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  1. #1
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    Default INFJ: Dealing with Infatuation

    I recently started seeing this guy, and I am already totally crazy about him. Problem is, he's an ENTJ, and typical of his type, is busy all the damn time. When we do get to spend time together, I have 100% of his attention, which makes me feel like a million bucks. Unfortunately, that time is pretty limited by his hectic schedule (and to be fair, mine too), and he's not great at doing little things to let me know that he's still thinking about me.

    Logically, I understand all of this completely. I honestly don't think he's jerking me around or purposely being distant, but in typical INFJ fashion I have a tendency to freak out if too much time goes by without hearing from him. So far he has been a total rockstar about dealing with my freakouts, but I'd rather figure out how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

    Also, although I admit that I am utterly infatuated, I've realized that I do want to take this relationship reasonably slow. I want to make sure that I take time to learn about who he really is rather than project all of my own ideals onto him. So in that sense it's actually really good that we only manage to see each other once every week or so, even though my emotional side is screaming "WE NEED TO BE TOGETHER ALL THE TIME, I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOU, YOU'RE THE MAN OF MY DREAM, OMG!!!"

    So, I guess the question is, how do other INFJs handle infatuation? Have you ever learned to play it cool in a new relationship? How do you deal with insecurity?

  2. #2
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm astounded by how many of us INFJs end up going for EXTJ types. I think we admire their determination and singlemindedness, but then feel emotionally neglected by it. For myself, I've concluded it's a match that generally doesn't work out well, for exactly the reasons outlined. I'm attracted to what they are that I am not. In the final analysis though, the Te heaviness and disinclination towards expressing their internal thinking processes and emotions openly makes it difficult for me to feel connected. What you are talking about in your second paragraph is what often happens, and it starts out good, but both parties can end up finding it wearying.

    Having said that, I don't think it's impossible to make it work. I just have come to realize that the relationship will never be first priority in the way it is for us, even if they think the world of you.

  3. #3
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    fidelia,

    Everything you've said sounds exactly right. Reading up more on his type is helping me cope at present. But I agree that the differences in priorities is something that will need to be dealt with in the long term.

    I guess it's something that I'll just have to experience over time to see if it's something I can handle. It's kind of funny - up until now I've sort of considered him to be the one "in control" of the relationship basically because we are both well aware that I want to see him all the time. But, if I think of it more in terms of "if I can't handle not being the #1 priority, then I cannot be with this person," I think some of the power shifts back. Now that I'm beginning to understand what his baseline for affection is, it's up to me to decide if it's enough.

    Jeez...my therapist better come back from her hiatus soon.

  4. #4
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    In interpersonal situations, I've realized there are a couple different ways to approach things.
    • What can I do differently?
    • What can I talk to the other person about doing differently?
    • How can I look at things differently?


    In relationships, it's okay to ask the other person to do things for you (I somehow forget it sometimes). I like a lot of time together in a relationship too, I think a lot of people do. For me, small, tangible reminders help me to bridge the gaps when I miss the person. Can you get him to write something for you that reminds you he cares about you even when he's not physically present?

    Also, depending how busy you are, is there some fun interest or activity which you could get involved in to take your mind off of it?

    Finally I think time will help, once he establishes himself as consistent, then you will start to trust more.

    Hope it made sense.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  5. #5
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    In relationships, it's okay to ask the other person to do things for you (I somehow forget it sometimes). I like a lot of time together in a relationship too, I think a lot of people do. For me, small, tangible reminders help me to bridge the gaps when I miss the person. Can you get him to write something for you that reminds you he cares about you even when he's not physically present?
    I definitely agree with this. I have to admit, though, that I'm a little bit gunshy because my last boyfriend (who I believe was an ISTP) was terrible at understanding what I was asking for and why I was asking for it.

    Also, depending how busy you are, is there some fun interest or activity which you could get involved in to take your mind off of it?
    Lol - I am insanely busy, and yet I can't seem to focus on anything but this. Having ADHD doesn't help any.

    Finally I think time will help, once he establishes himself as consistent, then you will start to trust more.
    That's what I beginning to think as well.

    Hope it made sense.
    It absolutely did.

  6. #6
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    The goods about being with an ENTJ:

    - He will not expect you to always come up with ideas for what to do.
    - He is independent and can amuse himself rather than becoming too clingy.
    - Once a committment is made, he is really committed and doesn't ignore that easily.
    - Good work ethic.
    - Decisive.
    - Competent in a number of areas.
    - Often a good host.
    - Good at organizing other people and mobilizing them.
    - Interesting to discuss ideas with - you are good with human systems and he's good with business/economic systems.
    - More often than not financial responsible and stable.
    - Often popular with others.
    - May draw you out.
    - You'll always know where you are at with him and it would be difficult to inadvertently offend.

