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oh dear god this turned out to be so long. I'm sorry. :blushed:

New here :)

I don't know that my bf has been typed, but I've spent years reading about MBTI types (I can't figure out my own anymore - 15 years ago I tested as ENTP, but lately I test as ISTP or INTP every damn time - I have my theories), and he's pretty much a dead ringer for y'all.

I'll try to keep this brief. Whirlwind start to an amazing relationship - which started long distance (we met in his town, he came to see me in mine, I went to his, etc). We spoke for hours every night, texted nonstop, everything was amazing and perfect. And then (dun dun DUN), his life went to complete shit.

For the last six to eight weeks, nothing has gone right for him - money, job, friendships, etc. And this on top of a several year bout with bad things happening - two of his closest friends died a few years ago, his parents are in constant financial disaster, his band (he managed them, is not a performer) split up, he was laid off, on and on and on. And he's finding himself in a continual BAD PLACE, where he feels inadequate and that he's not made of himself what he expected to by this age (mid thirties).

I misinterpreted his needs for several weeks - remember, we're long distance, so the only "reaching out" we can do is by text (preferably) or phone (not so preferable for either of us, really). Our phone calls had become halting and awkward the deeper he went into his "I NEED SPACE AND QUIET" place (he never told me he needed these things, just kept calling out of obligation - ARGH). Of course I felt like he was more or less abandoning me - after the intense period of togetherness and synergy, to feel him push me away and shut me out was devastating; we were SO compatible, and suddenly nothing was working.

We almost broke up a few times, but this last time (yesterday) we had a long discussion by text and decided to try, really hard and slowly and carefully, to make it work while working on our own issues individually and our together issues - together. It makes me feel better that he does want to try, but we have one sticking issue that is really killing it for me.

He can not make plans. I understand this; I don't like to make plans myself - but in a long distance relationship, there has got to be SOME idea of when we can see one another again, right? So, once I realized he will not make any plans to see me, I started trying the spontaneous route - "hey, I can be up there Friday night, whaddya say?" Stonewalled.

Naturally, my thoughts wander - is there someone in his town that doesn't know about me?!?! BUT - two things. First, I've met most of his friends and been to all his hangouts with him, public affection and all. Second - there's no way this man would waste his time on the drama and juggling of two women at once. No freaking way, he's far too practical and logical, and he doesn't waste time on ANYTHING that doesn't make complete sense. It's hard not to let my mind wander down the "is there someone else" road, but logic tells me it's not in his nature, he's not a player.

I've decided that I won't offer to come up and see him, and try to see if he ever takes the initiative to either invite me or come down to see me. I'm thinking - it MUST be that it has to be his idea. I'm very similar - I'm extremely proactive when it comes to the things I want, and I want them on my damn terms. He's only brought up a potential planned visit once, since his first trip down here, and I stonewalled HIM because it wasn't the plan I had in mind. That was dumb, I know, but I was pissed.

So, he's stubborn to begin with, he's fiercely independent (he has talked to me a bit about his feelings - in a logical and unemotional way, of course - about his life and where he's at now, and how bad he's taking things... so I know he really cares about and values me a great deal), and he's stuck in a massive rut. He barely talks at all right now, does not reach out on his own, hardly responds when I text him. It's been sort of a declining pattern over the last six weeks, culminating in a huge block of silence that forced me to recognize his personality type and what I had been doing wrong all along.

I'm all over the place here, my apologies.

Here's what I want to know. Help me :)

I want to do something for him. Something that actually is helpful, not smothering, not demeaning, and certainly not robbing him of his independence or his freedom. I have absolutely no idea what to do. I know that I WANT to show up at his door and drag him off to the river (his favorite spot), and, you know, seduce him (I miss BEING WITH him, if you know what I mean), but that would be presumptive and it would be SO not on his terms. While he'd love the sex part, he would HATE me taking control like that.

To be the best friend I can to him, I've just sent him a funny text here and there, and been available if he wants to reach out. I have this DRIVE to be more proactive, but I can't figure out what, if anything, I could do that would actually be seen as wonderful, and not "clingy" or "smothering".

