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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
when/if to approach my intj when they've asked for time/space to think

So I've been seeing an INTJ male for the last two months.
We started off as co workers and before he was transferred he asked me for my phone number.
We began hanging out anywhere from 2-4 nights a week. We had an instant connection. It was like nothing I've ever had happen before. Because we could both tell things were headed in the romantic direction, within in the first two weeks he brought up the conversation regarding what my expectations were with this situation. He told me that his INTJ made him inclined to plan for the long term/future. I told him that he could count on me being around for the foreseeable future, and that I wanted to get to know him better to see how things went before revisiting the conversation in the near future.

He also told me early on that he had never slept with someone he was not exclusively dating, so I know I put him in a vulnerable place with that.

However once we began hanging out, I found him surprisingly opening up to me about personal problems, things from his past, and his emotions. I also felt like he could really see inside my head, because he understands me on a different level from anyone I have ever been with and I feel that I understand and connect with him in the same way. I came to learn that while we worked together, he had been observing me, proven by his ability to recall minute details of our interactions that had occurred months before. He also was offering to help me with things that I could never imagine him helping others with....such as offering to help me unpack my belongings after a big move..and walking me to my car after work at night, as we both work on the same block in a downtown city area..where we park several blocks away and get off later in the evening.

After several dates with him I realized we were really connecting and it was kindof baffling to both of us. We were hanging out more and more each week, and he was even having text conversations with me when we weren't together. However..after reading up on your type...I assured him that A. I can be overwhelming and operate with little to no filter, and that B. I want us to be direct with each other with our needs, such as if he needs time alone or space to please tell me.

He personally battles crohns disease and with that comes many complications such as insomnia, skin inflammation etc..which flares up every so often and causes fatigue and stress. So I know that his time alone is really recharging etc...and on several occasions he did ask for time alone...and I happily obliged,
only to have him come back with vigor over the course of a day or so away.

He was also slow to make the first move and I basically texted him after one of our early dates and said something like 'there were so many times I wanted to kiss you tonight but I was afraid to make the first move'. he responded and said the same exact thing, and that he was trying to get a good read on the situation. The next time we hung out he had absolutely NO reservations and surprised me with his confidence and passion. He ended up sleeping over that same night...and I can say that the sex is completely in a league of its own. forward about a month a things start to get a little awkward...
His illness is flaring up, and there are days when he will take hours to read and/or respond to texts....when we finally get to having a conversation via text they go really well and feel like back to normal..but the times in between leave a weird tension. I feel like I am the one always initiating and I don't want to overwhelm him. There have been two occasions where we have made plans..and the day of I haven't heard from him all day so I will reach out via text to confirm plans around an hour or two before he's to come over..and he has cancelled saying he does not feel well enough to leave the house and needs to rest. The first time this happened he was odd for about two days and I got of course worried that he was thinking of breaking it off...I gave him his space...he ends up texting me one morning at 6am when both of us were still up from the night before....he texts me Hi Hello how are you? and i'm like...who are you and what have you done with XXXX..because that is so unlike him. He told me that he had been really in his head over the last week, and apologized and said he can't control when it just does....but can he come over and talk about everything with me? because he had a lot on his mind. I of course agreed and he showed up at 6:30am..with me assuming he was there to break things off...I was literally prepared to be dumped (he of course had absolutely and still has absolutely no idea I misconstrued that situation)..he ended up venting to me about personal issues and his feelings about certain deep intellectual theories of his..and he ended up having sex and sleeping until 4pm at which point he took me out for pancakes and came back to my house to binge watch Netflix with me....we spent 14 hours together that day and I felt utterly insane for thinking that something was wrong in the first place.

Fast forward another two weeks with weird intermittent texts and only several instances of in person contact....

and he ends up flaking on plans again.this last time it happened..he was supposed to come over between 5-6 and I had to text him at 5:30 to see if he was still coming over.

When he responded he said he had slept all day and was 'probably going to come over later tonight'...I was frustrated at this point because I felt I was making all the I said 'later like when...I'm trying to figure out if I should make other plans'...he responded and immediately apologized and said 'i'm sorry I don't should just make other plans'..I felt terrible and told him 'hey you know I would rather hang out with you....i'm just wanting to know what's going on..if you even want to come over'...he then said ' to be honest I don't..i'm eczema is killing me and I really just want to stay home but I'm trying to be a decent person and friend.'. ...I still felt terrible at this point and told him there was no reason to apologize and that he should stay home and rest, but that next time I would like to know a little more in advance and that I already think he is a great person and friend...but that if he is straight with me about what he wants it would make us both feel better..'..HE apologized AGAIN..and said that he thought he would feel better by that evening but he was wrong, and next time he would err on the side of caution....'...

