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INTPs, have you ever dated an ENTP/been interested in one?

How did you share affection? What signs do ENTPs show regarding interest?
 

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I am currently dating an INTP, though the relationship is new, having lasted now about a month. I have no doubt in my mind that he cares about me a great deal. In fact, he doesn’t at all fit a stereotype I’ve admittedly harbored about INTPs that they can be difficult to read and tend to cover up their feelings. My boyfriend constantly tells me things I do are cute, that I’m beautiful. He tells me I’m hilarious and that he loves how comfortable he feels around me. He’s told me that he’s not naturally a touchy-feely person, but he’s always holding or touching me in some way and is is extremely cuddly with me, even in public. Once it’s dark out, he always makes a point to walk me to my door. And so on.

To supply more backstory, I’d liked him for awhile and tried flirting with him, but he never got the hint. I eventually asked him if he’d like to go out sometime, and we’ve pretty much been together since then.

When we get together, we spend inordinate amounts of time together. Often, I’ll show up at his place Friday afternoon and won’t leave until Sunday evening. We grocery shop together, watch full seasons of Dexter, and sit and play Lucky Wheel (an app like Wheel of Fortune) on his couch on each of our iPhones. When I’m not with him, we text a lot, and from the way he texts, I can tell he would like me to be there, more often than not.

However, he has more than once voiced a concern that if we spend too much time together, I’ll eventually get bored of him. He says he could never get bored of me because I’m too quirky and fun. He also seems to think that he’s boring and the only reason I don’t see him that way is that I currently view him on a pedestal or something. I don’t know how to show him that he’s more than enough, other than to keep spending time with him--but that seems to be what he fears.

He’s only had one girlfriend in the past. He dated her for a year, and he’s mentioned more than once that she cheated on him with his best friend. I don’t know to what extent he still feels emotional or betrayed or whatever about this. It happened in high school. We’re now 21-22.

Is this abnormal behavior due to insecurity? I don’t feel that he’s being clingy--but maybe I’m clingy and immune to clingy behavior. I’m worried that, down the road, this will create problems. Additionally, I don’t want him to have to go on feeling like I might drop him at any second. I want him to feel secure and know how much I like him, too. How can I possibly convince him of this?

Much thanks to anyone who has any advice or input. My apologies for the verbosity, but I wanted to supply ample information.
Yeah I'd have to agree that there's definitely some insecurity issues at work here though it's understandable.

Being thinkers and planners we like to delve into the "what if's" and true to our nature we incorporate lessons learned when trying to predict the outcome of things. We are naturally skeptical and generally don't throw caution to the wind when it comes to many things although love might be the exception. Although if he's been betrayed and felt that the reason for that betrayal was just that he became "too boring" than it's easy to see why he'd be thinking along those lines when it comes to you - he's trying to cut the potential hurt off at the pass so to speak.

I can also understand the stereotype you had harbored for awhile. I mean in truth we do tend to keep to ourselves in regards to the general public unless you're someone of significant import. In that case we have a tendency to be pretty candid about how we feel because we trust you. Same goes with physical contact. I'm not a generally touchy feely person either (ie: hugs in general, rough housing with the guys, etc, etc...) unless, again, it's with someone I can feel I can trust, a love interest - the the case of the latter I've been told that I give the best hugs and I'm a good kisser no less! ^.^

I understand entirely how he thinks because I've had the same thoughts run through my head at one point or another. The INTP I think typically understands that his/her interests and ways of looking at things are quite a bit different, if not out right boring to that of the "mainstream" society. For that reason I've sometimes questioned when I'm dating someone how long the novelty of being different will last and when they will get bored or perhaps frustrated with the lack of things in common. I've had more cases of crushes, puppy love and even addictions than something that's deep or long lasting, and I believe it's due to the fact of what I mentioned above. Though I don't think I've ever been cheated on.

