ISTJ relationships may lack the abundance of affection that other personality types may experience, but these relationships remain every bit as meaningful to an ISTJ. This Myers-Briggs persona has the following four defining traits: intuitive, sensing, thinking, and judging. This character is not necessarily the most demonstrative and expressive when it comes to dating and relationships, but they tend to care a great deal, inwardly, when it comes to honor, responsibility, keeping promises, and loyalty to those they love.
This persona is often viewed as a serious and reserved individual. Although not exactly shy, this kind of individual may certainly appear so around strangers. ISTJs are nicknamed “the duty fulfillers” with good reason. These individuals place a lot of value on dependability and firmly aim to be the one that others can turn to with a task knowing that it will be successfully completed. This is the type of individual who would rather stay late at the office finishing off a project than to have to ask for an extension. He or she will not easily be distracted from the task at hand. Consequently, an ISTJ’s amazing work ethic and sense of duty and responsibility often results in being the go-to person when work needs to be done which can also result in being taken advantage of. The ISTJ may struggle to decline because they don’t like to let others down.
“Duty fulfillers” are peace-loving individuals and will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation. These individuals crave security and are always looking for ways to make their lives more dependable and solid. These types of people are also great organizers and often succeed at any task that they set out to tackle. This is the type of person who doesn’t like to stray away from procedure and has a big problem breaking the rules. Their sense of loyalty and honor goes well beyond work and personal goals; this individual views relationships with the same code of ethics. When entering into a relationship, it is a given that this individual intends to be monogamous, faithful, and virtually traditional in most respects. Cheating wouldn’t cross ISTJ’s mind because it blatantly goes against all of his or her beliefs.
The “duty filler” may seem like a strict and boring individual but they also tend to have a quirky sense of humor that most people around them appreciate, especially friends, family members, and acquaintances. This specific persona suffers from the classic struggle of recognizing their own feelings and will find even more difficulty conveying their feelings to others. That being said, ISTJs can “relax” a bit more around those that they really care about and can learn to overcome habitual obstacles in order to have a healthy and successful relationship. Maturity comes naturally to a “duty fulfiller,” so it is certainly within their ability to learn to be more forthcoming with their feelings. ISTJs are slower to pick up on the feelings of others, however learning to pay special attention to peoples’ body language and facial expressions can help tune-up this individual’s ability to read emotions. Having said that, the “duty fulfiller” will probably never be as adept as intuitive personalities when it comes to sensing the emotions of others.
ISTJ relationships often start out very conservative. “Duty fulfillers” aren’t big fans of grand or mushy displays of affection and can sometimes be uncomfortable with public displays of affection, especially in the early stage of a relationship. This person brings a rational approach to almost every situation, and that includes romantic endeavors. They are unlikely to pursue a relationship with someone that they feel is too much their polar opposite, although this type of relationship pairing is not completely unheard-of with ISTJ personalities. These individuals are happy to have a definitive role in the relationship – one that they can approach with their systematic form of execution. This individual likes to know what is expected of them so that they can meet the expectations of their partner. Contrary to what one might initially believe about the ISTJ persona, this kind of individual cares a lot about balance within a relationship and will strive to ensure that their partner is happy and well cared-for.
ISTJ individuals can be stubborn because they tend to feel that their methodical and structured approach is always right. They have a strong desire to succeed which can bleed off into the relationship. For instance, an argument with a partner may be viewed as a challenge and although ISTJ may win the debate, he or she may be immediately oblivious to what that victory has cost them and the affect that it could have on the relationship. This kind of tunnel-vision can be very difficult for a “duty fulfiller” to overcome, so a laid-back partner who can overlook stubbornness and who isn’t easily baited into an argument would definitely be beneficial for this type of personality.
Compatible Personality Types
Two personalities that can complement the ISTJ persona are the ESTP (extraverted, sensing, thinking, perceiving) and ESFP (extraverted, sensing, feeling, perceiving). These extravert personalities will have more skill at gently getting under the many folds within the “duty fulfiller’s” personality. Their personable character makes them easy to talk to which is a bonus where introverts are concerned. Other sensing personalities do very well with the ISTJ because they can better appreciate this individual’s impulse to go off of reality and facts rather than feelings and intuition, which can seem completely impractical to this character. Ideally, an ESFP partner should have a well-developed feeling trait and the maturity to understand that while they want to be emotionally supported by their partner, the introverted sensing character is not easily going to be able to fulfill this need.
