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  1. #21
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascademn View Post
    I also want to add that one of the reasons I would tend to 'freak out' if someone declared their love for me within a relatively short period (or displayed intense feelings, even without saying the L word) is because I feel like I have a lot of layers/sides, so there's a lot of me that hasn't shone through within the first month or so. Someone loving me after what they've seen in just one month is scary...because I don't feel like they know half of what I'm about by that point, and I don't really consider that 'true love', or genuine love, if it comes out within such a short period of time.
    That's how I felt. It is obviously infatuation. Infatuation isn't bad in itself, though. It's a normal step in the process. Where it goes when it wears off is what matters. It can either fizzle or it can grow into love. A month is too soon to tell which direction it will go most of the time.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #22
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascademn View Post
    So for me it had nothing to do with me seeing him as less of a catch.
    I cannot resist adding that the premise of my view is that women don't understand how they work romantically (though they think they do).

    I propose you attribute my view to projection so we can call it even.

  3. #23
    ~dangerous curves ahead~
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    *lol* This is a derailment, but just wanted to point out about the INFJ genuineness in responding to sincerity? I think in this thread alone, Ferris has collected most of the active INFJs in the board.

    Why not be as honest with your girl as you are here btw? I don't see anything wrong with saying, you're keen to take the relationship to the next level, while you do not know for sure if it'll be forever, you do want to give it a try. What you're not sure of is her feelings for you, because it is not expressed enough for you?

    Anyway, just because she does not love you the way you want to be loved. It doesn't mean she loves you any less.

    I think an issue here isn't so much her unexpressiveness, but you not feeling appreciated and wanted, isn't it, though logically you feel she does care. So it is more an expectations gap you can close by better communication with her?

    Good luck!

  4. #24
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrisbueller View Post
    Here's the problem: she seems to be completely unable to express her emotions verbally. I can count the times she has complimented me on one hand. We go to school together, but when school isn't in session we are long distance. Even when we've been separated for several weeks she can't say "I miss you."
    Those are things I had to *learn* to do. Complimenting I learned back when I was 18 and I went as an exchange student to Western Canada. As for expressing my emotions verbally, I first learned to express them in the *written* form. My future husband and I had an almost exclusively long-distance relationship up until we got married, so we used mail and IM to communicate. This was truly a blessing in disguise, as it gave me time to practice "saying" emotional stuff to him without actually *talking*. HOWEVER! After months of e-dating, when we met for the second time in person (the first time being when we actually met each other), my then-boyfriend was actually floored by the HUGE difference in behaviour I exhibited. I had become EXTREMELY expressive in writing, but when we met again, I just COULDN'T act accordingly. I was horribly tense, horribly silent, horribly guarded. I didn't WANT to be like that, but I didn't KNOW how to bridge the gap between my online persona and my real life persona. It was like I was two people at once, with my bubbly online persona stuck inside my guarded real life one. Luckily, my husband made all the right moves and with a bit of time I was able to relax enough to allow my inside persona to get out and take over. Since then, I've actually become the more verbally expressive of the two, and he's an ENFJ, so that says a bit

    But to be honest, if I hadn't had the luxury of learning to express my feelings in written form first, I'm not sure I would ever have learned to express them in verbal form. As others have said, expressing my feelings can come easily when someone is in distress, but not so at all in day-to-day life. Like for example, I never say "I love you" to my parents or sister. I write it down on birthday cards, but I don't say it.

    I think one thing about INFJs is that we are Introverts, so we live our life mostly inside ourselves. Expressing verbally what we think inside is NOT at all a given!

    Another thing is that with Fe as our Auxiliary, we are *extremely* sensitive to rejection. So on one hand we are not likely to challenge a status quo in a relationship if we feel the other person is OK with it as it is, but on the other hand we feel hurt if the other person challenges a status quo that seems fine to us! I suspect something of that order might be happening with your girlfriend: she might already be doing her best, and she feels hurt because you're basically telling her that it's still not enough.

    I don't mean to imply that she is cold, obviously as an INFJ this isn't the case. I can tell that she cares through sweet little gestures. However, I'm a tremendously verbal person, and it hurts my feelings a little bit that she can't just say "I care about you."
    Inversely, she might be hurt by the fact that her gestures aren't enough for you. She might not see what's so special about *saying* stuff, so she might be feeling like you're accusing her of not really loving you.

    Is it a time issue? Do I just have to earn the trust and loyalty of the INFJ over a longer period of time?
    Maybe, but not necessarily. I fell for my husband very quickly.

    However, earning her trust and loyalty might be a part of it, yes. But it's not so much a matter of time as a matter of doing the "right" things. One such big right thing is showing appreciation when she does a loving gesture towards you. You showing her that you do notice her gestures would in effect tell her that you know and realise that she does love you. This would make her feel much more secure in her relationship with you, and she would be far more likely to go out on a limb and try to give you what you have said you want, no matter how awkward it would make her feel at first.

