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Hello, ISFJ here who recently broke up with an INFP. I was hoping to get some insights on my ex's behavior. My ex recently broke up with me out of the blue. We dated for 5 months and We had our first argument prior to the break up because he didn't reply to my text for 7 hours. He told me he thought he replied and that he's bad with texting. My ex isn't the type that's very expressive with his emotions. He doesn't really like to talk on the phone nor cuddle. He then told me that he feels like he's being a bad boyfriend and he feels like he's not providing me with what I deserve. He then said there's something preventing him from giving me the attention.. He doesn't know what it is or if it's because he's not ready for a new relationship. (I met him 3 months after his previous relationship of 3 years but he told me he was fine since he was the one to dump the ex) He said that being a boyfriend feels like a chore right now. Everything is all very confusing to me but I'm just wondering if maybe he really wasn't ready for a relationship or he just wasn't that into me. I would appreciate any advice.
 

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Hello, ISFJ here who recently broke up with an INFP. I was hoping to get some insights on my ex's behavior. My ex recently broke up with me out of the blue. We dated for 5 months and We had our first argument prior to the break up because he didn't reply to my text for 7 hours. He told me he thought he replied and that he's bad with texting. My ex isn't the type that's very expressive with his emotions. He doesn't really like to talk on the phone nor cuddle. He then told me that he feels like he's being a bad boyfriend and he feels like he's not providing me with what I deserve. He then said there's something preventing him from giving me the attention.. He doesn't know what it is or if it's because he's not ready for a new relationship. (I met him 3 months after his previous relationship of 3 years but he told me he was fine since he was the one to dump the ex) He said that being a boyfriend feels like a chore right now. Everything is all very confusing to me but I'm just wondering if maybe he really wasn't ready for a relationship or he just wasn't that into me. I would appreciate any advice.
Hello new friend!

Breakups are always hard, and I appreciate your ISFJness and practicality in your post!

He's not exhibiting INFP behavior, in my opinion. For instance, we're over-sharers of emotions when we're with someone we love, and we're almost competitive cuddlers. Also, he's very judgmental about himself (not an INFP thing. We just feel alone, empty and sad, but we don't really blame ourselves so much). It's possible, he's an INFP who's been going through a very long and slow depression, which must have started before you started dating (or you would have noticed he became more isolated). Even then, he doesn't sound like an INFP. We wouldn't consider being a boyfriend a chore... we love loving people <3. It's possible, he wasn't ready.

He sounds more like an ISFJ, but it's very possible it's just because I'm reading your explanation of it.

In all honesty, it just seems like it was bad timing. Either he's going through something and isn't ready to ask for help, or he's just lacking maturity. I don't know, but there's my quick read.

How are you holding up?
 

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Sounds like he wasn't ready for a relationship. 3 years is a long time to be in a relationship, and there is still healing that needs to happen even when you are the one who dumped the person.

He sounds like he's really stuck in his head. I broke up with someone out of the blue once. I didn't feel like it was out of the blue though because I thought the signs of incompatibility were blatantly obvious to everyone. Also, I was really just having a relationship with that person for my own pleasure. I wasn't trying to be with them forever, and I didn't mind leaving when it wasn't fun anymore.

—But even then, talking on the phone and cuddling was great! Some INFPs take a while to open up. Or they may think they've opened up, but other people don't think so. Your guy was just dealing with some stuff, I guess. He acted pretty selfishly and unkindly, and I'm sorry he treated you that way. You certainly didn't deserve to give 5 months of your time only to break up after one fight! That's a major flop on his part if he didn't alert you of any issues or changes. That's not about type; that's about being able to function as a social being in society. I've made those same mistakes once, and I'm not making them again! I hope he improves, and I hope you find someone else who is a good match for you. I hope this guy doesn't try to come crawling back to you, though he might have second thoughts. He should stay single for a while for his own good.
 

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Maybe he was abused when he was younger and he's uncomfortable expressing himself?
 

