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Discussion Starter #21
@Geoffrey, thank you so very much for your insightful response. I will respond to the others as well, but let me begin by sharing a few more thing re: my OP. All of the information you have provided has been very thought provoking. The push-pull article describes our situation perfectly.

They're are a few things which complicate this matter a bit more.

a) He acknowledges and realizes that he has a lot of "emotional baggage" that he is trying to work through. Without going into too much detail, but a class fellow of ours "outed" us at the pub - i.e. he approached Mr. INFP and I, and loudly announced, "Mr. INFP ask her out all ready! stop being an idiot". Mr. INFP responded, "you don't understand, I am going through a lot of issues right now and don't believe it is right to drag her into this until I work things out". So, right from the get go he acknowledged that it would be wrong for us to get closer. He never asked for my phone # or any other contact details (this was all me). So, in many ways he avoided getting involved with me to begin with.

b) He said to me, "I don't want it to be one sided relationship where you are a therapist to me. Relationships are two-way street, so let us open up to each other". So, in some respects he wanted to build a sense of vulnerability on both sides. He is aware of this emotional imbalance or over sharing that could occur on one side, so he addressed this early on.

c) He repeatedly says, "I feel like jerk for what I am doing... this is so unlike me". I feel that their is a great sense of remorse. I reassure him that he is human and not a jerk. I told him he needs to make a decision and accept that we will become very distant friends if he in facts decides to go back to her. He avoids talking about his ex unless I bring it up. I don't care to do this as she is in the past... problem is, she is creeping into the present.

d) Like other posters have mentioned, he might be playing the guilt/sympathy card. I am not sure. I'd like to think not, but who knows for sure.

e) No one is perfect, including Mr. INFP. I asked myself tonight why I feel so incredibly close to him... he makes me laugh like no other person has; we have a deep and intense spiritual & emotional connection; he is creative, spontaneous, sensitive, and compassionate and caring. We look at life the same way, we also both happen to be studying to be teachers (I know). I have never in my life experienced such an intense level of closeness and understanding. Our bodies, hearts, and minds are in sync.

f) I imagine that he does struggle with some kind of depression & might have had this throughout his life, and works to manage it by cutting himself. I don't he has learnt to manage intense feelings of sadness /confusion in a healthy way. I think he absolutely need professional help. I don't think his previous partners supported his emotionality nor appreciated this fact. Again, I am not trying to be a saviour, or try to alleviate my desire to feel "needed" and "worthy". I have excellent, stable relationships with friends, family any my students.

I ask myself if I can handle an emotional person who might not deal with negative emotions in a positive way... maybe he will continue to struggle with depression or other disorder. At the same time, I think that therapy will help him finds ways to cope. He practices meditation everyday as a way to cope better. He also keeps a diary and paints. I think he finds this to be a therapeutic way to manage his intense emotions. I keep telling myself to run away, forget it all...but, then I think about the amount of passion we share. He does listen to me and he comforts me when I am upset. He hates to see me this way (perhaps why we are not talking right now).

In saying this, I have decided to consult my psychologist. I need to know how to best care for myself in this situation.

Thank you for all your advice. I think you and other posters are coming from a place of care, kindness, and compassion toward my situation.

-----@ThirdArcade: You sound like a very sweet, patient, caring person. I hear that you have developed strong feelings for this INFP male--despite not necessarily wanting to under the circumstances. That must be very difficult. I feel for and with you.
-----Below, I list information and my opinion, but I of course respect your personal autonomy, so I am not telling you what to do. My pronoun use and informing interaction style are meant to be offered for your perusal--and not meant to be directives.
-----Giving people like to give. So guess who they end up attracting? Takers. The relationship goes on, maybe for a long time, with the giver giving and the taker taking. But no matter how self-sacrificing the giving person, there comes a point when the discrepancy becomes so unconscionable that the giving person will realize that they, too, have needs that need to be met. The thing about Givers giving to Takers is that eventually the Giver will have nothing left to give. A healthy relationship is not all give and no take (and neither is it all take and no give). Relationships only work when there are two people in them both working for the good of the other and the relationship--and it will only work so long as those things are true. In other words, most especially since you are a giving person, you need the love of a giving person. Such a relationship is called a reciprocal relationship. Reciprocity is one of the major requirements of a healthy relationship. Here are some articles that have helpful information on healthy relationships: Creating A Healthy Relationship; Am I in a Healthy Relationship?; Characteristics of Healthy Relationships - John Cloud, PhD; The 5 Truths About Relationships (That No One Ever Tells You) - The Huffington Post.
-----Giving people like to give--but sometimes they forget that there is one place where they should not be the sole one giving. That one place is within your significant relationship. For NFs, our primary relationship is our battery. When it's good, we have energy to spare. When not so good, we get drained. If you feel like you must fix or must rescue, then please consider that you can either do it once in a significant relationship at the cost of your mental well-being, or you can do it in a caring but detached manner to people outside the primary relationship--and have energy to spare because you are being energized by a healthy relationship.
-----I certainly think it is possible to give without expecting anything in return--which is something much of the population cannot comprehend. Most people are constantly, "What am I getting out of this?" This makes a selfless giver like you a prime target. So it is important to protect yourself. Sometimes people give selflessly because they have been taught that they do not have a right to have needs. Hopefully I am not the first to tell you this, but here goes: You have the right to have needs. What's more, you have the right to expect to be loved simply for being--and not for doing. The following articles are rough reads, and not always applicable, but there is a lot of good information to be gleaned from them: Is People Pleasing Keeping You From Pleasing The Right People? | Motivate Thyself; The Giving Persona or People Pleaser; DO YOU LOVE TO BE NEEDED, OR NEED TO BE LOVED?. Here are some tips for evaluating a relationship: Healthy Boundaries for Couples | eHow.com; Are You Dating a Loser? Identifying Losers, Controllers and Abusers, Page 1; How to Recognize a Codependent Spouse | eHow.com.
-----You mentioned that this young man has self-harmed. Self-harming is a major indicator of one of several very serious underlying conditions.
  • Self-harm is listed in the DSM-IV-TR as a symptom of borderline personality disorder. However patients with other diagnoses may also self-harm, including those with depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and several personality disorders. Self-harm is also apparent in high-functioning individuals who have no underlying clinical diagnosis. The motivations for self-harm vary and it may be used to fulfill a number of different functions. These functions include self-harm being used as a coping mechanism which provides temporary relief of intense feelings such as anxiety, depression, stress, emotional numbness or a sense of failure or self-loathing and other mental traits including low self-esteem or perfectionism. Self-harm is often associated with a history of trauma and abuse, including emotional and sexual abuse.
Self-injury is very likely tied to abuse. "[M]ost people who self-injure were chronically invalidated in some way as children (many self-injurers report abuse, but almost all report chronic invalidation). They never learned appropriate ways of expressing emotion and may have learned that emotions are bad and to be avoided." Self-injury: Beyond the Myths: http://buslist.org/pdf/factsheet.pdf. See also Emotional Neglect and Self-Harm: Cutting, Self Harm, Abuse.
-----You also mentioned that this young man has threatened suicide. Suicide is a leading cause of death for people seriously affected by mental illness. Depression, specifically, is a major cause of suicide. Over 90% of people who commit suicide are suffering from a mental illness at the time of death. Stop A Suicide - Suicide & Mental Illness. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) also provides information to the friends and family of people who have attempted or threatened suicide. Even a single threat or attempt should be taken seriously.