Where ISTJ’s judging trait makes them a great decision-maker and instills a yearning for order, perceiving personalities prefer to sit back and absorb information and lead a flexible lifestyle. This is a great match for the “duty filler” because this kind of character will be less likely to fret over stubbornness and their easy-going persona enables them to be receptive to new information – which the ISTJ has a lot of!
Relationship Guidance for the ISTJ
You have probably discovered that relationships haven’t exactly been abundant in your lifetime, and you’re probably okay with this. You’re a method-driven individual who is capable of being happy in your own stable environment. That being said, you’re not opposed to having a partner to share your life with. Where relationships are concerned, you’re definitely looking for something committed and would never be happy in an “open relationship.” You take your role as a partner very seriously and want to see that your relationship has a happy balance that leaves both you and your companion feeling secure and content.
You have a tendency to collect facts which, in most cases, serves you well. This can cause you to appear as a “know it all” and you probably do tend to feel that you are right about most things. In a relationship, this kind of stubbornness can cause your companion to feel like his or her feelings and opinions do not matter. You’re great at learning and have the maturity necessary to train yourself to pause your analytical mind long enough to hear your partner’s side of things. Learning to listen and seriously consider your companion’s ideas will help to enforce the sense of “balance” in the relationship that you strive to provide. Your significant other’s happiness matters to you and your willingness to overcome your natural personality obstacles will show how much you really care about your companion and your relationship.
Opening up is going to be a challenge for you, but it will eventually have to happen if your relationship is going to evolve and grow into something long-lasting. Try starting with the traditional aspects of your personality, as this makes up a great deal of who you are and this type of information is a little easier to share with others. For instance, try talking about how you like to cook, your interest in computers, or places you’d like to visit someday. Indulge yourself by offering to plan the next date. Use this opportunity to share more information about yourself. For instance, take a positive spin on your thriftiness by hitting up some of your favorite thrift or discount stores together or enjoy a self-prepared picnic. These tidbits of information aren’t exactly Earth-shaking but your significant other will appreciate your effort and the glimpse that you’ve given them behind your outer shell.
Tips for Dating an ISTJ Personality
Initially, you will have to have patience when pursuing this type of personality. These duty-bound individuals are essentially introverts and do not willingly offer up oodles of personal information. Getting them to express their feelings is even more difficult. Pressuring your partner will only result in you being pushed away and frequent attempts to get your significant other to “open up” will likely stir up a protective instinct that could doom the relationship before it has really had a chance to develop. Over time your companion will feel more comfortable divulging information about their past, present, and hopes for the future, but you should be aware that they will always find it difficult to be in-touch with their feelings (and yours), as their nature is primarily based in facts, reality, and practicality.
This particular persona craves order in their surroundings and you may find that they become restless when the house becomes messy or their schedule doesn’t pan-out the way they had planned. Cut your partner some slack by tidying up whenever you can and keeping surprise ventures to a minimum. Your ISTJ would much rather you sit down and discuss your plans with him or her so that they have plenty of time to arrange their schedule. It is also worth remembering that as an introvert, your companion will most likely feel drained after social interactions. If you’re planning something big, like a party or a gathering in which your companion will be meeting a lot of strangers, consider giving your loved one some advanced notice so that they can mentally prepare for the experience.
Your little “know it all” may have thrifty tendencies that can come off as downright stingy to someone who likes to splurge now and then. Spending money (especially large quantities) on unnecessary things could throw your partner into a tizzy, so try to keep expenditures of this nature down to a minimum. Your partner is completely open to criticism that can positive affect the way they “work,” so don’t be afraid to make some well-placed suggestions now and then. Be sure not to take an accusatory tone; try to make any criticisms healthy and appropriate.
Essentially, your partner can be a very caring and protective individual but funneling these feelings into words isn’t a scenario that will happen often. Instead, try to pay attention to your significant other’s actions, as these will speak loudest regarding their feelings for you. If you feel the need to be more vocal about your feelings, feel free to do so but don’t expect your partner to give a profound reaction. It isn’t that your expressions are not appreciated, your companion just prefers to be sponge-like in this regard (gathering the information, analyzing it, and storing it away in their fact-absorbing brain).