As far as convincing him of being secure with you, well, truthfully that's just going to take time (definitely more than a month or two) and patience. Honesty is something important to everyone but I've come to think that facts and the truth are things that are at the core of what an INTP values. And when we're already fairly picky on who we let "in" if that trust is betrayed it can have long standing effects. Even though we're fairly understanding when it comes to things please don't ever lie, that is single handily the easiest way to sabotage the relationship because if he's anything like me, he will from that point on, question if you're telling him truth. Hopefully he won't need too much time but the amount of time he's had to "heal" from being betrayed I think will determine how long it'll take before he'll feel "secure" with you.

If you can stick it out and remain honest with him as he learns to trust you I can promise you that who you will end up with is someone who will always listen and help you figure out your troubles... someone you can really rely on in the long haul.
 

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INTPs, have you ever dated an ENTP/been interested in one?

How did you share affection? What signs do ENTPs show regarding interest?

I would love to meet an attractive ENTP female.

Generally speaking is it safe to say that many an INTP are considered "givers" (as opposed to "takers")?

I've often found that I enjoy doing things for others while not really requiring that much in return. Any other INTPs here ready to say the same?
I consider myself a very 'selfish giver'. I often enjoy doing things for others but only out of my own desire, or maybe the occasional social courtesy. I am very wary of tangling my life up with commitments to others, as I often need plenty of time by myself just to recharge and stay on top of daily/weekly life tasks. Feeling over-burdened by someone has led to a few negative scenarios in the past.

1. I unwittingly give in out of obligation because my inferior Fe, through either words or actions, wrote a check that my sometimes extremely introverted and independent personality isn't so willing to cash. I don't feel guilty but this can often heavily way down on my recharge time and lead to decreased in quality of school, work, or personal life.

2. I don't feel particularly attached or obligated to a person, and have decided to go incommunicado without warning and ignore all calls and texts from that person for an extended period of time. This has happened with some of my more emotional, less stable friends and leaves me feeling terribly guilty for not having the guts to man up and face my problems.

Now I am much more healthy in my interactions with others, but I also go out of my way to preemptively establish boundaries on a relationship and let people know immediately if I feel overwhelmed or burdened by them in any way. (assuming they are close enough to warrant it)


Anyway, I think I've just realized that there is a pretty big difference in what the average expectations are for friendship, and what my ideal expectations are, particularly for good friends. My model involves much less co-dependency and much more autonomy, as I'm sure many INTPs can relate. I understand that there are times when you need to be there for your friends, and when those times come you can bet I'll be there. However, I feel somewhat jaded when their idea of those "times" involves somewhat frequent emotional breakdowns or life problems due to poor planning.

I like relationships with balance!
 
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Do INTPs have trouble talking on the phone with their SO? I usually hate talking on the phone with mine, because it's usually so awkward. We have no trouble speaking in person, in person everything is great, but....on the phone is painful. Part of it is my own phone awkwardness, but usually I can cope with most people. He is the only person when talking to on the phone I think "this phonecall is really unsuccessful".
 

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Do INTPs have trouble talking on the phone with their SO? I usually hate talking on the phone with mine, because it's usually so awkward. We have no trouble speaking in person, in person everything is great, but....on the phone is painful. Part of it is my own phone awkwardness, but usually I can cope with most people. He is the only person when talking to on the phone I think "this phonecall is really unsuccessful".
Yep - hate talking on the phone. I don't mind listening to someone else talk, but I usually want to know what the point of the call is.
My thought process is "Oh she's venting. Let her vent. Ok now she's talking about her day. That's fine. OK now she's going to ask me how my day was. Uhhh. Crap. What did I even do today of note? Nothing. Can't we just talk about this in person? Don't say that out loud. She'll take it the wrong way."
 

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Do INTPs have trouble talking on the phone with their SO? I usually hate talking on the phone with mine, because it's usually so awkward. We have no trouble speaking in person, in person everything is great, but....on the phone is painful. Part of it is my own phone awkwardness, but usually I can cope with most people. He is the only person when talking to on the phone I think "this phonecall is really unsuccessful".
I may be in the minority on this one but I have zero issues with phone conversations, communication is a strong point, if for no other reason than just trying to accurately relay ideas and thoughts. But yeah I'd have to agree that a great many INTP abhor phone conversation for one reason or another. Personally i'm annoyed by text messages of any kind, a conversation being heard, versus being read can have an entirely different meaning.