-----There's much more to know, including knowing about attachment styles, personality disorders, and personality-disordered behaviors, but this is already very long (sorry). Here is a list of the most common personality-disordered behaviors: Out of the FOG - Top 100 Behaviors & Traits of Individuals who suffer from Personality Disorders. What I see happening here is quite a bit of personality-disordered behavior from your romantic interest. The way he is pushing you away and then pulling you back belies a serious fear of intimacy. It's called Push Me-Pull You. Beyond the Borderline Personality: Push Me - Pull You : The Push-Pull Cycle. There is quite a bit of avoidant behavior as well--the message being sent seems to be, "Stay away a little closer." This article addresses some common reasons people get stuck in personality-disordered relationships: Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder. See also: Resources for Healthy Partners About Mental Illness | Partners in Wellness.
-----Back to MBTI for a moment, it is wise to work on developing your first two cognitive functions and integrating your tertiary and inferior functions before making serious relationship decisions.
  • The inferior function seems to have its own agenda, exhibiting needs and desires that seem contrary to the dominant function. What often results is a sort of love-hate, either-or situation, in which one alternates between indulging and depriving the inferior. Less obvious, but no less problematic, is the way in which the inferior can unconsciously influence decision-making. As I’ve discussed elsewhere, the inferior function is the primary culprit in unwise career and relational decision-making. Unfortunately, its influence peaks in Phase II of type development, which happens to be the same time people are making life-altering decisions about their careers and relationships.
That from: Personality Junkie | INFJ. See also this excellent article: INFJ, INFP, INTP, INTJ Relationships, Compatibility, & the Inferior Function | Personality Junkie.
-----@TrueNorth, @Rim, and @eyenexepee (below), have given good advice. And I think you know that this relationship is negatively affecting you. Perhaps my advice above seems selfish. Here's the thing, though, a selfless person's "selfish" is still less selfish than the average person's "selfless." What I am saying is that you are being far too selfless.
-----Let me ask you, do you think kind people should be treated poorly? I know you don't! Now, suppose you meet a wonderful kind and caring person--how will you treat him or her? Just take a moment and think about it. In all likelihood you would treat that person very well. I care, too (believe it or not!), but who I care about right now is that kind and caring person we were just hypothesizing about. She's right here in front of me, and her name is ThirdArcade (all right, so that's not your real name, but you get the idea). Please treat her right. She deserves to be treated right and supported. She deserves happiness. She is entitled to have needs. Please put at least the same amount of time into treating her kindly that she spends in treating others kindly.
~~~----~~~~----~~~~
P.S. The thing about people with serious personality-disordered behaviors is this: 1. the normal, caring, comforting thing to do may be precisely the wrong thing to do (for example, trying to hug someone with BPD when they appear distressed is the wrong thing to do (it will trigger intense feelings of panic)), and after a while in contact with a personality-disordered person, a non-personality-disordered person can lose track of what is relatively normal and acceptable in the outside world, and 2. people with these issues often don't want to be helped, don't realize there is a problem, or are afraid to face those problems--and even bringing those issues up can trigger panicked--sometimes even dangerous--behavior. Sometimes the best way to help is by not helping--by letting that person manage their own emotions. And by refusing to become a dumping ground for their negative emotions. But I get it, you are compassionate. Consider seeing an NF therapist and asking for advice on what else you can safely and effectively do (in a way that actually helps the young man--which is impossible to know without psychological training).
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thanks for your thoughtful response eyenexepee. I'll address a part of your post and address the rest later on. By fun, I meant to say that I was a bit playful. Sometimes I would bring my lips close to his and pull away, and then sometimes I would pull in. Sometime he would pull in to kiss me and I would back-up and then pull close to kiss him. We did not go beyond kissing and caressing as I was comfortable with this. He did not push further and "checked-in" on me to see if I was "comfortable and ok". I appreciate how caring, sensitive and intense he was. He already knows that I won't get involved with him sexually unless we are in a relationship.

He called me as soon as he came into town. He spent some time at the pub with our mutual friends from university. We stayed in his car all night and took things from there. I did not invite him to my place as I did not want to give him the wrong impression. I felt a bit bad not inviting him in, but I want to protect my boundaries. In the end he drove back to town very late and pulled to the side of the road to sleep a bit. I felt bad about this, but again, necessary so I felt that my boundaries weren't being violated.

I'll address other contents in your post later on. Thank you.

Hello @ThirdArcade,

I've got some time now, here's a few things that I would like to point out. I realize that what I'm telling you is not going to make me popular in any way. I do not intend to hurt you - I'm being honest and I have your well-being in mind firstly, then his, then hers.


I've seen some Tumblr blogs of people who are fascinated with blood and cuts and self-injury - and perhaps actually cut themselves. I don't know much about it, supposedly it is calming for them to cut themselves and see their own blood flow. I imagine that they focus so much on the physical pain and the blood that it's like a tool for them to 'cut' themselves off from their other problems. One thing I know for sure is that it is not a healthy way of coping with problems.


What do you mean, you tried to make it fun? I find it such a weird phrase... If you tried some fun 'stuff' during passionate love making, okay I get that (and surely you may keep the details to yourself ^^), but making your 'love making' fun? There aren't a lot of people who'd say such a thing. I mean, I find 'making out' not something that I need to make fun or something, because it is fun. Maybe I'm reading into that sentence a bit too much, but eh... Yah, what exactly do you mean?! ^^;


From my point of view, it doesn't mean that much that he spent the night with you. He had two choices, there can be a bunch of interpretations as to why he spent it with you. Perhaps it cost him less gas to drive to your place than to hers (okay, that's a ridiculous reason, but bear with me), or he flipped a coin, or chose on a gut feeling, or he called her and had a fight so he drove to your place, or he thought he would spend an evening with you to see how 'far' he could go, or perhaps, he really wanted to be with you.

So from my point of view, given what you've told us so far, his choice to spend the evening with you isn't really significant in telling if he wants to be with you or not.


If he's an INFP and behaves like the stereotypical INFP descriptions, you might have to bug him over and over to get him to decide. But even without knowing his type, one can tell from your posts that he's stalling his decision. To be honest, this is not fair, not to you, not to her.


His attempt at suicide, combined with what you told us about cutting himself, sets off an extremely loud alarm bell in my head (which may be the reason I sound harsh throughout my post). Surely my heart has been broken before, up to the point that I thought nothing made sense anymore, that I had lost the main reason for my life being great... But not up to the point of attempting suicide.

At the risk of sounding offensive... I don't know him as well as you do obviously, but are you sure this is not a (unintentional) ploy of his to get your sym-/empathy? Have you been able to verify whether he really attempted suicide and cut himself?

Assuming he did not lie about these things, then he's right: he shouldn't not saddle you up with his emotional baggage, and you're right: you cannot fix him or counsel him. Not only because he may feel he'd be using you, but because you'd be in a relationship that is skewered: you'd be the rescuer and he'd be the victim. I'm not saying that you couldn't handle it, I am saying that this is an uneven relationship that, if not resolved properly, will eventually break the both of you. Much like therapists and doctors shouldn't date their patients.

A proper resolution is for him to solve his issues, whether with professional help or not, but not with yours. Also, not with her help either. I can sympathize with your INFP in the sense of not wanting to be alone, wanting a shoulder to cry on, wanting arms that wrap me up in a heartfelt hug etc... But to resort to romantic relationships, this is not right, not in this situation.

