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  1. #1
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    Default INFP girl trying to figure out this lovely but frustrating INFJ boy

    I really can't figure this guy's mixed signals out, would love input especially from INFJ males!

    INFJ boy (early 30s) found out about me (late 20s) about a year ago through some mutual friends who told him that he and I lived in the same city and we should meet up because we would like each other. INFJ boy does not contact me. In the summer we meet by total chance at a two month summer camp, INFJ boy came up to me saying he had heard about me. We see each other around very infrequently, mostly in group contexts. He is always very friendly but I thought him aloof. Our first conversation was somewhat awkward and I got the feeling he was sizing me up. At the time I found him attractive but didnt think much of it. He frequently said he was busy and had a lot of work to do. Towards the end of the summer we hung out a bit more frequently and he said we should have hung out more often and said that he would get back in touch when we get back home.

    Fast forward to autumn, we catch up back in our home city. I initiated our first meeting after waiting almost a month to see if he would get in touch (he didn't). We saw each other maybe 3 or 4 times before the end of the year, mostly one-on-one dinners. I always have to initiate our meetups, but every time he has said something to the effect of "thanks for calling, I meant to get in touch". He is hard to get in touch with but whenever we are together he really seems to enjoy my company and I've really enjoyed getting to know him inthe very slow way that INFJs open up. We have wonderful conversations, but since we usually meet in the evenings he always seems tired and leaves at a relatively early hour. I didn't see him at all over new year's and meanwhile fell very ill. In January he heard that I fell ill and contacted me expressing great concern. He came round to my place bringing dinner and we had a wonderful, hilarious and fascinating conversation, and when he left I am sure that he gave me that INFJ "look", you know, the kind that stops your heart a bit. since getting to know each other we have always exchanged hugs upon greeting and leaving, but the last couple of times we've met, his hugs have been long, squeezy and lingering. The last time we met was at a small weekend get-well party of mine which I think he was not entirely comfortable at but probably came to it because he thought it was important to me. We didn't get to talk much in the group context, which I regret, though we sat next to each other and he studiously didn't look at me at all, except once, a very quick glance, when he thought I wasn't looking at him. when he left he gave me one of those long hugs. I really wanted to see him again. I texted him in a chatty way to say I'd love to "hang out" (his words of choice) sometime during the coming week or the weekend. That was on Tuesday and it is now Sunday and I haven't heard from him at all.

    our conversations have definitely been increasingly open, peeling through his many wonderful and complex layers. he has talked about things such as his past girlfriend, his views on literature and ethics, his bizarre off-the-wall wacky ideas about inventions and other interests, his music loves, his occasional depression. One of the times we met, he was so self-critical and moody with himself that I wanted to give him a huge it's-ok hug. I definitely felt that the recent time he brought dinner round to my place was a new stage of knowing him -- he was warm and affectionate and goofy, wanting to make me laugh a lot and saying things like "oh, that's what you find funny?" or "oh, you like that do you?" -- I felt a whole new layer had opened up. Which is what makes his disappearance now even more frustrating and hard to understand. I've heard absolutely nothing from him. I wonder if I've scared him away by making him come to a party, or maybe my text message saying that I'd love to hang out with him again spooked him or made him feel pressured -- I thought I knew at least that he liked my company, but now I don't even know if he really likes me at all or whether he just feels like he should be nice to me because I was ill. I feel like I've been totally unhesitating and non-game-playing (I hate that anyway) with him, I've shown that I'm keen to hang out with him and I always reply to his messages, and I think I've been straightforward and not coy with him. But he almost never initiates any of our contact, and his replies to my messages or emails are often hours or even a day later.

    so I'm trying to decide if he likes me or not -- not even romantically but just as a friend -- and how I should communicate with him without scaring him away... I mean, I don't know if he likes me but has decided that we just won't work out in the long run and so just doesn't want to get involved, or if he likes me only as a friend and doesn't want to get more complex, or he doesn't really like me but feels obliged to hang out because I ask him to (bearing in mind our mutual friends), or maybe I tire him out, or maybe he just doesn't believe that I could like him (we are in the same career but even though I am younger than him I'm a lot further along than he is, which is something he frequently brings up in a teasing/joking manner every time we meet, saying that I am very smart etc) or a million other possibilities for why an INFJ boy would avoid an INFP girl who has great conversations with him and obviously likes him at the very least as a friend. I AM SO TOTALLY OVERTHINKING THIS but come on, wouldn't you too??