And so I ended up going out with friends, because it was the Saturday of Halloween weekend and I felt terrible the entire night, because I know that I made HIM feel terrible...
I got home at like 5:30am..and saw that he was awake and logged in online...and so my idiot feeling self sent him another long message that read as follows

hey you don't need to respond right now..but you're awake and i'm awake and I can't sleep. I thinking about you tonight because I got dragged out of the house earlier by my friends, and I generally hate I mostly thought about how I'd rather be at home in bed with you..and then I started to feel bad because I was kindof mean earlier..and I realize there are a lot of unknowns and those make me antsy.
I know you are going through things right now that suck..there's not a better word I can think of to describe it...but I know it's energy draining and really hard and I won't ever know exactly what you're going through and I'd never assume I could...because I can't see all of it...but I can still be here for you when you want someone to talk to or just sit and do nothing with. IT's all new to me...I don't mind if you have to cancel plans if it is what is going to make you ultimately feel better that day. Honestly, I don't know if you are feeling anything for me...but I know that I like you.and I know that I talk ALOT and probably bother you when you want to be zoned out/I've maybe already scared you be honest I'm still trying to figure these kinds of things out..but I do know one thing for sure...I will never be able to read your mind (as much as I'd like to!), but like I said....I like I'm going to keep trying until you either tell me what you want or tell me to go away..seems like the most logical thing to do at this point. I also ramble like an idiot as per usual, so please disregard my terrible punctuation and bad formatting.....

That was sunday at 6am...

He responded back at 1pm that afternoon and said 'Hey can I just have some time and space to think. I just don't have the energy right now'

I said ' yeah that's alright. Do what you need to do. Sorry if this is all too much right now. Take your time'.

He said ' I Just need to think'

I said I know..I completely understand.

That was sunday afternoon at 3pm.

I have not heard from him since! and it is DRIVING ME INSANE.

I don't know how long he needs...or if he would be the type to 'Ghost' me...
I just thought I read the signs that he liked me...mainly in the fact that he kept making time for me and showing up

I was direct...I was honest I told him my feelings...and now I am afraid I have scared him away...I know he is taking this time to over analyze this entire thing and probably decide if he wants to continue seeing me...and this scares the absolute crap out of me.....

It has been five days tomorrow of totally radio silence....

I have drafted a potential message to send to him..but am unsure if this would push him further into his mindpalace or if it would alleviate some of his stresss....

here is the draft

Hey I have been thinking a lot, basically I'm aware of my tendency to sometimes come across as overbearing/overwhelming and I want you to know I respect your space and your time alone to think. I'm not trying to put any kind of undue stress on our situation, I just like being straightforward because it's who I am. I'm bad at dating 'games' that people play. I think out loud and tend to let people know how i'm feeling with no reservations. This sometimes comes back to bite me in the ass. I'm not expecting you to be the same way. I like the way you are and at this point I want to keep seeing you. It means a lot to me to be able to talk to someone that I feel understands me and most importantly I have fun with you. But please...let me know if I overwhelm you. I'm also not trying to encroach on your thinking time, I don't expect a lengthy or immediate response, as I'd prefer to talk in person when you're ready. Take all the time you need to think..I'll be here.

Let me know
A. your thoughts on this message draft above.
B. If I should wait until he reaches out to me after he has enough time/space to think
C. If I should send this message anyway or try to reach out to him

THANKS and yes I know i'm insane, but I really like this one. I dont' want to scare him off.

919 Posts
I think you:
a) need to read about the attachment theory, you seem:)wink:) to have the anxious attachment style and you're creating this roller-coaster in your head, he did nothing wrong from what you've wrote here, yet... drama(on your part) begun somehow
b) don't spam him with massages and explanations.... it's in your head
c) get out of your head, it's all "me, me, me" then you act on your anxiety (be rude) and end up overthinking everything - it's not the way to go with an INTJ, he will confuse you a lot of times and he will need a lot more space than you (especially later on in a relationship)
d) more empathy? he's sick
e) meditate

2,172 Posts
INTJ silence is not an indicator of a bad or a good thing. It just... is.

If I'm thinking of breaking it off, there is really nothing you can say to influence that. So basically saying nothing to me and spamming me with stuff, it's not really going to change the trajectory... that said, your actions i.e. the spamming could represent an aspect of you that I may have to factor in (if I didn't already know/guess you might be like this).