I have no problem with waiting things out, giving him miles of space, and letting him come to me. I've already resolved that this is how the relationship is going to work, and even when it feels like he'll NEVER EVER come to me, he always does, eventually. I'm not terribly patient, so it feels like forever - and to him, it never feels like much time has passed at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure one of the highlights of this relationship for him (as opposed to priors) is that I do live so far away, and I can't physically smother him. Even though he has talked about living together and being with each other long term, physically, etc - I know he's nowhere near ready for that, he's never been married and has lived alone for many years.

I've typed too much already. I would love some feedback from other ISTPs - if you were in a major life crisis and were in a state of pretty much constant shut-down, is there ANYTHING you would appreciate your significant other doing for you, other than shutting the fuck up and leaving you alone? :)

Also - is there any way for me to approach the "time together" subject without him stonewalling me? I will be in his town next weekend for work, and I actually considered breezing in and out and not letting him know till after, but I know he'd be so hurt by that... yet, he won't even entertain the idea of me swinging up there for an overnight visit, even when his schedule allows it... there's always some reason why it's not a good time. A part of me thinks he's just in SUCH a rut and bad place that he doesn't WANT to have to "look happy" for me, it's too much effort and he's perfectly fine alone right now. I can't imagine someone turning down sex when it's RIGHT THERE WAITING FOR THEM, and it's a bit of an ego blow, but....

maybe someone can help me understand these things. I want to make things work with him, and I want to be the best girlfriend I can. We have so few issues, all of which are exacerbated by us living so far apart - I can deal with all of them, if somehow, some way, I can feel useful. He refuses to ask me for ANYTHING, even space or quiet time. It's maddening - but I want to learn :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
By the way - I tried, a few times, to give him an "out" of the relationship, and he would never, ever take it. Yesterday I tried to end it myself, and he stopped me from ending it; it kind of pulled him out of his vague "I don't think I can make you happy" and "Some times I think it will work and other times not so much" place and into the "I believe we can be amazing, we just have to work on these issues" place.

So, I'm not sure what to make of that. I would be completely heartbroken to lose him - he's without a doubt the best man I have ever met, I'm head over heels in love with him, I admire him so much - he's brilliant, funny, sexy as hell, and just incredible in every way. And he makes me feel AMAZING when we're together (which is why I want to SEE him, dammit). I know that our time together is amazing for him as well - and that he does need time to recharge afterward. But we haven't seen each other in a month now - it's just been crappy phone calls, limited texts, and one fight after another. To start fresh and try this relationship from a more understanding place, I feel like we need a reunion in person somehow... but if he won't let me make plans, and he won't make plans... I'm afraid we'll just stay in this barely talking place for eons.

And I can't understand why he would hold on to a relationship where he gets no sex, no physical time together, and no communication. Obviously he loves me (says it every day that we talk), and he doesn't want to lose me. But what would he be losing? If you're not getting laid, and you don't talk on the phone or really text all that much - what is it that you've really GOT? Just knowing you have a girlfriend is enough?

Blah. Sorry for the piggybacking and all the words, words, words. I do tend to type WAY too much - it's one of the things he loves and hates about me :). I can say in thirty paragraphs what he can say in four words.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Can we get some Cliff's on that, please? :laughing:
Ha ha ha... RIGHT?

1. Boyfriend stonewalls attempts to get together, while he is in terrible life funk and needs time alone.

2. Boyfriend won't let us break up, yet doesn't take initiative to get together or really communicate much at all (since entering the rut place he's in)

3. I want to be proactive and a "good girlfriend" but don't know what to do, say, or if it's really best to shut the fuck up and wait for him

4. Why the hell is he holding on to me when we don't have any plans to see each other and barely talk anymore?
 

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First of all, you can't let someone dictate your life, no matter how much you love him, i.e. there is no such thing as him not "letting" you break up with him----you do what is best for you.
Pros:
* You love the guy
* In the past, you and he have had some great times/conversations

Cons:
* Long distance
* Not getting laid on a regular basis
* Uncomfortable phone conversations

The question is not why HE would want to continue a relationship where he isn't getting regular sex or companionship, it is why YOU would want such a thing. You have to treat yourself well and you want more from this relationship, otherwise you wouldn't have posted the thread. So...get out there and get what you want, do not wait for it if you are not sure it will ever get there. Time is SHORT!!
 