    I'm also considering telling him that I'm at a stage in our friendship where I could, if I allowed myself to, fall really hard for him, and I want to ask him whether I should allow myself to or not. I mean, I'd basically be saying to him: I think I could fall in love with you, if you were interested, if you'd let me. I'm prepared to be open about how I feel to him. But I don't know if that's premature given how skittish he seems to be, and I don't want to scare away what could at least be a great friendship. Should I just give him more time? I just really can't figure this guy out. It's been what, 7 months or so since we actually met, and more than a year since he has known about me... I've demonstrated many times that I'm willing to initiate meetings with him, and in fact he is the one who's rejected several of my attempts to hang out (though on the whole he has accepted more invitations from me than rejected). I don't want to keep pestering him if he's not really interested in me either romantically or as a friend, and I really feel like I can't tell anymore. I know it's hard to tell from such a brief account like this, but I'd really, really appreciate INFJ input into the following:

    1. does this guy like me as a friend at all?
    2. could this guy like me more than just as a friend?
    3. should I keep initiating contact with him or stop? does what I am doing here look like unreasonable pressure to you INFJs?
    4. what the hell is with his weeklong (and still continuing) radio silence after what I thought were two really lovely times seeing him and my extremely open invitation to hang out again?
    5. is this INFJ guy worth all the hassle?? I really, really love speaking with him and being with him, but I feel like I have only so much patience.

    sorry for super long post but it's a measure of my extreme frustration!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    i dated an infp 9w1 for a while. she did almost all of the initiating. i just didn't know what i was doing. we both had some issues at the time, but it was viable and had potential.

    as for advice, i can't know where he's at, but i might have a few things to say. we're slow to commit because we are usually indecisive and often don't really know how we feel. i make a lot of relationship choices based on potential more than on being aware of and remembering how i've concretely felt in the relationship as it's happened so far (and how the tests that have emerged speak to what it is in actuality so far). learning to do this more has taken much effort. when i feel balanced, i identify more with what we can collaboratively make than on just myself or the other person. but i often don't have a great idea of how the interaction will go or what the process will actually entail over time. i just sense the why of its value and am driven by investment in that. i'm not very good with social roles and playing a part, which makes communication about expectations and agreements sometimes unclear and incredibly ambiguous. but i do follow my truth, which just means the more of it i share with you, and the more i want to get to yours, the more important you are to me. the partner question is different, but that question seems to be about two primary things: a) putting in the work to make compromises and build well-being for an us and b) confronting your fears that prevent you from trusting so that you learn to tackle trust piece by piece and trust time enough and yourself enough to be responsible for your choices and not let yourself avoid rather than take responsibility for meeting the obstacles that come up and the discomfort that you feel when you are disappointed or threatened because of your own insecurities.

    i will also say that j types can be annoying in that they are looking for something and are somewhat slow to respond to what is immediately around them. i have felt like i was looking for something in the past, and then been surprised when i realized how far i was along and how quickly it had happened with someone who was not what i had been looking for but who had proven to be fucking fantastic for me. appreciation can be slow to build when you are blinded by your own tunnel vision. but that tunnel vision, that expectation problem, can be one that can prove itself to make j types sometimes not worth the wait. it really depends on the situation and where you're both at. because that kind of fickleness can be not ready to accept someone else wholly. but at other times it can be on the brink of learning what acceptance truly means, and it can appreciate that lesson not just for receiving it but learning how to give it to others and to oneself in a way that kind of changes everything from the inside out.

