INFPs: type and relationships | INFJ Forum

INFPs: type and relationships

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Gaze, Sep 30, 2010.

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  1. Gaze

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    I know there are various threads on this topic around the forum, but i'm curious about the experiences of INFPs currently on the forum.


    How does your type affect the way you approach relationships?


    How does type affect your level or depth of feeling or attachment in relationships?
     
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    #1 Gaze, Sep 30, 2010
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  2. That Girl

    That Girl Do you have my answers?
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  3. OP
    Gaze

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    #3 Gaze, Sep 30, 2010
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  4. That Girl

    That Girl Do you have my answers?
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    [MENTION=1669]Anita[/MENTION]

    Lots of decisions have been made and they must be implemented.
     
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  5. OP
    Gaze

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    Ah, [MENTION=2652]That Girl[/MENTION]. Viel Gl
     
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  6. That Girl

    That Girl Do you have my answers?
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    I just realized that when I wrote this on my phone I wrote it on the wrong thread. -.-
    Stupid phone.
     
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  7. orangeappled

    orangeappled Regular Poster

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    Okay....I'll play :smile:

    How does your type affect the way you approach relationships?

    I don't approach relationships, they approach me :p. Seriously, I am really passive about dating. The closest I've come to initiating is throwing up a profile on a dating site. When dating someone, the other person has to pursue. I will respond, but I find it's never to the other person's satisfaction. I can take a few days to call someone back & think nothing of it. Time is a strange concept to me; I have a poor sense of it and lose track of it easily. I also NEED massive amounts of alone time. I feel smothered easily.

    When it comes to friendships, I've gotten better at being pro-active in making friends. I feel a huge vulnerability to put myself out there. In the past, putting myself out there was just exerting the energy to seem friendly, and hope the other person initiates something. Now, I'll go so far as to be the one to suggest we hang out or whatever. I'm still bad about keeping in touch, but I'm the kind of friend who is always there for a friend, even if we haven't spoken in months because I fell off the edge of the earth in lala land.


    How does type affect your level or depth of feeling or attachment in relationships?

    I don't get attached easily to people. I only form infatuations from a distance; once I get up close the bubble bursts, the fantasy is killed, and I realize the object of my obsession is just human after all. I especially have a tendency to attach myself to an idea of a person when that person is not available in some way, probably so the fantasy is less in danger of being destroyed. When I get beyond that & actually do date someone, it tends to be someone I like in a friendly way, someone who I am comfortable with & who has decided to pursue me. I am pretty passive and will date almost anyone who pursues me enough, provided they meet some basic standards. There are not really any butterflies or instant connections. I've never been in love - probably because I date guys I like in a platonic way as its' "safe" and the ones I like in a romantic way are not yet worth the risk to my emotional feelings or ego or whatever it is I am protecting.

    I'm very guarded and timid and it takes a lot to get me to relax my guard. Many people don't even know its up as I can also be nice in that quiet, harmless sort of way that makes people think not much feeling exists beyond that. Like a lot of NFs, I may throw out some seemingly personal info in an effort to relate to the other person. I think it's an almost subconscious attempt to put them at ease so they open up to me. If they don't know better, then they may think that is my guard has gone down when it has not.

    Regarding friendships, most of mine are pretty casual. There are very few people in my life I have a strong attachment to. I like many people as friendly acquaintances. Others I am mostly indifferent to, and the ones I actively dislike are very few in number. But people I feel strongly about? A small handful: close friends and family. Most of these people date back to my childhood. I think I require more time than the average person to form a bond. It really takes a lot for me to become close to someone, but once I do, it will take even more to break that feeling.
     
