For an INFP, relationships may be less numerous but those that are formed are often long-lasting. This Myers-Briggs personality is defined as primarily being introverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving, although this description really only scratches the surface of this character. An estimated four to five percent of the population has the INFP personality. Although there is a fairly balanced ratio of males and females with this character, it does seem that this persona appears slightly more often in males.
The INFP, or “Idealist,” is a character that has a very active imagination. They tend to not only see the best in the people around them, but they may also be led to imagining characteristics and motives in others that simply aren’t there. Much like the INFJ, INFPs really dislike conflict and will go to great lengths to avoid an argument and see that everyone is happy. When a conflict does arise, this persona may have a profound emotional reaction. To outsiders, the outburst can see over the top and absurd, but the INFP has a very “internal” thought process in which they struggle to see the logical or factual side of things. They often go by their feelings rather than what science, facts, or logic suggests. Most individuals with this type of personality do not really care if their opinion is right, they simply care about how a situation or a person makes them feel. That is not to say that these individuals cannot be logical – they can, quite successfully, with self-training and abstract thought practices.
Aside from being introverted and internal, “idealists” can be very laid-back and intuitive of those around them. They can get a pretty good sense about a person’s true self (including motives) and are very thoughtful of their findings. INFPs make great listeners and because they are usually non-judgmental they are often sought out by friends who need to vent. This sort of individual may look for hidden meanings in the actions and words of others and may even go so far as to imagine a meaning where none lies. This is simply a result of the dreamer aspect of this personality shining through.
INFPs tend to be perfectionists and often strive to reach personal ideals that can be exhausting or even impossible to obtain. Teamwork is a difficult scenario for this person to be in because they often have higher goals or expectations for the project than the other team members; this can cause an INFP to come off as a control freak. In a relationship, this persona will be looking for inspiration, stimulation, and passion. They feed off of the emotions that others can generation within them. Although this type of individual may have difficulty expression his or her feelings through words, INFPs are great at writing down their feelings. Due to his or her keenly developed imagination, one such as this would likely make an excellent author.
This is the type of individual that dreams of long-lasting love and finding the perfect relationship. In some cases, an INFP may be prone to seeing traits in a prospective partner or in their current partner that aren’t really there. This occurs as a result of the INFP’s tendency to live in a dreamy, fantasy-like world of their own. A mature individual can train his or her self to acknowledge this tendency and to restrain the impulses triggered by it. If not, the INFP individual may place their partner on a pedestal and overlook obvious problems in the relationship. As this type of persona is extremely loyal to and trusting of their partner, it isn’t unheard of that an individual will remain in a bad or unhealthy relationship because of the idealistic fantasy that they have created. The desire to avoid conflict may be another contributing factor for staying in a relationship that isn’t working.
This type of individual will be seeking a lifelong relationship – someone they can envision growing old with. As an INFP, this isn’t hard to imagine. Few people with this character engage in meaningless, one-off, or purely physical relationships because the need to connect with that special someone and to make them happy is just too strong to ignore. Although shy at first, the INFP will gradually open up to their partner and become more comfortable divulging personal information and feelings, although this can take months or even years.
This personality has a driving need to satisfy his or her partner and make them content. The “idealist” will be most happy in a relationship that always has something new and intriguing popping up. This character does not like mundane, everyday life and will easily become bored without some excitement or new experiences to jazz-up the relationship. The partner of this persona will need to be prepared to take on the more ordinary tasks that life requires, such as paying bills, running errands, and tidying the house. INFPs can perform these tasks very well when necessary but would not be happy to regularly assume this type of role. On a long-term scale, one could expect their INFP partner to be a great parent. For most individuals with this personality, parenting comes naturally because it is viewed as an opportunity to frequently evaluate what’s important in life and to pass on some values that are close to the individual’s heart. With a keen sense of what others are feeling, an INFP will likely understand and respect their children’s need for space and independence.
Compatible Personality Types
INFPs tend to get along best with other intuitive personalities such as ENFJ (extraverted, intuitive, feeling, judging) and ENTJ (extraverted, intuitive, thinking, judging). These personalities exhibit a dominant intuitive trait that will enable them to better understand their INFP partner. These personalities also seem to have a higher satisfaction rate with “idealists” because their extraverted nature acts as a complement to the introverted idealist. Extraverts are more likely to initiate relationships and can compensate for the idealist’s shyness.
Other introverted intuitive personalities, such as INTP (introverted, intuitive, thinking, perceiving), INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging), INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging), and other INFPs may have a better understanding of the idealist’s personality but because all of these personalities are also introverted and prone to shyness it can often be difficult for these personalities to form a bond if neither individual is willing to make the first move. Although do-able, these types of relationships will often require much more time for a real bond to develop.
Relationship Guidance for the INFP
INFP relationships can be extremely fulfilling and long lasting. If your character falls into this category then you may be struggling or have struggled in the past to find a partner who really catches your attention. It isn’t enough for you to have an interest in someone – the right partner needs to really stand out from the crowd in order to capture your intrigue. Your laid-back personality and the ease with which others can confide in you means that you might have a lot of acquaintances, but your inability to openly share yourself with others can hinder you from finding the perfect relationship that you so dream of.
Your well-rounded imagination may easily go into overdrive and this can be a big problem for you when it comes to relationships. It is important to acknowledge the fact that you tend to see qualities in others or hidden meanings in their actions that may not be there. With some self-restraint and a dash of maturity you can train yourself to hold back this instinct. This will be one of your greater obstacles but it is necessary in order to help you discard the rose-colored glasses and see your partner for who he or she really is. This will also prevent you from landing yourself in a bad or incompatible relationship. Although it can be easy to regress into your imagination in order to live out the perfect relationship, remember that you can find happiness with a real individual.
Tips for Dating and INFP Personality
Catching the attention of an “idealist” isn’t easy. You will have to show right from the beginning that you’re a unique individual who can stand out amongst the rest. Remember not to brag or fudge the truth when getting to know an INFP – they can see right through it and this kind of action will serve as a huge red flag against you. Your INFP partner has a desire to keep things interesting and in order for this to happen you will have to be willing to slacken the reins and allow your partner to keep things interesting in his or her own way. In addition to this, you will also need to throw your own effort into trying new things, suggesting new activities, bringing home an occasional surprise, and also picking up the slack in everyday activities that are too mundane for your partner to complete all the time.
Contrary to your INFP’s perfectionist tendencies, you may find that he or she has trouble keeping their personal space clean. This could be a car, hobby room, bedroom, or even an entire house – basically any space that serves as their “private place” where they can completely unwind and recharge after social activity. Don’t be too pushy regarding this area as your partner may feel you are trying to trespass into an area that is very special to them.
Remember that your partner’s inner self contains many layers. You will have to show gentility and patience in order to access a new layer and in most cases it will be a lengthy process. Don’t expect to know all of the ins and outs of your partner overnight. Prying will only cause your partner to clam up even tighter. INFPs are often much more capable at expressing themselves through the written word. If you have trouble getting your significant other to open up, consider asking if he or she would be willing to write letters or create a journal to which you are granted access. If you’ve known your INFP for a while, you may have noticed that they can become very emotional when something upsets or impassions them. In times like this you will need to be the kind but truthful voice of reason, especially in a serious situation where your partner is completely failing to see logic. Your significant other will likely balk during a crisis, in which case you will need to be the dependable one.