INTJS are a rare type, and they’re more often thought of in connection with taking over the world then in relationships in many MBTI circles. But INTJs seek long term, happy relationships the same as any other personality type. They just do it a little differently than most people.
Romantic Relationship Expectations
Despite their overly rational nature, INTJs are also idealistic perfectionists. This can be a major problem when it comes to relationships. An INTJ will go into a new relationship with a clear fantasy of how the relationship will be, and will become bitterly disappointed when that fantasy is shattered. But real life isn’t a story, and no one is perfect. This will often lead to the INTJ being disappointed again and again until they realize that it’s their own expectations that are causing their pain. INTJs need to learn to ease up on the people around them, and on themselves, and to accept that nothing and nobody can ever be perfect.
As a running theme, INTJs aren’t very good with emotions. They don’t trust them or like them, and won’t have a lot of patience with a partner who has emotional outbursts on a regular basis. In fact, they’ll probably just walk away if this happens too often. INTJs also don’t have too many emotional needs in a relationship. They don’t see the point of emotional support or validation most of the time, and so will struggle to give it as well. This can leave their partner feeling very abandoned and unloved, when the INTJ really just has no idea of how to help. INTJs are more likely to show their affection through spending quality time with their partner or doing things for them. Overly emotional displays just aren’t on their radar.
Meeting Potential Partners
INTJs are probably the most solitary of the personality types. They just don’t have a lot of the social needs of other types and they need a lot of alone time, even more than other introverts. This can result in INTJs becoming very isolated. Even if they think otherwise at some points in their lives, INTJs do still need social contact. It’s just that they often find it difficult to balance their need for contact with their need to be alone.
This combination can make it difficult for INTJs to meet potential partners. They usually hate parties and other crowded social gatherings, couldn’t think of anything worse than a blind date situation, and tend to spend their nights alone and recovering from the social interactions of the day. INTJs are much more likely to meet a potential partner through the course of their work, which allows them ample time to get to know the other person and assess them as a potential partner.
INTJs in the Honeymoon Stage
For INTJs, the honeymoon stage should probably be called the testing stage. INTJs are not as emotional as other types and are unlikely to get swept away by the rush and emotion of this part of a relationship. Instead, they’re likely to spend it evaluating and testing the other person. INTJs don’t trust others easily, and anyone who wants to get close to them must be rigorously tested to make sure they’re worth that trust. An INTJ will also spend this time evaluating the new connection, making sure it meets all the needs and wants they have for their relationship. And if it doesn’t, the relationship will probably meet a quick and sad end.
Moving on from the Honeymoon Stage
Once the INTJs relationship moves on from the honeymoon stage, it will actually get smoother. INTJs tend to make an intensive study of the people around them. They notice moods, twitches of expression and reactions to stimuli and carefully put that data into their internal files about that person. All of this information creates patterns about that person that they can use to predict future behaviors, reactions and needs. That all might sound a little strange, but it’s what introverted intuition does best, and INTJs lead with that function.
Over time, INTJs who have learned to be good at this natural skill will find that they can predict almost everything their partner does and wants. This can make them very good at meeting the other person’s needs in the relationship, and can make for a fairly smooth time together. Of course, this process isn’t foolproof, and there will be times when the INTJ is distracted or just plain wrong, but generally their intensive study of their partner will help them to keep their relationship stable and happy.
One area in which INTJs will always have trouble is the emotional component of relationships. INTJs just aren’t good with emotions, either their own or other people’s, and have no real interest in getting good with them. They’re more likely to look at emotions with a rational eye, to pick them apart so they lose their power and weight. This might help the INTJ keep control of their emotional states most of the time, which they prefer, but it can seem cold to other types and even hurtful.
The INTJs Perfect Partners
INTJs almost always pair up with another intuitive type. This personality type needs intuitive conversation even more than most of the other personality types that use an intuitive function and learning style. Without this shared intuitive function, whether it be introverted or extraverted intuition, the INTJ can’t have the deep conversations that they use to bond and to understand their partner. And INTJs have a lot of trouble feeling connected without these types of exchanges.