    #7 orangeappled, Oct 2, 2010
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  8. OP
    Gaze

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    @orangeappled. thx for the interesting description. I can relate to a few things except that i form attachments easily. :D
     
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  9. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I am also passive about dating. I've never been in a relationship that I initiated.
    I've also felt, at least in the early stages of every relationship that I've been in--that I didn't feel as much for the other as they did for me.
    But in time, my feelings grow.
    I've never broken up with someone out of sheer boredom with them...
    I tend to develop feelings and appreciation more and more over time.
    My infatuation stage occurs once I've actually known the person for awhile. I'm slow to warm up....
    THEN I get the butterflies and giddiness. I've been with my boyfriend a little over a year, and we've been living together for about four months.
    I feel our relationship is more exciting now than it was when we first met.

    I relate to this A LOT.. It's more like a small curiosity that leads me to date someone. When they show their emotions towards me in the beginning, it almost feels awkward and scary.. even if I like them and want to get to know them better... the emotional aspect is something that I have to get used to. I can't just jump right into it...
     
    #9 acd, Oct 2, 2010
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  10. under skies

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    Again, I am extremely passive. Not only is it difficult for me to approach "new" people, even those I am only platonically interested in, but I also seem to have no concept of time, so it's easy for me to accidentally estrange myself from those I already have relationships with for supposedly long periods of time. I don't "phase out" of my affections for others, regardless of how long it's been since I've seen them. And, yeah, I really need my personal space and time to think sometimes, though I really do try to ground myself more, now that I've gotten a bit older.

    I form attachments easily, and I often feel like I care more about others than they care about me (which tends to mess with my head a little). I don't think this is always true, necessarily. I am not that great at gaging how other people feel about me, unless they explicitly communicate their affections.
     
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  11. orangeappled

    orangeappled Regular Poster

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    I'm really hoping this happens for me someday :p. I admit, I get bored fast with people, but I suspect it's because we just were not right for each other.... I learned enough about them to know they are not what I want in a relationship, and the novelty is also gone & so nothing sustains the interest.

    As a teen & in college I did not date much. As a teen, my oddness scared people away & in college I was too busy to be interested in anyone. So as an adult, I've dated a lot of people just for the novelty, to see what it's about. I think NPs & SPs are both drawn to new experience, as it helps us learn about what is important to us (F types) or what makes logical sense (T types). For me, I definitely found dating to be an experiment in defining what I want/need out of a romantic relationship. I just feel BAD that involves other people's feelings. For the most part, I don't think I've really broken any hearts....so that's good.


    I tend to date people out of curiosity also. It's terrible to say, but I just want to "see where it goes". The bad thing is, they do develop feelings faster (or at least display them), and then I feel guilty that I may be leading them on & I bail. Or I feel smothered & I bail. This often happens when the question of commitment arises, or just after I agree to date exclusively. I was okay as long as I was just exploring a possibility, but I take a lot more time than the average person to make a decision. I take that time because I need it to compare that person to my standard of ideal and see if they are acceptable to it. I say acceptable, because no one will ever meet it... I also take that time because when I commit, it's for the long term. If I am not ready for that commitment, but am led into it, then I begin to resent it. I need someone who is patient & willing to keep it no pressure for an extended period at first.

    Now that I feel I really have a clear idea of what I want/need, I'm not interested much in dating anyone I don't foresee as a potential long term partner. It's hard because I also have a knee-jerk reaction to give someone a chance, but sometimes you just know the relationship will not go anywhere, so why bother exploring how it goes nowhere....
     
  12. Ecton

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    Interesting. If you are more often persued, how do you deal with their preconceptions of who you are? Do they usually have a good read on you, or are they initially way off? What happens?
     
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  13. orangeappled

    orangeappled Regular Poster

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    It's hard for me to know exactly how others see me, and it depends on whether they met me in person first or through some online means. Quite frankly, with most men, they seem to just pick people to date based on physical appearance. I guess they think I am cute, and they happen to read my quiet, shyness as feminine or sweet, whereas other people may read it as aloof or snobby (people project all kinds of things onto quiet people). I've definitely had a lot of first dates not turn into second ones - I'm sure my demeanor reads as dull to some. I can be pretty tongue-tied & nervous on a date.