As for the issue of him wanting to travel when he's done studying... I don't really see an issue here (assuming you end up having a healthy relationship). From January to April is what, 3 months! 12 weeks! Can't he plan his travels 3 months later so you can travel together?

Okay so maybe he, or the both of you, have reasonable reasons to want to travel alone. I don't see an issue here either. Assuming you'd travel for half a year, then you wouldn't see each other for at least 9 months. This is doable if you talk it through - you're 26 and he's 24, you're grown up people. Unless one of you is the type of person to not be able to bear missing someone for more than a month or so (because of trust issues), sure, I can see how that will cause problems.


There's a few other parts in your post that I could bunch up with these two, but yah, I don't feel like complicating this too much. ^^;

Okay 3rd, assuming your type is as you show it (ENFJ), your cog function order is Fe-Ni-Se-Ti. I speculate, but maybe you're really good with 'being in touch' with the feeling of others, while being in touch with your own feelings is more difficult. Sure, considering the feelings of others, Fe has quite some overlap with Fi. Actually, I think Fe+Ni may be a lookalike of Fi in this context, but simply put, Fe+Ni does not equal Fi - which means that you scarcely judge by your own feelings. Given the ENFJ cog preferences, I wouldn't be surprised if your own feelings are somewhat in a blind spot to you.

(Fi vs Fe, but in the last pages it's quite a lot about sympathy vs empathy, but maybe you want to give it a read anyways http://personalitycafe.com/cognitive-functions/94197-fe-vs-fi-bleed-over.html)

(Suddenly I understand the title of the ENFJ forums: "ENFJ Forum - The Givers)

Further technicalities aside, your posts seem rather rich of him and void of you. More specifically, your posts are much about him from your point of view, about his hurts and messed-up-ness, which makes it difficult to get into his mind (if it isn't already impossible to get into someone's head through a third person). Your posts seem to reveal little to nothing about your own feelings.

What I'm saying is: where are *you* and *your feelings* in all of this?

You tell us you don't feel anger, that you have only feelings of sympathy for his feelings: closeness, care, understanding (of his feelings). This is also a red flag to me. Everybody has feelings and can get in touch with them. The MBTI type can explain why someone has difficulties getting in touch with their own feelings etc, but the bottom line is this:

I'm not buying your not having feelings like anger. In fact, you have the right to be angry, feel hurt, or frustrated, or similar feelings: because he's not deciding between you and her, he's playing/hurting/etc the both of you. So why are you not feeling angry? I see two possibilities here:
1) It is a blindspot to you, as I tried to explain before
2) You like him so much, you unconsciously push your own feelings away because of your focus on him

Eh, okay, these possibilities may actually be one possibility, but yeah - I don't believe that you don't have feelings of your own.

You may be waiting for him to make a decision, but I think if you will look deep inside yourself, you'll find your feelings, and therefore possible reasons to let go of this guy, empowering you to make a decision yourself.

I don't want to end this post, because I fear that if I don't convince you or don't give you enough helpful information/opinoins, you'll end up hurting real bad...

But I think I've said all I could have, and ultimately, it is your decision.

Don't hesitate to send me a PM, whenever, for whatever, whether you end up staying with him or moving on.


PS: you see why I couldn't write this on my phone? ^^;
PS2: I think I ended up coming to the same conclusion as @Geoffrey, I'd advice you to trust his wisdom ^^
PS3: The others you conjured have also quite some good material to think about!
 
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@ThirdArcade I just want to clarify that when I say that he's bad news, I mean right now. He needs to work through his issues on his own and, as he himself said, without you being his therapist. It is so hard as an NF to let go and let growth occur while apart, but sometimes, that is the only way progress will ever truly be made. Unfortunately, that will take time apart. On the plus side, if it's a mutual parting, there's less heartache involved.

You two might be fine a little bit down the road with this baggage out of the way. No one can decide that but the two of you.

I'm glad you're planning on taking care of yourself first and foremost. You do sound like a sweet, caring person who deserves happiness. Hopefully things will work out the way you'd like in the long run. :)
 

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-----I hope these past few days have treated you kindly.
-----I am glad that you see that we are coming from a place of care, kindness, and compassion toward your situation, as you so beautifully put it. I am also happy to hear that you have decided to speak with someone with lots of experience dealing with similar situations. Even more than their training, I think the value of speaking to psychologists/therapists is that they speak from a place of broad experience dealing with relationships and the inner-selves of other people.
-----I understand that for NFs doing things for others is a form of self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice--that we derive satisfaction and pleasure from helping others. That's what I see in you. I would like to explain why I included those articles. I used much qualifying language regarding the "need to be needed" articles because I know that NFs do not fit the category of co-dependents just because they care (it would be quite absurd to equate wanting to help with a diseased mental state). As I'm reading, I try to determine a "differential"--some way to discriminate between two similar things. The differential in regard to helping others is located in the motivation. If care is given by someone in the hope that that someone will eventually be cared for (thereby shifting the relationship from caretaker-cared for to cared-for-caretaker), then there is not a true desire for a reciprocal relationship--that is what the articles are talking about. However, regardless of whether the motivation is selfless or not, givers often run into the same kinds of problems--because they can attract the same kind of people. So, just to (try to) be extra-clear, I see that you are coming from a place of genuine compassion.
-----Much of what you wrote shows that Mr. INFP is aware of his issues. That insight--that awareness that something is wrong bodes well for a possible positive outcome. Characteristic of a true personality disorder is lack of insight. That means someone with, for instance, Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) (and I am not implying that you, he, or anybody I know for that matter is affected by this disorder) could read a description of the disorder and not see any part of it as relevant to himself/herself. Non-personality-disordered people (a.k.a. relatively "normal") can read a description of any disorder and see parts of it as relevant. It's the combination of things that makes up the disorder. That's why the case reports are so important--the specific facts related to a particular person affected with the disorder. BTW, NPD was taken out of the latest DSM.
-----And I really do appreciate your interest in Mr. INFP's well-being. It is very difficult growing up as an NF male (and I imagine female, too) in this world. I am not saying that being INFx is harder than being ENFx, but there appear to be different kinds of problems associated with each. I've read ENFx's say that they are lonely in a crowded room of friends. As an INFx, I cannot relate to the crowded room of friends, but I can relate to feeling lonely (in an uncrowded room). Hopefully I have explained the above well-enough, since I want to try to explain the INFx (particularly INFP) experience--based on what I've read and through my own personal experience.
-----Both child neglect and abuse are widespread. People in general seem aware of the physical types of abuse (physical and sexual abuse, and physical neglect), but less people are aware of the emotional types of abuse (emotional abuse, and emotional neglect). Any of the aforementioned types of abuse will be particularly destructive to an NF child. But emotional abuse and emotional neglect seem to be particularly prevalent in NF upbringing. According to at least one study, the impact of emotional abuse "did not differ significantly" from that of physical abuse. I also want to say that oftentimes emotional abuse and/or neglect are inflicted unintentionally, and sometimes even with misguided goals of trying to "toughen up" a child, for instance. It's not a blame game, but it still results in a lot of people needing a lot of help when they grow up.
