Do opposites really attract and work? | INFJ Forum

Do opposites really attract and work?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, Mar 28, 2010.

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  1. Gaze

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    So, I was inspired by the love for Ts thread to discuss this concept of compatibility between people of seemingly opposing personality types or seemingly contradictory personality traits as being more complimentary than those who are very similar.

    In what ways can having a partner who is very similar to you be a plus or minus, and in what ways can having a partner very different from you be a plus or minus?



    I want to avoid reducing this discussion to differences between types. That's just one way of understanding opposites, but it's not the only one.
     
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    #1 Gaze, Mar 28, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  2. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    are you talking type-wise opposites? because i feel little attraction to an INFJs polar opposite, ESTP. sure the E and even the P.. but not a fan of the ST combo. although, like i said, it's the person, not the type. I'm thinking of one ESTP in particular.
     
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  3. OP
    Gaze

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    I'm not restricting the question to type. Just differences in general.
     
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  4. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    i think to some extent yes, although it's very difficult for me to pinpoint the details why.
     
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  5. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    People unlike you would show you a completely different way of looking at life, you'd get so much mileage out of having a relationship with someone of a completely different personality to you, than you would with someone who is very similar. That being said, compatibility is a different issue. I think people have to have certain traits in common in order to really get along, for example an NT friend of mine is in a relationship with an SF, and though they're practically already married the miscommunication is so obvious it's painful. Neither have a problem with it now, but later on I could see it creating serious arguments and points of conflict. I think if you grow up in the same area as someone and otherwise have a similar background, you'll be more compatible with them than you would be if you were raised in very different backgrounds. But, again, it really can be awesome to be in a relationship with someone you don't identify with, the potential for growth and understanding is immense.
    an example from my own life: I gravitate towards extroverted feelers, because they are so different to me and they seem like they know how to have fun. it gets me out of my shell :)
     
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    #5 TinyBubbles, Mar 28, 2010
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  6. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    I could never get on with a ESTP...I know one too...but hes married to my ENFJ friend...They are nearly polar opposites, but they seem to get on just fine. They fight a lot, and yell and scream, but it works for them...

    In my case I am married to an INTJ, as an INFJ we really are not that much of opposites, however the T and F functions clash quite a bit. We often fight about money, or affection. Usually because I am upset that he is not giving me enough. He shows affection in ways that I fail to comprehend, and he cannot comprehend my need for my type of affection.

    since we both have lower J functions, we can clash on that front. I always need to organize and clean. Scrub and sort. He just wants it clean and out of sight. I have to plan and think ahead about money, where as he wants to just fly by the seat of our pants. He constantly worries about money, and yet gets upset when I faun for hours over months and months of figures. I want to be prepared, he wants to worry about it when it comes.

    I plan meals out two weeks in advance. We buy groceries for two weeks at a time. Like this I want to have our finances mapped out for at least 2 months. He would rather not. I have to have my book case organized, and all the books need to be the same size on each shelf. He has comics shoved in every which way but straight.

    there are some of our clashes...but in all honesty...these things are trivial to me. Its not how he acts, its just him. I dont think it has anything to do with type here at all it has to do with feelings, and even if he were to start annoying me more, I would still love him...Unconditional love and all..
     
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  7. OP
    Gaze

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    Yeah, as an NF, the NT category seems compatible but not ideal for everyone. But I think it has more to do with understanding or ability to understand, accept, and work through differences (which is always easier said than done). As an example, NF's are often concerned that STs or even NTs sometimes may fail to understand, accept, and appreciate the emotional needs or concerns of the NF type. And even if they do understand, there's the fear that they (the NF) will be seen as naive, needy, or overemotional for wanting those "feeler" needs met. Although, it should be evident by now that feelings are not logic or always rational, this doesn't make feeler qualities invalid.

    This lack of awareness of what each person (based on type or personality) needs can significantly affect the growth and development of a relationship. Which is one of the reasons relationships are so hard, because attraction is not enough. It's the ability to relate on different levels, not just the physical or the social, which is key. Personal compatibility is important as well.
     