INTJs also work well with both thinking and feeling types. With thinking types, people who use extraverted or introverted thinking as a dominant or auxiliary, the INTJ shares a similarity of thought that makes their exchanges easy and straightforward. And the shared discomfort with emotions can also be comforting. However, pairing with a feeler type can be very beneficial for an INTJ. People who use introverted or extraverted feeling as a dominant or auxiliary can teach INTJs a lot and make them better partners and better people in the long term. And isn’t this what the best relationships do?
When INTJs are ready for a long term relationship they go about it in a systematic, organized way that reflects the way they do everything. This measured, reasoned approach may seem a little cold to other types, but to the INTJ it makes sense. After all, if you don’t know what you really want, how are you going to get it? In a relationship, INTJs are loyal partners who work to keep the relationship happy and their partner happy with the same organized calm, and this can bring them very healthy, solid relationships that are designed to fulfil all of their needs.
- Dr. Drenth A. J. “Introverted Intuition (Ni)“. (Retrieved Jan 2018).
- “Introverted Intuition vs Extraverted Intuition (podcast)“. Sep 8, 2014. (Retrieved Jan 2018).
- “INTJ – The Mastermind“.
INTJ ADVICE PLEASE…
Every article, blog, book, INTJ person, etc. says give an INTJ space but for how long?
I’ve been in a serious relationship (long distance) with an INTJ for 6 months now who suddenly told me he was depressed and doesn’t know why, having major anxiety, completely withdrew, and barely communicates with me.
This has been been going on for about a month now… texts once a day (if I’m lucky) and doesn’t want to see me.
Prior to his sudden depression, we face-timed everyday in addition to texting throughout the day, and saw each other every week. We have had no major fights which is why I’m completely lost with how long do I wait for him and give him his space and continue to be ignored? I basically feel like I’m single again. I have expressed this with him as well.
I’ve sent care packages of his favorite snacks, DIY man craft kit, and small texts to let him know I’m here for him. I’m not super needy, overly understanding, and have been very respectful with giving him space. One day when I was incredibly lucky, he called me for a short chat and I calmly asked him to please be honest if he still wanted to be with me and his response was yes. He still calls me his love/babe and will text I love you every once in a while, but his actions are anything but that.
He even said many times in the past, I’m the only one for him, he can’t wait to marry me, and actually insisted on meeting my parents very early on as well as flying me out to meet his too.
I’m deeply hurt by him ignoring me while knowing this is difficult for me too. He just keeps saying “sorry, I know you’re frustrated and how hard this is on you” but has done nothing to change.
At this point, how much more time and space do I give my boyfriend especially if we’re already 4 hours apart and have zero communication?
I would rather him end it with me than wait for him only to possibly have him leave me down the road (?).
Some other information:
He moved to a new state when we started dating (back in Jan.), he also experienced a traumatic/unexpected divorce like me which is what emotionally connected us instantly on eharmony, and he started a new career while going to school (he’s a private pilot), but took a full year off from work after his divorce.
We are both in our 30’s (I’m 32, he’s 35) and I’m an ISFJ.
Honestly, you’re coming off as more self-centered than understanding. Do you not get what being depressed and having anxiety mean? All you’re thinking about is you when he clearly has some serious issues.
Yeah, he’s not in the mental and emotional space to give you what you need in a relationship, which means he does not need to be in a relationship. He needs help, and you should be encouraging that, not crying and whining about yourself. And you can break up with him, but you’ll seem like a bitch while probably worsening his depression and anxiety. This is not something he’s just going to snap out of and suddenly start being attentive towards you.
The problem here is that you don’t really understand what he’s dealing with, not how long should you be giving him space. Read up on depression and anxiety so that you can understand more about them in the context of your relationship. Research what he needs as someone who is suffering from these conditions.
INTJ Lady says
Why are you waiting for him to end it with you?
If he’s suffering from anxiety and depression severe enough for him to not be able to communicate with you on a regular basis, he needs to deal with that immediately through medication, therapy, or both. It sounds like this was very sudden, and if I’m being completely honest, I do not believe his story one bit.
My advice would be to offer him support, as a friend. At this point you’re obviously unhappy in the relationship and he seems unwilling to do much to change that, so it’s up to you. I think you deserve better, and you’re not going to find it if you let yourself sit around and wait for him to make a decision.