-----Now, what I am writing I am not offering in the hopes of receiving comfort or pity, and it is not my intention to make it about me. It's just that the only perspective that I can fully own is my own (my fellow INFPs are not fond of relaying personal experience as if it collective experience--and that is fair enough, I suppose). Growing up in an SJ-dominant society (in an SJ household) meant that communication was essentially one way--from the philosophy, "I command, you obey." I heard that word all the time growing up--in church, in family gatherings, in marriage ceremonies. I hated gatherings because all of the parents seems to compete with each other to show off how well-behaved (a.k.a. obedient) their children were. But the control issues go past behavior--and that is the real problem. Essentially, I was taught that I had no right to have needs. On the contrary, it was my "duty" to be obedient, perform my roles, etc. (to meet their needs). And so I accommodated, accommodated, until it became clear to me that it did not matter how much I accommodated--it was never going to be enough. So then I had the good sense to rebel (thank you God for the teenage instinct to rebel). What I just wrote is the story of emotional neglect. It is quite common.
-----The other kind of emotional trauma--emotional abuse--takes a different and more damaging form. Emotional abusive parents teach their children that they do not have the right to have their own feelings (or any feelings), thoughts, ideas, and/or opinions. There are different kinds of behavior that go hand-in-hand with emotional abuse, but one of the most prevalent is emotional invalidation. Invalidation. In this case, what the parents are doing is trying to suppress the individual self. The end result are serious issues for the child in childhood and when grown up. What I just wrote is the story of emotional abuse. It is also quite common.
-----The effect of both is to impair bonding/attachment. Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children: Consequences of Emotional Neglect in Childhood. It is necessary to deal with the issues associated with psychological abuse before healthy bonding can occur. Psychological abuse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
-----Based on your description of Mr. INFP, he has likely suffered the latter and possibly the former as well (possibly in addition to other forms of maltreatment as well).
-----He needs help--professional help--in order to learn the things his parents should have taught him, or possibly to cope with some other forms of trauma (bullying, etc.).
-----I encourage you to speak with your professional first, of course, before doing anything, but I have a few thoughts. First, does he know he is an INFP? Have you shared MBTI? That information will likely be very helpful. Has he met any other NFs (besides you), specifically INFxs? That experience can be very healing. For me personally, even having dealt with my issues long ago, meeting other NFs IRL has still been enlightening--showing me that I'm not the only one who thinks like I do. Has he seen a psychologist/therapist? This is an area that one has to be careful about bringing up because the stereotype is that one must be "broken" to see such people, when in fact it's part of a healthy mental maintenance. Does he know about PerC? Second to IRL meeting, this place is the place to go for the personality type minority. At the same time, it is not unreasonable to keep this place your safe place.
a) He acknowledges and realizes that he has a lot of "emotional baggage" that he is trying to work through. Without going into too much detail, but a class fellow of ours "outed" us at the pub - i.e. he approached Mr. INFP and I, and loudly announced, "Mr. INFP ask her out all ready! stop being an idiot". Mr. INFP responded, "you don't understand, I am going through a lot of issues right now and don't believe it is right to drag her into this until I work things out". So, right from the get go he acknowledged that it would be wrong for us to get closer. He never asked for my phone # or any other contact details (this was all me). So, in many ways he avoided getting involved with me to begin with.
-----The fact that he publicly took responsibility for what is going on is a good sign.
b) He said to me, "I don't want it to be one sided relationship where you are a therapist to me. Relationships are two-way street, so let us open up to each other". So, in some respects he wanted to build a sense of vulnerability on both sides. He is aware of this emotional imbalance or over sharing that could occur on one side, so he addressed this early on.
-----That indicates a desire for reciprocity--and not wanting to be the sole receiver of benefit, which is a good sign. It could also be read more cynically, but there's not much on your writing to back that up, so I won't address it.
c) He repeatedly says, "I feel like jerk for what I am doing... this is so unlike me". I feel that their is a great sense of remorse. I reassure him that he is human and not a jerk. I told him he needs to make a decision and accept that we will become very distant friends if he in facts decides to go back to her. He avoids talking about his ex unless I bring it up. I don't care to do this as she is in the past... problem is, she is creeping into the present.
-----Obviously he is torn--but the question is why? What does he see in her? It seems like INFPs are attracted to ESTJs and ISTJs in early adulthood--according to the one article I already posted because we essentially use their dominant and auxiliary functions (Te-Si and Si-Te) as a crutch for our underdeveloped tertiary and inferior functions (Si-Te). Do you know her type?
-----You are right to set boundaries, of course--to say that the choice to see that other woman is the same as the choice not to see you (in similar capacity). It is wrong to talk about past lovers to your current lover (for the most part), so he really shouldn't be talking about her. However, it's altogether different is he's seeing her now and hiding it.
d) Like other posters have mentioned, he might be playing the guilt/sympathy card. I am not sure. I'd like to think not, but who knows for sure.
-----Perhaps. Based on what you've written, he's had the chance to manipulate things to his advantage, and he hasn't. People tend to be consistent in that way--consistently manipulative or consistently non-manipulative.
e) No one is perfect, including Mr. INFP. I asked myself tonight why I feel so incredibly close to him... he makes me laugh like no other person has; we have a deep and intense spiritual & emotional connection; he is creative, spontaneous, sensitive, and compassionate and caring. We look at life the same way, we also both happen to be studying to be teachers (I know). I have never in my life experienced such an intense level of closeness and understanding. Our bodies, hearts, and minds are in sync.
-----In many ways they are, of course. Though any relationship requires work. I just want to validate your emotions, here. Your feelings are your feelings, of course.
f) I imagine that he does struggle with some kind of depression & might have had this throughout his life, and works to manage it by cutting himself. I don't he has learnt to manage intense feelings of sadness /confusion in a healthy way. I think he absolutely need professional help. I don't think his previous partners supported his emotionality nor appreciated this fact. Again, I am not trying to be a saviour, or try to alleviate my desire to feel "needed" and "worthy". I have excellent, stable relationships with friends, family any my students.
-----I addressed this above, so I'll say no more here.
I ask myself if I can handle an emotional person who might not deal with negative emotions in a positive way... maybe he will continue to struggle with depression or other disorder. At the same time, I think that therapy will help him finds ways to cope. He practices meditation everyday as a way to cope better. He also keeps a diary and paints. I think he finds this to be a therapeutic way to manage his intense emotions. I keep telling myself to run away, forget it all...but, then I think about the amount of passion we share. He does listen to me and he comforts me when I am upset. He hates to see me this way (perhaps why we are not talking right now).
In saying this, I have decided to consult my psychologist. I need to know how to best care for myself in this situation.
-----You are trying. He seems to be trying. But of course people still need the right tools to make things work. It sounds like he still hasn't found the right tools, but with professional help he may well be able to.
-----You have hope. That's a good thing. In your case, perhaps it would be a good idea to use that J of yours to set some time limits. These are not communicated ultimatums. But you can't be left hanging forever. People lose their whole lives waiting. How long is it reasonable to wait for him to make a decision? That time period will likely be a little longer than you would be comfortable with (that's to accommodate the P), but it shouldn't be indefinite, either.
-----I wish you all the best, and I hope that you can find a healthy way through this, that he can get the help he needs, and that the two of you can build a relationship that you both get a lot out of. So you'll both be in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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Take care, Ms. @ThirdArcade; never forget these never-changing principle, which others have already mentioned, as did Mr. Geoffrey:

-You do deserve to be happy and loved back (not just "appreciated", but really, really loved back.)

