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Thread: ENFJ-ISTP Relationships

  1. #1
    Junior Member Array
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    May 2013

    Default ENFJ-ISTP Relationships

    I’m curious as to other people’s experiences in an ENFJ-ISTP relationship. As background, I’m an ENFJ female who has dated an ISTP male for a couple of years with some break-up/”just friends” time scattered within. We very much share the same faith, values, and interests, and I’m aware of how valuable and special that is. That said, our way of interacting with the world (and each other) is often quite different. We are both very committed to one another and to discerning whether we should be together. Nonetheless, the day-to-day journey --- at least from my perspective --- can sometimes be pretty difficult due to our personality and communication differences. (i.e. different needs for personal space, privacy, and sharing; different energy levels; different timeframes for resolving issue). I tend to vocalize these concerns more often than my boyfriend does. I’m curious about other people’s stories, both good and bad. What have your experiences been like? What strategies did you find helpful in successfully communicating with one another, or what was the final straw that made the relationship fail? Did marriage (or living together) change any of the joys and challenges that come with these different personality types? Thanks in advance for sharing!

  2. #2


    I am curious as well.

  3. #3
    You have a choice! Array 21%'s Avatar
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    May 2009


    My ENFJ sister was in such a relationship for about 9 years. It was pretty much like what you described: 'on-and-off' most of the time. She used to think he was ISTJ, but up on closer inspection his behavior matched ISTP more.

    They did not share a lot of common interest, and the ISTP was always 'doing things', while my sister wanted quality talking time, which she felt ISTP did not have much to contribute to. When she tried to talk about something she was passionate about that was quite abstract, he would just listen, but offered very little feedback. So, she always felt emotionally starved in the relationship, like something was missing, and she once said to me that she felt if they ever got married, she was going to be somewhat lonely.

    Why didn't it work? Well, the ISTP was always out doing activities, which my sister did not always enjoy, and my sister wanted something else, that special connection on a deep level, which he could not give. He felt she was not supportive of his interests, and she felt he was not supportive of her emotional needs. Communication was also horrible. The ISTP would not say anything to 'upset' her, but would then feel trapped. When she tried to bring up issues, he jumped in his car and went for a fast drive on the highway.

    Ultimately, it did not work because they could not communicate. It was very difficult trying to find common grounds to base discussions on. Now my sister is in comparatively happy relationship with an ISFJ guy.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  4. #4
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    Well, back when I thought I was an ISTP, ENFJ's were my absolute favorite personality to date. I used to depend on them to help me be more social.

    Now, things are a little different. INFJ's tend to use this spell on me that grants me the charisma of a minor celebrity. So I don't really need ENFJ's anymore.

    I saw an ISTP-ENFJ couple on the bus a bit ago when I was hiking. Cute couple, very cuddly and affectionate toward one another.

  5. #5
    Cheeseburgers Array freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Pray on it. That's the best, only real recommendation you can be given. Communication issues can always be dealt with, if you're willing to do so, which it sounds like you are. I don't know of any specific advice to give you since I am neither ENFJ nor ISTP. I do have an ISTP brother though and some ISTP friends, and have a decent idea how they think. Any MBTI type communication methods are probably going to be pretty much on your end to implement, since ISTPs aren't likely to care for pure theory without a clear application, and it may be difficult to show the benefit in applying some of what you learn from typology. If you are going to pursue a relationship/stick to it though, I think what might really help and he may be a little more willing to entertain is to see a relationship counselor, regularly. Not because there are any issues, but just to keep things smooth and well-oiled from the very beginning.
    You lose.


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  6. #6
    insert random title here Array Randomnity's Avatar
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    May 2007
    6w5 sp/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by Wondering View Post
    We very much share the same faith, values, and interests, and I’m aware of how valuable and special that is.
    It's really not, actually. Most people's entire peer groups will share all three of these things to various degrees, and many successful relationships share none of them, except perhaps values. What's far more important is day-to-day interaction, maturity/communication/"relationship skill" of both people, and sharing of long-term goals.

    Anyway, I don't have anything type-specific to add, but there isn't really anything to say unless you're having specific type-related problems, since individual variation is so much more important than predictions you would make from knowing (or estimating) types. I.e. if you're having problems with energy levels and personal space, we can talk about dealing with introversion-extroversion differences. But for most things, it's more helpful to talk about the actual problems and how to resolve them rather than predicting what problems the two types might have.
    -end of thread-

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