth, I was there. It was real. And then I woke up, and that felt just as real.
-----So was it God? Was it my subconscious? Is it my biology? I don't know. But later on, after I had discovered MBTI, I read somewhere that INFPs do tend to dream about things missing in their lives. So, regardless of who is speaking to me, how am I to read the message? Again, I don't know. I acknowledge that the dream is at least telling me what kinds of things I am missing in my life. For instance, IRL friends. I've moved so many times in the recent past, that I don't have many friends--certainly no close ones--where I am now. Maybe there's more to it than that and maybe not. Either way, I'm not running out on my marriage to go find a dream, of course!
-----There are a lot of people who will tell you that it's just nonsense. I am not going to tell you that because I understand where you're coming from. However, it is important to ask questions. It is important to consider that dreams don't have meaning, that soulmates don't exist, that the universe doesn't speak, that there may be no God. BUT, it is also important (for you and I and maybe INFPs in general) to consider that maybe--just maybe--dreams do have meaning, soulmates do exist, the universe does speak, and there is a God looking out for us. It's a balancing act, but one that I think can keep us happy but with at least one foot in reality.
-----Who knows? Maybe I had my dream so that I would tell you about it, so that you will recognize your dream person when you find them. You remember the Oracle scene in Matrix, right? So get skeptical, but retain the thread of wonder, a hint of possibility, and the connection with a higher power.
-----One last piece of advice: write out your dream in as much detail as possible. Also, sketch out your dream in as much detail as possible.
-----It's getting late, so I'm going to sleep, now. Sweet dreams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
-----Who knows? Maybe I had my dream so that I would tell you about it, so that you will recognize your dream person when you find them.
This is exactly why I came here. I wouldn't've, couldn't've admitted as such without some sort of sign, but I'll take all this timing as that. After all, why should I have posted tonight of all nights? I've been debating tracking down this forum or another INFP related one for the past two weeks, but didn't until now. Why should the timing have lined up with your post so perfectly? Sure, it could all be one big coincidence, but what were the odds? Logically, I know that my brain is adding in all sorts of meaning, but in my heart, I know that this was the path that I was supposed to be following and that the coincidences are, in fact, not.

I'm not a full-on INFP. I've acted like it sometimes, but I was raised by an ENTJ mother, who gave me a really solid groundwork. I am the only Feeler in my immediate family. It's only been the past six years or so that I've really embraced my INFP self and figured out who I am from that.

Unfortunately, this means I have enough of an inner Rational to drive myself into massive tailspins when I'm caught between the two worlds, like I am here. Logic says one thing, my instincts another. I know this is not something I'm alone in and I'm not lacking perspective in either direction; I'm just caught between the utter contradiction of believing in both simultaneously. It's the logical side that's clamping down and saying that it's impossible to choose both; my gut knows that this is a long shot, but still wants to believe.

I have no doubt that your dream was far more detailed and that you retained more information about it; the few that I actually remember are always fuzzy on details and then I have trouble remembering even those. The focus is usually on the feelings involved rather than the visuals (I'm like this with non-dream memories too, which is equally frustrating). I don't have a clue what this guy looks like on the outside; I only sensed his intent, his essence. That was perfectly clear.

And it was real. He was there, in the house of my childhood, and so was I. I don't know why or how we were there, or why we were in the room we were, but we were. He only said one thing to me, and when he did, I could sense the total acceptance in both directions. It had been present the whole time in that dream scene, but that confirmed it.

It sounds like your dream may have been covering a different kind of absence, so rather than being literal, it was a representation. Heck, I'd say that for my own too, except I'm in a different situation and life stage. But then, this is all interpretation and speculation, so take it for what it is.

I had actually read that post on the myth of the soulmate earlier in the evening. And that sort of rational, grounded thinking is ultimately why I'm afraid to follow my gut on this. But based on past real experience, there's a good chance that wherever this dream came from, it's right. Which is why I've been driving myself crazy over it, which is the least useful thing I could possibly do.

At its core, the dream gave me greater resolve to not ruin a friendship with a hopeless attempt at finding The One; I knew the aforementioned non-Idealist wasn't clicking in certain ways before the dream...it was just odd to have the dream after that realization. Maybe I had to completely clear my soul before it could happen. Impossible to tell.

Thank you both for solidifying both arguments; the endless spiraling is slowing down a bit. *hugs* :D
 

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It is important to consider that dreams don't have meaning, that soulmates don't exist, that the universe doesn't speak, that there may be no God. BUT, it is also important (for you and I and maybe INFPs in general) to consider that maybe--just maybe--dreams do have meaning, soulmates do exist, the universe does speak, and there is a God looking out for us. It's a balancing act, but one that I think can keep us happy but with at least one foot in reality.
I agree with much of what you said - the coexistence of God and science, the ability to have experiences that transcend the physical, and that the universe can send us real and powerful messages. And in fact, dreams do have meaning; they're oftentimes a very accurate peek into our subconscious thoughts and feelings. I also believe it to be true that dreams can be a medium between ourselves and a higher power -- occasionally. However, considering @TrueNorth 's circumstances, I don't believe that to be true in this case. She was experiencing serious psychological stress, and it's not a far leap to conclude that her brain was essentially giving her what she wanted to relieve some of that pain. Of course, only @TrueNorth can conclude whether her dream was a spiritual experience, or a psychological coping mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@kyliecarefree It's weird, but even though I was beaten down and broken, I was also resigned to my fate...which was strangely freeing. I didn't have to worry about finding The One because he didn't exist...and then I had the dream. Given, I would rather operate with hope than without, but at the time, it was actually a relief not to have to worry, since I was convinced things were going to stay as they were, unchanging. And then I had to believe again. Even debating the reality/meaning of the dream isn't enough to drive off the hope it brought.

So long as it's not completely illogical to believe it was both a spiritual experience and psychological coping mechanism, I can live with that. It was getting to the point of needing a new coping mechanism to deal with the dream...
 

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I don't think it makes sense to put too much faith in your dream person--you're likely to become really unhappy if he doesn't show up.

On the other hand, I think if the dream affected you so strongly, it is significant in some way. Maybe a reminder to keep your standards high but not to lose hope of finding the right person. Seems like he's already pointing you in the right direction.


[MENTION=30172]So long as it's not completely illogical to believe it was both a spiritual experience and psychological coping mechanism, I can live with that. It was getting to the point of needing a new coping mechanism to deal with the dream...
I rather think most/all spiritual experiences are also psychological coping methods. It's not logical, but I don't think this makes them any less significant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think it makes sense to put too much faith in your dream person--you're likely to become really unhappy if he doesn't show up.

On the other hand, I think if the dream affected you so strongly, it is significant in some way. Maybe a reminder to keep your standards high but not to lose hope of finding the right person. Seems like he's already pointing you in the right direction.
*nods, words failing her* It felt like a call to action as well as an offering of hope, though the former is definitely something I'm imposing myself rather than feeling it in the dream itself. It's just the implied context: if I don't know him yet and we're both only getting older, then I have to do something; that we haven't met yet means (to me, at least) that I haven't done the right thing...yet. Being here feels right, just knowing that I'm not completely off track in having directly conflicting beliefs. Makes planning the next step easier.
 

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I saw someone already posted the "Myth of the soulmate" blog here, which I read. It made a lot of sense to me, and I think it will do to you as well.

We INFP's tend to over think how our "One" should be, and in reality, no one will probably ever come close to those standards. And then there is this, because we have set those high standards we ignore the opportunities which might actually be the "One," or we disregard them because they do not immediately fit the picture we made.

I have been through that in the past, and still looking, but I never meet the right......... *wait a minute*
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Pom87 The weird thing with me and The One is that I haven't had a high ideal in years. I lowered my standards and started to just take guys as they were. Which was good, healthy. But I was trapping myself in relationships that weren't working, which was not. After all, I was making a point of being reasonable and not trying to get them to change or be what I wanted them to be, so I accepted them....and too much else. I got pushed in various ways to be something other than what I truly am and that was painful at best, destructive at worst. I did also grow, but I was still losing myself in many ways.

I got away from one trap, only to fall into another. When I gave up completely, not knowing where the middle ground was and fed up with trying to find it, the cosmos and/or my subconscious gave me this.
 