Although it might not necessarily be you, maybe the other person is just not the greatest when it comes to phone convo.
 

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ENTP's guide to dating an INTP

I have been in a long term relationship with my INTP I - 50%, N 30%, T 90%, P 75% for about 2 years. I'm an ENTP E - 64%, N - 34%, T - 52%, P - 44%. We both really love to debate issues and solve puzzles together. We play many board games and have late into the night discussions! I bring out his social side by including him in my circle of really intelligent outgoing friends.

My biggest challenge at first was getting him to show me he cares! I know all you INTP's are thinking...."he's with you...of course he cares...why would he waste his time if he didn't!" But it took quite a bit of research to understand what is going on under the surface. I needed to give him time and be patient, but I was way too inquisitive for that! I prodded him until he admitted that he does not trust people and it did not occur to him to tell me how much I meant to him or show any sort of emotions. His biggest fear was that he would let down the walls of his inner fortress surrounding his delicate crystal heart for me to leave him for someone else on a whim. He thought to himself “what if I commit everything to this person and in 10 years they leave me.” It has taken a while for him to trust me completely.

We also get along well because I let him unwind and re-charge everyday for a few hours when he gets home from work and then he comes to me ready to talk. This is something I greatly struggled with at first; being super Extraverted I would come home ready to explode with new ideas! I also think he appreciates and understands me better because his best friend growing up was an ENTP guy.

I just wanted you all to know that it is possible to have someone appreciate how amazing and rare you INTPs are.
 

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Hi all. I posted in this thread about the INTP ex-boyfriend that I'd love to reconcile with. I broke up with him in January over a misunderstanding, but one that triggered issues we'd had with him canceling at the last minute or even no-showing sometimes for events (things that I was going to anyway, and he I believe he didn't think his presence was required for).

I regretted the break up, though it's given me time to reflect on whether he and the relationship are worth the effort. I believe they are. The time apart has given him time to deal with problems he'd been ignoring in his personal life and time to move forward on projects that are important to him, but that he'd put off.

Obviously, we are still in communication. He had a close friendship with my elementary-school-age son and has maintained it, spending time with him several times a month. We have spent some time together as well, but he's VERY careful to make sure that there are no mixed signals. EXCEPT on my birthday a week or so ago. He attended my birthday party, brought lovely gifts, and was quite demonstrative, putting his arm around my waist and holding me to him and asking someone to take a picture. After the picture was taken, he held onto me so long that I asked if we were taking another picture. We then went together over to the bar and talked--not about the relationship, but catching up. Several people at the party noticed this intimacy and referred to it as a "vibe" between us.

It felt like old times.

I have noticed with him that when alcohol is involved, he develops the ability to access his emotions and is much more demonstrative of feelings, so I think that may have happened then.

The birthday party threw me for a loop, as I'd started trying to date other people, losing hope that reconciliation was possible. Interestingly, someone I'd been out with a few times since (and also someone he knows and knew I'd been seeing) was there at the party and he told that person that this was the first time he'd been in a situation where he could go back to the relationship.

I was unsure about how to interpret that--the other guy took it as my INTP marking his territory. I didn't know if it meant he was considering reconciliation or just stating that I wanted to reconcile with him.

I wrote him an email the next day and asked if reconciliation were a possibility. If it was, I would stop dating others and wait for him. If not, I needed to know, because the hope is painful. I asked for a yes or no answer.

He responded that he is not being enigmatic or standoffish, he is just out of touch with his emotions and not sure what they are. I'd suggested a while back that we discuss the relationship after school ends (he's a teacher, very stressed). He'd been dismissive of that idea at the time, but wrote in this email response: "If you recall, we agreed to discuss everything in June."

He totally did not agree to that, but apparently, that's what he wants to do.

Today, he met me and my son at church, and though he usually attends a discussion group during service time, chose to stay with me during the service and went to a park with me and my son afterwards, and, on his own, made a date to do something with us next weekend. He hugged me goodbye.

As I write this, I think I've answered my own question :happy:-- but I will ask it anyway: do you INTPs see reason for hope?