    After that, I've mostly heard surprise expressed at how reserved I continue to be. There's an expectation to open up faster than I do, mentally, emotionally & physically. Then when I do express myself more, I sense surprise that I am less easy going than I appear. I have a lot of opinions & ideas & strong feelings, and their sudden appearance can seem to come out of nowhere. I also get the idea people never expect me to be quite as bookish as I am - I suppose the spacey look in the eye and girly appearance doesn't register as "smart" to some. The bookishness is really not all that charming to many either....the idea that I'd rather read a book at the beach than swim or surf has resulted in a smirk or two. I admit I can seem a bit pedantic also.

    A brief dating history....

    A lot of SPs have pursued me because on the surface we seem to share interests (ie. art, music), but in the long run we bore each other. I need more intellectual stimulation, and I think I overwhelm/bore them with my need for that kind of discussion. I broke up with an ESFP a few weeks ago and it was a huge relief to be alone again - they can be really smothering with the time/attention & level of energy they demand. I also found him irresponsible and to make bad decisions based on feelings of the moment. I think my analytical side read as argumentative to him at times, but his conversation style was mind-numbingly boring to me. I like SPs much better as friends.

    A few INTJs have pursued me, but we never really connect because they seem to have some time-table that's too rigid for me, and I admit I'm always more curious about them than attracted. I always feel like they're more attracted than curious about me.... ISTJs can get attached in a pit-bullish manner that frightens me away, and I fear falling into some pit of boredom & routine with them. INTPs get too argumentative - such a pity as we otherwise have so much in common. When these negative traits become apparent, I lose interest & tend to just disappear.
     
  14. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Novelty isn't really a big deal for me. To be honest, I like predictable people. I like developing our own secret code languages/words and running theme inside jokes. I like to mesh predicatbly and feel cozy rather than excited.

    I like routine, I like to do the same things... drive the same route home every single day.. eat the same food.. Spontaneity is fun every so often.. but usually I like to just be cozy and know what to expect--especially when it comes to close relationships.
    I guess that is strange for an INFP?

    I'm kind of an easy read usually (unless I'm going through a phase. See below..)
    My current boyfriend liked me because I was "silent and stoic and seemed challenging." He figured I was strong and independant based on my demeanor. Those things are true. In the past, I've had wildly outgoing phases where I found myself dancing and flirting with every person and chair in the room... or throwing big parties and mingling tons.
    I've had guys want to date me after that impression.. But I could never date them.. because the 'me' they saw that night isn't really me.
     
    #14 acd, Oct 5, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  15. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    At least as it concerns an intimate relationship, it makes total sense to this INFP.

    It could be the Type 9 talking in my case though. :wink:


    cheers,
    Ian
     
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  16. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    It could be.
    I don't like waves.
     
  17. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    well this really resonates with me!

    I tend to have two pathways when it comes to relationships: I fall madely in love with someone unavailable or start a relationship with someone who is persuiding me but for who I have no feelings. Its like you said, I seem to fall in love with an idea of a person and that only works when the person is unavailable/out of my reach. When someone comes to close I see to many flaws to be able to develop feelings. I have started some relationships with guys who where persuiding me in the hope that I would develop some feelings after a while but it never happened. It is like when someone comes to close to me to fast and expects to much from me to fast, I shut down. I seem to be so vulnerable when it comes to relationships. I need to trust the person before I can be vulnerable and it can take a long time + I need to be interested in the person otherwise I don't see why I should open up. And I have a difficulty to trust people, I always expect them to stab me in the back or leave me when I show them my dark side :D. So I always tend to keep up my guard so that in case they leave me, I'm not to much hurt.