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@Pom87 The weird thing with me and The One is that I haven't had a high ideal in years. I lowered my standards and started to just take guys as they were. Which was good, healthy. But I was trapping myself in relationships that weren't working, which was not. After all, I was making a point of being reasonable and not trying to get them to change or be what I wanted them to be, so I accepted them....and too much else. I got pushed in various ways to be something other than what I truly am and that was painful at best, destructive at worst. I did also grow, but I was still losing myself in many ways.

I got away from one trap, only to fall into another. When I gave up completely, not knowing where the middle ground was and fed up with trying to find it, the cosmos and/or my subconscious gave me this.
I guess that is also one of our weaknesses? When we finally do give into something like what we discuss here, we tend to overdo it, or at least that rings very true for me.

And I also guess that it is possible to lose yourself in trying to maintain a balance of catering to the needs of someone else and trying to be true to yourself.

Funny thing is, I have had dreams like you described, and in the dream I see someone clearly, and sometimes it's even someone I know? Then I wake up. It's all gone and I feel like I am missing something, it felt so real..

I often heard that when you stop looking, you find someone, or they find you, however you want to look at it. But what is important, you have to keep socializing. I have had a year somewhere where I would barely leave my apartment ( please dont tell anyone! ), yeah, kind of hard to meet anyone then.

Do you also feel like you want to be alone, or you want to be left alone, but then you actually do not? Sometimes its hard to juggle with our feelings and what we perceive..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's funny; I've been doing a lot of clear-headed thinking since I opened up here last night, thanks to you all. The aforementioned non-Idealist who seemed to be tied to the trigger of this dream...there's nothing "wrong" with him. In many, many senses, he is an ideal for me, and has been as long as I've known him - not that I've looked at him in that way for as long as that. To that end, I was disappointed on some level that the guy in my dream wasn't him - but he couldn't have been and that's my fault. I've felt cut off from him, mostly because of the damage my ex did, just by getting inside my head the way he did. I haven't been truly open with him, mostly out of the fear of getting hurt, but also not wanting to ruin things....and generally not being up for it again. So instead of diving in full force, I've been holding back....and while I haven't pinpointed which type he is (and I haven't wanted to press him to find out, since he didn't seem to be interested in MBTI stuff - and I know some types just simply aren't...), I do know that expressing deep feelings is hard for him. When I gave up on him, it was because even though I was making my backward INFP type advances, I wasn't feeling a return from him.

All in all, I don't think I've been fair with him; too much of an inward focus due to healing. Going through this whole process in slow motion has been a first for me; usually I'm bouncing back too fast and not actually healing on my own.

So I'm starting to think that the dream was a way of giving myself a distraction to focus on so I could regroup and refocus. Spending two weeks obsessing over an ideal meant that I was giving him space to breathe and process...and he's opened up more as I've withdrawn. Why couldn't my subconscious just tell me this? I could handle it! At least now I feel entirely ready for the risk. But I wouldn't have gotten to this revelation without the outside perspective. :)

I often heard that when you stop looking, you find someone, or they find you, however you want to look at it. But what is important, you have to keep socializing. I have had a year somewhere where I would barely leave my apartment ( please dont tell anyone! ), yeah, kind of hard to meet anyone then.

Do you also feel like you want to be alone, or you want to be left alone, but then you actually do not? Sometimes its hard to juggle with our feelings and what we perceive..
I understand completely about barely venturing out; can totally relate there. It's not a bad thing that you withdrew like that - you needed the recovery time! Nothing to be ashamed of. But yes, absolutely agreed that if you're not out there meeting/talking to people, you're going to make no headway. Sounds like you've already got a handle on it, though, since you're aware of the choice and its consequences either way.
 

