User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 33

  1. #1
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    1,478

    Default INTP relationship patterns and how to break them?

    I'm looking for responses from INTPs or those who are familiar with the INTP modus operandi in relationships.

    I realised earlier today that there are some unhealthy patterns that I follow but I can kinda see how to break those. However, Aderack's posts below has made me suddenly realise I have no idea how to break this particular pattern (and off the top of my head, I can think of another two INTPs who also have this pattern, one of whom is my INTP ex).

    What I'm after is ideas on how to break this pattern. I have no intention of getting into another relationship any time soon, but I don't want to make the same mistakes if/when I ever do. Looking for input from the INTP hivemind on this one.

    Reposted from another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Aderack View Post
    Every time anything at all has gone wrong in a relationship, my first assumption has been that I've made a mistake somewhere along the way. So I've gone about trying to identify that problem and then fix it, however seems sensible to me.

    It rarely occurs to me that the problem might be in some external factor -- say, the other person in the relationship. It's that I've somehow failed to understand and appropriately respond to the situation. And fair enough. I will try to adapt myself to the conditions as I see them.

    As you imagine this doesn't work out in the long term. After a few years in a relationship, I turn into something of a pretzel, trying to contort myself around everything presented to me -- and she tends to lose respect in me, from my failure to assert myself. Honestly, though, I just don't think of it. Not until things collapse and I look back, and I think, holy cow; why did I put up with all of that? What's wrong with me? And what's wrong with her, that she thought nothing of lumping me with all of this? Cue the mood swings.

    So. I recognize this pattern. If there's any manipulation going on, and I guess there probably is on some level, I'd be surprised if he were aware of it; it's probably more of a consequence than a direct object of his behavior.

    This just sounds like an attempt to rationalize a situation that he feels is beyond his control. The problem can't be with you, because, hey, he loves you. Therefore it's got to be with him. So, he thinks, let's figure that out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aderack View Post
    I'll note that this isn't a self-image thing, either. It's just, well. One is used to applying one's self to problems in a certain way. If I don't understand a system, it's because I'm thinking wrong. So I come at the problem from another angle, until I find something that works. And I keep on at it, autonomously, until I've cracked the puzzle. The same impersonal reasoning and methodology goes into relationships -- not deliberately; it's just how one is used to dealing with stuff.

    Combine that with a profoundly weak awareness of one's own practical and emotional needs (which again ain't an ego thing; it's just a complete blind spot), and it's pretty easy to find one's self coiled into some bizarre shapes.

    The problem here is in not recognizing (except perhaps in the abstract) that a human relationship isn't a static system, and can't be understood in a vacuum. Any solution would seem to lie in better defining the parameters of the system. Here; this pattern over here is what you can work on. Go nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    My god, get out of my head. This is a fair chunk of the reason why I recently ended an 18 year relationship. And the 'coiled into bizarre shapes' is so so true. As soon as I made the decision, I could feel the weird knots and twists straightening out in my head. I was only aware of the knots in their absence.

    There are definitely hazards in being a compulsive problem solver. Very hard to stay true to oneself if you treat yourself as just one of many variables. And given yourself is the only variable you have control over, I think that's why the contortions and shifts occur. At the risk of getting kicked by Lithograph, the tendency of treating the mind as a construction project also contributes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Yes, absolutely, all of this. Curse of the INTP makeup. The above sounds like probably what's going on in the OP's boyfriend's head. In his mind, it isn't about you, it's about what he's doing wrong--why HE hit a roadblock--so he's trying out a few scenarios to fix it. Because probably in his head, he's flexing and thinking that it's not unreasonable for you to be tied up with work and school, and he can relate to that. So rather than say, "I'm going to need to you to make a little time for me," he flexes, and figures out how to temporarily "fix" the "problem" of his sex drive until you can get back to him. He's probably trying to make it more convenient for you, but since emotional things aren't really a "system," it doesn't work.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Lithograph's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Maybe a willingness to make demands and be assertive about one's emotional () desires are part of the solution to breaking out of this pattern. Identifying same, and being comfortable with them in any useful time frame is of course another story.

    Could a solution be giving yourself permission to make a need expressly clear or impose on your partner with the justification that you naturally bend so much? An off-ramp from the "I don't like demands and can rationalize anything" loop.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    332

    Default

    I think the first part of it is being able to step back and see that there even is a problem. INTP's are known for being chameleons and mirroring people. I agree with what is posted above. I've found myself questioning myself so much and trying to figure out what I did wrong so many times. My theory is that we do this in relationships as well, as a way to make it easier. I know I do, at least. I will meld to whatever I think is the path of least resistence and go with it. I do this because I care for the person and want to make them happy. I will even sacrifice my own happiness to some extent and put up with way more than I should really have to.

    So maybe the key to breaking the cycle is really trying hard to be true to yourself. Really think about it and give the person a chance to like, or dislike, you early on for what you truly desire. That's a pretty general statement, but it's all I've got. And I've been thinking on this one a lot lately myself..