I understand that because I broke up with him once, if we reconcile, it will take him a great deal of time to trust me again--in fact, that may be part of what he's going through now, trying to gauge how serious my desires to be with him are.

He's a hard person to have a relationship with, but worth the effort.

Thanks for reading.
 

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As I write this, I think I've answered my own question :happy:-- but I will ask it anyway: do you INTPs see reason for hope?

I understand that because I broke up with him once, if we reconcile, it will take him a great deal of time to trust me again--in fact, that may be part of what he's going through now, trying to gauge how serious my desires to be with him are.

He's a hard person to have a relationship with, but worth the effort.

Thanks for reading.
You're the one who needs to know if you want to let it all go or hold it close, and since you seem to keep gravitating and seem very willing to be patient and keep at this, I think your loyalty in his direction should be no issue.

I think 'deep down' he knows this, and the problem isn't so much whether or not YOU would be trustworthy, I think he's severely questioning if HE is good enough for you, and whether or not he thinks you SHOULD be putting up with him.
He probably knows your feelings are honest, but since he doesn't trust his OWN feelings, he's trying to rationalise yours as well. 'I think I want this, she wants this, too, BUT HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE WHAT IS HAPPENING why is this she should not want me anymore, *I* wouldn't even want me, why would she, she's making so many efforts and I keep fucking it up oh man it'd fit my idea of reality, harsh as it is, a lot better and I'd feel less conflicted if she just threw a fit and never spoke to me again, I'm being offered this again and again, I can't take this, I want to take it but I can't just DO that, it's too greedy, I want to give so much back but I can't, how will I ever, I want to say yes BUT I SHOULD NOT why is this even an option HOW CAN SHE STILL BE DOING THIS.'

I think you both might, if you haven't already, bring this in the open. 'We're having this big fuss on our hands and it hasn't been a straightforward relationship so far, I think I don't mind this and I want to work things out, do you want the same? Or do you think that perhaps we should ask ourselves if we're clinging to this too much, and we're trying to fix something that shouldn't be and won't make us happy in the long run'.

What INTPs often get stuck in is 'I feel I want this, but what if that feeling is bad for me, or bad for the other person, what if the smart and merciful thing to do would be to save them future dissappointment and cut things off now'. We're often very cautious and doubtful people, especially around gut-feelings. It's something I still have to learn myself: that if the feeling is there, it's WORTH taking the risk, because few things are as constant as these intuitive push-or-pulls, and it's gullible and childish to assume that if you wait long enough and rationalise things, those feelings will change.

I have rationalised things before, but the only reason I felt like I 'handled' those pesky feelings is because I was driving myself into the direction they were already leading me. 'Hah, I got over that relationship without heartbreak, how composed and rational of me'.
No, my heart was already telling me it was over, I just made the right move of going with that flow.

Tell him this, give him examples of how feelings can make you take risks, but they don't *lie*. Tell him that whatever people base their decisions on, at the time they decide they do it with good intentions. If things go bad later, it's wrong and nonsensical to say 'I had not enoygh information, not my fault' about rational decisions, but to go 'fuck my emotions LIED TO ME, I hate them' about gut-driven decisions.

Ask him to try and express what he feels in his belly, in his heart, and also his head. Maybe let him write it down, on paper, for himself, let him go into dialogue with himself and try to just get those words out, does he want this, does he desire his, yearn for this, does he feel this is a good thing in his life despite the doubts, or not?

I'm pretty damn sure the answers will be 'yes'. An INTP who has given up and abandoned hope would have been long, long gone.

You noticed it yourself, given a pinch of alcohol to short out the entire rationalisation and doubt circuits, he's there with you, and close to you, and not with someone else, and he feels freer to express this without fear or reservations. He might have felt selfish for doing it in the process, or at least afterwards, I'm sure he doesn't want to force anything onto you, but that's just it. Love and caring means making an exchange, it means being vulnerable but also making someone else vulnerable. The 'ideal' but unrealistic INTP relationship would be one where it was possible to share without opening the doors to make the exchange. We're afraid to be hurt and often even more afraid of hurting the other with our wants and desires and our sharp edges and deeply experienced flaws. We're already wary of being dissappointed with ourselves, but to dissappoint another hurts thrice as deeply.