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Hello, ISFJ here who recently broke up with an INFP. I was hoping to get some insights on my ex's behavior. My ex recently broke up with me out of the blue. We dated for 5 months and We had our first argument prior to the break up because he didn't reply to my text for 7 hours. He told me he thought he replied and that he's bad with texting. My ex isn't the type that's very expressive with his emotions. He doesn't really like to talk on the phone nor cuddle. He then told me that he feels like he's being a bad boyfriend and he feels like he's not providing me with what I deserve. He then said there's something preventing him from giving me the attention.. He doesn't know what it is or if it's because he's not ready for a new relationship. (I met him 3 months after his previous relationship of 3 years but he told me he was fine since he was the one to dump the ex) He said that being a boyfriend feels like a chore right now. Everything is all very confusing to me but I'm just wondering if maybe he really wasn't ready for a relationship or he just wasn't that into me. I would appreciate any advice.
It did not cause a break up but I've said similar things to me ex. I wouldn't say this is a clear sign that he's not into you. If he wasn't it might manifest as more indifference to you, the things you care about, and the relationship in general. I thik the guy is being attacked by "issues" he has on the inside and is trying to sort himself out without involving you in the process because he might think he's just dragging you along with something that you shouldn't have to deal with since it's his own problem.
 

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Objectively, based purely on the text you wrote, could go either way. I can't tell.

Subjectively, given my experience with past men of many types -and my only long-term boyfriend was an INFP actually- he just wasn't into you.
If he was truly, truly into you, he'd have woken up from his slumber.
And he doesn't like to cuddle? Extra red flag imo.

If it's of any help, my INFP ex-boyfriend told me that I was the first girlfriend he had cuddled with (we were 30 y/o, that's a loooong time and a collection of exes), the only one he called on the phone, would reply to my texts in a timely manner, and just overall was the perfect bf to me, mega attentive, communicative and affectionate. He had had a dozen ex-girlfriends and the girls were shocked at his treatment of me, and he himself was shocked by his own behavior. He had never desired to be communicative with the others, and he would spend most of his time playing videogames with his guy friends instead of cuddling with the girlfriends. Why was he exhibiting such unheard of behavior? He said: "I'm in love with you. And now I know that I was never in love with my exes because nothing inside me woke up to do any of this. Now I feel awake". So it's just a matter of finding the perfect match for you. Nobody is a bad person or anything, it's just that people unfortunately don't know their own feelings a lot of the time and they confuse things in their heads. And the fact that your guy was in a 3-year relationship doesn't tell me much about his mental or emotional states. Like I said, my ex-INFP had many gfs before me, and stayed with them because he believed that what he felt was how relationships were supposed to feel and he just went through the motions, and actually resigned himself to a life of "is this what love feels like? feels mediocre". But it's a matter of going through life and experiencing things until you find the one person you truly click with.
I've also been on the other side, where I would date a guy who swore love to me but his behavior was that of taking three days to respond to a text, or reading it and never responding, preferring videogames to cuddling, etc. But then they'd meet a girl later and they'd have this incredible personality shift. And imo that's because they found their match in that girl.
So your description of the guy does fit the INFP description, he's just not clicking with you plus he has internal issues.

Again, going back to my dating men of a variety of types: when a man is truly into you, when they care, they move the world for you, work on their communication skills, feel inspired to do better and be better. I've also seen these weird shifts in behavior in the boyfriends of my girl friends. It's universal, imo.

And of course, like I said, I could be completely wrong because nothing in the written text gives any clue about what is the truth.
I can't even tell if he's truly unaware of how he feels/thinks or if he's lying to you -playing dumb- to avoid hurting your feelings.

In any case, he doesn't sound like a good match to you. I think you deserve so much better than this.
 

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He doesn't really like to [...] cuddle.
Unacceptable.

The behavior you describe from your ex-boyfriend doesn't come off as INFP to me. But what do I know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello new friend!

Breakups are always hard, and I appreciate your ISFJness and practicality in your post!