Source: an INTJ female who has dealt with her own anxiety, depression, and relationships where the other person was not interested in dealing with their anxiety and depression.
End it. Being an already nearly emotionless person if he isn’t making any effort he has lost interest. Because their way of getting your attention isn’t by emotion but by conversation. When I like a guy I’m talkative and bubbly when I’m no longer interested I stop messaging. I try to have the decency to say “it’s not you! It’s me.” If he can’t then he might see you as pretty emotional and it would be easier for him to just stop conversation until you loose interest.
As an INTJ male I recognise what he is doing. You have upset him by doing something that you probably don’t even realise has had an effect on him.
He is now reevaluating your relationship and is trying to process what is the best course of action.
From what I know about ISFJs and INTJs, from the INTJ standpoint this can be a difficult relationship because an INTJ needs intuitive deep conversations. Maybe he isn’t getting that need fulfilled. If he is then maybe it is something you have said or done that does not align with his core values.
I’ve completely detached from ISFJs in the past for a couple of weeks because if not I would be unable to control my emotions which were negative and would be harmful to the ISFJ. I got it in my head that the ISFJ was disrespecting me at every encounter because of the way she spoke to me. It took me two weeks to speak with her again. I blamed it on being depressed.
Maybe he is doing something similar?
Best thing to do is not ask him if he wants to end it with you because he’s not made a decision yet. Best thing to do is give him space and time and be really kind to him. At least that way he will see that you do care about him and whatever it was that has been bugging him will slowly go away.
Anyway that’s just my take on it. There are lots of possibilities.
Intj female says
I’m an INTJ female and his act is familiar to me. He is re evaluating your relationship. Probably you have done something he doesn’t like. If you will give him a space for reevaluation, either he will break up with you or will never act this way again. If you will keep connected (not giving a space) your relationship will continue this way-you will be frequently ignored.It will slow his re-evaluation.
OP srivastava says
We as married couples
Gent intj have class
To an INTJ these are contradictory situations: “I’ve sent care packages of his favorite snacks, DIY man craft kit, and small texts to let him know I’m here for him. I’m not super needy, overly understanding, and have been very respectful with giving him space.”
Yes, you are (super needy to an INTJ) and no, you’re not (giving him space for an INTJ). Hounding an INTJ will makes us want to join a witness protection program and given our smarts, not too hard for us to do.
If someone did that to me, as an INTJ, I would pitch all of your sent goods and texts directly into the trash or leave them without a note on my neighbor’s doorstep.
I agree. You’ve done something to get under this guy’s skin and he isn’t yet willing to talk to you about it. Leave him alone. You already have a long-distance relationship (a dream for an INTJ). If he is interested, he’ll come back, and most likely tell you about the problem on his terms. But, nothing you do, will force him to do that.
Trust me. The fastest way to send an INTJ running permanently in the other direction is to stalk them.
Upside: Once dedicated, we are the most loyal, thoughtful, caring, understanding people in the world. Once you have our respect, trust, and love (in that order), we’ll be yours forever so long as you don’t violate any one of those commitments.
Sounds like he might be projecting his failure to see his failed marriage ending in divorce onto you. His way of self protection is to limit contact with you so that he can maintain a sense of order and predictability. Any kind gestures you have done for him are seen through his lens of depression, so don’t take it personally. Until he’s had time to process his life back into a state of confidence and stability, he’s not going to be much good for the relationship. I’d suggest telling him that you’re going to cut contact to enable no additional emotional distractions or stress in his life, and that once he’s ready to get back in touch if he wants. But also that you’re getting on with your life too and open to meeting new guys. That way, he’s not feeling like he owes you time whilst not being able to be fully the man he knows he can be.
The problem here is location. You are separated. His Se needs real-time in person sensory interaction with you for a long period of time for you to
gain meaning to him via his Ni. Then you know you got something. Without real-time in person Se interaction with you he will drift into his own world
and you will become less real. Texting time, face time, phone calls aren’t enough. Many INTJs hate the phone and texting so that’s probably not helping the situation much either. Also, he doesn’t use Si like ISFJs do so memories of sensory experiences with you won’t count for as much as they do for you. Si for him is his 8th function. -INTJ