I am happy about your stance in being more distant for as long as he cannot make his mind about the other lady. I feel he doesn't genuinely understands how great he is without any need of his past with her tying him down. She proved to me she doesn't really love him, but might have been even using him, so I really feel he should just forget about the other lady, no matter how much they "loved each other" once. Unless he accepts you as the better lady and the one to date and perhaps even be with, he doesn't deserve you yet (I think he knows this, but he must act on it.)

I say so from a personal experience during 2008, because I had a lady friend ("girlfriend") chat with me a LOT through skype. I thought we loved each other, but once she no longer saw any use for me, she casted me out of her life, unbeknown to me (I was her emotional support, as well as main help throughout her master's and doctoral studies' paperwork, since her written English was not nearly as good as mine.) I was her biggest editor and life counselor (a super self-less one at that), basically, and I did sacrifice myself many times to help her with her degree work. Just before her graduation, she just disappeared from my life (we lived in separate states while she did her doctoral, although we studied in the same school while doing our Master's degrees.) That she did after promising to come back to NYC and rent a place together (I even had boxes ready for the move!), etc. She broke her promise, and just went "poof" for a while for no real reason. After this inappropriate "magic trick", she reapperared just before the end of Summer 2008, but only briefly, and we never chatted as we used to-things broke-off quickly after; and quite thankfully, because I wanted to be free from her "yoke".

I somehow felt this was coming, and as I have said before, I do think I was not back then the person I should have been, so even though what she did was quite cruel-she was basically using me until I was no longer needed-I also wasn't anything like I am right now, so I cannot say I was blameless regarding who I was (note that I am not blaming this over me being a "male INFP"-that's NEVER the real problem; I could have just loved myself MUCH more back then.)

All this said, her disappearing act was in the end a very liberating experience for me, because even though she later (after that Summer) mentioned she could only be my friend for now, and "maybe in the future" see "what happens", I told her very politely that I was then free, which was nice to know. Although I do still remember my tears in front of my computer, because I knew this was coming-happiness that I was finally free from her (and free to rediscover and BE myself!) but also sadness knowing how many years I spent loving and sacrificing myself for the lady. She was clearly not concerned with this, nor burdened/saddened. I don't think she was/is a "bad person", but she did use me (and tried to use me even AFTER on a few ocassions-contacting me when she needed my "services"-but I never let it happen again.) Although the lady in your story might be totally different, whatever her personality type is-even if it was another NF-disappearing from another person's life is not a healthy nor well-mannered choice-it's extremely rude and disrespectful, and I do feel that you are a much wonderful person than she is, especially in these regards and given those details, dear 3rd Arcade.



He needs help, you know? I hope he understands that he doesn't need this lady back in his life in order for his life to have "value"-that his life is its own treasure, and that he needs no "relationship validation." And you've been ther to show him this all this time. I hope he's eventually happy, and successfully able to battle these ugly demons that need not be in his life.

May you find your own personal contentment through all of this, and hopefully this will end up the way you wish to, and in happiness for both of you, as you well deserve.
 

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Thank you, @TrueNorth, @Geoffrey, @IcarusDreams... Sorry for the late response. I've been working through my feelings lately. I'll respond to all your posts individually. I've been working through a ton of emotions. He requested that we not talk for 2-3 weeks. It was very hard. So, one week without talking to one another, I called him. This is a summary of what our conversation...

-I decided it best to put space between us, so he could properly work out his emotions. I decided that my continued presence would only cloud the situation & it would make it difficult for him to work through his emotions. He agreed.
-We did not decide on a date we would re-contact each other. I'll let him contact me when he feels comfortable. I think we won't talk for at least a few months. He lives about an hour away from me, so it will be easier, at least logistically. He will be back on campus in September to finish up schooling.
-I told him that I will have to "move on" and if I meet someone that I connect with & wants to be with me, I will not forego that opportunity. In saying that, I told him I will never meet anyone like him & that rest assured he will always be a part of my life in some way or another (even in a distant way). I asked him to "come back" and talk when he has sorted himself out emotionally...even if that takes years. He said he need proper "closure" from his previous relationship & feel that he cannot offer me what we deserve unless he has worked through his past relationship worries. We talked about therapy. He has gone through therapy before. I am planning to see my therapist on May 1.
-He said he always seems to think of others before himself, and in this case, he had trouble distancing himself from me because he enjoyed what we have.
-Told him: he means so much to me & that I have never felt this way about anyone. Told him that I wanted him to be happy (because he totally deserves it) & that even if that means not being with me, I could take on that pain for him because I rather see him be happy with the person he wants to be with. I told him my biggest "fault", yet biggest strength is my ability to "be there" for people I care deeply about. I told him that I have no anger towards him, but mostly these feelings of sadness, sometimes hurt, and other times just pure acceptance and appreciation of the honesty of the situation.
-He cried on the phone a little. He admitted that he always feels like picking up the phone and talking to me, then he remembers, "I can't hurt you like this anymore. I don't want you to feel used. You deserve to be happy & dragging you through my stuff isn't right. When we talk it feels like minutes have passed, even if we have been talking for hours. You are one of the least self-absorbed people I have met. You are comfortable with yourself and much to give to everyone. I don't feel like I need to censor myself around you. You understand me for me, and never judge me. You accept me fully and wholeheartedly. You have this mystical, spiritual energy about you. Our chemistry is incredibly passionate and amazing".
-I offered him a virtual hug... :(
-I reassured him that I didn't feel used, but in the same respect, I need to protect myself so that the next person I meet, I am able to open to without reservations or past hurts. I told him that "he has taught me much: to be vulnerable, unafraid, to laugh, to know that I can be cherished for who I am: a giving, open, kind, and honest individual".
-He told me "I smelled beautiful". haha... that was cute ;)
-I told him I consider the first male "best friend" I have ever had and as someone who truly understands me. As someone I connect with easily and automatically. I told him that he is the first person I have ever considered having a "long term life long relationship with" and that in my heart of hearts, "I hope we end up together one day". We both agreed that we would allow "time and fate" do what it will.
-We ended up talking about our future travel plans. Turns out he is also thinking of teaching in Ghana through our study abroad program at school(not till next year). I laughed, because this was something I planned on doing after graduation too. He remarked, "if we both decide to go...we'll have to talk before hand... you know".
-I worry we will grow apart & will not be able to rekindle what we had.

When I think my relationship with Mr. INFP... it was a deep emotional and mental connection, then we "tested" the physical and discovered we had passion there too. We were capable of serious conversations and humorous conversations. We accept each other wholeheartedly. We enjoy each other's company in a group and one-to-one. We are growing together (we talk a lot about our future travel & teaching plans). We look at one another from across the room, and we instantly know how each other is feeling... The best moment is being to look into each other's eyes and feel a sense of care and passion for each other. It is beautiful.


Please give me sometime & I will reply to all your thoughtful posts!

@ThirdArcade I just want to clarify that when I say that he's bad news, I mean right now. He needs to work through his issues on his own and, as he himself said, without you being his therapist. It is so hard as an NF to let go and let growth occur while apart, but sometimes, that is the only way progress will ever truly be made. Unfortunately, that will take time apart. On the plus side, if it's a mutual parting, there's less heartache involved.

You two might be fine a little bit down the road with this baggage out of the way. No one can decide that but the two of you.

I'm glad you're planning on taking care of yourself first and foremost. You do sound like a sweet, caring person who deserves happiness. Hopefully things will work out the way you'd like in the long run. :)
 

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@ThirdArcade So much of that feels emotionally familiar; it's hard for me not to mix in personal bias. Don't worry - if it's meant to be the two of you, then it will happen, even if it takes a little while to get there. He's got to have the time and space to recover in the meantime.