He's not exhibiting INFP behavior, in my opinion. For instance, we're over-sharers of emotions when we're with someone we love, and we're almost competitive cuddlers. Also, he's very judgmental about himself (not an INFP thing. We just feel alone, empty and sad, but we don't really blame ourselves so much). It's possible, he's an INFP who's been going through a very long and slow depression, which must have started before you started dating (or you would have noticed he became more isolated). Even then, he doesn't sound like an INFP. We wouldn't consider being a boyfriend a chore... we love loving people <3. It's possible, he wasn't ready.

He sounds more like an ISFJ, but it's very possible it's just because I'm reading your explanation of it.

In all honesty, it just seems like it was bad timing. Either he's going through something and isn't ready to ask for help, or he's just lacking maturity. I don't know, but there's my quick read.

How are you holding up?
I'm hanging in there! Thank you for asking I appreciate it :) you might be correct because he told me before he has depression and social anxiety. He wanted to see a therapist to get anxiety pills and counseling but he never got the chance to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Objectively, based purely on the text you wrote, could go either way. I can't tell.

Subjectively, given my experience with past men of many types -and my only long-term boyfriend was an INFP actually- he just wasn't into you.
If he was truly, truly into you, he'd have woken up from his slumber.
And he doesn't like to cuddle? Extra red flag imo.

If it's of any help, my INFP ex-boyfriend told me that I was the first girlfriend he had cuddled with (we were 30 y/o, that's a loooong time and a collection of exes), the only one he called on the phone, would reply to my texts in a timely manner, and just overall was the perfect bf to me, mega attentive, communicative and affectionate. He had had a dozen ex-girlfriends and the girls were shocked at his treatment of me, and he himself was shocked by his own behavior. He had never desired to be communicative with the others, and he would spend most of his time playing videogames with his guy friends instead of cuddling with the girlfriends. Why was he exhibiting such unheard of behavior? He said: "I'm in love with you. And now I know that I was never in love with my exes because nothing inside me woke up to do any of this. Now I feel awake". So it's just a matter of finding the perfect match for you. Nobody is a bad person or anything, it's just that people unfortunately don't know their own feelings a lot of the time and they confuse things in their heads. And the fact that your guy was in a 3-year relationship doesn't tell me much about his mental or emotional states. Like I said, my ex-INFP had many gfs before me, and stayed with them because he believed that what he felt was how relationships were supposed to feel and he just went through the motions, and actually resigned himself to a life of "is this what love feels like? feels mediocre". But it's a matter of going through life and experiencing things until you find the one person you truly click with.
I've also been on the other side, where I would date a guy who swore love to me but his behavior was that of taking three days to respond to a text, or reading it and never responding, preferring videogames to cuddling, etc. But then they'd meet a girl later and they'd have this incredible personality shift. And imo that's because they found their match in that girl.
So your description of the guy does fit the INFP description, he's just not clicking with you plus he has internal issues.

Again, going back to my dating men of a variety of types: when a man is truly into you, when they care, they move the world for you, work on their communication skills, feel inspired to do better and be better. I've also seen these weird shifts in behavior in the boyfriends of my girl friends. It's universal, imo.

And of course, like I said, I could be completely wrong because nothing in the written text gives any clue about what is the truth.
I can't even tell if he's truly unaware of how he feels/thinks or if he's lying to you -playing dumb- to avoid hurting your feelings.

In any case, he doesn't sound like a good match to you. I think you deserve so much better than this.
May I ask what caused the break up between your INFP ex?
 

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May I ask what caused the break up between your INFP ex?
We wanted different things in life, like our views about children, housing, lifestyle, and more, were opposites two years later. In other words, when we started, we had the same vision for life, but two years later we didn't. Our core values also became opposites two years later.
 

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@cvbn - I agree that it could go either way, but I lean towards him just not being into you. I probably would pretty much always lean that way because I think most INFP would bend over backwards and beyond for true love. There ARE exceptions I'm sure, but not that many.

(I also am not aware of INFP who are not into talking or texting frequently-with great intensity with their SO, but that could just be me.)

If he is INFP, it seems like he already knew it was over.