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The question is not why HE would want to continue a relationship where he isn't getting regular sex or companionship, it is why YOU would want such a thing. You have to treat yourself well and you want more from this relationship, otherwise you wouldn't have posted the thread. So...get out there and get what you want, do not wait for it if you are not sure it will ever get there. Time is SHORT!!
Wow. In a million years this logic wouldn't have occurred to me :)

Honestly, I'm happy to continue like this for the next few months, as I'm in the middle of a huge life change myself and won't have time to contribute much to a relationship, certainly no time to start a new one. But... your statement really resonates with me. What DO I want? I want him - he fascinates me and makes me happy in so many ways, except for the not seeing each other often thing. Which, truthfully, I love living alone and being in my own space for weeks at a time (so I understand his need for that) - I just like to get laid now and then, have a few beers, conversation, and, you know, occasional companionship :). When we do get together, it's the best time of our lives, you know? I guess I struggle to understand why anyone would choose not to repeat the highs of such great times, at least on a semi-regular basis.

Then again, there are people I've pretty much abandoned in my own life, despite loving them to death and having great times with them, because the effort was so great to put on a happy face and be DELIGHTED with their efforts, I'd just rather sit at home and think.

Anyway... thank you for pointing out the obvious, I really hadn't considered it from the selfish angle.
 

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"I would love some feedback from other ISTPs"

I kind of doubt you are an ISTP.

If you can't be with him anytime soon, then it isn't much of a relationship, is it?
 

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No, I don't think I'm an ISTP at all - I test out as one for some reason, but I don't ACT like one. He is, almost assuredly.
 

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Honestly, I'm happy to continue like this for the next few months, as I'm in the middle of a huge life change myself and won't have time to contribute much to a relationship, certainly no time to start a new one. But... your statement really resonates with me. What DO I want? I want him - he fascinates me and makes me happy in so many ways, except for the not seeing each other often thing. Which, truthfully, I love living alone and being in my own space for weeks at a time (so I understand his need for that) - I just like to get laid now and then, have a few beers, conversation, and, you know, occasional companionship :). When we do get together, it's the best time of our lives, you know? I guess I struggle to understand why anyone would choose not to repeat the highs of such great times, at least on a semi-regular basis.
Maybe you should point this out to him, if you haven't already.

This is tricky.

I've typed too much already. I would love some feedback from other ISTPs - if you were in a major life crisis and were in a state of pretty much constant shut-down, is there ANYTHING you would appreciate your significant other doing for you, other than shutting the fuck up and leaving you alone? :)
Being patient and still being there after everything settles down means a lot. But of course the most important thing is what you want. And how much you're willing to put up with.
 

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Maybe you should point this out to him, if you haven't already.

This is tricky.
It does feel tricky to me - I've never dated anyone like this. In fact, I've always been smothered in past relationships. I've NEVER been accused of being smothering before him :).

I don't know if I've pointed out the entirety of that paragraph to him in one lump sum, if that makes sense. I know he knows that I *want* to be patient and understanding, and that I am not asking for much (a little time here, a little time there). I just think he's so up in his head and stressed out right now, he can barely take care of his own basic needs... much less handle a Relationship Talk or my silly girlfriend-y bullshit.


Being patient and still being there after everything settles down means a lot. But of course the most important thing is what you want. And how much you're willing to put up with.
I'll be there after everything settles down; there's no question. I'm unwaveringly loyal, and I believe in him - there is no reason for me to abandon him.

I guess I'll find out how much I can put up with :).

I separated from my ex-husband more than five years ago, and have lived alone since then (with my daughter every other week). Over the last five years, I have REALLY rediscovered how much I love being alone and having my solitude back. I've always been one to escape to the outdoors (or my car) for "me time", and to resort to either massive physical exertion or intense logic puzzles to escape my own head. Either way, it's been to get away from PEOPLE, for stretches of time (or to shut my stupid brain off, since it doesn't happen naturally). So I not only understand his needs, but I have similar needs as well - at this point I don't know if I can actually imagine sharing space with someone fulltime again. On weekends and holidays, sure. But I get antsy when someone's all up my ass for more than a few days at a time. Can't help it. I gotta have my space.