  4. #4
    Junior Member Lithograph's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RuffledINTP View Post
    So maybe the key to breaking the cycle is really trying hard to be true to yourself. Really think about it and give the person a chance to like, or dislike, you early on for what you truly desire.
    I like your train of thought here.

    Do you find yourself able to establish a (mostly) unequivocal view of who you are and what you desire, in the moment, that allows you to do this? If so, how?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    332

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lithograph View Post
    I like your train of thought here.

    Do you find yourself able to establish a (mostly) unequivocal view of who you are and what you desire, in the moment, that allows you to do this? If so, how?
    It's just a theory, at the moment. I haven't had a chance to test it out yet.. I'm on a rest from even trying to go there for a bit, just because it's been pretty horrifying with how things have ended for me in the past. But I've been in a phase lately with myself anyway of just trying to dig in a bit more and really understand what I want. i'm so indecisive, its not funny... i mean, take me to a restaraunt and I will antagonize over what to order... too many choices. Ask me what I want to do, I have no idea. So many things could be fun or interesting. So I'm honestly just taking some time to really try to determine what I want out of things and understand myself a bit more. I'll see where that leads me..

  6. #6
    videodrones; questions Verfremdungseffekt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    MBTI
    INTp
    Enneagram
    5w4
    Socionics
    Eh?
    Posts
    867

    Default

    I will say that this is why I'm in no rush to get into another amorous relationship. It's hard, under the above conditions, for me to keep tabs on my sense of self -- a sense that I'm just finding again, for the first time in maybe a decade. It's been a long and painful decompression; enough so that I really don't see much value in going through that business again. At least, not with the tools I've got.

    Maybe in another five or ten years I'll have figured things out enough. In the meantime, I feel like I've got some living to catch up on.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    1,478

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lithograph View Post
    Could a solution be giving yourself permission to make a need expressly clear or impose on your partner with the justification that you naturally bend so much? An off-ramp from the "I don't like demands and can rationalize anything" loop.
    That's one possibility, but I'm not sure that's enough to stop the excessive flex to the other person.

    Quote Originally Posted by RuffledINTP View Post
    I think the first part of it is being able to step back and see that there even is a problem. INTP's are known for being chameleons and mirroring people. I agree with what is posted above. I've found myself questioning myself so much and trying to figure out what I did wrong so many times. My theory is that we do this in relationships as well, as a way to make it easier. I know I do, at least. I will meld to whatever I think is the path of least resistence and go with it. I do this because I care for the person and want to make them happy. I will even sacrifice my own happiness to some extent and put up with way more than I should really have to.
    I relate to all of this. A lot. And I do it without noticing. I think it's most risky if the other person isn't particularly healthy.

    So maybe the key to breaking the cycle is really trying hard to be true to yourself. Really think about it and give the person a chance to like, or dislike, you early on for what you truly desire. That's a pretty general statement, but it's all I've got. And I've been thinking on this one a lot lately myself..
    I've been thinking about this too for a long while, mostly in regards to RL friendships and only more recently for relationships. I do the mirroring and chameleoning unconciously. Perhaps a useful first step (for me) is to be able to conciously switch it off more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aderack View Post
    I will say that this is why I'm in no rush to get into another amorous relationship. It's hard, under the above conditions, for me to keep tabs on my sense of self -- a sense that I'm just finding again, for the first time in maybe a decade. It's been a long and painful decompression; enough so that I really don't see much value in going through that business again. At least, not with the tools I've got.

    Maybe in another five or ten years I'll have figured things out enough. In the meantime, I feel like I've got some living to catch up on.
    I hear you on that. I have every intention of staying single for at least a couple of years. However, I'm also concious that love can sneak up unexpectedly and I don't want to make any hard and fast decisions this far out.

    Decompression is a good way to describe it. And in regards to the bolded bit, that's exactly why I started this thread.

    Still hoping for more input. I may need to ask for this thread to be moved to an open part of the forum, but then it risks getting overrun with non-relevant replies.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  8. #8
    videodrones; questions Verfremdungseffekt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    MBTI
    INTp
    Enneagram
    5w4
    Socionics
    Eh?
    Posts
    867

    Default

    INTP love is SCUBA love...

  9. #9
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    1,171

    Default

    I think it is all over-analysis. There's no rhyme or reason, no formula, to this sort of thing. Sometimes things just work, sometimes they don't. The best thing you can do is recognize when things are beyond repair and move on.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    1,478

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    I think it is all over-analysis. There's no rhyme or reason, no formula, to this sort of thing. Sometimes things just work, sometimes they don't. The best thing you can do is recognize when things are beyond repair and move on.
    It happens unconciously. And it's actually the opposite of analysis - it's auto pilot and can take an insane amount of time to notice (years is not untypical).
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

Similar Threads

  1. [INTP] How to break an INTP out of a Ti Si loop?
    By XXSwagmaster420 in forum The NT Rationale (ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ)
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 11-09-2017, 12:42 PM
  2. [ENFJ] ENFJ and INFJ Relationships - How to Love Them
    By copperfish17 in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 137
    Last Post: 10-27-2015, 03:31 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO