Help with relationship with an INFJ? [INTJ] | INFJ Forum

Help with relationship with an INFJ? [INTJ]

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by iseult, Mar 10, 2013.

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  1. iseult

    iseult Two

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    Hi guys,
    I'm an INTJ who recently started dating an INFJ. We've been together for a couple of months (but we were really good friends for a year or so before that). I thought I knew him quite well, but some of his behaviour since we got attached has been a bit unsettling. He spends inordinate amounts of time, effort and money making and buying me presents, SMSes me whenever he has free time, and says really sweet / mushy things like "I can't stop thinking about you" or "You're so gorgeous you make me swoon". It's really sweet of him, and I feel honoured to be so cherished, but frankly it's getting quite stressful. For one, I feel guilty accepting all his presents when he has so many demands on his time and money. Secondly, it's a little stifling to have so much attention heaped on me - I can leave my phone for half an hour to find 60 new messages from him! It feels as though I have to be constantly thinking about him and constantly available, when sometimes I just want some time to myself.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, I feel immensely pressured to reciprocate. As mentioned above, I feel guilty receiving so much from him, and I feel I should give him the same sort of attention that he keeps showering on me. But I just can't match up. He writes long letters and spends ages making elaborate cards, and I don't know how I can spend that kind of time doing such stuff. Or rather - I don't want to have to spend such an overwhelming amount of my life making presents and giving material gifts. All I desire is his company, like when we go on dates and talk and spend time with each other. I don't need presents to make me feel loved! And yet I can't reject them or tell him that they're unnecessary, because he'd be hurt.

    I also feel pressured to reciprocate the mushiness. Now, I am unequivocally not a mushy person, but it gets kind of weird when he's the only one spouting cheesy lines and I just awkwardly reply "haha" or "okay". I guess he'd be happier if I started saying schmaltzy stuff too, but I just can't bring myself to say such saccharine things! And usually my internal reaction to his mushiness is "Oh my god, that is so sentimental. I can't believe he just said that."

    I'm not sure how to tell him I need more space, or that I would prefer him not to lavish me with so much attention. And how can I tell him that he is loved when I can't return him the same level of attention that he seems to need? I would be really grateful for any suggestions.
     
  2. Torsion

    Torsion Regular Poster

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    turn bi, get a girlfriend and have a poly relationship to split his attention and also give yourself someone to be with when he goes into a recharge withdrawl state.

    [Kidding ;)]


    It's very hard to say. being INFJ doesn't give a blueprint, just a general framework. Everyone is still different beyond their MBTI. Making the massive and possibly wrong assumption he's using the same thought processes as me ...

    It depends on how far along he is. If he's young he very likely has no control over it. His intincts are telling him to do it and he doesn't know where the line is. Telling him might be jarring. If he's older/more experienced as soon as you tell him he'll go "oh, hah, sorry." and that'll be it, problem solved.

    He literally can't help giving gifts, and it energizes him. His output towards you is like flowing water and comes easily and naturally.

    He'll spend all his money on you if you let him, and will also burn himself out, so you really do need to make him stop and there's no easy way to do this.

    In terms of gifts, luckily, you don't need to reciprocate there. Do THINGS instead. Bring him coffe, make his dinner, that sort of thing is nice, but he is going to need some measure of mushy. Make sure you give him a little smile every time he does something. What he gets from that is a recharge. If you don't acknowledge his affection it's going to be like <ERROR ERROR DOES NOT COMPUTE> in his head.

    Don't reject anything from him. However, to an extent if he gets carried away he'll feel pressured as well in terms of gifts to keep it up.

    Now this is the biggest part. Talk to him, but don't jump him with the subject. I get SO frustrated with women who wont tell me what they want or if I'm being too much for them only for them to explode in the end over something silly they could have told me ages ago.

    Get a dvd, fill his stomach, curl up on the soda under a duvet together with a bottle of wine in a quiet room with dim lighting (get candles) and bring up the subject. If you really want to go overboard wear one of his shirts and not much else (don't ask ... it's an ownership thing, sort of marks you as his property and also shows you're accepting him. Weird I know.)

    I'd say something like "I like that you give me gifts, but it's too much. Think how you would feel if I was spending all my money on you and I was getting stressed about pleasing you. If you look at that in reverse . That's how I feel accepting all these little things, things that I very much appreciate, but it stresses me. I just need you. You are enough and are all I want."

    He might need time to process that, he might continue the conversation. Either way, re-affirm things with some warmth so he doesn't think he's done something wrong or pushed you away.
     
  3. Ogre

    Ogre Newbie

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    Its really easy, tell him just the way you wrote it. It's straightforward, I don't think he is going to react badly. Trust me. By the way I have an INTJ girlfriend for over 1,5 year now, we are living together. Outside of little problems, We have never been in so much love before, she admits too. It's a really good relationship between INTJ and INFJ, just be straightforward with him. INFJ's value honesty. And don't try to change for him, you don't really know what He likes. And If he's anything like me, then He likes rationality in others, and brutal honesty.
     