Yes, there is hope. There's definitely hope.
 

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Hey I can't post visitor messages yet so in response to some questions posted on my profile:



I'd say ENTP females hang out at Board Game Cafes, Cosplay Events, Improv or Comedy Nights, at Rock Climbing Gyms, at the Beach (most INTPs seem to hate sand though...why?)

As for challenges in my relationship. My INTP definitely can have some bouts of silence that I find hard. Especially if we are out and about doing stuff and he decides he's not in the mood to speak. I used to think that he was pouting, but now I know it's just power saving mode.

I think the best thing you can do as an INTP is to explain yourself at the beginning of the relationship. Not on the first date, but a few months in. Some key points to let the other person know:
-sometimes you don't want to talk, it has nothing to do with them. You just need to power down for a bit
-when people ask you lots of questions it can be really hard to have an answer straight away. so let them know it may take some time to process instead of looking at them with this infuriated gaze.lol.
-you as an INTP may not show you care by saying things but by doing things. Please tell the person you care and why


There are a million other tips probably. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
 

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You're the one who needs to know if you want to let it all go or hold it close, and since you seem to keep gravitating and seem very willing to be patient and keep at this, I think your loyalty in his direction should be no issue.

I think 'deep down' he knows this, and the problem isn't so much whether or not YOU would be trustworthy, I think he's severely questioning if HE is good enough for you, and whether or not he thinks you SHOULD be putting up with him.
He probably knows your feelings are honest, but since he doesn't trust his OWN feelings, he's trying to rationalise yours as well. 'I think I want this, she wants this, too, BUT HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE WHAT IS HAPPENING why is this she should not want me anymore, *I* wouldn't even want me, why would she, she's making so many efforts and I keep fucking it up oh man it'd fit my idea of reality, harsh as it is, a lot better and I'd feel less conflicted if she just threw a fit and never spoke to me again, I'm being offered this again and again, I can't take this, I want to take it but I can't just DO that, it's too greedy, I want to give so much back but I can't, how will I ever, I want to say yes BUT I SHOULD NOT why is this even an option HOW CAN SHE STILL BE DOING THIS.'

... I'm sure he doesn't want to force anything onto you, but that's just it. Love and caring means making an exchange, it means being vulnerable but also making someone else vulnerable. The 'ideal' but unrealistic INTP relationship would be one where it was possible to share without opening the doors to make the exchange. We're afraid to be hurt and often even more afraid of hurting the other with our wants and desires and our sharp edges and deeply experienced flaws. We're already wary of being dissappointed with ourselves, but to dissappoint another hurts thrice as deeply.


Yes, there is hope. There's definitely hope.
Thanks so much for everything in your response. It makes a lot of sense, but I would not have come up with it on my own.

He's such an awesome person that it's very hard for me to understand why and how he questions himself and doubts his worth. I KNOW that his personality causes him to do it, but it's so incongruent with the evidence presented by reality that I forget that it's a real issue. But he does indeed doubt himself, his worthiness, and yes, he's afraid of continuing to hurt me.

He knows he has what he calls "limitations," and that he's never going to be someone who will be able to have or even desiring of a traditional type of relationship in which we spend all kinds of time together. Knowing that, and knowing I have expressed a need for more intimacy, he's likely in a conundrum. We are super compatible in so many ways, but how can he please me and please himself at the same time.

My feelings are that I'm willing to work on finding other ways to fill my need for daily connection. I'm willing to try harder to compromise and figure out how we can meet in the middle. It won't be easy, but the feeling I have that he is my home is simply too strong to let go of.

I suppose I should work on presenting things in a more logical manner rather than emotional appeals when we talk--such as, this was a problem, here are possible solutions we can try ... This worked really well and I don't want to change that aspect of the relationship, etc.

Thanks again! :)
 

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INTP here! One topic I'd to bring up is that of criticism. Speaking on behalf of myself, I don't take criticism well. By criticism I do not mean constructive criticism pertaining to my ideas or projects, but personal criticism regarding my person. Criticize my ideas, yes, please do, but do so respectfully and constructively. Do not criticize me for who or what I am. If you don't like the fact that I am carefree, sloppy, or disorganized, too bad. There's no changing it (unless I want to of course).
 