    if i were in your shoes, i would just try to be more strategic or even more direct and get more information. we can be shitty at being direct in response, sometimes because we don't know how we feel, and because we want to avoid anything face-threatening and sometimes the relationship questions and the value questions that drive attraction and partner decisions have difficult, challenging responses that are uncomfortable to give and to receive. they're always there no matter what, even when it's great. but i would say getting a sense of what is likely/probable would help you figure out how much you want to invest, so you don't just respond to the idea of something or the limited experiences but get some more context to act upon once you feel out how the pieces might fit together. self-disclosing is also a viable technique to get us to engage, along with snapping your fingers in a look at me and stay here right now until we deal with this kind of way.

    it would also help to have a bit more information regarding instinctual subtypes, enneagram, etc.

  3. #3
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    Thanks so much for this response. I'm always reminded, reading INFJ writings, of the eerily same-but-not-same modes of expression when compared to INFPs. lovely but mysterious. I absolutely intend to be open with him -- if I ever hear from him again.... you are not him of course, but as an INFJ how would you like best to be approached about this? some options I've considered for when (if) we next meet:

    1. Tell him straight out, e.g.: "I'm disconcerted when you disappear on me, because I can't tell if you like me or not." Followed by "I think I could have deeper feelings for you, but I don't want to get involved when I'm so unsure of what you think/feel about me."

    2. Pretend like nothing happened, he will probably apologize for not being in touch, I shrug it off as though it doesn't really matter to me (it does) in the hope of not scaring him away. Continue as I have been -- slowly getting to know him, dealing with his flakiness

    3. KISS HIM

    4. other option which I can't think of

    PS. I don't know his subtypes/enneagram, though with the latter I would vaguely hazard a guess at a 4

  4. #4
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    people like to be liked. for best results, i would just directly say it. "i really like you." or include what you'd like to see change as well. "i really like you, and i would like to see you more often." if that doesn't work, then you're looking at trying to persuade him to change his mind. which can also be done, but probably isn't worth your while (because that part is up to him). if you are scared of scaring him off, which i think you probably shouldn't be (because if he is scared off simply because you like him, he probably isn't very well-versed in managing his own emotions or truly responding to the emotions of others, and there's not much you can do about that), well, you could say "i would like to get to know you better because i really enjoy spending time with you, and i feel like the connection we have is valuable enough to be at the very least great friends."

    with that said, in the past 1 and 3 have worked on me. altho she did kind of take me by surprise, i was glad she did.

  5. #5
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    Of course, all that advice is for nothing if I never hear from him again! Still no word from him after my text last week. What are INFJs thinking/doing when they are hiding/disappearing/avoiding? Should I try to get in touch again? do you think he wants to be drawn out? would he appreciate me getting in touch again even though he deliberately didn't answer my last message? is he testing me to see if I'm persistent? or does he really not want to be disturbed and another text message from me would annoy him further?? jeez, this is driving me nuts! I should put this on the other thread about what INFJs do that drive INFPs nuts

  6. #6
    Gone Aesthete's Avatar
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    I have no close INFJs (they're a quite rare specie), but my assumption is that he's a shy guy who isn't good at starting a conversation or contact, but will enjoy it a lot when you do it for him (it's the same thing for me, but I'm not INFJ). Try contacting him again; either he didn't notice the message (it happens!) or he has some important matter to deal with. In either case, he's certainly your friend (and maybe - most likely - more).
    Last edited by Aesthete; 01-30-2013 at 09:29 AM. Reason: Spelling
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

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  7. #7
    Junior Member dieValkyrie's Avatar
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    Hey wow, good to know I'm not the only INFP girl going crazy over an INFJ guy!

    I've been going out with my INFJ since late December and it's been both frustrating and wonderful.

    We haven't committed into a relationship yet, but we have had intense moments of intimacy and I know he considers me as more than a friend. We're sort-of in a trial period because he wants us to get to know each other more. (Which is hard sometimes because I'm really falling for him! But I also don't want to pressure him!)