*massive hugs* Definitely cheering you on, no matter what happens. It'll be okay. :)
 

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Awh... It sounds like he's really sincere and honest and caring. I feel very sad for you two :( But I think you've made the right choice.

Wishing you both the best @ThirdArcade. I know what it's like to be able to only give virtual hugs. But it's better than none, and you get one from me.
 

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Growing up in an SJ-dominant society (in an SJ household) meant that communication was essentially one way--from the philosophy, "I command, you obey." I heard that word all the time growing up--in church, in family gatherings, in marriage ceremonies. I hated gatherings because all of the parents seems to compete with each other to show off how well-behaved (a.k.a. obedient) their children were. But the control issues go past behavior--and that is the real problem. Essentially, I was taught that I had no right to have needs. On the contrary, it was my "duty" to be obedient, perform my roles, etc. (to meet their needs). And so I accommodated, accommodated, until it became clear to me that it did not matter how much I accommodated--it was never going to be enough. So then I had the good sense to rebel (thank you God for the teenage instinct to rebel). What I just wrote is the story of emotional neglect. It is quite common.
-----The other kind of emotional trauma--emotional abuse--takes a different and more damaging form. Emotional abusive parents teach their children that they do not have the right to have their own feelings (or any feelings), thoughts, ideas, and/or opinions. There are different kinds of behavior that go hand-in-hand with emotional abuse, but one of the most prevalent is emotional invalidation. Invalidation. In this case, what the parents are doing is trying to suppress the individual self. The end result are serious issues for the child in childhood and when grown up. What I just wrote is the story of emotional abuse. It is also quite common.
I know what that's like. I think if it wasn't for friends, education, and self-help books, I might have lost that individual self. Even now I think it's partially withdrawn, but fortunately I have been working on it, and PerC has helped me to realize it's okay to be me.

I told him my biggest "fault", yet biggest strength is my ability to "be there" for people I care deeply about.
I really like this sentence. Never forget this.

He is a great guy; and he just needs to recover. To find himself, be okay with himself, to believe in himself. And you handled this really well. You know how to balance your needs with the needs of others. Hopefully, the story of you two will have a happy ending. :happy:
 

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@ThirdArcade

I feel for ya girl! I know an INFP/ENFJ couple and they are one of the happiest, cutest and most in love couples that I've met. I'm really good friends with the ENFJ female in the relationship and she is an awesome person! She is always interested in how my life is going and always willing to give me good advice. I'm not really a strongly typed feeler, but I can tell you that MR.INFP's situation would have sent me into one hell of a depression cycle.

The best advice I can give you though is give him an ultimatum give him a month or else. As much as that may sound harsh and inconsiderate it is sometimes exactly what we need. If you guys were growing close and then this girl came back into his life he was on his way to getting over her. I think the best thing that you both can do is come to a decision as to if you guys are going to start a relationship. Even if he says no it's still better than the uncertainty that you guys have at the moment.

I really hope this works out for you though it's really rare that someone can find true happiness with another person and I think you guys could have it.
 

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@ThirdArcade I just want to clarify that when I say that he's bad news, I mean right now. He needs to work through his issues on his own and, as he himself said, without you being his therapist. It is so hard as an NF to let go and let growth occur while apart, but sometimes, that is the only way progress will ever truly be made. Unfortunately, that will take time apart. On the plus side, if it's a mutual parting, there's less heartache involved.

You two might be fine a little bit down the road with this baggage out of the way. No one can decide that but the two of you.

I'm glad you're planning on taking care of yourself first and foremost. You do sound like a sweet, caring person who deserves happiness. Hopefully things will work out the way you'd like in the long run. :)
Thank you for your kind words, @TrueNorth. The part in bold really stood out to me. I fear that this period of extended separation might drive us apart. I am not sure. In either case, me being there, at this moment in time is hard on the both of us. Sometimes I think he might be spending all this time "building" things with this ex, the girl whom he said he feels "hollow and incomplete around". It is interesting that he continued to stay in that relationship for 2 years, moreover, it is interesting that he acknowledges that we have a "deep connection" and that he feels "accepted and understood" by me... I think it is best to let him work-out what he wants... He knows I won't be around forever....
 

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Thank you for your kind words, @TrueNorth. The part in bold really stood out to me. I fear that this period of extended separation might drive us apart. I am not sure. In either case, me being there, at this moment in time is hard on the both of us. Sometimes I think he might be spending all this time "building" things with this ex, the girl whom he said he feels "hollow and incomplete around". It is interesting that he continued to stay in that relationship for 2 years, moreover, it is interesting that he acknowledges that we have a "deep connection" and that he feels "accepted and understood" by me... I think it is best to let him work-out what he wants... He knows I won't be around forever....
The bolded part is the worst of it, especially with another woman in the picture. :/ The thing is, you've got to trust him to follow his heart. From everything you've said, he's hopefully going to do that. That's the thing with INFPs - once you have our true loyalty, it is incredibly difficult to break it. You are giving him respect and letting him do this on his own, giving him a good deal of deep trust. In theory, it'd be hard to allow fear and familiarity to keep you in an unhappy situation when you can see the path to a happier one.

Fingers are crossed. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
-----I hope these past few days have treated you kindly.
Yes, thank you for asking. I am feeling better. I still think about Mr. INFP everyday...


-----I understand that for NFs doing things for others is a form of self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice--that we derive satisfaction and pleasure from helping others. That's what I see in you.
Thank you, I appreciate that.

If care is given by someone in the hope that that someone will eventually be cared for (thereby shifting the relationship from caretaker-cared for to cared-for-caretaker), then there is not a true desire for a reciprocal relationship--that is what the articles are talking about. So, just to (try to) be extra-clear, I see that you are coming from a place of genuine compassion.
That's an interesting point you bring up. I actually told Mr. INFP that. A few weeks ago, when Mr. INFP told he felt guilty "moving on from his ex to me" I decided to go my own way. In the end, it was clear that both of us were hurt/confused at the thought of loosing each other. I expected to bow out gracefully and not care that I was "moving on". Instead he said he felt a sense of pain and loss (as did I, but I tried to make things easier for him by leaving). He fought back & said that "he was confused and did not want to stop contact between the two of us & would be ok with sending up rules of communication". In the end, I told him I would "take on" everything --the trust issues, experience dangerous and risky things, experience one another's emotions openly... When texted him this message, in my head, I told myself "don't expect anything out of this & to go into this with a pure heart & with zero expectations". This is why I don't ever want to give him the ultimatum between me and the ex, though, I want him to be aware that we cannot continue to "build" our relationship if he decides he wants to be with her (it will lead to possible emotionally cheating, feelings of being torn between 2 people and so on).

-----Much of what you wrote shows that Mr. INFP is aware of his issues. That insight--that awareness that something is wrong bodes well for a possible positive outcome.
I think it is his insight-awareness is what really attracts me to him. He is incredibly reflective and self-aware. I know this makes things hard on him because he can't just be that "careless a$$hole" toward me and the other girl. He is fully aware of what he is doing & this why he needs to work through those feelings of "guilt, regret, and what-ifs" with the ex whom never completely closed the door on their relationship.


-----And I really do appreciate your interest in Mr. INFP's well-being. It is very difficult growing up as an NF male (and I imagine female, too) in this world.