Sending someone a message that you are respecting their space with a long explanation is sort of... counterproductive. I agree with @ukulele - relax. I know you're scared/apprehensive. If anything, you probably want to show him that you don't need his attention to get by. Like but don't need. If I asked to be left alone, I actually mean that that is what I want and I am not secretly hoping that you'll check on me. I'd more than likely be appreciative that you respected my request and my needs. I hate being interrupted.

To me it sounds like he's in a little rut/depression or simply not feeling well. If he's comfortable talking to you and isn't, it's because he doesn't want to or isn't ready to yet. I know I have a very "I'll figure it out myself" attitude and if I am consulting with people, it's more to put another set of eyes on what I've likely already decided on than to help me actually make a decision. Sometimes just someone to check my blind spots.

My advice: don't send the message. It's not a bad message but it's more the action than the words that he will see, if that makes sense.

766 Posts
I've been through something like this with several extravert girls. This is how I've come to think of it.

Extraverts interpret physical presence as caring. Having a relationship means physically showing up on a regular basis. That's how you show you care. As the relationship progresses interaction becomes more frequent. The more you interact the more you care. A lack of regular interaction indicates someone doesn't care.

Introverts grow an internal experience of affection. It doesn't need physical presence. Having a relationship means knowing that you both have this internal experience and it doesn't require physically showing up to keep it going. As the relationship progresses interaction becomes less frequent. You're more confident in the solidity of the affection you have for each other so you don't need as much exchange anymore. Expecting regular interaction indicates someone doesn't care. If they did it would be solid and they wouldn't need the interaction to keep it going.

As you can see there's a conflict here. I have to be honest that I've never been able to reconcile this long term. It may not work for you. The 2 of you may be thinking of "caring relationship" in ways that are incompatible. If you're thinking it will get to a point where interaction becomes regular and he's thinking it will get to a point where you're both comfortable with an ebb and flow, you're both trying to pull in different directions. You're both doing it because you care about each other. But it's coming out in different ways.

For an introvert being left alone feels like caring. If someone leaves you alone it demonstrates they recognize your internal experience, accept it, and care about you having what is best for you in that moment. So for him, you leaving him alone gives him the message that you care. It's the best thing you can do. Introverts know from experience that this is difficult and alien to a lot of people. I suspect he'll recognize that it was for you. When he comes out of it he will be appreciative that you did it. The more you do this the more he will develop a trusting feeling toward you. You're showing that he can depend on you letting him go off to do things important to him and accept him when he returns.

If you can be happy with a relationship where the interaction has an ebb and flow, there are periods where you talk a lot and do a lot together and periods where you each go your own way for a while, you might be able to make it work. If that kind of arrangement doesn't work for you, it's OK, you're just different people, and it might be best to think about parting amiably.

I have to say that your draft message is pretty good. I've received some accusatory messages in situations like this, blaming me for failing some or other responsibility I wasn't even aware of. Your message doesn't show even of a hint of that. So respect his request and let him come to you when he's ready. But I think at least you're coming from a good place of feeling here and that's good.

137 Posts
I think you're just overwhelming him a little. He obviously does like you but doesn't need the same amount of affection as you do. I've also been through this with my boyfriend. It's a stage and yes it's a hassle but it really takes a while for any introvert to get comfortable with displaying their emotions. Personally I needed a lot of time to realize how much I even like my boyfriend and how much he likes me. He (also INTJ) would sometimes take ages to respond or not respond at all. At some points (more often then I'd like) I would do the same. This doesn't mean you don't like each other, it just means you're not really in the right headspace at that moment. And INTJs need A LOT of headspace, constantly.

Especially when they have what I call 'a project' at that time. INTJs lose themselves completely in a 'project', they research, they debate (in their head) and research even more. When they're in the thick of this kind of behaviour it can be really hard to get through to them. Please know that this doesn't reflect on your behaviour or your relationship. From what I can tell he was probably just really comfortable with being himself around you. But now he sees that he has to put in a little more work (which is only logical) into his emotions and talking about them. This can be very tedious for an INTJ, especially if you've already touched upon the subject. It can even make him reflect on the validity of the relationship.
I think he might be a little underdeveloped socially but that's just my opinion. You're not quite doing anything wrong but you might be pushing him a little too much. I hope this gives you some clarity and understanding of his thinking process.

I hope it works out for you! If you give him enough time I think it might still work out
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