Of all the personality types, INTPs are likely to have the most trouble with romantic relationships. Their overly rational minds just don’t seem to have the same emotional needs that most personality types have, which can make them question why they need a relationship at all. But in the right relationships, INTPs can thrive, grow and learn more about themselves and the world. And because they’re so focused on self-development, these benefits are extremely attractive to this logical, rational personality type.
Romantic Relationship Expectations
INTPs need their partner to be able to match them on an intellectual level. This personality type is so cerebral that they have little interest in an emotional connection, preferring to bond based on discussion and debate. And they will expect their partner to be able to challenge them in these arenas. The INTPs dislike of emotions, and dismissal of the emotional components of a romantic connection, can sometimes act as an impediment to their romantic relationships. For INTPs, extraverted feeling is their inferior function. This means they naturally have very little skill or interest in this area, and may actually fear their emotions. INTPs emotions usually come out only in times of stress, and typically in the form of outbursts they can’t control or explain. And their partners will need to be very understanding to help them overcome this kind of emotional blindness.
Because of the INTPs emotional blindness, they’re unlike to express their emotions verbally, through casual physical contact, or by bringing gifts to their partner. This is a problem because they may not notice if their partner needs them to express their emotions in these ways. INTPs are much more likely to want to spend quality time with their partner and express their emotions by listening closely to their ideas and opinions than by any other way.
Meeting Potential Partners
INTPs usually don’t like social situations. They’re more likely to be at home, studying something they find fascinating, and being in a crowd of people isn’t one of those things. This can limit their chances of finding potential partners, because the INTP is often perfectly content spending most of their time at home. In fact, they’re likely to really need that time alone, because spending time with people during the day at work tires them out. For all these reasons, the INTP is most likely to meet a potential partner through their work or during the regular course of their day. And it’s only over time that the INTP will decide they’re interested in the other person as more than an acquaintance.
The INTP in the Honeymoon Stage
In the honeymoon stage INTPs will usually be slow to reveal themselves. They’re naturally shy people and have a strong tendency to keep to themselves. So the idea of opening up to another person, a virtual stranger, can be very difficult. But if they’re determined, the INTP will apply themselves to the relationship with remarkable determination. Their natural honesty and directness will help their partner to understand where they’re coming from and also make their expectations and hopes for the relationship clear. INTPs believe that they have to connect on an intellectual level, understand each other’s mind, to have a good relationship and they’ll work hard to that end.
Moving out of the Honeymoon Stage
As the relationship goes on and the INTP becomes more stable and secure in the relationship they’ll continue to work to keep their partner happy. Their ways of doing this might not always be effective, usually because of their difficulty with emotions, but the intention will be there and that definitely counts for something. INTPS don’t actually need a lot from their relationships. They have very few emotional needs and don’t always understand why they would ever need emotional support. This may also go the other way as well, with some INTPs finding it difficult to give emotional support versus the practical, rational advice they prefer.
INTPs don’t usually try to avoid conflict, but they may have trouble resolving it. They prefer rational, practical approaches to problems. Unfortunately, that doesn’t usually help if the problem is based on emotions. And an INTP who offers their reasonable sounding suggestions to their upset partner will realize very quickly that they’ve done the wrong thing, but not always understand why. The partner of an INTP will need to be understanding when this happens, as the INTP truly won’t understand what’s wrong with their solution.
The INTPs Perfect Partner
Like most intuitive types, INTPs prefer to form romantic relationships with other intuitive types. This allows them to have debates on a range of topics and ideas without having to relate them to the real world. 1 This is even more important for the INTP than it is for most other intuitive types. INTPs often really dislike small talk and concrete topics, and will have trouble connecting to types who prefer not to communicate the same way they do. INTPs also enjoy romantic relationship with other thinkers, as it gives their connection the rational basis that INTPs understand and prefer.
However, a relationship with a feeler type will offer great benefits to INTPs, even if they find their partner more difficult to understand. Because INTPs are so blind to emotions, they can benefit from a partner who is much more adept with feelings and can teach them by example how to classify and control their emotions under stress and in normal situations. This type of relationship will push the INTP right out of their comfort zone, and they can offer their partner a balanced, rational viewpoint in return.
INTPs may have trouble with relationships, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a romantic relationship. They just look for different things than most people, and have little interest in many of the emotional reasons people like to be in relationships. INTPs need an intellectual partner, someone who can challenge their minds and encourage them to be more. And along the way, if their partner can teach them more about their emotions, it’s well worth the trouble for both parties.
- Storm Susan. “How Do YOU Use Extraverted Feeling?“. Dec 17, 2015. (Retrieved Jan 2018).
- “Energy: Intuitive vs. Observant“. 2016. (Retrieved Jan 2018).
- “INTP – The Scientist“.
- Types who use the sensing functions, introverted or extraverted sensing, obviously can talk about ideas as well but they prefer ideas that are practical, and can be experienced, used or tested in the real world. The INTP really doesn’t care about whether the ideas work, they’re fascinated by the theory of them.