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    #7 Gaze, Mar 28, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  8. bullinthesky

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    I find this topic fascinating.

    If I can add my perspective here. I dated what I think was an ESTP. The attraction is electric but it's a combustible relationship.

    I then realized that in practice, introversion can mean we're not in control of our destinies. As we rely on people who are outgoing to initiate contact and make it easier for us. I've also found that extraverts tend to have very different values to INFJ's.

    So this means we're fucked if we keep being introverted all the time. Because that means we're stuck being attracted to people we probably don't like. lol

    I can only imagine that extraverted people date more frequently, and most likely experience more failed relationships. But I can see where their strengths lie.

    So as a result of a disastrous relationship with an ESTP, I have worked on being more extraverted in order to be more in control of my destiny. The way I see it, maybe that shy person is really outgoing once you get to know them. So it could work for an INFJ. I've dated more introverts as a result. However, dating is never easy anyway. And I guess maturity is the leveler in relationships.

    Regardless of being opposites or not.
     
  9. CoffeeShopDiva

    CoffeeShopDiva Community Member

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    I definitely agree with this.
     
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  10. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    ISFJ/ENTP
    No.
     
  11. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

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    In my opinion they do.

    I've been for eight years now in a relationship with an ESTP and it's a great one. Attraction part was never the problem, that's the smoothest part of the relationship.

    We are the opposites in a sense that we read different types of literature, listen completely different music, like mostly different movies, art, activities (I'm a coffee shop girl and he just thinks of jumping out of the plain or something else completely nuts in my opinion :p). We do have a shared love for nature, camping, traveling, reading in general. So as far those things go we have a thing for sharing parts of our worlds that made us happy, things that made us sad, excited and such with each other and explaining why they made us feel like they did. That way I always have a window in his world and he always has in my.

    We have very different emotional needs but in time we managed to explain to one another why we need what we need and we both do our best to respect those boundaries and needs. Since I very early had to learn the sensor language, I was the first who articulated what I need and want and the response that I wasn't expecting but found extremely satisfying is that he wanted to learn to speak intuitive. We made some compromises so that we could both get what we want and enjoy the things we like with one another, and that seems to be the thing that among others holds us together, that willingness to except differences and find a common ground so that both of us can be happy and fulfilled.

    That's just my experience.
     
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  12. LadyINFJ

    LadyINFJ Community Member

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    Оh, dear!!! Here we go again. I am married to an INTJ as well and despite the commons the clash between the F and T echoes quite far at times. We fight about money as well - he is quite the saving type, I am better in spending money without regrets even though I like saving as well. He is just way more focused on saving than I am.
    My INTJ is giving me quite a lot of affection and attention, sometimes too much and he fails to comprehend and accept that sometimes I need my time OFF and AWAY alone. I know it is just pure love and he just cares about me really a lot, always trying to comfort me when I am down, etc. But bleh I have my own way to deal with my sadness and it is by being alone.
    His J is really low, my J is really high. I am the one who always worries, plans, organizes, but he's the one who saves and avoids spending money. I want to be at the train station at least 30 minutes before the train leaves and I get stressed if I am late, he always leaves in the last possible minute, no stress at all. Thank God he learned that it doesn't cost him a lot to get to the station earlier just so I avoid being stressed and everybody's happy.
    We are still learning how to match our differences so that both of us are happy with the compromise but we got quite far in our attempts and we achieved a lot so far. It is still bothering me at times how it feels that we talk different languages and while I can understand him perfectly well, even if I disagree with the way he sees things, he struggles doing the same. He just repeats that it doesn't make sense and that's it. Things must always make sense to him, otherwise he can not accept them.
    But living with him changed me a bit as living with me changed him. I became a bit like him, he became a bit like me. And that's the beauty in the opposites attraction! We do attract each other in a complimentary way (at least when it concerns important things) and differ a lot in details. This is how he explains it :) And I agree with him.
    Enty, this link is for you. And for all the INFJs who have an INTJ partner and vice versa :) http://www.infj.com/INFJorINTJ.htm

    Oh yes, just to add ... he always says "It doesn't make sense" and I always say "It's not fair" lol.
     
