For an ISTP, relationships are best formed on a day-by-day basis. This Myers-Briggs personality is categorized as being introverted, sensing, thinking, and perceiving. These individuals aren’t usually looking for a long-term relationship; in fact, they are perfectly happy to lie back and see what each day brings. This sort of character performs best in a short-term scope and can become unhappy if they are pressured to make a decision involving a longstanding commitment.
The ISTP character has a keen interest in learning how and why things work the way that they do. As a result, this personality has been nicknamed the “mechanic.” This persona makes up about five percent of the population. Introversion is the dominant trait in this persona which means that this type of person primarily pays attention to what goes on around them and then focuses on the gathered information internally using a logical thought process. The “mechanic” is usually more content watching people than interacting with them. Others might view this individual as being thoughtful and private. Although most often quiet and rational, the ISTP is a rare creature in the realm of personalities because they have the ability to gather energy in the recesses of their being until they finally explode with a moment of spontaneity and/or emotion – completely contrary to their “normal” persona. For this reason, even a long-term relationship with an ISTP can hold pockets of surprise.
Although the ISTP will likely seem quiet on the outside, this person may actually be a thrill-seeker at heart. Many “mechanics” are enthralled by action and will be drawn to adrenaline-pumping activities such as bungee jumping or sky diving. Not all “mechanics” are adrenaline junkies, but they are much more likely to fulfil the role of a higher risk career such as a pilot or firefighter. This individual’s preference for a laid-back lifestyle ensures that they have plenty of time to try new things. They typically avoid planning and schedules and do not like to be backed into a proverbial corner – although they do tend to perform well when given a deadline.
“Mechanics” are often thought to be unfeeling and unemotional. While it is true that this type of character doesn’t have a strong sense of emotion, they do tend to let emotions build up under the surface. When a situation becomes particularly stressful or if the individual has been subjected to high stress levels for a prolonged period of time, he or she may erupt in an angry or otherwise emotional outburst. Such occurrences are typically rare but will likely crop up enough that friends, family members, and even coworkers will begin to notice the correlation between heightened stress levels and emotional surges in this person. For a mate, this kind of reaction can usually be avoided by easing the general stress level in their partner’s life wherever possible. Whereas stress can trigger fits of anger, this kind of individual can also produce positive “emotional attacks” in which they become exceptionally sweet, romantic, or generous to those close to them.
“Mechanics” typically don’t go off in search of their soul mate or life-long partner. This concept entails far too much emotional investment and future-planning. As mentioned earlier, ISTPs are not ones to plan ahead and would much rather take each day as it occurs. This sort of person is not one to jump into a relationship that would require a great deal of responsibility and maturity, such as a long-distance relationship or one in which a prospective partner has children. To an interested party, ISTP will seem hard to get. Their aura is made up of a mixture of indifference, simplicity, and sensuality which can be very attractive to a prospective mate. Said mate would definitely have to take the “mechanic” at face value because ISTPs do not divulge personal thoughts and feelings easily. “Mechanics” have personal boundaries which they cannot tolerate being trespassed by just anyone. While needing their own space, ISTP is equally willing to respect the personal space and needs of his or her companion.
This individual craves action and can easily become bored. It is important that excitement and new experiences become a common occurrence in the relationship otherwise this person may feel that their life has become too typical and uninteresting. For the most part, ISTP can be counted on to do whatever needs to be done in order to keep the relationship alive and fun, but if they feel that their efforts are for naught then they will quickly move on to a more appealing individual. A suitable mate would need to be willing to put forth their own efforts to keep the relationship fun and engaging and be open to new experiences suggested by ISTP.
Contrary to how cold this character may seem on the outside, they often do feel very intense emotions for those that they care about. ISTP can certainly succumb internally to feelings of passion and consuming love for the right companion. Unfortunately, their difficulty in showing and explaining these feelings can be a disadvantage in a relationship. Even such strong emotions can come with limits where ISTP is concerned. This character lives by the belief that nothing is forever or without limitations. If the “mechanic” becomes unhappy, his or her feelings for their mate can dissipate or be overruled by other needs. If the problems(s) goes unfixed then ISTP will move on. Even where marriage is concerned, the “mechanic” is unlikely to feel that the connection is truly unbreakable until death do part. If things become too intolerable for this individual, divorce would be seen as a viable option to them.
Compatible Personality Types
The most compatible personality types for ISTP are typically ESFJ (extraverted, sensing, feeling, judging) and ESTJ (extraverted, sensing, thinking, judging). Extraverts have a wonderful ability to keep things interesting thanks to their gift of gab and people skills. Both ESFJ and ESTJ are traditional-minded personalities who love to feel as though they belong to something meaningful. Both characters find it easy to participate in new endeavors and are often referred to as “do-ers” – individuals who like to commit to a task and see it through to the end. As with ISTP, ESFJ and ESTJ will do whatever they can to make a relationship work until it is obvious that the connection is not workable.
Where ISTP might falter in the realm of long-term planning and responsibilities, ESFJ and ESTJ can assume the tasks that a “mechanic” partner would overlook or simply be disinterest in. This is actually very symbiotic in a romantic relationship because ESFJs and ESTJs enjoy planning and an ISTP companion would be all too happy to relinquish such duties to their significant other. The similar sense of enthusiasm makes these characters great prospective partners for an ISTP.
Relationship Guidance for the ISTP
As an ISTP you are all about living in the now. Initially, you might feel that your introverted nature causes you to appear cold to those who have just met you, but in reality they probably find your personality intriguing. You seem hard to get and for some individuals you may be viewed as a captivating target worth pursuing. Be sure to keep your sensing nature hard at work when reciprocating the interest of a potential partner. It won’t take long for you to determine whether they are in the market for the one-and-only-Mr./Mrs.-Right or a day-to-day commitment such as yourself.
You are an independent soul and you find it difficult not only to open up to others but also to give in and share your personal space. When attempting to share personal tidbits, try to start out small. Allow your companion to see what you feel comfortable sharing. Don’t allow them to push you too far or you might be tempted to slink back to your inner cave of privacy. You may also begin to sweat if you feel that your companion is laying things on too heavily. A major issue with ISTP relationships arises when a partner attempts to push the “mechanic” into a commitment too early. Be outspoken when it comes to your relationships views. It may be difficult to put your feelings into words, but your willingness to give the relationship your best effort will help you see this task through.
Tips for Dating an ISTP Personality
ISTP relationships require a lot of patience. Your companion has personal space issues that include more than physical space – emotional boundaries are also a big part of the picture. Don’t demand that your partner explain where he or she thinks the relationship is headed; this tactic will only scare them away. If you have a strong need to plan for the future and you aren’t satisfied with being left in the dark about the future of the relationship, an ISTP mate is probably not suitable for you. On the other hand, if you understand your significant other’s need to take things nice and slow then this could be an enjoyable partnership.
If you find yourself becoming wary of your partner’s unpredictable nature, just remember that ISTPs are casual, not unreliable. Don’t worry about your partner bolting at the first sign of trouble. These individuals are excellent problem solvers and are willing to help out those they care about. Give yourself a chance to see your companion’s “perceiving” traits. ISTPs are typically able to overlook mistakes made by companions and the unjudging air in the relationship can be extremely uplifting. This character’s ability to completely shift tactics with a surge of spontaneity can also be refreshing. Just remember to keep yourself open to new experiences and try to enjoy the fun and excitement that ISTP has to offer you.