    Drawbacks:

    - Work will be a higher priority than family.
    - It may feel uncomfortable and awkward for him to discuss things when he does not feel sure about them. That lack of admitting to anything that is not decided and attached to a course of action may make you feel like you are the needy one, when that is not true. It may also make him seem inflexible or arrogant to you because he doesn't often express needing help or advice.
    - He's not likely to express uncertainly openly, which can make you feel like the incompetent one. This Te assurance is a fake it till you make it kind of strategy. It's his way of dealing with uncertain feelings and is often very convincing.
    - He may not always acknowledge or stop to think about how his emotions are influencing his actions. This is a realm where he feels less comfortable, may think it's irrelevant, or ignores and so he'll usually avoid it unless there's an urgent reason why he cannot.
    - He does not want a rose in his lapel, but he also has a tendancy to have such all-consuming career plans that it's easy to only become a support person for his dreams. Ultimately he'll want you to stand up to him, but at the same time, you will find that it goes against your nature because you would prefer to be accommodating (and can then end up resenting that the support you give him is not reciprocated).
    - Can insist that others not address any issues that make him feel uncomfortable, which makes it difficult sometimes to resolve conflict.
    - May be less aware than you of interpersonal interaction and subtext.
    - You may need to find someone else to do your main venting with and discussion of problems (which we need to do to better clarify our situation to ourselves and choose a course of action). He will want to jump to the solution before hearing what it is that is frustrating you. He may also prefer that you dealt with that kind of thing on your own if you don't need his help coming up with or implementing a solution because that's what he's more inclined to do.
    - He may tend to cave rather than turn to you when he is worried, sad, upset etc. We tend to turn to the person we are closest to at those times, so it may feel like a rejection.
    - He may seem domineering or bossy to you after awhile. Don't take it personally.

    I think generally if you want to resolve problems, you will have to get used to bringing them up immediately, along with the course of action you would prefer, which goes against INFJ nature. We are inclined to ponder whether we are being reasonable, over-sensitive etc when we bring something up because we don't want to be seen as wimpy. By the time we do, we usually feel kind of emotional or strongly about it. This doesn't fly well. The more dispassionately you can state what it is, the better. Strangely, ENTJs respond more to a request or statement that's unreasonable but said immediately and directly rather than one that includes too much latent strong emotion and fuzzy action. Remember that Te is less detailed and more practical than T. Accuracy and precision matter less than finding something that works.

    Be forthright about your needs. We feel selfish doing that and would prefer someone to notice what we need, particularly because we try to do the same for them. In this case, you should only give as much as you can do happily without reciprocation and then if you want anything specific, request it. This works much better than taking his lack of reciprocation as a measure of his thoughfulness. He will also appreciate the clearer communication. (Fuzzy communication is annoying and frustrating for the Ts I know). You will need to become more blunt, he may need to become less blunt. You will need to be less accommodating and he will need to become more accommodating.

  7. #7
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I think you will get more communication and understanding here than you would from ISTP regarding what you are asking for and why. Just try to state those things before they become a really big deal.

  8. #8
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    fidelia,
    As always you are a font of knowledge and sage advice.

    It may feel uncomfortable and awkward for him to discuss things when he does not feel sure about them. That lack of admitting to anything that is not decided and attached to a course of action may make you feel like you are the needy one, when that is not true. It may also make him seem inflexible or arrogant to you because he doesn't often express needing help or advice.
    This is what I've been pondering the most over the past few days. It will not come as a surprise to anyone here that I am used providing emotional support to my partner. In fact, that has generally been the defining characteristic of my role in relationships, which has me wondering what an ENTJ could possibly see in me or want/need from me, since it appears that he has no immediate use for my primary gift. This has definitely left me feeling very needy, but last night it finally dawned on me that, while I love everything he brings to the table, I don't really NEED any of it, either. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, even though it's nice to be taken care of for a change. I also know that he appreciates how rare it is for me to allow myself to rely on someone else, and he seems to find it very gratifying that I am willing to do so with him.

    He's not likely to express uncertainly openly, which can make you feel like the incompetent one. This Te assurance is a fake it till you make it kind of strategy. It's his way of dealing with uncertain feelings and is often very convincing.
    My ISTP ex was a master at this, particularly when it came to issues in our relationship. So he was incredible at making me doubt my own sanity, because every problem in our relationship was, according to him, a result of my psychological issues. Ugh.

    I'm actually totally fine with the "fake it 'til you make it" as long as its geared towards things that don't affect me strongly. This is something I guess I'll just have to play by ear.

    He may tend to cave rather than turn to you when he is worried, sad, upset etc. We tend to turn to the person we are closest to at those times, so it may feel like a rejection.
    This one could be tough, because it circles back to the whole "what am I bringing to the table" question. I guess it would depend on whether I can internalize the idea that you can show love and support for someone by respecting their need for space. That's actually something that INFJs should be able to relate to (although that doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy for us to give).

    Can insist that others not address any issues that make him feel uncomfortable, which makes it difficult sometimes to resolve conflict.
    This would be a complete dealbreaker for me.

    As for the rest, certainly not traits that I haven't dealt with in the past. It strikes me that a relationship like this will not necessarily always be comfortable, but could be a tremendous opportunity for personal growth. We'll just have to see how things go.