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I agree with much of what you said - the coexistence of God and science, the ability to have experiences that transcend the physical, and that the universe can send us real and powerful messages. And in fact, dreams do have meaning; they're oftentimes a very accurate peek into our subconscious thoughts and feelings. I also believe it to be true that dreams can be a medium between ourselves and a higher power -- occasionally. However, considering @TrueNorth 's circumstances, I don't believe that to be true in this case. She was experiencing serious psychological stress, and it's not a far leap to conclude that her brain was essentially giving her what she wanted to relieve some of that pain. Of course, only @TrueNorth can conclude whether her dream was a spiritual experience, or a psychological coping mechanism.
-----@kyliecarefree: Let me make it clear that I have the utmost respect for you and your opinions (in this and the other posts I've read). I read your post, and maybe I'm reading too much into it, and I read over my post, and I see that some of what I wrote might be able to be read as criticizing in some way. I didn't intent that. Sometimes the result of Ne to Ne communication is that both people end up reading more into things than is necessarily there. Maybe that's what I am doing now. If you perceive a personal criticism, please hear that it was not intended. I would be upset with myself if you thought I was disrespecting you somehow.
-----I find your position perfectly reasonable--and I mean that in a good way--there's nothing wrong with reason! I also think you were more astute in connecting her dream more with the particular person. I was thinking more in terms of a potential unknown someone.
-----Sometimes it is essential to move from the known to the unknown--that's reason and science. It's just that the preference for that direction of movement is so pronounced in our society that I think for iNtuitives, sometimes the ability to move from the unknown to the known gets little attention. But I think that's our specialty. As Keirsey puts it, our (NF) patron god is Apollo--whose Temple of Apollo at Delphi was the home of the sibyl or priestess of the oracle at Delphi who was known as the Pythia. It was believe that the god Apollo spoke through his oracle--the Pythia. At one time this connection I think many INFPs in particular feel, between ourselves and something far greater (the God, the universe, and/or nature), was recognized as valid. But no longer.
-----For most of my life I relied on my tertiary and inferior functions--on trying to rationally decide what to do. Much of the time, this has been to my detriment. Since accepting who I am, and therefore unabashedly using my dominant and auxiliary functions, I have been much better off. I've avoided many bad situations by relying on what I feel about something more strongly than what I rationally think about something. Ultimately, rationality relies on the known to move us predictably forward into the unknown. But the problem is that no matter how much you know, the unknown has plenty of surprises for you. Rationality is tied to goals and to the immediate context. Feeling Intution is not. Feeling is holistic. Feeling does not make assumptions about the unknown based on the known--so it is less likely to be taken by surprise--and perhaps more likely to hit upon the future accurately. So, I try not to discourage NFs from relying on holistic thinking, even though it often leads to magical thinking, while at the same time encouraging NFs to develop their thinking function as well.
-----So none of the above is meant as judgmental. I am using my informing style of communication to explain, clarify, and offer information. That's all. No agenda. No manipulation. No judgment. I'm just giving information, and I trust the people reading it to decide for themselves what to do with it. To synthesize it or to outright reject it or something in between.
This is exactly why I came here. I wouldn't've, couldn't've admitted as such without some sort of sign, but I'll take all this timing as that. After all, why should I have posted tonight of all nights? I've been debating tracking down this forum or another INFP related one for the past two weeks, but didn't until now. Why should the timing have lined up with your post so perfectly? Sure, it could all be one big coincidence, but what were the odds? Logically, I know that my brain is adding in all sorts of meaning, but in my heart, I know that this was the path that I was supposed to be following and that the coincidences are, in fact, not.
I'm not a full-on INFP. I've acted like it sometimes, but I was raised by an ENTJ mother, who gave me a really solid groundwork. I am the only Feeler in my immediate family. It's only been the past six years or so that I've really embraced my INFP self and figured out who I am from that.
Unfortunately, this means I have enough of an inner Rational to drive myself into massive tailspins when I'm caught between the two worlds, like I am here. Logic says one thing, my instincts another. I know this is not something I'm alone in and I'm not lacking perspective in either direction; I'm just caught between the utter contradiction of believing in both simultaneously. It's the logical side that's clamping down and saying that it's impossible to choose both; my gut knows that this is a long shot, but still wants to believe.
I have no doubt that your dream was far more detailed and that you retained more information about it; the few that I actually remember are always fuzzy on details and then I have trouble remembering even those. The focus is usually on the feelings involved rather than the visuals (I'm like this with non-dream memories too, which is equally frustrating). I don't have a clue what this guy looks like on the outside; I only sensed his intent, his essence. That was perfectly clear.
And it was real. He was there, in the house of my childhood, and so was I. I don't know why or how we were there, or why we were in the room we were, but we were. He only said one thing to me, and when he did, I could sense the total acceptance in both directions. It had been present the whole time in that dream scene, but that confirmed it.
It sounds like your dream may have been covering a different kind of absence, so rather than being literal, it was a representation. Heck, I'd say that for my own too, except I'm in a different situation and life stage. But then, this is all interpretation and speculation, so take it for what it is.
I had actually read that post on the myth of the soulmate earlier in the evening. And that sort of rational, grounded thinking is ultimately why I'm afraid to follow my gut on this. But based on past real experience, there's a good chance that wherever this dream came from, it's right. Which is why I've been driving myself crazy over it, which is the least useful thing I could possibly do.