    #12 LadyINFJ, Mar 28, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  13. Orion

    Orion Strength through understanding
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    I've thought about this for some time and it's definitely interesting, some good responses.

    I personally don't subscribe to the idea that someone of opposite personality or opposite traits is the best and most fullfilling prospect for you. If I'm using type, then taking the INFJ/ESTP thing... You could say that they would cover all your weaknesses and vice versa but really, this a utility not a relationship. You're treating it as if their independant ways of looking at things will offer you more things in life as a utility, or step up ladder. A relationship is where you share mutual goals and understanding. To me it sounds like the difference between a working relationship and an intimate relationship.

    I have an ESFP friend, the attraction of our friendship is that we're different and we learn things from each other. But I wouldn't like that kind of relationship intimately (plus he's a guy, lol).

    For me personally, understanding is the abosolute key. I am in a relationship with an INFJ woman and we're so on the same wave length, it's scary. But of course, it's amazing as well. We are both INFJs but that's where the similarities stop. We're very different in how we apply our F and we have varying levels of introversion. I don't need to have an extrovert to make me outgoing. I feel much more outgoing, assertive and confident when I am with her, because she has access to that part of me.
     
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  14. VH

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    The more in common people have, the more harmonious the relationship will be.
    The less in common people have, the more strenuous the relationship will be.

    Both of these factors bring with them opportunities for growth. Harmonious relationships bring easy lessons and slower progress. Strenuous relationships bring harder lessons but faster progress.

    Personally, as an NFJ, I value harmony more than just about anything.
     
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    #14 VH, Mar 28, 2010
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  15. middle1

    middle1 Hellur

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    My ESFJ husband drives me up the wall everyday lol : )

    We clearly have nothing in common however he seems to pick up the slack where I can't and vice versa.
     
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  16. Matariki

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    Any S or P type in a sexual relationship for me would equal, No. With a head being dislodged in the process.

    As friends its a different ball game.
    Well for starters I don't have many friends because I spend 80% of my time in isolation.
    But I get along with any MBTI type as long as they treat me with respect, honesty and loyalty and have some form of intelligence that I can connect with on a basic level.
     
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    #16 Matariki, Mar 28, 2010
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  17. LadyINFJ

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    I had an ISTJ friend who used to have a huge and longlasting crush on me. Oh my God how much we fought all the time. About almost everything. He is not a bad guy, just thinks in a completely different way that takes out the worst part of me and provokes my aggressive respons. I still haven't figured out what attracted him to me so badly.
     
  18. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

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    After reading what everyone wrote here, and there are some fine things to read, I feel compelled to comment on one thing. Most of you, or everyone of you commented on MBTI types and shared a view from that standpoint, which is fine, but as I see it that is just the part that covers preferences in interaction, which is not enough.

    When I come to think of it I'm not sure if I could be happy in a relationship with a person who doesn't love art, doesn't love to read, doesn't want to travel, have kids, with strong feelings about nationality as opposed to cosmopolitanism, with a person opposite of me in that sense. If it were just one or two of those things missing (and not any one, the ones less important to me) I might reconsider and do my fair share in finding a way to function in such a relationship, but overall I think that I would pass on that.
     
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  19. Faye

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    Do opposite attract? I don't think so. I think you're likely to end up with someone with whom you have a large degree of similarity.
     
  20. Entyqua

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    These things are so us as well! I HATE being late! and he gets up five minutes before he has to leave for work showers and goes...I had to learn not to let it bug me! He always has to leave at the last minute too! UGH! I hate it!

    Its interesting how similar are relationships are! I am definitely going to check out that link!
     
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