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  1. #1
    Junior Member mills's Avatar
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    Default INTJ friend confused about feelings

    I'm looking for some opinions on my situation with my INTJ friend. Especially from any INTJs.

    He (B) and I have known each other for about 5 years, and are very close. We have been best friends for about 3 years. We've spoken a few times over the years about having feelings for each other, but for various reasons (long distance, not being totally sure about our feelings, I had a boyfriend, etc) nothing ever happened. We have a very intimate relationship though.

    B recently got a girlfriend, the first in the time that I've known him, and soon after they started going out, my boyfriend and I broke up. A couple of times since then we slept in the same bed (not out of necessity) and he was very cuddly, holding me all night, and stroking my hair. I also had recently come to the conclusion that I really did have strong feelings for him romantically, and so after these couple of nights, I decided to talk to him about our relationship.

    I told him how I felt, and said that I felt he was sending me mixed signals by being so physically close to me, while he has a girlfriend. He agreed, and said he was very confused and would think about what he wanted.

    About a month later (we had both been very busy in the mean time) B said he wanted to stay with his current girlfriend and he should put better boundaries in place for our friendship. He said he liked that things had progressed slowly and steadily with her and that he was very happy with her. However, he also said (during that conversation, as well as saying similar things since then) that watching TV in bed with me and holding me is his idea of "heaven", that I mean the world to him, and that if he sees me lots and spends time alone with me it stirs up feelings. He also said that if we got together and then broke up and he lost me, it would be devastating, whereas if he broke up with his current girlfriend he wouldn't have a lot to lose.

    My issue is this: as an INFJ (or perhaps just as me, I don't know if all Fs would feel this way) to me it sounds like he isn't that fussed about his girlfriend (although he is happy and comfortable with her) but feels very strongly about me, and if that's the case I can't understand why he would choose her over me. I know he is scared of things going wrong between us, but it's making me terribly sad that he says all these effusive things to me (and he is VERY rarely that effusive!) and makes me feel like he adores me, but still wants to stay with this other woman.

    Can any INTJs shed light on his behaviour and maybe let me know whether you think he might change his mind, or whether he's likely to just stay with this girl and ignore any feelings for me?

    (Disclaimer: I do not want to hurt anyone in this situation and I want him to be happy. But it is his behaviour that is making me question things.)

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a real soap opera.

  3. #3
    Suave y Fuerte BadOctopus's Avatar
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    Huh. It sounds to me like he is less attached to his current girlfriend than he is to you, and therefore if they broke up, it wouldn't be as emotionally devastating for him.

    In other words, he's afraid of being hurt if it didn't work out between the two of you, so he's opting for the relationship with the least amount of emotional risk.

  4. #4
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    sounds like he wants you as his spare tire. If he's saying all those things, giving you hopes, yet uncertain of his own feelings, and still in relationship with his girlfriend, I'll automatically assumed that he's a douche who only loves himself.

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    Lost in the Multiverse Bknight's Avatar
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    His uncertainty might be because of something about his current girlfriend. What's she like? Would he have something to fear from breaking up with her?

  6. #6
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mills View Post
    I'm looking for some opinions on my situation with my INTJ friend. Especially from any INTJs.

    He (B) and I have known each other for about 5 years, and are very close. We have been best friends for about 3 years. We've spoken a few times over the years about having feelings for each other, but for various reasons (long distance, not being totally sure about our feelings, I had a boyfriend, etc) nothing ever happened. We have a very intimate relationship though.

    B recently got a girlfriend, the first in the time that I've known him, and soon after they started going out, my boyfriend and I broke up. A couple of times since then we slept in the same bed (not out of necessity) and he was very cuddly, holding me all night, and stroking my hair. I also had recently come to the conclusion that I really did have strong feelings for him romantically, and so after these couple of nights, I decided to talk to him about our relationship.

    I told him how I felt, and said that I felt he was sending me mixed signals by being so physically close to me, while he has a girlfriend. He agreed, and said he was very confused and would think about what he wanted.

    About a month later (we had both been very busy in the mean time) B said he wanted to stay with his current girlfriend and he should put better boundaries in place for our friendship. He said he liked that things had progressed slowly and steadily with her and that he was very happy with her. However, he also said (during that conversation, as well as saying similar things since then) that watching TV in bed with me and holding me is his idea of "heaven", that I mean the world to him, and that if he sees me lots and spends time alone with me it stirs up feelings. He also said that if we got together and then broke up and he lost me, it would be devastating, whereas if he broke up with his current girlfriend he wouldn't have a lot to lose.

    My issue is this: as an INFJ (or perhaps just as me, I don't know if all Fs would feel this way) to me it sounds like he isn't that fussed about his girlfriend (although he is happy and comfortable with her) but feels very strongly about me, and if that's the case I can't understand why he would choose her over me. I know he is scared of things going wrong between us, but it's making me terribly sad that he says all these effusive things to me (and he is VERY rarely that effusive!) and makes me feel like he adores me, but still wants to stay with this other woman.

    Can any INTJs shed light on his behaviour and maybe let me know whether you think he might change his mind, or whether he's likely to just stay with this girl and ignore any feelings for me?

    (Disclaimer: I do not want to hurt anyone in this situation and I want him to be happy. But it is his behaviour that is making me question things.)
    Quote Originally Posted by BadOctopus View Post
    Huh. It sounds to me like he is less attached to his current girlfriend than he is to you, and therefore if they broke up, it wouldn't be as emotionally devastating for him.

    In other words, he's afraid of being hurt if it didn't work out between the two of you, so he's opting for the relationship with the least amount of emotional risk.
    @mills, I agree (seeing as I am an INTJ *male*) with Bad Octopus, but I'd likely go further in my description.