    In the meantime, my more immediate concerns have been eased. I'm no longer wondering if he's really into me or if he's just playing me or any of that. I'm starting to accept that radio silence does not equal lack of interest or game-playing, but is simply a function of his other commitments. And I feel like I can believe him now when he says that he plans on making more time for me. So, in the short term, I think (hope?) that I'm doing OK.

  9. #9
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a handle on it.

    I found with my ESTJ that I was the one bringing things up and also that I wasn't sure what my role was since most of the things I considered myself best at weren't needed or wanted. I'm still not sure about that one. I think EXTJs do appreciate someone who is throught-provoking and allows them to see things differently. I tend to assume that because Te users speak very certainly, they are even less likely than me to change their mind about things. In fact, it seems to be completely the reverse. I am much more rigid inside than they are and they appreciate having someone challenge them. Sometimes Te makes me feel put on the spot and like it's demanding an answer now. However, I think that that is one area that could be a satisfying area of growth in the relationship. I've found that Te doms seem to appreciate our different take on things and some of the insights we have into how people work which is an area where they tend to feel less competent.

    I also found that Fi and T both prefer to express appreciation through actions. They don't really like a lot of fuss or hoopla. I can recognize that, but find I need it verbalized more often for reassurance. I wish it weren't that way, but have accepted that it is just part of who I am. I think sometimes our natural tendancy to verbally or in writing appreciate others can make them feel a little put on the spot and feeling obligated to respond, which doesn't feel authentic to them or is burdensome. I haven't quite figured out how do make it work practically in a way that isn't just me doing all the accommodating as far as that goes. I think it helps though if both parties are aware that this is one area that could cause misunderstanding.

    Regarding the last one, which you said would be a dealbreaker - I think it would help to explain how you process things and that the person is actually doing you a tremendous service by allowing you to share your thoughts and feelings with them. It would help to tell them that you want to be known by the people you are closest to, and so it is them that you want to talk to about that stuff, not someone else. Explain that you aren't always looking for a solution right away, but that part of the solution is bleeding off the extra emotion so that you can see what you are working with. You may even need to explicity describe the kind of response you are looking for. There will be a tendancy for them to be the devil's advocate in an attempt to make the problem seem manageable. That is likely to make you feel unsupported or that they are siding with someone else. They will alternatively want to offer a solution, often without hearing the details of the problem or what you have already thought about. You may need to explain why you feel you need them to just listen first and that debriefing is a big part of getting on with the solution. If you have overblown things a little in the heat of your frustration and have regained perspective after talking about it, it is also important to express that so that they can see there is progress and that you are not being over-emotional, nor are things so bleak that they can't be dealt with.

    I don't know - but that's some of what I've gleaned from practical experience and talking to people here. Z Buck might have some interesting insights for you (she was married to an ENTJ). Also YourWrongI'mRight and Salt and Pepper are two women ENTJs that you might find helpful to talk to regarding what it is that they get out of interacting with us. Tiltyred was married to an ESTJ and I dated one for five years, which although not the same thing, still shares some of the the same tendancies. Discobiscuit is an ENTJ that is a big fan of INFJs and also started an interesting thread some time ago called The Iceman And the Child in the NT section. EJCC is an ESTJ who has been of great help to me in better understand her type and she said she really identified with the Iceman thread as well.

  10. #10
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Oh yeah - for what it's worth too...

    I've never dated an ENTJ, but this summer I met up with a guitar player at a fiddle camp I was at who was an ENTJ who is a CEO of a large company. His 13 year old daughter was attending the camp and I ended up meeting him through some of instructors that I was hanging out with. I didn't get the feeling that there was any kind of romantic connection, and he is about 15 years older than me and broke up with his wife of 30ish years within the last couple of years. He lived across the country and neither of us were looking for someone to date.

    However, we had a lot of fun playing music together. He was listening to me and someone else discussing some historical projects that I had been involved with, transcribing war letters and old manuscripts. That led to us talking about some of the things I was writing about. He was interested in knowing more about it. I thought that the kinds of software he had developed and business ventures that he has taken on were really fascinating. We ended up staying up for a couple of nights till really late playing and talking. Probably had he lived closer, I may not have chosen to do so, just because I didn't want to send messages that could be misconstrued. As it was, I felt like it didn't have a lot of bearing on the future and we wouldn't remain in close touch anyway.

    Since then, he wrote me two very long emails, telling news and also asking me to write down some of the main points from what we had discussed about my writing. In between, there's been no communication at all. For me, I tend to kind of go on kicks of different people, writing or talking intensely for awhile and then moving on, even in my acquaintanceships or friendships. It doesn't mean I have lost interest in those people, but it just becomes too much to maintain too many things at once. However, from time to time I am reminded of someone and decide to renew our acquaintance because they'd really hit the spot right then and I remember how much I enjoyed talking to them. I think that maybe for ENTJs work does that to them in the same way that people interactions do that to us. It's not that they don't care, but rather that you can only handle so many things at one time. A gentle reminder before you are upset probably would speed up the process of remembering to take time for you too.

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