    A couple things: she actually seems like she's gotten less outwardly affectionate since we started actually dating, like now that she's officially admitted that she cares she's vulnerable or something.
    I TOTALLY recognise myself in that one!! When my e-relationship with my future husband turned from e-friendship to e-dating, I was scared out of my skin! That was because I was feeling so incredibly vulnerable, and I was SOOOOOO afraid he would end up walking all over my heart. One of the hardest things I've ever done in my life was send him an email telling him just how incredibly vulnerable I was feeling. Strangely enough, I thought this would *repulse* him, which is one reason I wrote the email, so he would dump me sooner rather than later. When he wrote back saying that on the contrary my email made him want to run to me, I could hardly believe it.

    So yes, at least in my case, admitting to my romantic feelings made me feel vulnerable and like wanting to run away.

    She is emotionally affectionate, just not verbally, I guess that's the real issue.
    My suggestion would be to start emailing and IMing more. Typically, INFJs are far more expressive in written form than verbal form. But do make sure that you do NOT expect her to be as expressive verbally the next day when you meet in person again! For an Extravert like you, this may feel very unsettling, like you're dating two different girls, but, well, Introverts DO tend to feel like they are two different people in one wrap. And the trick if you love one of us is to understand and ACCEPT that.

    I also have to wonder if inexperience could be part of it. We're pretty young and neither one of us has very much dating experience.
    Absolutely. Both life and dating experience, or rather the lack thereof, would have a huge effect on her ability to express herself.

    Also, I tend to be pretty heavily emotionally expressive. I'm the type of person that says "I miss you" a ton, I like to compliment my partner, and this seems to make her a bit uncomfortable, which makes me wonder if that's why a lot of people put INFJ/ENTP as a better match. Maybe I'm just too emotionally volatile for her.
    Even now, I still don't know how to take a compliment, even from my husband. I've *learned*, consciously learned, to just smile and say "thank you", but it's more of a coping technique than anything else.

    Moreover, it could be that she feels desperate if she thinks that you expect her to actually measure up to your level of verbal expression. When under stress, INFJs can get into an "all or nothing" mentality: either I climb the Everest tonight, or I don't even try practicing climbing at all. So she might feel like, since she just cannot emulate your level of verbal expression *right now*, she might as well not try at all. The best way to deal with that is to notice when she *does* express herself, but not in an over-the-top way: something like a big smile and a thanks and a hug or a kiss, to assure her that you noticed her verbal efforts and that you truly appreciate them, but that you don't actually expect her to always be at that level from now on. See what I mean?

    In short: make her feel SAFE! Make her feel like she's truly honestly fine the way she is, first and foremost! Once she feels safe, she will *on her own* look for ways to give you what you want.

    The opposite, making her feel like you are somehow dissatisfied with the way she is now, is garanteed to make her feel miserable and to ultimately lead to her slowly detaching herself from you.

  5. #25
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrisbueller View Post
    Here's the problem: she seems to be completely unable to express her emotions verbally. I can count the times she has complimented me on one hand. We go to school together, but when school isn't in session we are long distance. Even when we've been separated for several weeks she can't say "I miss you."
    I don't mean to imply that she is cold, obviously as an INFJ this isn't the case. I can tell that she cares through sweet little gestures. However, I'm a tremendously verbal person, and it hurts my feelings a little bit that she can't just say "I care about you."
    Is it a time issue? Do I just have to earn the trust and loyalty of the INFJ over a longer period of time?
    Is this typical INFJ behavior? On a little side note, ENFP/INFJ match, what does everybody think?
    Depends on how "battered" the INFJ feels about relationships. I think INFs are the most likely type to feel disillusioned about it. For myself anyhow, words sometimes don't come easily. Other people's emotions are easy to read, but when it comes to self... so many things (emotions) going on that you don't know what to say. There's always the fear of being hurt or hurting the other person. Fear of saying the wrong thing. Trust needs to be earned yes... but not time dependent. More like action dependent... whether the person feels sincere... balanced out by the consequences of betrayal. Weighing out how much I can risk. Perhaps something similar runs through her mind.

    Personally I think Ne Ni makes a good match. It certainly makes for a great deal of fun. If she ask for space though, be sure to give her plenty...

    Quote Originally Posted by aelan View Post
    Why not be as honest with your girl as you are here btw? I don't see anything wrong with saying, you're keen to take the relationship to the next level, while you do not know for sure if it'll be forever, you do want to give it a try. What you're not sure of is her feelings for you, because it is not expressed enough for you?
    +1, open sharing is much appreciated indeed.

    Anyway, just because she does not love you the way you want to be loved. It doesn't mean she loves you any less.
    I wouldn't be so quick to eliminate that she doesn't love in the same way... it could be just repressed feelings. Not sure how to voice them.