So, for me, the long distance relationship with someone a little more aloof is VERY appealing - he won't be invading my space every day, following me around, trying to take me to lunch all the time.

In my perfect future, I'd own a duplex with my husband/significant other. He would live in his half, I'd live in mine. We'd get together for sex and conversation, to watch our favorite shows, have dinners every few nights, or go out for beers... but for everyday living, we'd have our own spaces. I'd know he was there when I want/need him, but he wouldn't be required to leave the seat down for me, and I wouldn't have to turn off the kitchen light when I go to bed. Ideally, we'd spend most nights in the same bed - but if we weren't feeling particularly cuddly or "sharey" we would have our own bedrooms to retreat to. And neither of us would be personally offended, or consider it a "rejection" - it's just the way it is, right?

Is that crazy? It's always been my "ideal" situation, since I was a kid... but I can't imagine finding a guy who would be down with that :). Besides, it's not very practical - two electric bills, two water bills - seems rather exorbitant.

All that to say... I do want a relationship with someone who won't smother me. I want someone independent and brilliant, someone I admire and can't pick apart and find huge fault with. Someone who never lets me throw my superior intellect around on him and make him feel like shit (EVERY boyfriend from my past has been victim to my intellectual wrath). To me, this guy is the perfect answer. He's just... not putting much in right now, not even to get sex. Which confounds me. And I put way more in than I'm comfortable with, trying to entice him to put SOME effort toward the relationship, and not realizing that his current situation and his personality were to blame for his withdrawal - and not me.

Once again, too many words. I'm more INTP than anything, I guess. Think-typing my way through everything. Thanks for putting up with it :)
 

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Is that crazy? It's always been my "ideal" situation, since I was a kid... but I can't imagine finding a guy who would be down with that :). Besides, it's not very practical - two electric bills, two water bills - seems rather exorbitant.
That's pretty close to what I'd want. For what it's worth.
Once again, too many words. I'm more INTP than anything, I guess. Think-typing my way through everything. Thanks for putting up with it :)
Yeah, I was thinking INTP actually... you remind me of one I know. Good luck with your situation. I can see how it would work out pretty well, aside from the whole incidental clusterfuck life likes to throw at people.
 

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I replied to the Chiagirl's post in the "TRAPPED" thread so will ask what seems to me the obvious question. Why do you believe your boy friend is ISTP? You give a lot of information in this thread, but nothing that would indicate why you came to that conclusion.
 

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I replied to the Chiagirl's post in the "TRAPPED" thread so will ask what seems to me the obvious question. Why do you believe your boy friend is ISTP? You give a lot of information in this thread, but nothing that would indicate why you came to that conclusion.
He's definitely an introverted Thinker, no doubt. He's spontaneous and in the moment, always taking in his environment and reacting to situations (appropriately). Very mindful of his space, fiercely independent, not REAL in touch with his feelings, terrible planner (resists all plans of all kinds), extremely athletic, analytical, focused when he needs/wants to be, relatively disorganized when it comes to life things (money, job, etc). He's bitingly sarcastic, hates most people (yet can be friendly in social situations), devastatingly brilliant, anarchistic, has random bouts of "quirkiness" or will blurt something out mid-sentence that leaves everyone else (except me) around him completely befuddled. He has no desire to fit in. He's not socially awkward, but certainly doesn't EVER want to be the center of attention - he's more of a behind the scenes guy. Loves gadgets and mechanical things. Jack of all trades, master of none. Would spend his life outdoors if he could. Loves pocketknives - just collecting them, not necessarily using them.

He's pretty sociable, but he gets drained easily and needs his alone time - lots of it - to recharge, collect his thoughts, and be ready for more social stuff.