At its core, the dream gave me greater resolve to not ruin a friendship with a hopeless attempt at finding The One; I knew the aforementioned non-Idealist wasn't clicking in certain ways before the dream...it was just odd to have the dream after that realization. Maybe I had to completely clear my soul before it could happen. Impossible to tell.
Thank you both for solidifying both arguments; the endless spiraling is slowing down a bit. *hugs* :D
-----As long as we are using both our Feeling and Thinking functions, I think we are at least in a position to make a choice as to which one we follow. Either way, it is a choice, and ultimately we fill face its consequences (good, neutral, and bad) and have to accept responsibility for the actions that flow from our choices. I just think that our choices are more fully actually choices when we consider both our F and T functions. I think that much of the time rationality will steer one right. However, I think it is a tremendous mistake to assume that the most rational choice will yield the best result. Learning to trust Feeling helps us know when not to trust Thinking.
-----I noticed you said you were raised by an ENTJ mother. I was raised by an ESFJ mother. When one is raised by a non-NF, I think there is a much larger tendency for parents to discourage Feeling. In my case, both Feeling and Intuiting were suppressed, discouraged, and even punished. This can really cause some problems--because our strength is Feeling (not Thinking) and Intuiting (not Sensing). Consider reading the following, especially the section on "The Inferior Function as Mischief-Maker": INFJ, INFP, INTP, INTJ Relationships, Compatibility, & the Inferior Function | Personality Junkie.
-----We can sometimes make very bad relationship choices if we are suppressing Fi and/or Ne in favor of Si and Te. The article above says, "The experience of infatuation is often fueled by the inferior, which can blind individuals to the fact that pairing with their opposite typically requires a sacrificing of some prominent needs and values of their top two functions. The insidious influence of the inferior may explain, at least in part, why those who marry before the age of 25 are far more likely to end up divorced." In other words, as our dominant and auxiliary functions mature, and we start recognizing our relationship needs, the more we will clash with someone whom we've chosen based on the preferences of our tertiary and inferior functions.
-----So, two pieces of advice:
-----1. Consider talking with other female INFPs over 30. It would be good to get the perspective of those who married young and stayed married, married young and divorced, are single, and who married later in life. I am not saying that female INFPs under 30 are incapable of giving good advice--quite the contrary--some of the best posts I've read have been from young INFPs. What I am saying is that since INFPs seem to have some uncanny similarities in the progression of life, it is good to get the input of those who have actually been through a part of life and are experiencing the consequences of that journey--good and bad. This crosses the bridge from theory to what actually ended up happening.
-----2. Consider reading up on how to make peace with the end of a relationship and to otherwise dump emotional baggage from past relationships. It really hinder new relationship formation--and encourages people to seek unhealthy relationships--if they are still dealing with the psychological ramifications of past relationships.
@kyliecarefree It's weird, but even though I was beaten down and broken, I was also resigned to my fate...which was strangely freeing. I didn't have to worry about finding The One because he didn't exist...and then I had the dream. Given, I would rather operate with hope than without, but at the time, it was actually a relief not to have to worry, since I was convinced things were going to stay as they were, unchanging. And then I had to believe again. Even debating the reality/meaning of the dream isn't enough to drive off the hope it brought.
So long as it's not completely illogical to believe it was both a spiritual experience and psychological coping mechanism, I can live with that. It was getting to the point of needing a new coping mechanism to deal with the dream...
*nods, words failing her* It felt like a call to action as well as an offering of hope, though the former is definitely something I'm imposing myself rather than feeling it in the dream itself. It's just the implied context: if I don't know him yet and we're both only getting older, then I have to do something; that we haven't met yet means (to me, at least) that I haven't done the right thing...yet. Being here feels right, just knowing that I'm not completely off track in having directly conflicting beliefs. Makes planning the next step easier.
-----Here is my blog post on that topic: Soulmates & the INFP: Why do we think it's their job to find us (and not vice-versa)? - Blogs - PersonalityCafe.
-----Also, consider reading the following post, especially the section on mating:Idealist; Idealists - Myer Brigg's Personality Types
-----From the above links: "Romance-in the sense of idealized love-is not something that NF's can take or leave; it is vital to their growth and happiness, a nourishment they cannot live without, just as its opposite, the uninspiring, commonplace relationship, is flat and stale and lifeless."
-----"It is undoubtedly the Idealist who is the most loving, affectionate, and appreciative mate, and is unstinting in the expression of these emotions."
-----Who people choose is their own business, of course. However, I usually say to unattached NFs that if you want reciprocation of the level of romance, feeling, and depth of relationship you give, then be on the lookout for NFs. Consider reading the chapter on mating in Please Understand Me II (David Keirsey) and the Pygmalion Project volumes on Idealist and other types (Stephen Montgomery). Please Understand ME I is available here: : Please Understand Me: Character & Temperament Types. Below are some relevant quotes from the above:
-----"A quality an NF can bring to intimate relationships is an extraordinary sensitivity and ability to communicate emotionally. In the affective areas the NF is without equal. No other type is as empathic to others as is the NF. As mates they can be a source of warmth, appreciation, and support which other types have difficulty emulating." (Keirsey, PUI, 96).