  6. #26
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrisbueller View Post
    A couple things: she actually seems like she's gotten less outwardly affectionate since we started actually dating, like now that she's officially admitted that she cares she's vulnerable or something. As for the "are you sure she isn't an INTJ" bit, I know a couple INTJ's really well, and she seems a lot more emotional. Plus she didn't test all that close to being a T, I'm pretty positive that she's an INFJ. It just clicks. She is emotionally affectionate, just not verbally, I guess that's the real issue.
    I also have to wonder if inexperience could be part of it. We're pretty young and neither one of us has very much dating experience.
    Also, I tend to be pretty heavily emotionally expressive. I'm the type of person that says "I miss you" a ton, I like to compliment my partner, and this seems to make her a bit uncomfortable, which makes me wonder if that's why a lot of people put INFJ/ENTP as a better match. Maybe I'm just too emotionally volatile for her.
    Just stating the obvious points that you probably already know and are doing:
    -you can't expect her to be like you
    -you need to accept her the way she is
    -you're lucky you've gotten any positive feedback at all, since NFs can be so perfectionistic and have such high standards
    -if you want to know what an "I" is thinking, you need to ask

    It possible that she hasn't had positive language modeled in her life. I remember when I first learned to think positive and use praise toward others, it felt weird. I grew up being criticized all the time. My parents didn't even say "I love you" to me! I had to teach them to say it!

    You should probably let her know how you feel about wanting some verbal affirmation. She might be inclined to learn how to do it just to please you. Try asking her how she feels about it. She probably has some deep feelings about it that you are unaware of.

  7. #27
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    ...
    I TOTALLY recognise myself in that one!! When my e-relationship with my future husband turned from e-friendship to e-dating, I was scared out of my skin! That was because I was feeling so incredibly vulnerable, and I was SOOOOOO afraid he would end up walking all over my heart. One of the hardest things I've ever done in my life was send him an email telling him just how incredibly vulnerable I was feeling. Strangely enough, I thought this would *repulse* him, which is one reason I wrote the email, so he would dump me sooner rather than later. When he wrote back saying that on the contrary my email made him want to run to me, I could hardly believe it.
    Awww.
    ...
    This was an awesome post full of great advice!

  8. #28
    Member ferrisbueller's Avatar
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    Wow guys, thanks for all the posts. If nothing else, this thread had indeed convinced me that you INFJ's are pretty awesome. In particular the lengthy post by Wandering was really insightful.
    As for the posts earlier about findthejake telling an INFJ that he loved her after only a month, causing her to end the relationship, I thought they were very funny. I've been actively resisting the impulse to tell my girlfriend the same thing because I know it would end in disaster at this point. It just seems like such typical ENFP behavior. Also the whole thing about it being infatuation and not love makes total sense to me. It's completely true, but that is an extremely hard distinction for an ENFP to make. An ENFP feels a very strong feeling that they equate to love very quickly; then they want desperately to share that feeling verbally and for it to be reciprocated the same way. ENFP's are the ultimate compliment fishers, and they almost "fish for love" in that way, as ridiculous as it sounds.
    Anyway, thanks again for all the insight on the mind of the INFJ. She's the first INFJ I've really gotten to know in the years since I've known about MBTI, and I think it's a really fascinating type.

  9. #29
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    -if you want to know what an "I" is thinking, you need to ask
    Yup. It's kind of the reverse rule I've read before about Extraverts, that "if you don't know what an Extravert is thinking, that means you haven't been listening".

    It possible that she hasn't had positive language modeled in her life. I remember when I first learned to think positive and use praise toward others, it felt weird. I grew up being criticized all the time. My parents didn't even say "I love you" to me! I had to teach them to say it!
    I didn't grow up being criticised all the time (here's for you, INTJMom), but still, my mom pretty much never said "I love you" either. Which I am pretty sure comes from her own parents (the more I learn about her family, the more I'm convinced it was seriously dysfunctional). So I in turn never felt like saying it. What changed that was the opportunity to practice "saying" those things in written form*, and the fact that I don't actually use my mother tongue with my husband, so it didn't feel as weird when I started saying it out loud. Now I can say it in English to my husband, and both in English and in French to my son. But I still don't say it to my mom and sis, it would freak them (and me!) out I think if I did

    * : when my husband first wrote me "I love you" during an IM chat we were having, I was so freaked out that I replied "me too" because I just couldn't bring myself to typing "I love you too". Sure enough, he answered back saying "well, I'm sure glad you love yourself."

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Awww.
    I went from -500 to +1000 on the FeelGood scale in one second that evening

    This was an awesome post full of great advice!
    Thanks I just hope that people will contradict me if they feel I got something wrong

  10. #30
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    * : when my husband first wrote me "I love you" during an IM chat we were having, I was so freaked out that I replied "me too" because I just couldn't bring myself to typing "I love you too". Sure enough, he answered back saying "well, I'm sure glad you love yourself."
    That's so funny to me because the first time my husband told me he loved me (after I nearly swallowed my tongue) I said "ditto." I was totally, totally freaked. And I grew up hearing and saying "I love you" on a daily basis. I felt horrible and I really did think I loved him, too. You just don't say something that big until you know.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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