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Here's the question: How to stay in love?

Here's the elaboration for anyone that wants it: need to pick other INTP brains about this. It's the same no matter what relationship I'm in. After I get past the initial, "Ooh, new relationship!" phase, my feelings begin to drift in and out like the tide. I have to fight to stay with it, and sometimes it's just not there. Doesn't matter how deeply or strongly I feel, I will hit times where I don't feel it at all, and then it'll come back. I almost feel like I'm crazy, since it never seems that my partner is going through this. Giving it time doesn't change, and that's a lot of why I'm an older INTP that's never been married or had a relationship last longer than a few years. Is this just me, or is this more of a general personality attribute? This tends to happen especially when stressed.
 

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Here's the question: How to stay in love?

Here's the elaboration for anyone that wants it: need to pick other INTP brains about this. It's the same no matter what relationship I'm in. After I get past the initial, "Ooh, new relationship!" phase, my feelings begin to drift in and out like the tide. I have to fight to stay with it, and sometimes it's just not there. Doesn't matter how deeply or strongly I feel, I will hit times where I don't feel it at all, and then it'll come back. I almost feel like I'm crazy, since it never seems that my partner is going through this. Giving it time doesn't change, and that's a lot of why I'm an older INTP that's never been married or had a relationship last longer than a few years. Is this just me, or is this more of a general personality attribute? This tends to happen especially when stressed.
Ya, you're not alone there. I don't think marriage is ever happening for me either. Just a few scattered ideas.
-When it starts it's because there are all sorts of possibilities with this person
You go through them. Talk about them. Explore them. It's kind of fun, but at the same time you're like "Hmm, what else is there?"
Then when you realize although this person is perfectly great, you kind of see what they're all about, notice their patterns and small imperfections because we can't ever shut off the part of the brain that notices these things. And you realize it was way more fun when you didn't notice them and were in the discovery process.
-It may also be shitty Se. Total inability to live in the moment, enjoy things as they are, notice the details, realize who you have and not think so much about what could go wrong.
-Intimacy issues. I've heard we tend to have that problem :)
 

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Here's the question: How to stay in love?

Here's the elaboration for anyone that wants it: need to pick other INTP brains about this. It's the same no matter what relationship I'm in. After I get past the initial, "Ooh, new relationship!" phase, my feelings begin to drift in and out like the tide. I have to fight to stay with it, and sometimes it's just not there. Doesn't matter how deeply or strongly I feel, I will hit times where I don't feel it at all, and then it'll come back. I almost feel like I'm crazy, since it never seems that my partner is going through this. Giving it time doesn't change, and that's a lot of why I'm an older INTP that's never been married or had a relationship last longer than a few years. Is this just me, or is this more of a general personality attribute? This tends to happen especially when stressed.
Realise that love takes work and that the key to INTP love is interest, engaging with something alluring that we can't find elsewhere. there's trust and loyalty, sure, but it's the fun of renewal and new ideas that keeps fires burning.

Best bet would be to have someone capable of bringing in new ideas, new input, and putting their own fresh spin on things. If they are capable of having a proper conversation with you with the required depth, then the only thing to avoid is stagnation. Realise boredom is a problem, and then do things to combat this regularly. Decide to suddenly each watch a different tv show. Travel. Read books. Meet different people and exchange. Go out into a city, separate for a while, return, explore together. Have a wikipedia marathon. Do word associations. Research novel ways of intimacy, push the comfort zones a little, out into the zone of learning, of new things, of excitement.

Keep a life that doesn't involved the other, and recognise the need for regular downtime and space, and time alone. Fresh ideas come when people are solitary. INTPs are made to yo-yo, to detach, refresh, gather themselves, find new input, process it, and then bounce back together to explode the new ideas against each other like a chemical reaction.