  4. OP
    iseult

    iseult Two

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    Thanks for your replies! I guess I'll try to be more honest with him - I don't want to end up in a situation where either of us tries too much to conform to the other's 'style' and gets unhappy. Relationships are about feeling around each other's quirks and reaching some kind of compromise, after all.

    INFJs aren't all the same, I know... just that I was reading about the "NF/NJ death spiral" in relationships where basically the two parties can't figure each other out due to the clash of their logical / emotional personalities. And I could totally see some giant misunderstanding like that happening to us too. Just wanted to get some advice from people who might understand him better. Thanks :)
     
  5. sassafras

    sassafras Well-known member

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    I had a very similar situation about a year ago with a man who was overly-demonstrative and it made me very uncomfortable. This wasn't because I felt the need to reciprocate (though there was that too) but because I had trouble believing his sincerity. Something about him didn't 'sit right' with me. He was perfect on paper but I couldn't shake the feeling something was wrong. I voiced my concerns about his platitudes and his habit of putting me on a pedestal and he gave me a very plastic, perfect answer--that I deserved it all and he insisted he wouldn't change despite my discomfort. He told me I had to learn how to accept a compliment and he endeavored to teach me, but his 'teachings' were very stifling and uncomfortable. Later, it turned out I wasn't the only woman he was wooing this way and that my instinct about him had been right all along; he wasn't at all sincere and he was overcompensating with his kindness. He had a 'script' and he was sticking to it.

    I'm not suggesting that the man in your life is anything like the man I just described, of course, but I think you should confront him about what is making you uncomfortable about all this and see how he reacts. If he gives you the same kind of 'you deserve it' answer and insists on 'killing you with kindness' despite you telling him that you don't like it, you should maybe look into what he's trying to smooth over. I think it's wonderful that there are men who are this open with their affection and are willing to go out of their way to make you feel special, but at the same time, a man who truly loves and cares about you will listen to your needs and not continue to push his agenda on you.

    Also, make sure you trust your instincts.

    Best of luck.
     
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  6. jimtaylor

    On Holiday

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    Be honest and just say it. I agree with everything said here because I was that guy at first. I was overly affectionate and mushy mushy because it was what felt right. On that matter, I am still overly affectionate and mushy mushy but to a much more tolerable level. :p I am not going to apologize for it because it’s how I like to be but I am not going to force it down someone’s throat unless I really don’t care about that person.

    Each of my crushes also always reciprocated it which made me think that they liked it when in reality they didn’t. Nobody can read each other’s minds and so it wasn’t until they exploded at me did I realize I was imposing my ideas on them.

    I will tone it down for a person I really care about but it will never truly go away because it is part of the man I am and I like it. I like sappy romantic gestures but they will change in a way that my partner also enjoys them. I am dating this INTP right now and she is just so much the opposite of me but we have fun with it because neither one of us takes ourselves too seriously.

    I will do some over the top romantic gesture for her and in return she will make some witty remark teasing me about being a sappy romantic. The witty and sarcastic remark from her is more endearing to me than her reciprocating it because that remark is who she is. I don’t want her to change and I don’t want to change, this is just the way I show affection. We have serious romantic moments when it’s right but the rest of the time, it’s all just for fun. Like for her birthday, I did a surprise dinner and she started crying about how nice it was and it was serious but because it was the right time and place.

    Then a few weeks later I decorated the place in like a romantic candle lit dinner theme before she came over. Her response was, “What the hell?” My response to that was to say “I really wanted Asian food,” and then proceeded to pull out a take-out bag of our favorite cheap Asian food place. Over-the-top? Yup, but I don’t do stuff half-ass. She spent the rest of the night laughing because only I would decorate the whole place for cheap Asian food.

    There is no doubt that I did everything I did to get a reaction out of her but that is just because I want to see her smile and because she hates over-the-top gestures like this, I decided to make a farce of it. Because you know those T death stares can get rather annoying so a smile now and again is a pleasant surprise. Just don’t take yourselves too seriously and you both can enjoy those stupid romantic sappy moments.
     
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  7. jupiterswoon

    jupiterswoon Permanent Fixture

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    As an INFJ, who has been on the other side of the situation, sometimes I just want to text goodnight, or say I love you and it definitely annoyed my INTJ partner. My partner asked if INFJs have a tendency to veer towards sentimentalism, and I think personally that the desire to express feelings/be really lovey-dovey, has to do with the Fe. There was a thread I started about the nature of emotions as someone with Fe- and what I've noticed in my own personal life, is that if I don't have an outlet or form of expression for my Fe, then my feelings cave in on each other and invert, and so I feel like I need to express every emotion. Even the way that INFJs talk, they are naturally very expressive.