-----"Now another rather important consideration ought to be surfaced regarding quality of "fit" in mating. Not everybody wants the same thing in a marriage. The NFs may want [or say they want) "a deep and meaningful relationship," but the NTs, SPs, and SJs are not very interested in either the "depth" or the "meaningfulness" of the relationships, and added to that, would be hard put to say just what "deep" or "meaningful" means in the marriage context." (Keirsey, PUI, 70).
-----The above are important considerations to keep in mind.
We INFP's tend to over think how our "One" should be, and in reality, no one will probably ever come close to those standards. And then there is this, because we have set those high standards we ignore the opportunities which might actually be the "One," or we disregard them because they do not immediately fit the picture we made.
-----Sage advice.
@Pom87 The weird thing with me and The One is that I haven't had a high ideal in years. I lowered my standards and started to just take guys as they were. Which was good, healthy. But I was trapping myself in relationships that weren't working, which was not. After all, I was making a point of being reasonable and not trying to get them to change or be what I wanted them to be, so I accepted them....and too much else. I got pushed in various ways to be something other than what I truly am and that was painful at best, destructive at worst. I did also grow, but I was still losing myself in many ways.
I got away from one trap, only to fall into another. When I gave up completely, not knowing where the middle ground was and fed up with trying to find it, the cosmos and/or my subconscious gave me this.
-----Since we pride ourselves so much on being accepting, it is quite disillusioning when it becomes apparent that others are not as accepting. I say it all the time, and I'll say it again: (emotional) reciprocity is the hallmark of a healthy relationship. Unconditional love will only end up severely hurting you if you are in a relationship with someone who has conditional love--and most people love conditionally. See: What's Wrong with Unconditional Love (Part 1).
"Compromise, while necessary in any relationship, can also involve a great a price when typological opposites come together. Intuitives tend to be particularly sensitive to this issue, struggling with the idea of sacrificing their individuality for the sake of preserving the relationship. As idealists, persisting in mediocre relationships for the sake of duty or convention is a difficult pill for many Intuitives to swallow." That's from a previously cited article. Essentially, being in a relationship does require sacrifice and compromise--from both people. Existing inside a relationship should not be a soul-killing experience.
I guess that is also one of our weaknesses? When we finally do give into something like what we discuss here, we tend to overdo it, or at least that rings very true for me.
And I also guess that it is possible to lose yourself in trying to maintain a balance of catering to the needs of someone else and trying to be true to yourself.
Funny thing is, I have had dreams like you described, and in the dream I see someone clearly, and sometimes it's even someone I know? Then I wake up. It's all gone and I feel like I am missing something, it felt so real..
I often heard that when you stop looking, you find someone, or they find you, however you want to look at it. But what is important, you have to keep socializing. I have had a year somewhere where I would barely leave my apartment ( please dont tell anyone! ), yeah, kind of hard to meet anyone then.
Do you also feel like you want to be alone, or you want to be left alone, but then you actually do not? Sometimes its hard to juggle with our feelings and what we perceive..
It's funny; I've been doing a lot of clear-headed thinking since I opened up here last night, thanks to you all. The aforementioned non-Idealist who seemed to be tied to the trigger of this dream...there's nothing "wrong" with him. In many, many senses, he is an ideal for me, and has been as long as I've known him - not that I've looked at him in that way for as long as that. To that end, I was disappointed on some level that the guy in my dream wasn't him - but he couldn't have been and that's my fault. I've felt cut off from him, mostly because of the damage my ex did, just by getting inside my head the way he did. I haven't been truly open with him, mostly out of the fear of getting hurt, but also not wanting to ruin things....and generally not being up for it again. So instead of diving in full force, I've been holding back....and while I haven't pinpointed which type he is (and I haven't wanted to press him to find out, since he didn't seem to be interested in MBTI stuff - and I know some types just simply aren't...), I do know that expressing deep feelings is hard for him. When I gave up on him, it was because even though I was making my backward INFP type advances, I wasn't feeling a return from him.
All in all, I don't think I've been fair with him; too much of an inward focus due to healing. Going through this whole process in slow motion has been a first for me; usually I'm bouncing back too fast and not actually healing on my own.
So I'm starting to think that the dream was a way of giving myself a distraction to focus on so I could regroup and refocus. Spending two weeks obsessing over an ideal meant that I was giving him space to breathe and process...and he's opened up more as I've withdrawn. Why couldn't my subconscious just tell me this? I could handle it! At least now I feel entirely ready for the risk. But I wouldn't have gotten to this revelation without the outside perspective. :)
I understand completely about barely venturing out; can totally relate there. It's not a bad thing that you withdrew like that - you needed the recovery time! Nothing to be ashamed of. But yes, absolutely agreed that if you're not out there meeting/talking to people, you're going to make no headway. Sounds like you've already got a handle on it, though, since you're aware of the choice and its consequences either way.
-----It sounds like you are making sense of everything--in a way that's right for you. I wish you all the best in that undertaking.
-----*P.S. I do not intend to proofread this post, so sorry for the typos in advance.
 