He doesn't like talking theory, hates talking on the phone, and gets bored in long, drawn out conversations that just go in circles - he really wants to get to the fucking point and be done. He can resolve conflict without ever yelling (he hates conflict and high emotion), and be completely okay five minutes later, as though nothing happened. He would prefer to text than talk. Wouldn't talk about the weather if you paid him. Refuses to drag people into his problems; in fact, no one would know he had problems if they weren't intimate with him.

I find him completely alluring, though he's not probably textbook sexy. He's got a real dark sexy "way" about him. He's not suave or smooth, but his sarcasm, intellect, and that shit-eating grin make him irresistible to me. He always has an incredibly sharp answer for everything - if he wanted to, he could stop a conversation dead in its tracks with three perfectly chosen words that only he could come up with.

He's succinct, soft spoken (but deadly), cuts right to the point, can see through bullshit in seconds, does not tolerate drama, lying, or anything "beneath" him, sees ulterior motives without having to think about it, is insanely observant, not judgmental but definitely not a fan of people in general, very athletic, can be sweet to the right person (but can also be a total asshole in the wrong mood), and is very controlled with his emotions. I get the feeling he doesn't totally understand his emotions, and a lot of the time he spends thinking is spent trying to connect logic (he's ULTRA logical) with those weird feelings.

Oh. And he's never been married, has had a couple of "long term" (3ish year) relationships in the distant past that were "fine" but "just didn't work out", and SEEMS to have a history of more short-term relationships that just fizzled out somehow. He never talks badly about his exes, is still in touch with a couple of them (very occasionally - he doesn't keep in touch with many people, really). He doesn't seem to "do" relationships the way most men do, at least in my experience - but that may just be HIM and not, you know, indicative of his type.

I could keep going, but I'll end up saying the same things over and over in different ways.
 

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He's definitely an introverted Thinker, no doubt. He's spontaneous and in the moment, always taking in his environment and reacting to situations (appropriately). Very mindful of his space, fiercely independent, not REAL in touch with his feelings, terrible planner (resists all plans of all kinds), extremely athletic, analytical, focused when he needs/wants to be, relatively disorganized when it comes to life things (money, job, etc).
This could definitely be ISTP, but as you probably know it would fit the average INTP as well. Contrary to stereotypes, ISTPs can and do plan. We have the “Chart the Course” interaction style, but planning is relative since the other types sharing that interaction style are ISTJ, INTJ and INFJ.
He's bitingly sarcastic, hates most people (yet can be friendly in social situations), devastatingly brilliant, anarchistic, has random bouts of "quirkiness" or will blurt something out mid-sentence that leaves everyone else (except me) around him completely befuddled. He has no desire to fit in. He's not socially awkward, but certainly doesn't EVER want to be the center of attention – he's more of a behind the scenes guy. Loves gadgets and mechanical things. Jack of all trades, master of none. Would spend his life outdoors if he could. Loves pocketknives - just collecting them, not necessarily using them.
I bolded and underlined some key points that stick out that do not necessarily negate that he is ISTP, but gives equal indication that he is INTP. Types that use Se know they’re different, but probably find no desire to not fit in. To the contrary (and this is only my opinion) I want to be accepted, to be part of my environment and find displays of individualism distasteful especially if it puts a damper on everyone else. Displays of individualism are something NF types do in general and those preferring intuition (although ISFPs can have that quirk about them as well).

As I alluded to, ISTPs generally interact in a “Chart the Course” manner, INTPs interact in a “Behind the Scenes” manner. However this is only relevant if you are aware of that theory. Otherwise, I am not sure what is meant by “behind the scenes”.

I am not a pocket knife kind of guy, but ISTPs do collect things. The difference is STPs are the ultimate utilitarian types in my opinion. Collecting things (although I do recall someone referring to ISTPs collecting guitars in their description) without some fundamental use of the tool is a panacea for all SP types. Although NT types are utilitarian as well, NTPs are more apt to consider the use of the instruments whereas STPs find no reason to have it unless they’re going to use it. As soon as I say that some ISTP will prove me wrong in saying they have a wall decorated with martial arts paraphernalia. Yet even then, the decorated wall is art and a collection of tools for their own sake is something gathering dust and causing clutter.
He's pretty sociable, but he gets drained easily and needs his alone time - lots of it - to recharge, collect his thoughts, and be ready for more social stuff.