When I try to describe the relationship and feelings I have developed with Mr. INFP I often find that only other XNFX really understand where I am coming from. They "feel" the bond between us & are rooting us on. My XSF/TX friends just don't get it! They think he is "stupid", "emotionally immature" and will never really be ready to be with me. Many of them don't understand why we had to experiment physically, why we took the time to discuss if we should kiss or not & what that could lead to, and how we managed to build a bond so quickly without much "real life" contact other than the last few weeks of classes before he went to do his practicum in another city... after that we exchanged e-mails, phone calls and texts. He shared some very deep and intimate diary entries with me.

-----Based on your description of Mr. INFP, he has likely suffered the latter and possibly the former as well (possibly in addition to other forms of maltreatment as well).
It is interesting that you mention emotional trauma. You are right, he experienced emotional trauma throughout his schooling years. A classmate of his stole from his parent's convenience store when he was around 8 years old. As a consequence of that boy's actions, his parents the boy do some small chores around the store. After that incident, that classmate terrorized him throughout his schooling years (from K-12). Mr. INFP is from a small town so he did not have the option to transfer to another school. He told me that he never told his parent's about the extent of the bullying because he did not want them to feel "guilty or responsible" for what he had to go through because of how they dealt with the situation. He says his parents went about things the right way as the boy and his friends would have likely continued to steal throughout their lives --- so, essentially his parent's had to protect their business.


-----He needs help--professional help--in order to learn the things his parents should have taught him, or possibly to cope with some other forms of trauma (bullying, etc.).
Yup, he has received professional help. He always says, "I always consider other people before myself... and sometimes it is hard". I told him I have the same problem too ;)

First, does he know he is an INFP? Have you shared MBTI? That information will likely be very helpful. Has he met any other NFs (besides you), specifically INFxs? That experience can be very healing. For me personally, even having dealt with my issues long ago, meeting other NFs IRL has still been enlightening--showing me that I'm not the only one who thinks like I do. Has he seen a psychologist/therapist? This is an area that one has to be careful about bringing up because the stereotype is that one must be "broken" to see such people, when in fact it's part of a healthy mental maintenance. Does he know about PerC? Second to IRL meeting, this place is the place to go for the personality type minority.
Yes, he is familiar with the MBTI. We have also very briefly learnt about the MBTI in a class we took together. I am fairly certain he has met other NFs. His core group of friends, I imagine are NFs. His friends go back as far as elementary school, and in his words, "would take a bullet for him".

At the same time, it is not unreasonable to keep this place your safe place.
I would rather keep this as a safe place for myself :)

-----The fact that he publicly took responsibility for what is going on is a good sign.

-----That indicates a desire for reciprocity--and not wanting to be the sole receiver of benefit, which is a good sign.
I do think he desires reciprocity, hence why he does not want to feel like his "using me" and it is best for us to be apart from one another so he is not "cause me anymore pain". Rest assured, I told him "I am a lot stronger than you think and you have not used me at all". In the same token, he understands that I need to protect myself from emotional strain and hurt, hence why we are not talking at the moment.

-----Obviously he is torn--but the question is why? What does he see in her? It seems like INFPs are attracted to ESTJs and ISTJs in early adulthood--according to the one article I already posted because we essentially use their dominant and auxiliary functions (Te-Si and Si-Te) as a crutch for our underdeveloped tertiary and inferior functions (Si-Te). Do you know her type?
I've asked my self this question a dozen times! From whatever I can gather, she seems to give a sense of "comfort, familiarity, and stability". Perhaps he thinks he needs those things -- or perhaps his parents think he needs those things. He said his Mom wants him to marry a "nice white girl from the home town", I on the other hand am a "ethnic girl from the city". He told me he wants a life where he "explores and has authentic experiences, conversations, connections etc" (this a value we both share hence our love of travel, people and learning). The ex doesn't seem to share this kind of philosophy. I imagine she is ready to "settle" now because she is finished university. He finishes in a few short months as well...

-----You are right to set boundaries, of course--to say that the choice to see that other woman is the same as the choice not to see you (in similar capacity). It is wrong to talk about past lovers to your current lover (for the most part), so he really shouldn't be talking about her. However, it's altogether different is he's seeing her now and hiding it.
He is not seeing her. Though he is considering "getting back together with her because she is like an old hat and he feels comfortable with her & knows what to expect". At first I congratulated him on coming to the conclusion of what he wanted. Then, when we met a week later, and were getting physical, I told him his reasoning is deeply flawed, puts the girl in a some what poor light. He completely agreed with me & I left it at that.

-----Perhaps. Based on what you've written, he's had the chance to manipulate things to his advantage, and he hasn't. People tend to be consistent in that way--consistently manipulative or consistently non-manipulative.
You are correct, he did not manipulate the situation. I've pointed this out to him --- "you know you could have just used me or led me on further & then that would make you a jerk. You've been honest with me & that makes me want you even more". ;)

-----You have hope. That's a good thing. In your case, perhaps it would be a good idea to use that J of yours to set some time limits. These are not communicated ultimatums. But you can't be left hanging forever. People lose their whole lives waiting. How long is it reasonable to wait for him to make a decision? That time period will likely be a little longer than you would be comfortable with (that's to accommodate the P), but it shouldn't be indefinite, either.
Initially I decided that he would have to tell me by mid-May. After we got physical, I told him it would be wrong to "set an expiry date on some ones emotions". We've decided not to talk over the summer. He will be back on campus in September & will start his 9-week intensive teaching practicum. I start my 9-week intensive teaching practicum in January. We agreed we want each other to be successful during our practicum & focus on teaching our students. We also agreed that it would be unrealistically to leave this situation hanging for another year. I think the ex will force him to make some kind of decision. If he has space from the both of us, I feel as though he can make a decision. I have no idea if he is communicating with his ex & to what extent. Last time he told me that they barely exchange 3 text messages a day...

-----I wish you all the best, and I hope that you can find a healthy way through this, that he can get the help he needs, and that the two of you can build a relationship that you both get a lot out of. So you'll both be in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you, @Geoffrey. I REALLY hope it works out for the both of us. I can't imagine myself with anyone else in the world. Our connection is just that amazing.
 
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Take care, Ms. @ThirdArcade; never forget these never-changing principle, which others have already mentioned, as did Mr. Geoffrey:

-You do deserve to be happy and loved back (not just "appreciated", but really, really loved back.)
Thank you, @IcarusDreams. I am glad that my INFP friends are reminding me of this fact.

I am happy about your stance in being more distant for as long as he cannot make his mind about the other lady. I feel he doesn't genuinely understands how great he is without any need of his past with her tying him down. She proved to me she doesn't really love him, but might have been even using him, so I really feel he should just forget about the other lady, no matter how much they "loved each other" once. Unless he accepts you as the better lady and the one to date and perhaps even be with, he doesn't deserve you yet (I think he knows this, but he must act on it.)
I feel as though you read my mind. I often feel like he finds it almost unbelievable that I accept him for who he is & that I have no desire to change him. It seems like he is not ready "risk" being in an intimate relationship with me because feels like I'll find out something about him that will make me "turn away" or try to "change him". The risk almost doesn't seem to outweigh his constant fear of "losing me" if we get into a romantic relationship.