Acknowledge the boredom, after a while creative vats just dry up a bit. It just means you're better off getting a bit of distance to fill your head with fresh air and your own things for a while, trust that if the bond and interest between you is strong enough, they'll be the person you'll come gravitating right back to. Reassure them you're theirs and they are yours, if they are, try not to interpret the detaching part of the cycle as a bad thing. It's rather an opportunity to clear your mind and look back with a fresh heart and open eyes, ready to be close again.

It's also a moment to get out of the heat of things, and to notice in time when you have grievances worth bringing up, issues worth resolving, and having the space to rationally ponder how to do this.

At least, that's my take on it.


The other person should be more than a vat of experiences and past things to you to explore until it runs dry. Other people are a unique black box you have to feed things to see what added value they return after they've chewed it out. Even if you know a person well, they'll be able to bring perspectives and ideas and flavours into your life that ONLY THEY CAN GIVE YOU.

Because they're unique, they're a mind that is not yours, a beautiful ravishing engaging creative mind. Feed them good things, treat them well, let them flourish, and they'll bring you the fruits.
 

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Here's the question: How to stay in love?

Here's the elaboration for anyone that wants it: need to pick other INTP brains about this. It's the same no matter what relationship I'm in. After I get past the initial, "Ooh, new relationship!" phase, my feelings begin to drift in and out like the tide. I have to fight to stay with it, and sometimes it's just not there. Doesn't matter how deeply or strongly I feel, I will hit times where I don't feel it at all, and then it'll come back. I almost feel like I'm crazy, since it never seems that my partner is going through this. Giving it time doesn't change, and that's a lot of why I'm an older INTP that's never been married or had a relationship last longer than a few years. Is this just me, or is this more of a general personality attribute? This tends to happen especially when stressed.
I'm right there with you. I've always just assumed that I was never really in love. Surely if it were genuine Love, I wouldn't have felt so disassociated as often as I did. You know, glanced down at the lovely bearded head that had dozed off on my chest and marveled, "How completely odd this is! Rather inconvenient, too. Hmm, I wonder if I can reach my book?"

I'm so damned self-sufficient and competent. I don't think I could ever make any of these men feel needed enough. I couldn't fake that. This part of life is so hard to figure out.
 

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I'm right there with you. I've always just assumed that I was never really in love. Surely if it were genuine Love, I wouldn't have felt so disassociated as often as I did. You know, glanced down at the lovely bearded head that had dozed off on my chest and marveled, "How completely odd this is! Rather inconvenient, too. Hmm, I wonder if I can reach my book?"

I'm so damned self-sufficient and competent. I don't think I could ever make any of these men feel needed enough. I couldn't fake that. This part of life is so hard to figure out.
My INTP love makes me go metaphorically sparkly-eyed of glee most of the time, and when he's there, if only mentally, on the other side of a chat connection, I feel my stress and anxiety levels plummet. I've had an honest to god dopamine-involving mutual supercrush on him, and we BOTH stood by like AHAHAHahehehehehe oh god oh god this is so odd and it tickles and aaahhhhh scary, nervously overanalysing it, giving it a proper place in our Ti framework of life, and deciding to just relish in the good feelings while they last.

Crushes wear off, but if you stay connected, the cuddle-hormone eventually can take over to form lasting bonds of trust. Not to say you can't get iffy and doubt if your feelings are intense enough, still, but I've grown quite secure knowing the fondness and the urge to get close and talk and exchange and to make sure he's happy and safe and to try and make him smile will always be back.

I know myself: I'm a yo-yo person. At times the closeness makes my head hurt and my heart feel empty. I'm an introvert, I'm a thinker, I need space from time to time to recharge. Taking this space in a relationship, to allow the next part of the cycle to feel unforced and genuine again, is a healthy thing to do. If you're so insecure that you cannot mentally wander away for a few hours, a few days, because you become skittish that you'll not want to go back, or he won't be there anymore when you go back because you were 'disloyal' or 'neglectful', means you don't have a secure attachment yet.

I don't know why it is that I make him smile, he tells me I'm the only person he's ever felt able to just be himself with, that he can rely on me to be honest and not hide anything from him, even the unpleasant bits, and I just want to be there and make his life worth living and make him smile and laugh and do things together, build something together. He's gentle and patient and tolerant and forgiving in ways that I could never be, without being a doormat. Okay, a tiny bit of a doormat, but we all have room to grow. He makes me want to be a better person.