    INTJs like to go very slow until they are sure of themselves...(to an INTJ, a 98% chance of success is characterized as "almost certainly doomed to failure" -- did I mention that INTJs are self-perfectionists as well? ).

    So my current hypothesis is that your INTJ friend had feelings for you sneak up on him, but either he was afraid to admit it for fear of ruining a good friendship, *or* he wasn't confident of your reciprocation.
    So he landed himself another girl. THEN, when you and he cuddled, it did two things:
    a) brought into stark relief the extent of his feelings for you, or showed him the full *potential* between the two of you
    b) gave him a clue that you would likely reciprocate romantic feelings if he made overtures towards you

    ...but wouldn't you know it, gosh darn it! He'd gone and gotten involved with another girl.

    Besides being perfectionists, INTJs tend to be loyal to a fault, unless or until they run into foreseen-but-unsurmountable deal-breakers.
    He apparently *hasn't* had one with the current girlfriend, so he won't be disloyal or a creep, and cheat on her with you, OR break up with her just to try with you.
    (Besides, what if he makes a play for you after he's dumped her, and it doesn't work? Then he's left with NOBODY.)

    I hate to say this, but what would be required to clear the air would be -- and I think this is disloyal, immoral, and creepy, and I so advise AGAINST it -- a conversation of the sort

    "well, hypothetically, if I *were* to break up with her, would you--"
    "hypothetically yes I would"

    I applaud your integrity in wishing his happiness, and your courage in explaining to him how he was giving you conflicting signals : (holding you for a long time and stroking your hair === INTEREST,
    I woudn't do that to a woman unless I were IN a relationship with her, OR I were a long-time friend of hers, and a blood relative of hers had just died). The best spin I could even *try* to put on it,
    is that he's such a clueless robot, or temporarily self-centered, that he fell into the moment and forgot to consider what effect /signals all that holding would be, to YOU.

    I'm sorry for your sake, but can only extend awkward, embarrassed-for-INTJs-sake admiration and well-wishings to you.

    (Please let us know going forward if things change, or if there is anything else we can do to help!)
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

    Please comment on my johari / nohari pages.
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  7. #7
    Junior Member mills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bknight View Post
    His uncertainty might be because of something about his current girlfriend. What's she like? Would he have something to fear from breaking up with her?
    Not specifically, no, but I think his fear is probably just to do with risk. Basically what BadOctopus said. If he stays with his current girlfriend, he is happy with her, has a nice girlfriend, and has me as a friend. Whereas if he breaks up with her, he loses her, and it's not guaranteed (because nothing in life is) that it'll work out with me. And therefore it probably seems silly to him (I imagine) to take the risk - as things are, he has both of us in his life, and were he to break up with her, and maybe go out with me, he could end up with neither.

  8. #8
    Junior Member mills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    @mills, I agree (seeing as I am an INTJ *male*) with Bad Octopus, but I'd likely go further in my description.

    INTJs like to go very slow until they are sure of themselves...(to an INTJ, a 98% chance of success is characterized as "almost certainly doomed to failure" -- did I mention that INTJs are self-perfectionists as well? ).

    So my current hypothesis is that your INTJ friend had feelings for you sneak up on him, but either he was afraid to admit it for fear of ruining a good friendship, *or* he wasn't confident of your reciprocation.
    So he landed himself another girl. THEN, when you and he cuddled, it did two things:
    a) brought into stark relief the extent of his feelings for you, or showed him the full *potential* between the two of you
    b) gave him a clue that you would likely reciprocate romantic feelings if he made overtures towards you

    ...but wouldn't you know it, gosh darn it! He'd gone and gotten involved with another girl.

    Besides being perfectionists, INTJs tend to be loyal to a fault, unless or until they run into foreseen-but-unsurmountable deal-breakers.
    He apparently *hasn't* had one with the current girlfriend, so he won't be disloyal or a creep, and cheat on her with you, OR break up with her just to try with you.
    (Besides, what if he makes a play for you after he's dumped her, and it doesn't work? Then he's left with NOBODY.)

    I hate to say this, but what would be required to clear the air would be -- and I think this is disloyal, immoral, and creepy, and I so advise AGAINST it -- a conversation of the sort

    "well, hypothetically, if I *were* to break up with her, would you--"
    "hypothetically yes I would"

    I applaud your integrity in wishing his happiness, and your courage in explaining to him how he was giving you conflicting signals : (holding you for a long time and stroking your hair === INTEREST,
    I woudn't do that to a woman unless I were IN a relationship with her, OR I were a long-time friend of hers, and a blood relative of hers had just died). The best spin I could even *try* to put on it,
    is that he's such a clueless robot, or temporarily self-centered, that he fell into the moment and forgot to consider what effect /signals all that holding would be, to YOU.

    I'm sorry for your sake, but can only extend awkward, embarrassed-for-INTJs-sake admiration and well-wishings to you.

    (Please let us know going forward if things change, or if there is anything else we can do to help!)
    I think you're right! I spoke to my INTJ brother last night about this and he said the same thing - that because there's risk, there would need to be some enormous deal breaker for him to break up with her and give it a go with me.

    I don't think he's a clueless robot so I'll go for temporarily self-centred haha. He did also say that he finds it annoying that he can't be "platonically" close to me without it being inappropriate because of his girlfriend, although I would argue that it's not platonic - we have both admitted to having feelings for each other! So on second thoughts perhaps even if he's not a robot he is entirely clueless...

    Thank you for your admiration and well-wishings! I really appreciate your reply.

  9. #9
    Lost in the Multiverse Bknight's Avatar
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    @mills Ok. Just making sure.

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