Like @ButIHaveNoFear said:

I didn't feel like it was out of the blue though because I thought the signs of incompatibility were blatantly obvious to everyone.
This makes sense to me. Probably obvious to him, but too painful AND unnecessary to tell you since he's out regardless anyway.
 
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I mean, I can relate heavily to feeling like dating is a chore. I wouldn't go so far as to say INFPs would never say that. I literally can't be bothered with relationships anymore because they're so demanding and I barely have my head above water as it is.
 

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One question: How many lies did you tell him, over the course of those 5 months? :suspicion:

One affirmation: He seems to be any type but an INFP.
An INFP that "isn't into you" will know it (they are sincere with themselves), and probably spare you the puzzle of guessing the whys and wherefores of a sad incident (they forgo the hypocritical selfish pleasure of "looking good" socially without a problem, if they are real INFPs -- consider that many mistype as INFPs.)
 

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He's very hurt and still healing after that 3 year relationship, probably. I don't think a relationship was going to last at that state, sadly. He definitely wasn't into you either, but it's hard to tell if being still healing had something to do with it.

Being cold and not liking to cuddle is not something I'd do in a relationship. I'd actually crave for cuddles and affection, and I'd share basically everything feely and emotional.
 

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Yeah I can see that. When I was younger, stupider, and more unhealthy I might have done the same. Just move on lol, he probably didn't get the spark or whatever he needed to remain interested.

Doesn't feel comfortable, makes up buckshot excuse for a pity party, sounds like a reeeeaaaal fun time. Been there, hate it for the guy, but Damn. Oh and I hate it for you too, Infps/SFJ combos are actually pretty cool.
 

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@cvbn

I'm sorry about your breakup.

In essence it sounds like your relationship breakdown was basically entirely on the INFP's end, at least given the wording he used. As others have pointed out, not cuddling and not sharing emotions after 5 months in is not typical healthy INFP behavior; while reserved, we're also usually pretty emotionally intimate, even effusive, in relationships.

I'm guessing that he had genuine interest in you at the beginning of your relationship and probably still does on a certain level, but his feelings didn't develop internally like he hoped and expected they would. As an INFP, personally, I'm a slow emotional processor; I can relate to your ex saying that he recognizes that he's not connecting emotionally but doesn't really know why. Between knowing that he was recently in a long-term relationship and that he has some struggles with depression and anxiety, it sounds to me like he just needs to spend some time healing himself, and unfortunately INFPs don't have any real guide for that... we just have to blindly follow wherever our internal feelings lead us. We can trust them, they will heal us... but we can't tell you where they're going to go or when.

The good news is he was trying to be honest and up-front with you and didn't want to keep dragging you along if he couldn't put his everything into it. I think that breaking up with you was your ex's way of saying you're valuable and worthy of a great relationship and for whatever reason he just isn't able to bring himself to provide that for you right now.
 

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Big red flag on the "no cuddle" thing - I thought that was the primary drive for INFPs to have relationships, because otherwise, yeah, too much hassle :laughing:. We often are solitary creatures by nature after all...

Anyway, speculating a bit.... Not wanting to be close physically or emotionally in an INFP often indicates they are not feeling safe. That is probably true of many humans in general, but in particular, INFPs won't open up unless they feel they will be accepted. Being accepted means allowing the INFP to have a pretty high degree of independence. According to some INFP manual, along with IxTPs, INFPs are the top valuers of autonomy. Being accepted also means not feeling criticized, which INFPs are sensitive to, and it doesn't have to be done with words. Fi types are supposedly as sensitive to what is NOT said as to what IS said. This may mean we need a lot of appreciation to reinforce our positive behaviors and actions.

