For some personality types, relationships can come about quite easily; but for an INFJ, relationships can be significantly more difficult to initiate and traverse. This particular Myers-Briggs personality type is defined as being introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging. INFJ is a rare but intriguing personality to come across and even more unusual to find in the male gender. In fact, it is estimated that only about one to three percent of the population exhibits INFJ. When it comes to dating and relationships, INFJ individuals have their work cut out – as does a prospective partner of this personality type.
The standard traits of INFJ individuals (introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging) create only a basic template for this personality. The nickname for this type of disposition is “The Protector.” Being an observant and compassionate soul, individuals with this kind of persona will go to great lengths to avoid hurting or upsetting others and are very protective of those they care about. Although easy to approach due to their warmth and gentility, “protectors” are also perfectionists who strive to create order and flawlessness in their worlds. This character type tends to be very creative and artistic, especially in the field of writing due to their profound understanding of emotion and keen eye for detail. Being an INFJ is as close as a human might come to being empathic. This kind of individual is sensitive, perceptive, and highly likely to stick with a gut instinct about a person or situation; and their instincts are usually right. As prone as this character is to picking up on others’ feelings, intentions, and general personality traits, this particular individual will be less likely to offer up their own feelings and may be accused of “holding back” in their relationships, primarily romantic ones.
Their penchant for self-reliance can be an issue, especially in a relationship. An INFJ is so used to relying on his or her own instincts (using the “I’m always right” justification) that they may have a tendency to dismiss others’ opinions, sometimes even before they have a chance to listen to the other party. This can be exceptionally problematic when a partner picks up on this unbalance and questions his or her value in the relationship. Their natural attention to detail and perfectionism leads to less fun in a teamwork situation. In fact, INFJs often prefer to work alone because, in their opinion, that’s the only way that everything will be done to their high standard. In a relationship, this persona may become annoyed with a partner who introduces chaos to their carefully crafted environment. Turning the tables, INFJs can irritate partners by frequently striving for perfection which often overflows into the relationship itself. A “protector” can be controlling in that he or she takes to planning and organizing well in advance and will often make decisions single-handedly. This stubborn character will frequently reassess the priorities in their life to ensure that they live up to their full potential, though rarely will they feel as though they have achieved this high goal.
For the right partner, a “protector” can make a wonderful spouse and parent. Although easily able to move on past a relationship that clearly is not working, this individual will be completely devoted to the right person and is most likely in search of a long-term relationship. The “protector” is very gentle and makes a good listener. Their trustworthy intuition can also be a wonderful trait for an individual who needs/appreciates the reassurance that INFJ individuals can provide. A relationship with a protective personality like this can feel one-sided because the “protector” takes charge and often makes decisions without consulting others. They also show so much interest in others’ feelings, concerns, and desires yet they rarely share their own. Although seeming to always be the rock-like force for others to confide in, “protectors” are easily hurt (likely due to the fact that it takes a lot of time and trust to share their inner selves with others).
An individual who seeks a well-organized and closely-knit family would do well to partner up with an INFJ. This personality will usually have very close, loving, and nurturing relationships with their children as well as their spouse. Although idealistic and reserved, this persona has strong values that will not easily be tossed aside. This trait, paired with a constant need to think and plan towards the future, can make for a steady and reliable partner and future parent.
Compatible Personality Types
There are four primary Myers-Briggs personalities that seem to get along best in INFJ relationships. One such personality is the ENFP (extravert, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving). This personality shares intuitiveness yet the extravert trait is a nice complement to the “protector” persona. ENTP (extravert, intuitive, thinking, perceiving) is another personality type that gets along well with the INFJ for the same reasons. INTJ (introvert, intuitive, thinking, judging) displays many of the primary personality traits as the INFJ and will likely be more understanding and accepting of an INFJ’s “ways.” By the same logic, the fourth most suitable personality type is another INFJ.
Relationship Guidance for the INFJ
Traditionally, this persona finds it difficult to initiate relationships which can result in very few serious relationships and long bouts of loneliness. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll know that this scenario is usually related to the difficulty you have sharing your inner self and your deep-seated need to put others’ happiness before your own. Once you snag the attention of a potential partner, your compassionate and easy-to-approach nature often helps to bring them in for closer scrutiny. One who passes the test, so to speak, will likely cause you to bend over backwards (of your own accord) to see them happy. Just remember that your own strong desire to please a partner shouldn’t outweigh your own desires and values.
As a “protector,” it can be difficult to push aside your instincts and listen to the views of your significant other, especially if you truly feel that you are right. Even the most laid-back partner will appreciate having his or her opinion listened to and considered seriously. Your desire to jump into planning-mode may also make a potential partner uneasy. While this particular trait may be seemingly impossible to ignore, consider a compromise in which you can kick-start a bit of early planning yet hold off on any decision-making until you’ve had a chance to discuss options with your significant other. This is paramount in any situation that affects your partner and/or your relationship.
Tips for Dating an INFJ Personality
A prospective partner needs to understand the INFJ’s need to take it slowly when revealing their inner self. It can be difficult to be around someone who so easily seems to understand you, especially when they give so little back in the way of opening up. Patience and an appreciation for your INFJ’s passionate and enthusiastic nature will go a long way in the relationship. Eventually you will crack the stubborn shell of your “protector” and get to know the creative, sensitive, and compassionate soul that lies beneath. You will find that your INFJ partner has high expectations of you. For the most part, these will be reasonable expectations but don’t be afraid to speak up if you begin to feel that your partner is laying the pressure on too thickly. If you begin to feel overwhelmed with your significant other’s need to seek control, take the chance to gently remind your partner that you deserve to have your opinions and thoughts heard. Ultimately, don’t take your partner’s feelings about you lightly; if they are willing to stick around then you should know that they genuinely care for you and will eventually let you through each layer of their being.
Your INFJ partner easily picks up on the moods of others around them and often seeks a way to make everyone happy. This can be exhausting for your companion, so respect their inevitable need to “recharge” after a social situation. Some quiet time at home will usually do the trick. Although your partner may appear to be a social butterfly, remember that at heart he or she will struggle to divulge their own feelings to others, even your friends; so don’t be too upset if your partner doesn’t instantly open up to your pals. Also, too much spontaneity and impulsiveness can send up a red flag to your partner, making it difficult for them to view you as a stable, long-term partner. Ultimately, this may lead to an inadvertent relationship sabotage.