    It's really hard for me to repress my emotions, and so don't expect for your BF to completely curb his communication and act in the preferred INTJ form, but if you have a discussion with him that should help him realize that just because you are not as communicative or expressive in your love, doesn't mean that you love him any less.

    For us, when we started dating, we didn't know about type, and so it was a continual struggle- I would wonder why he wasn't reciprocating my love, and he was annoyed by what was perceived as my eagerness and desire to communicate constantly, or the perceived pressure that he experienced on his end.

    I want to say that it will get better, but I think that one of the biggest things is just realizing that there are differences between the types, and some things might be improved, but it doesn't mean that there will be big changes. Once you recognize that he is like that, and just come to terms with it, it helps to take some of the pressure away.

    I might recommend that you suggest to him joining the forums, or reading more about his type. I personally really like watching INFJ videos on youtube.

    Speaking from personal experience, I used to be obsessed with gift giving, and expressing my love, and I think a lot of that came from trying to establish the relationship, and also my own insecurities and not feeling good enough for the person I was with. As I matured, I stopped relying on gifts and communication; and just accepted knowing that my partner loved me, and that I didn't need to communicate everything with him, or shower him with gifts. In my lower form, when I was less developed and more emotional, I was very prone to giving gifts, and then holding it over his head, or making him feel guilty if he didn't reciprocate materially. It's awful to admit, but I did do that.

    Also, in response to the Daring Hat Trick's post, just because he is showering you with gifts and affection, doesn't necessarily mean that he is a womanizer. If this is an important relationship, and he's really excited to be with you, then, it's probably just Fe in over-drive. It doesn't sound like he's being inauthentic, it sounds like he's just really excited.
     
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  8. inject

    inject Newbie

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    Sometime it's nice to show your deep feelings, thoughts and emotions for your loved ones to make them realize how important they are in your life and what you means to them. But doing that on regular basis might result in losing your worth to the person.

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  9. olivia

    olivia Three

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    I smiled to myself reading this post, having been on the other side of this. I'm an INFJ who has been dating an INTJ guy for about five months now. The last month has been long-distance, which has been a real strain for me. When we were at college, practically living together, it was an extremely comfortable,understanding relationship. Since we've been apart for the summer, things have been more difficult for me, as his lack of communication need has become more evident, while my need is more pronounced than ever.
    Let me preface this by saying thatI have never considered myself to be emotionally needy in past relationships, in fact, I've felt smothered in relationships with other personality types. But my INTJ relationship has taught me what my real needs are. Sometimes I wish he would just say "I miss you" or compliment me, or call me out of the blue, but it doesn't seem to occur to him. On the other hand, I'm sure sometimes he feels a bit overwhelmed when I say mushy things.
    I will say that things have improved due to communication! There is hope! Every forum I've read seems to report the same INFJ/INTJ problems with emotional neediness. I want to point out, however, that once I was open with my guy, he was very considerate of my emotional needs, saying that it isn't in his nature to be emotionally open, but that he would try. We are still happy in our relationship(definitely the most open and intimate I've ever been in), and I look forward to less difficulties when we're able to spend more time face to face in the fall.
    A couple of things about INFJs: many of us enjoy getting and giving material gifts as a means of affection (which you seem to have noticed haha). We also take the close relationships we have very seriously, and have more emotion/affection needs than INTJs. That being said, your relationship, like all relationships will necessitate some give and take on both ends.
    Suggestions that I would make would be to initiate a conversation. He will likely see it as a huge effort and gesture on your part (more meaningful than a material gift) to maintain a relationship. Be open. Be honest. As difficult as it may be, try to reciprocate some affection. He will appreciate it and I'm sure will take your needs into consideration.
    One of the coolest things about INFJs is their intuition about people and moods - once he understands the way you work emotionally, he will likely be able to read you fairly easily without prying and be able to react accordingly. Also we're excellent confidants when you do want to talk :) With a little effort on both your parts, I'm sure you will be able to have a successful relationship!
     
  10. Lexika

    Lexika Community Member

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    That kind of smothering is more characteristic of INFPs in relationships in my experience. I've dated an INFP guy who did something very similar and I was just awkwardly replying "haha" and "okay", and later I became friends with an INFP girl who even started writing songs for in my name to ingratiate herself with me (it wasn't even a romantic relationship). Even as INFJ I began to feel smothered by all the attention and had no idea what to do with it. Also I've seen many threads about how INFPs pursue INTJs, so consider that your guy may be INFP.
     
  11. Ennui

    Ennui Regular Poster

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    ^ This. This a thousand times over. I feel like I wrote this (even the situation is the same!) and forgot that I posted it.
     
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