Along with your comments about him feeling like he is a bad boyfriend and can't give you what you need, this all suggests he felt pressured and not accepted, perhaps criticized. Now you may not have overtly expressed anything, but if you harbored expectations and then swallowed resentment when they didn't pan out, then he may pick up on that emotional energy and it will make him feel unsafe with you. In my experience, many people do this, but ISFJs are particularly prone to harboring "hidden" expectations for how people should be, how relationships should go, etc, and when people don't align with those, the ISFJ takes it personally and feels hurt. Other people actually aren't aware of these expectations and they are not intentionally trying to disappoint you. Compound that with INFPs often being a bit dense about social expectations and you have a recipe for hurt feelings on both sides. The INFP typical reaction is to withdraw.

Of course, much of this could be baggage from the ex that he is projecting onto you. You could have done / said innocent things which triggered him or he simply may not be healed. I think that's highly likely. Someone can be into you, but not be ready. Or they could have genuinely been drawn to you and simply discovered you're not a match. Neither means you did anything wrong, but it is useful to see if you can learn from an experience and grow from your relationships.
 
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I just want to point out that a lot of his exhibited behavior, was behavior I myself displayed when I was in an extremely unhealthy place.

I also didn't like to cuddle, and I don't like cuddling unless I am open to and trust that person. Then I'm game. However, it still takes me time to open up to/trust people, because it feels like I'm physically giving a piece of myself to the other person for them to carry around with them. It doesn't scare me as much now as it did when I was younger, but growing up in a very unhealthy environment did not help that. I had to work through those issues. I'm not saying he's like this, but I respond to the fact he claims he doesn't like snuggling, with my own prior experiences.

I am super terrible at responding to people. I always have been. It isn't because I'm not interested in what they are saying over text, but I need time to digest what they've said. Even if it's something they thought meant nothing, because I am interested in them, I can sometimes read into things that were just simply not things that needed to be read into. I have to always remind myself to not read between the lines so to speak, unless I detect there's something up. With friends and family it is also not uncommon for me to not respond to their texts for more than a few hours. As it is, I rarely use my phone anyways, and forget to check it allll the time.


From what I am reading, he was obviously feeling guilty and perhaps even ashamed that he wasn't able to provide affection and whatever else he thought you might have wanted. I can't say for certainty what was holding him back, but if I had to guess, I would personally say it was himself. I would guess he's a self preserving type, and it got in the way of your relationship. I also don't enjoy expressing myself, because it feels like a vulnerability to me, to show parts of me that I usually keep to myself, but it's important effort is made in relationships to express how you are feeling, or thinking.

When no breakthrough in this area is made, I became depressed because I did like the person, but I was not able to connect due to my part of keeping said connection broken on my end. I suspect but in no way state as fact, that maybe he felt something similar. And with an argument perhaps it all became a bit too much to him.

From what I am reading, it does seem like he was interested in you, but it seems like there were issues on his end, whatever they were, and he needs to work through them.
 

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I am an ENFJ/P (depending on my mood) and I just broke up with my INFP boyfriend of almost a year. We had talked seriously about getting married (had actually planned on getting married in December) and I had even visited his church for a marriage conference. But in less than two weeks, he went from saying “I love you. I’m going to marry you,” to being distant and ghosting me. After 3 weeks, I thought maybe I was smothering him and asked him if his feelings had changed and he said yes. He said he didn’t know what had changed so I said we should take a break so that he could have some space to figure things out because I was ready to marry him and I didn’t want to be waiting while he was moving ont, therefore getting my heart even more broken. The next day, I asked him if he thought we would get back together or if we were broken up for good (I told him the ball was in his court. That whether we were broken up for good or temporarily was his call) and he said he thought we were probably done for good. I have no idea what happened and I’m not sure what might be going through his head. We’ve been broken up for a couple of months and he seems fine. Can any INFP makes give me some insight? Is it foolish to hope that we might get back together and work things out?
 

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I have no sense of time. So if my bf got mad at me because I didn't respond to a text within 7 hours, I would absolutely feel like the relationship is a chore. I'd break up instantly.

7 hours is nothing to me. I prefer natural, whenever you feel like it communication, not a choppy, schedule-based one (with exceptions, like emergencies). That just feels inauthentic and exhausting.

I already have enough stress as it is to conform to time. I absolutely need to feel like I can breathe in a relationship.
 
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