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@Geoffrey See, this is my problem. My Fi led me here and is pushing me off into the unknown afterwards. My Te is saying "you idiot, that's a wild goose chase."

I am so grateful to have had my mother as the parent who raised me, since with her around, I've never been drawn to the ETJs. She may not have understood exactly what I was going through as a Feeler, but she helped encourage the development of the other aspects of my personality. Her focus was always on encouraging rounded development, so a lot of that stuck. Maybe a little too much; I don't trust my Fi enough. My mom has that problem too; I've been trying to help encourage her since I became aware of our collective intuition.

I need to shut my Te up and just go with this. It's just really loud, plus its points seem truly valid from a practical standpoint, which makes it easy to backslide into listening.

Please Understand Me I has basically been my Bible since I was introduced to it. Sounds like I'm due to revisit it again with yet another altered perspective. ;)

Pretty sure that each reply I've made in this thread has swung back in the opposite direction from the prior post, but that's just typical. Apologies for...well, what amounts to typical INFPness to me. In actuality, it's been the warring Fi and Te; that is valuable knowledge. Being able to identify this mishmash of emotion and thought in my head is the only way I can sort any of it out.

Thank you all again for listening and helping me sort this all out. Now that I know my Fi is what led me here, I need to keep trusting that it knows what it's doing and continue the hunt.
 