I sometimes feel like I stopped appreciating him. To me, this is a signal that I need to back off a little, not that I don't love him anymore. This is proven by the fact that time and again, returning after a little break makes me feel elated and relaxed and happy and curious once more. If you feel everything is hopeless, that means you're depressed, not that the world is a dump and you should go jump off a bridge already, too. This is proven by the fact that once you get through the fog, you can suddenly appreciate all the good things again with an open heart and mind.


INTP love simply doesn't work like a cat's purr. It's more like a big predator cat's purr that only works on the exhale but needs a pause to inhale. It's still a very genuine purr and a clear sign of trust and affection. It's YOUR purr, don't think it's any less real because it doesn't work like that of the kittens in the world. Not everyone's a kitten.
 

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Thanks @Iamtp, @Graficcha, and @See Above. I appreciate the validations and the insights. Sorry it took a little bit to post again.

Graficcha, got a lot out of both of your posts to me and to See Above. I grew up around a lot of extroverted feelers, so despite my age, I'm only just now realizing that many aspects of myself are just part of my personality, that there's not something wrong with me because I don't respond the way extroverted feelers do. After some time processing, trying some things out on my own, I can definitely see my disassociation comes from feeling drained. Even grabbing an extra hour here or there to recharge is making a huge difference.

To keep this relevant, how often do you other INTPs need alone time, and have you had a lot of struggles getting partners to understand?
 

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Thanks @Iamtp, @Graficcha, and @See Above. I appreciate the validations and the insights. Sorry it took a little bit to post again.

Graficcha, got a lot out of both of your posts to me and to See Above. I grew up around a lot of extroverted feelers, so despite my age, I'm only just now realizing that many aspects of myself are just part of my personality, that there's not something wrong with me because I don't respond the way extroverted feelers do. After some time processing, trying some things out on my own, I can definitely see my disassociation comes from feeling drained. Even grabbing an extra hour here or there to recharge is making a huge difference.

To keep this relevant, how often do you other INTPs need alone time, and have you had a lot of struggles getting partners to understand?
I think you can't really place a number on that. Some INTPs are more ambiverted and seem to be pretty at ease and have an easier time bouncing back from socialising, others are more sensitive, with some individuals towards the extremer, highly sensitive poles. You have INTPs that run a public people-filled job (my dad's an ISTP and he manages a team of people and has meetings often) and this doesn't wear him out too much as long as he can recharge for a few hours in the evening and have some time to mind other things, other introverts would just slowly wither away in a space like that and absolutely NEED significant amounts of time alone or in a quiet space every day. I can stand a week of camping with classmates if I skip out on the evening partay activities, after that I need a day to recover, but I've heard of introverts who get a massive backlash from a single trying social day like conventions or intensive meetings.

Not to mention, people can be differentially tolerant to different types of stimulation. Some might end up very worn out in crowded spaces alone but be relatively relaxed socially, others might experience the reverse.

Overall, it seems very clear though that you can expect an INTP in close relationships to absolutely need a space for themselves, somewhere they can retreat properly (like having a shared bedroom is probably okay, but I'd wager a lot of INTP-involved relationships work a lot better if each half has an extra space without intrusions), and that at some intervals, they'll just need to move away to breathe. If there's a lot of tension going on, domestically, at work, whatever it is, and there's a lot of things 'to do' and no proper downtime, you can expect this pulling away to happen quicker.

Also, if the communication between both halves has been super engaged and intense, it's only normal that there will be comparative lulls in the action where after having all that fun, we're just worn out and need to say "ack sorry I still care but god am I EXHAUSTED, give me a while to make my brain stop buzzing".

Tl;dr The frequency and intensity of the base need varies individually but as a rule, just take it as a part of your reality that INTP x anyone will involve regular downtimes, retreating, and lulls in communication to get refreshed.

My own main partners have all been introverts, and they sure do understand it, the others didn't entirely get it, but they respected me when I said I just need my space for a while, no you're not annoying me, but I'm just the sort of person that gets crabby after a while, and I don't like being crabby.
 
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