    I guess I'm lucky because my guy has made concrete displays of romantic interest in me and was actually the one to do most of the initiating in the beginning and he contacts me at least every couple days. Even so though he's still very mysterious! It's hard for me to discern his intentions and desires without just bluntly asking him, which I guess is strange for empathetic INFP's.

    Lately, I've been pretty vocal with my affection for him, but he has trouble responding with the same kind of intensity. He's still uncomfortable with being overly cute and intimate, especially over the phone. In person though he's very physically affectionate and in public we already look like we're boyfriend and girlfriend. He's said that he's afraid of jumping into another relationship because his last one was very intense and emotionally draining, basically this time he wants to take his time so "he doesn't get weird" (his enigmatic words).

    I guess I just have to say that I understand your pain! I've never felt more neurotic and immature since meeting this guy.

    If I had to give advice, I'd recommend being straightforward. I would just initiate a conversation about your feelings for him because if your INFJ is like mine, he should appreciate emotional honesty and care enough about you to listen and try to understand.

    I've often had to touch base with my guy where I can express my unguarded emotions about him and also voice my need for reassurance. His response has consistently been very understanding and caring, though I can tell that it's a bit of a draining experience for him so I have to be conservative with these talks because I'm asking for emotional vulnerability from him which I think can be hard for INFJ's when they're not comfortable and secure enough to their own standards.

    I think it's all just a matter of not overdoing it because I think INFJ's dislike having too much pressure put onto them. I'd try to balance the message you're sending, that you're interested in him romantically and really like him as a person, but you won't be crushed if he doesn't return your feelings and you'd completely understand. I'd avoid ultimatums or demands obviously, but just make clear you want to understand his feelings and desires.

    You should be good though, I don't think INFJ's are the type to share intimate experiences with people they don't care about and have an emotional interest in. If you felt a connection I would think it was deliberate on the INFJ's part because he let you into his emotional space and allowed it to happen.

    Blagh, I hope some of this helps and best of luck!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    If and when you see him again -- and you can increase that chance by making a concrete time and place date -- if you leave it to "let's hang out some time next week," you may never see him again, but if you say "let's go to This Restaurant on Saturday for dinner at around 7, are you free? If so, could you let me know soonish? I'm planning my weekend and would like to save a couple of hours for you. Looking forward to hearing from you ..." -- call him on the phone so he can hear your voice when you ask him out -- keep the conversation intimate, personal, and focused, don't let the date run too long (so he doesn't dissipate all his energy), and when he comes in for that long hug, USE IT. When you're right there in his arms, relax and nestle in, and then look into his eyes and yes, kiss him, easily, gently on the lips and then stay close, don't pull back too far, to see if he stays with you and comes back in for more kissing, or whether he pulls back.

    Sometimes we really have to be knocked out before we understand what's going on. You have to make us feel you very vividly so we can get an unqualified YES response inside ourselves and know whether or not to proceed.

    If all that takes place and he doesn't wake the heck up and come after you, ditch him and move on.

    My best advice -- hope it helps.

  9. #9
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    @Tiltyred oh man. you'd totally have ME with that approach - I just wish I didn't have to be the one to do it! physical logistics intervene however since he is more than a foot taller than me and it's hard to just, you know, appear in kissing range... our hugs are almost by necessity very nestly! garghh! anyway, I still have not heard from him. the mostly-exact words of my last text message were dispatched now almost TWO WEEKS AGO into the INFJ abyss as follows: "come hang out at mine again sometime! maybe later this week/weekend?" and something about making dinner. sigh. any thoughts on how best to break that silence now, without making him feel guilty/pressured/annoyed/etc.??
    @dieValkyrie hang in there, I'm rooting for you guys! INFJ-inspired neurosis is right. I absolutely plan to tell mine with the strong caveat that I won't be crushed if he doesn't reciprocate - at this point I really *wouldn't* be crushed, I'd just be so incredibly relieved for the clarity. I just want to know how to act and what to expect from him, goddammit!

    thanks for these awesome responses!

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