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@Geoffrey See, this is my problem. My Fi led me here and is pushing me off into the unknown afterwards. My Te is saying "you idiot, that's a wild goose chase."
I am so grateful to have had my mother as the parent who raised me, since with her around, I've never been drawn to the ETJs. She may not have understood exactly what I was going through as a Feeler, but she helped encourage the development of the other aspects of my personality. Her focus was always on encouraging rounded development, so a lot of that stuck. Maybe a little too much; I don't trust my Fi enough. My mom has that problem too; I've been trying to help encourage her since I became aware of our collective intuition.
-----That's what I meant in the earlier thread--about tending to suppress/distrust Fi because of an emphasis on other functions growing up.
-----I, too, have been told that I have very good Te--I've been told that by NFs--but other people do not have such a high opinion of my Te. The reason for this is that I use Te to support Si to support Ne to support Fi. All paths lead to Fi. NFs can see the value in that--most of the time. So my Te is well-developed (relatively) because I was suppressing (trying to suppress) Fi for a long time because of my upbringing.
I need to shut my Te up and just go with this. It's just really loud, plus its points seem truly valid from a practical standpoint, which makes it easy to backslide into listening.
Please Understand Me I has basically been my Bible since I was introduced to it. Sounds like I'm due to revisit it again with yet another altered perspective. ;)
Pretty sure that each reply I've made in this thread has swung back in the opposite direction from the prior post, but that's just typical. Apologies for...well, what amounts to typical INFPness to me. In actuality, it's been the warring Fi and Te; that is valuable knowledge. Being able to identify this mishmash of emotion and thought in my head is the only way I can sort any of it out.
Thank you all again for listening and helping me sort this all out. Now that I know my Fi is what led me here, I need to keep trusting that it knows what it's doing and continue the hunt.
-----I support you. (And if you change your mind again, I'll still support you).
@Geoffrey No, I didn't think it was personal. My reply was just a counter to your post, so no offense taken. Different perspectives are what makes forums useful, and I respect your opinion as well. :)
-----Agreed, that's what the forums are there for. I was just reading into your post too much. : )
 

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-----That's what I meant in the earlier thread--about tending to suppress/distrust Fi because of an emphasis on other functions growing up.
-----I, too, have been told that I have very good Te--I've been told that by NFs--but other people do not have such a high opinion of my Te. The reason for this is that I use Te to support Si to support Ne to support Fi. All paths lead to Fi. NFs can see the value in that--most of the time. So my Te is well-developed (relatively) because I was suppressing (trying to suppress) Fi for a long time because of my upbringing.

-----I support you. (And if you change your mind again, I'll still support you).
It's weird; I thought I'd made such progress in the past several years in embracing my Fi, but it looks like I haven't completely, not really. Understanding that I'm "allowed" to feel and be irrational due to my core nature is completely different than trusting those feelings to be correct. Did you go through something similar? Or was it somewhat easier to fight off the teachings of a Guardian? At least to me, the latter seems easier to see through than a reasonable Rational's perspective. It's hard to "fight" against a non-enemy. :/

You've definitely harnessed your Te to serve Fi; it comes across in your writing style as well as content. Whether other INFPs agree with your expressed opinions, the way in which you're expressing them is clear. I'd wager that under duress, it all falls apart (major assumption), but at least you can control it. Plus you really seem to know where you stand. I waver a lot in my reasoning and the manner in which I'm conveying it; my Fi has been rebelling against...well, everything...for years. Just leaves me with a pool of inconsistent mush. No wonder I spiral so much!

Hopefully I won't change my mind again, but with tomorrow being another day, I can't guarantee that, despite knowing that this is what my Fi was telling me and that that's why it wanted me to find other INFPs, to strengthen my resolve to trust it. I'm pretty obsessive over not wanting to burn bridges, especially when it doesn't feel like anything is wrong, per se. After all, what if I'm wrong? But that's Fi distrust again... I don't understand why I'm still fighting it even though I actually consciously understand what I'm fighting against now. "Force of habit" is a bad reason to do anything.

*congeals to form a puddle of gratitude* Seeing external advocates for both the Fi and Te perspectives has helped so much. Makes it easier to see how and why it is possible to agree with everyone!
 
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