As an ENFP* dating an INTx, I am thoroughly confused. I have been dating my INTx for nearly 3 months. We met online and are both recovering from previous serious relationships, yet obviously wanted companionship enough to post/reply to an online ad. We have a lovely intellectual bond, enjoy spending periodic time together (~ 2x/week), and can discuss things in minute detail for hours on end. He has slowly introduced me to a few of his friends. We also have an amazing physical bond and shower each other with affection when we're together.
That's the good. The not-so-good is that we move at a very different pace and seem to need very different things of each other emotionally. After 2.5 months, I am ready/able to explore a committed relationship with him (I see it as an adventure, even if one or both of us gets hurt). He, conversely, is *extremely* cautious and has admitted that he is intentionally curbing the amount of time he spends with me in order to make sure he doesn't get hurt again by jumping into a serious relationship. He also has an uncharacteristically busy social schedule for an I[ntrovert], and often feels pulled in many directions (which causes him stress, so I back off and let him do 90% of the initiating). The end result is that he sees me intermittently, texts only occasionally (with taciturn but sometimes sweet messages), and accepts my random affectionate comments but doesn't reciprocate.
I have done my best to accept the above, as it's only been 2.5 months. However, I am specifically confused about three things he has said or done:
1) Angst/Guilt: A month after we started dating, we fell into a conversation about "us." He told me that he cared about me but felt "guilt" and "angst" over us. ("I care, of course I care...it's important to me that you know that I do care about you, even though I cannot be a constant for you right now, and that is something that causes me angst and guilt."). This completely baffled me. As an ENFP, I cannot imagine spending time with a person, showering him with affection, being playful/whimsical/physical while simultaneously harboring angst and guilt towards them. I don't do well with emotional ambiguity. Is this something salient to INTx's? (He's borderline J/P but dominant J);
2) Emotional Ambiguity: He recently initiated another talk about our relationship, which surprised me. In this discussion we both agreed that we're both still healing, but also affirmed that we ultimately want a committed/live-in relationship with someone one day. He then told me that there is always a certain degree of "gray area" in most relationships before each person determines how they really feel about the other. I simply cannot relate: I'm black/white with my feelings! I don't casually like someone: when I like someone, I'm affectionate, demonstrative, loving, adoring. (Hopefully not overbearing (my INTx is teaching me not to be). If I'm ambiguous about them I don't pursue anything with them. Life is too short to waste my time. At any rate, the stereotype about ENFPs being overly enthusiastic puppy dogs is in my case quite true). My question to you is: what does it take to get an INTx out of the gray area?
3) Random Intervals/Lack of Pre-Planning: I happen to know that this man is a romantic, at least in previous serious relationships. When he wants to see me, however, he generally only asks me out 1-2 days in advance. I realize it's my job to teach him how to treat me, and ask for more advance notice, but I get hurt each time as it seems disrespectful and indicative of a certain lack of regard/interest (which contradicts his affectionate actions when we're together). Any advice about his lack of pre-planning? Is this an INTx trait or does he lack the courage to tell me he just doesn't feel strongly enough about me to pre-plan?
Thanks for your help, everyone...
* I'm really more of an ENxP...mathmatical logic was my favorite subject at university and I can control my emotions externally, but am tormented by them inside :/ (I have that in common with my INTx.)