He doesn't like talking theory, hates talking on the phone, and gets bored in long, drawn out conversations that just go in circles - he really wants to get to the fucking point and be done. He can resolve conflict without ever yelling (he hates conflict and high emotion), and be completely okay five minutes later, as though nothing happened. He would prefer to text than talk. Wouldn't talk about the weather if you paid him. Refuses to drag people into his problems; in fact, no one would know he had problems if they weren't intimate with him.

I find him completely alluring, though he's not probably textbook sexy. He's got a real dark sexy "way" about him. He's not suave or smooth, but his sarcasm, intellect, and that shit-eating grin make him irresistible to me. He always has an incredibly sharp answer for everything - if he wanted to, he could stop a conversation dead in its tracks with three perfectly chosen words that only he could come up with.

He's succinct, soft spoken (but deadly), cuts right to the point, can see through bullshit in seconds, does not tolerate drama, lying, or anything "beneath" him, sees ulterior motives without having to think about it, is insanely observant, not judgmental but definitely not a fan of people in general, very athletic, can be sweet to the right person (but can also be a total asshole in the wrong mood), and is very controlled with his emotions. I get the feeling he doesn't totally understand his emotions, and a lot of the time he spends thinking is spent trying to connect logic (he's ULTRA logical) with those weird feelings.

Oh. And he's never been married, has had a couple of "long term" (3ish year) relationships in the distant past that were "fine" but "just didn't work out", and SEEMS to have a history of more short-term relationships that just fizzled out somehow. He never talks badly about his exes, is still in touch with a couple of them (very occasionally - he doesn't keep in touch with many people, really). He doesn't seem to "do" relationships the way most men do, at least in my experience - but that may just be HIM and not, you know, indicative of his type.

I could keep going, but I'll end up saying the same things over and over in different ways.
First let me say, you have an impeccable understanding of your boyfriend, he should be so lucky. I have no reason as well to question your belief that he is ISTP, and I am not sure it would make a difference in your inquiries that he may just as easily be INTP. I do notice you show yourself to be INTP, so what do you see as a difference between you? Thanks for sharing.
 

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This is fun - thank you so much for engaging me in this conversation, I'm loving it!

Where I said that he has no desire to fit in - what I didn't mean to allude to was that he tries to NOT fit in (as in, sticking out in a crowd or being outrageously dressed or obnoxiously different). I just meant - he is who he is, and he's not one to adopt trends or start singing that Top Gun song to a woman in the bar just because a bunch of other guys are doing it. In fact, he's completely turned off by those "random group activities" that so many people get off on.

He doesn't mind people who are obnoxiously dressed or are "trying too hard" unless it imposes on his enjoyment. In which case, he'll readily point out that they are obnoxious or clownish. But he won't make a scene over it - he'll just privately share his observations with me, and we'll make fun of the person from afar. He does love to people watch.

Gosh, the chart the course stuff is hard for me. I don't know how to answer that. What I meant by "behind the scenes" is that he would rather organize an event than perform in it, if that makes sense. He can play several instruments but has no desire to be in a band (he managed one for a few years and loved that job).

Back to the Chart the Course thing. I can't quite wrap my head around how you mean. I (personally) tend to TRY to foresee what I want out of a given situation, and mold things so that my expectations will be met - not exactly "planning" per se, but certainly more concrete toward my goals, which are usually pretty vague to begin with. He doesn't seem to do that at all. He's more of an at-a-whim type, and he hasn't shown a propensity toward molding his environment or activities toward any specific goal, even a vague one. Though the last couple months have been a clusterfuck for him, so it's kind of hard to say really.

I can say that he's a worse procrastinator than me, and that's saying a lot. I'm AWFUL, and he's almost life threateningly so. Even things that will benefit his life or get him out of a bad situation are put off until the last minute - sometimes beyond the last minute.

As for the knives :happy:, he does have an idea of how they might be useful - but really he's just collecting them 'cause they're cool. He justifies all his collections (and he has many), but I think he just likes to have fun stuff, really.

In some ways, he is more form than function. He's rather impeccable with his clothing (though he doesn't dress outlandishly or even stylishly - mostly t-shirts and shorts - but he's very careful with his selections, and takes great care of his possessions), he is more interested in making his home comfortable and appealing to his senses than making it functional, and he notices aesthetics far more quickly than I do. I just throw on whatever's clean, I almost never decorate my walls (why bother), and I prefer that everything be functional (make my life easier) than pretty (useless).

I may very well have him mis-typed; maybe I have us confused.

How is he different from me. Well, we are both deep thinkers, but I take it to the extreme - and I will talk or type my thoughts readily, while he keeps his almost entirely to himself until he MUST release the thoughts. We both love puzzles, but I'm more of a word/logic puzzle type and he's more visual. He and I are both patient listeners, but he gets bored and drifts away quicker than I do. He reads constantly, I almost never read (can't find the attention span to save my life).

Primarily, I'd say that I *need* to project my thoughts eventually - even though I'm always in a state of thought and analysis, at some point I need to get the thoughts out of my head - either by talking about them or writing. He is perfectly fine with keeping them all tied up, unless he's forced to reveal - and he's rather reluctant at that. He is more capable of being involved in group activities (sports, carpools), while I am very much a lone ranger. Yet, he spends more time alone and in solitude (no phone, no text, no visitors) than I do - but that may be partly because I have a child and have been married before, and he's a true bachelor.

Again, because of his bachelor state, he goes out more than I do - he has friends who are also bachelors, mostly younger than him and on his teams, and he accepts most invitations out for beer or watching a game at a sports bar. I have to really weigh the pros and cons of going out before I'll accept an invite - and usually I accept under duress, knowing that I *should* be social, but resenting that I must. Though once I'm there with my friends, I usually enjoy myself. Unless there is too much estrogen in the room, in which case I turn off and start planning my escape.

I don't have an impossible time talking about my feelings, but I do tend to break them down to logical places. He readily accepts that all feelings are valid, and does not ever get offended by someone's emotions, though his own emotions seem to be a complete puzzle to him. He approaches everything logically as well, but from a more distant place.

He is terrifically uncomfortable with questions about his life, as it seems that he feels encroached upon somehow. I don't mind people getting to know me in a "deeper" way, though I do tend to keep things pretty surface. Very few people know much about my life at all. For him, I think NO ONE knows anything about his life. I come pretty close, but that's only because I'm observant, I listen, and I care.

First let me say, you have an impeccable understanding of your boyfriend
Thank you. It took me a couple months to really gather it all together - the difference between his social nature (witty, sarcastic, outgoing with ME, unafraid, athletic, etc) and his private nature (solitary, brooding, private) confused the hell out of me for a while, he's so unlike anyone I've really dealt with at this level. But I *am* very observant, and usually pretty precise when it comes to analyzing people, their intentions, their needs and wants, etc. I just missed the mark on him at first.

Sadly, I think he has me partly pegged wrong. My desire to understand his needs has translated into me being pushy and invasive, when I was just trying to figure out the puzzle and interpret his desires and how they relate to me. Also, and this is shameful for me to admit, I've spent so much time trying to compensate for my own lackings in relationships, that I probably was a bit more exuberant than I meant to be - I also compensated for his lack of participation by trying to take the reins. In other words, at one point in the relationship I tried to steer things because it was obvious he had taken his hands completely off the sails.

Anyway, I feel now like I can settle back into my normal state, appreciate the advantages of dating an introvert like me, and just let him set his own pace, see if I like it or not. I do have this natural instinct to reach out to him and remind him that he's on my mind, give him a compliment here and there, etc. This is unusual for me, I'm not very touchy-feely normally. He WAS touchy-feely with me in the first two months, but has settled into his morass and this shitty mood and hasn't been much for reaching out at ALL lately. He'll either get through the funk, or he won't. :dry:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The first time I took the MBTI was about 12 or so years ago, in management training at one of my former jobs. It was the full-on test. I was young (mid twenties), and I had spent those years suppressing my natural instincts to fit into my career, my husband's lifestyle, etc. I answered a lot of the questions based on how I wanted to be seen, rather than my own preferences - and I was ENTP.

I took the test (abbreviated versions) many times since then, usually coming up ENTP - which never really fit me, the description, but because the NTP was there, and I know I'm clever and a deep thinker, I just accepted the typing.

In the last couple years, since I've really matured and started accepting my own preferences, my likes and dislikes - and acting on them, without regard to how I'm "seen" by my peers (things like staying home instead of going to a house party, for instance. I hate house parties), I've been testing out ISTP or INTP. Answering the questions based on my real gut instincts rather than how I wish to be perceived, you know?

The last few times I've taken the test, even adjusting answers that were toss-ups, I'm always coming up ISTP.

I *am* mechanically inclined, I'm definitely a DIY-er, there are a lot of ways that I fit that description... but I just don't know. It doesn't matter in the long run - I am who I am, and I know I'm IXTP, so there ya go :)

ETA: my results badge from the mypersonality.info site:

 

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What Functianalyst is referring to is a theory in Typology called Interaction Styles...I would give you the link, but it seems the site has a bug problem.

Anyway, it is really interesting. I'm not so well-read in it that I can remember it off the top of my head though. Personally, the interaction styles are in some way connected to the attitudes (EJ, EP, IJ, IP). Three EJs and ESTPs are In-charge. The other EPs and the ESFJs are Get-things-going. Three IJs and the ISTPs are Chart-the-course. The other IPs and ISFJs are Behind-the-scene types. And the names are self-explanatory.

Your boyfriend sounds like an ISTP to me. As you were describing him, every once in a while, I thought, yeah, that sounds like me, or I do something similar. Or a few times, no, that's not me at all. :) Personality type is not a cookie cutter system, after all.
 

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@madhatter, that's interesting - I found the Wiki entry on the Temperament models, and got a little more information... though honestly I can't say with certainty where my bf would stand (behind the scenes vs chart the course)... hell, for all I know he could be an IXFX and I'm just so wowed by his logical brain that I'm not seeing the F.

I've self identified as an INTP because I tend to prattle on and think out loud and waste way too much time in research - but I test ISTP consistently, and I'm definitely a "chart the course" type.

Meh. I dunno. I'm already tired of thinking about all this. :confused: Besides, it really doesn't matter what his type is, what my type is... if we're gonna work out, we're gonna work out.

As an update - he called last night, unexpectedly (busy weekend, I wasn't expecting to hear from him at all). He was grumpy, but not unkind or anything. Distracted. I guess at some point I'd asked him to call me before the weekend, and so he was doing what he was told. LOL. The conversation wasn't *awesome* but I didn't harass him to make plans or talk about what all went down over the last couple weeks. I was, you know, myself. He was distracted and quiet. Tired. Bleah.

I told him to have a great weekend (unintentionally insinuating I wouldn't hear from him till next week, even though that wouldn't be unforgivable or anything), and he said "Well, I'll be in touch..." in a defensive tone. I laughed on the inside. :happy: But out loud, I said "Oh! Well, that'd be cool, you know I like that." Whatever. I could really give a shit if he "touches base" or not - I know he's not screwing someone else, I know he'll come back to me when he's less overwhelmed, and I know without his space he's a complete ASSHOLE, so I'd rather he take all the time he needs and come back as the awesome guy I started dating, than to go through another few weeks like the last few, where he's obligated to keep in touch and I just end up feeling like shit.

In a way, the Feeler guys I've dated in the past were easier. Way easier. Their needs were clearly illustrated, and I was the one doing all the pushing away. I had control, and I never felt like I had to walk on eggshells. I was smarter and my emotions weren't even part of the equation, so there was nothing dangling out there to get hurt. I mean, those relationships were unchallenging, unstimulating, BORING, and smothering - but I always knew where I stood. This is FAR more exciting and challenging, which I love... but I'm used to hearing every emotion that passes through my boyfriend's psyche, and navigating through that until I've gotten too bored to keep playing. This one... yeesh. There's land mines in that head of his.
 
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