    Now for the first time in my life I have a female friend who knows me almost completely but it has taken a lot of time (we are friends for 7 years) and a lot of courage to get there. Know through her I start to realize that what I have been hiding for everyone isn't so bad as I always assumed. In fact because I have been hiding it is difficult to people to understand me. For example I always bend myself to the needs of others and try to live up to there expectations to please them, until I can't do it anymore and then I get angry with them. But they don't know why I get angry. But if I would have shown much earlier that I don't want to do/be what they want and by showing who I really am, then they can take my real me into account and that would please them much more then trying to please them by changing who I am.
     
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  18. SamE

    SamE Community Member

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    How does your type affect the way you approach relationships?
    Analytically it would seem. As I was talking to my Naturopath that I'm going through a strange run in the last few months. I wondered why I can be naturally myself around her, her being pretty and taken haha probably helps. She let me talk through a lot of what was going on with me today, went over as it always does, shes amazing like that. As I started talking to her about how energy manifests in positive ways then synchronicity happens faster, when the energy is positive options open up to many roads and you tend to start seeing clearly. For now, with my life patterns generating negetive experiences it has been quite difficult to move away from it and find myself again. And I feel more than a bit lost, floating around rather than being grounded. And this goes without saying my approach haha I wish I knew, I wish I knew, if I have any is to restore my health and working life so I can be attractive. And a biggie has been to distance myself from my self destructive family. I certainly speculate far too much rather than action. You know, keen senses of going out there and such, with my interpersonal ability and communication reserved and somewhat shut down for health reasons I am learning that being an observer is okay. However being a participant in life is much better.

    How does type affect your level or depth of feeling or attachment in relationships?
    This is something I would answer if I could, actually I can in some ways. I've been talking to an infp girl for a year and the intensity was profound, of course this was online, but anyway. The connection seemed so incredible that we connected on pretty much every level. Nothing like this has happened, while this I wanted more I knew it was to be a deep friendship. We shared so much, until well we drifted where she hardly says much and I talk and know that it is unlikely that the connection, the depth I have felt and I know she has, she mentioned at such a deeper spiritual, emotional, intellectual and health level that it was astonishing. Of course in hindsight and I said this to her, she was listening to my emotional guidance system at play where I expressed myself in a place of safety. And it was except I realised I was expressing stress as I was moving up the emotional scale of acceptance. And I may have left her speechless after last September's esoteric leanings. I wonder whether she'll respond. Either way it is something I will treasure, while hardly based on anything tangible she is a dear friend to me and I've said as much.

    Outside of this hardly anybody else knows me as well as my naturopath and the friend I have communicated with. Well except my communication on forums I'm starting to be myself more and more.

    In every sense of the word I am a closed book or very difficult to read, like lights out, my clairvoyant friends said to me. While growing up I've had only myself to trust and naturally I'd be guarded heaps. After trying a bit of past life regression if there is any merit in it I am understanding more and more why I am so incredibly impersonal with people. And after trying some energy healing my energy has changed for the better.
     
  19. SamE

    SamE Community Member

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    Unsure if that answered much.
     
  20. DefectiveCreative

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    Hmm, let's see...

    Always the persuee, never the pursuer? Check.
    Take ages to open up to people? Check.
    Rubbish at keeping in touch with others? Check.
    Only close to a very small amount of people? Check.
    Need lots of alone time? Check.
    Need relationships to move slowly? Check.
    Don't experience "butterflies/infatuation" until the relationship is already well under way? Check.
    Scared by the idea of people seeing my darker side? Check.

    Damn it all people, get out of my head! :lol:

    I think about the only thing I don't quite relate to is the idealisation of others (especially when they aren't actually available), though I think that's mostly because I'm so aware that it might be going on that I take great pains to avoid doing it.

    One explanation is that it can depend on how confident the INFP in question is feeling. One of the common theories in MBTI is that IN*Ps use their tertiary Si in a comforting role, so when they're feeling down they stop using the future-orientated, novel idea-generating Ne and instead retreat to the more familiar, steady and repetitious world of Si.
     
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