I say so from a personal experience during 2008, because I had a lady friend ("girlfriend") chat with me a LOT through skype. I thought we loved each other, but once she no longer saw any use for me, she casted me out of her life, unbeknown to me (I was her emotional support, as well as main help throughout her master's and doctoral studies' paperwork, since her written English was not nearly as good as mine.) I was her biggest editor and life counselor (a super self-less one at that), basically, and I did sacrifice myself many times to help her with her degree work. Just before her graduation, she just disappeared from my life (we lived in separate states while she did her doctoral, although we studied in the same school while doing our Master's degrees.) That she did after promising to come back to NYC and rent a place together (I even had boxes ready for the move!), etc. She broke her promise, and just went "poof" for a while for no real reason. After this inappropriate "magic trick", she reapperared just before the end of Summer 2008, but only briefly, and we never chatted as we used to-things broke-off quickly after; and quite thankfully, because I wanted to be free from her "yoke".
Gosh, this is heart breaking. You don't deserve that! I feel like this lady should have been more clear about her motivations and expectations in her relationship with you. It is as though some people feel they are "deserving". They fail to realize that one's time and energy is precious gift that one only gives to people they truly care and connect with. She has no idea what she missed out on! How did you feel when you talked to her on skype? how did you feel when she would "pop" back into your life?


All this said, her disappearing act was in the end a very liberating experience for me, because even though she later (after that Summer) mentioned she could only be my friend for now, and "maybe in the future" see "what happens", I told her very politely that I was then free, which was nice to know. Although I do still remember my tears in front of my computer, because I knew this was coming-happiness that I was finally free from her (and free to rediscover and BE myself!) but also sadness knowing how many years I spent loving and sacrificing myself for the lady. She was clearly not concerned with this, nor burdened/saddened. I don't think she was/is a "bad person", but she did use me (and tried to use me even AFTER on a few ocassions-contacting me when she needed my "services"-but I never let it happen again.)
The part in bold really stood out to me. Some how I think Mr. INFP wants to go "back" because he has already invested 2 years previous. Moreover, the girl never closed the door on him --- so it was as though he was left hanging with the possibility of "what if". Seems as though she is keen on working things out with & maybe selling him a "dream". I feel like those feeling of "hollowness and emptiness" that he experiences with her have only intensified and become increasingly more obvious to him because of the connection we share... He knows that it is possible to have a deep, intimate emotional, mental & physical (as we tested) with me. He described our physical chemistry as "passionate". I don't think passion would exist there unless he felt a deep emotional bond, sense of care, and worthiness.

Although the lady in your story might be totally different, whatever her personality type is-even if it was another NF-disappearing from another person's life is not a healthy nor well-mannered choice-it's extremely rude and disrespectful, and I do feel that you are a much wonderful person than she is, especially in these regards and given those details, dear 3rd Arcade.
Part in bold: thank you! well put!




He needs help, you know? I hope he understands that he doesn't need this lady back in his life in order for his life to have "value"-that his life is its own treasure, and that he needs no "relationship validation." And you've been ther to show him this all this time. I hope he's eventually happy, and successfully able to battle these ugly demons that need not be in his life.
I feel like his confidence is at all time low. I think he has shown me his "true colours" and I have not placed any judgement on him. In fact, I have been intrigued and fascinated by him. I've told him exactly how I feel about him & pointed out those things I value in him. I feel like he needs to come to the conclusion that he is worthy of a wonderful, amazing relationship with a girl (me) who will fully accept for who he is -- no matter what he does.

May you find your own personal contentment through all of this, and hopefully this will end up the way you wish to, and in happiness for both of you, as you well deserve.
Thank you, me too :) I think about him everyday. I think about the simple, wonderful things in life we could enjoy. I imagine the conversations I will have with. Most of all, I imagine (and try many many times to stop) the day we see each other again, and he tells me once and for all he wants us to be together.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
He is a great guy; and he just needs to recover. To find himself, be okay with himself, to believe in himself. And you handled this really well. You know how to balance your needs with the needs of others. Hopefully, the story of you two will have a happy ending. :happy:
He absolutely is :) I hope so too! Thank you, @Vin The Dreamer.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I feel for ya girl! I know an INFP/ENFJ couple and they are one of the happiest, cutest and most in love couples that I've met.
Oh yeah! That is wonderful to hear. How do you think they keep the love going? How did the meet?

The best advice I can give you though is give him an ultimatum give him a month or else. As much as that may sound harsh and inconsiderate it is sometimes exactly what we need. If you guys were growing close and then this girl came back into his life he was on his way to getting over her. I think the best thing that you both can do is come to a decision as to if you guys are going to start a relationship. Even if he says no it's still better than the uncertainty that you guys have at the moment.
Why do you think he would do better with a deadline? I feel like the ex would put a deadline in terms of him deciding if they should get back together. I strongly feel that once that deadline is passed, he will work through his emotions. Perhaps the time and distance will do us good. Starting at the end of the month, he is working at a museum about 2 hours away from where I live. I am almost thinking surprising him with a drop-in sometime during the summer. I think if he suddenly sees me out of the blue and he feels something, he'll know for sure :) To be honest, I think the summer is a long enough time. In this time he might re-connect with his ex and perhaps come to the realization it just won't work & perhaps I'll be on his brain just enough. He told me he thinks about talking to me everyday... perhaps when I am no longer there & his ex is, he'll almost know where he wants to go: go back to the past or be with me in the future...

I really hope this works out for you though it's really rare that someone can find true happiness with another person and I think you guys could have it.
That's lovely, thank you. Me too!
 

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For all INFPs including myself:
1. Don't listen to society's depiction of what a man or woman should be
2. Love who you are, and learn to through self expression
3. Be independent, and be aware of your personal values
4. Question everything
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Hi to all my INFPs who have been so kind to help me with my situation.

A quick, but sad update.... Mr. INFP got back together with his ex. :( *cry*

Rather than being in his home town, he will be in the city taking some courses over the summer. I suspect he will be living with his ex. I hope we do not run into each other... I know that in September we most definitely will. After all, we are in the same building, we share some common friends, & the building is small... How I will cope I have no idea.

Text message

Me: Hey, just checking in. Hope you are well and enjoying your time off school.

Mr: INFP: Things are going good. Taking a summer course with C & S, back with my ex. Hows you?

Me: I am excellent. Have a good rest of the summer.

Note: *I shortened, our female classmates names to C & S so to protect their identity*


On another note, I noticed that he limited his feed on facebook. He rarely posts, but about a week ago I noticed that he limited all his posts. I can't see any posts, info, pictures, online chat statuses on FB. Today, I finally decided to to do the same.

it is surprising that he wants to return to his ex of 2 years. He tells me he feels comfortable with her because she is like an "old hat". Yet feels so hollow and unfulfilled emotionally. He said his mind was struggling with his heart. His mind said, "go back to the ex", his heart said, "be with me". The mind won over the heart. * cries *

Thank you to all my INFP friends for their advice, kindness, words of wisdom, and support. I appreciate it all very much.
 

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@ThirdArcade

Though it hasn't been ideal do take care of yourself. At times like this I think it's okay to be a little bit selfish and do things that you get great enjoyment out of.
Not drinking to excess though hahaha that's a terrible idea.
I hope you come out from this circumstance stronger and grow positively :)
 

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*huggles* He will later have regrets about this choice. If he's lucky, that is. If he's not, then he'll never realize what a trap he's sunk himself into.

Had a feeling things would go this way. If he was really ready, then there would not have been any hesitation in the first place. This is on him, though, not you.
 
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