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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rachelinpa's Avatar
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    Default giving time out of obligation? (enfp-istp)

    so yesterday morning, my istp mentioned that we could watch a movie together after he had easter dinner with his parents and he would call me on his drive back.

    since i was not sure how long he was going to be, i decided to go out with some friends for drinks keeping my phone accessible. at any rate, somehow i missed the call by a half hour, but i called him back as soon as i saw the missed call. i invited him to come out with my friends, but he said he was tired. unable to hide my disappointment, i said, "i thought we were going to hang out tonight..." to which he replied, "i know... i am just really tired... and wasn't expecting to go out." long story short, i guessed (that it was not that he did not want to hang out at all, but) maybe he just did not want to hang out in a group of people. i told him i would come over.

    mulling over this in the next few minutes... i changed my mind. in a flurry of emotion and not wanting to appear needy, i texted him that i understood he was tired and i would just go home. he immediately calls and says, "what's wrong?" and of course, i have a mini emotional breakdown and explain how i was disappointed because i had the expectation of spending time together, but i was trying very hard to be reasonable and hated feeling needy. and of course, i would NEVER want him to hang out with me due to obligation. at any rate, he tells me that he will pick me up and we can watch a movie together. he said he only could not promise he would stay awake through it. i tell him he doesn't have to... i tell him that it's okay and i know he is tired... he comes over anyway, but i feel guilty and stupid for wanting to see him. and WEAK for telling him.

    i feel like he came to see me because he is a good boyfriend and out of obligation to the relationship... not because he wanted to see me... asking someone to sacrifice time is a hard one because time (to me) indicates interest in the person. i try not to take it all personally and really, i was more fine with not seeing him than feeling like i was forcing him to see me.

    at any rate, what do you istps think? did i handle it okay? i was not trying to guilt him to come see me. i was just sad. is it better that i told him about the disappointment? do you think he only came to see me out of obligation?

  2. #2
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    I'm not an istp but I think it's a little unfair to assume that he didn't want to see you if he truly was tired. Being tired =/= he doesn't love you. He's just tired. The body and brain needs to recoop. And introverts sometimes do that best alone. It doesn't mean he wants a break from your bullshit or something negative like that. lol It's just a rest. He'll be back after he wakes up and/or recharges.

  3. #3
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    hmm...i'm an enfp and i may have acted the same as he did. i can't promise not to fall asleep during a movie if i'm tired and it wouldn't mean i wouldn't want to come over but it also means i wouldn't have minded if you stayed out instead.

    that's not really saying anything is it. :/
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
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  4. #4
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    we might not be in tune with subtle emotions but we can still understand them. while you're having an emotional meltdown he is seeing that your plans together were a bigger deal than he thought, so he reassess the situation and decides although he's tired it's not so bad he couldn't come over anyways... what's the big deal? things are never as black and white as people tend to think. the middle ground is often the reality of life and we want to make the most of it without a bunch of drama.

  5. #5
    One day and the next Rainne's Avatar
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    When an ISTP says he's tired and feel doesn't want to do anything, it truly means he's tired and doesn't feel like doing anything. It's never personal.

    Also, this is probably what was going on in his mind when he read your text:

    "Osht, she seems pretty sad. Might as well."
    Weathergirl: District 38 is sunny. Slight rock showers this morning. Chance of rock showers into the afternoon—20 percent. District 39 is cloudy. Chance of rock showers this afternoon—10 percent.
    Edward: Bebop here here! Alright woo hoo!
    Weathergirl: Chance of rock showers today upgraded to 90 percent.
    Edward: Really.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Willfrey's Avatar
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    ack, you're freaking your ISTP out.

    I had nights go down pretty much just how you've described.

    Just relax, don't over-think things. Slow and steady wins the race.
    ...Then I ducked my head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
    And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark...

  7. #7
    Senior Member mcmartinez84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyNoLimits View Post
    we might not be in tune with subtle emotions but we can still understand them. while you're having an emotional meltdown he is seeing that your plans together were a bigger deal than he thought, so he reassess the situation and decides although he's tired it's not so bad he couldn't come over anyways... what's the big deal? things are never as black and white as people tend to think. the middle ground is often the reality of life and we want to make the most of it without a bunch of drama.
    Bingo. He probably thought it was a more routine or back up plan to watch a movie, but you found other people to hang out with that kept you entertained. Nothing personal here... I know people like to spend time with people who aren't me. I also like alone time, so sometimes it's entirely convenient that people have something/someone else to be around.

    If I give a gift out of obligation, someone is sure to hear about it. "Here's that thing you demanded from me. Are you HAPPY now?"
    I 65.63% E 34.38%
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  8. #8
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    I want some birthday cake ice cream in a giant waffle cone.

  9. #9
    Senior Member toast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachelinpa View Post
    i feel like he came to see me because he is a good boyfriend and out of obligation to the relationship... not because he wanted to see me...

    Ive had this a lot with my ISTP. I think it is over analyzing. Finding meaning in something fairly simple. Sps truly like things simple, NFs like to think they do... but we are usually always intuiting something deeper.

    There are a couple of things I want to point out. Your initial assumption about him not wanting to go out was probably right. It sounds like the reaction I'd get from my ISTP. I'd expect him to say: "well I'd still like to see you but I'm tired & don't want to go out." For him that's just too much, and tends to be leading (it almost obligates me to see him even if I really just want to stay out - because he said he'd 'like' it.) So he just goes with: "nah. I'm tired." Because its simple, honest and effective. Then later when he finds out you don't want to impose, he's confused, because he never implied he didn't want to see you.

    I am getting better with this, because I'm beginning to clear the lines between how he does things & how I understand them. You were probably also correct when you made the assumption that he came to get you because he was doing it for you. First, seeing it as an 'obligation' is flawed. He's not obligated to be good to you, he wants to.

    He may not be 'excited' just to spend time w you, and that will be somewhat of a struggle (for an NF), plain and simple. He will sometimes be more into doing things just because you make him feel wonderful, but more often he's more into experiencing the 'thing' than in experiencing you, which is pretty much the opposite of how I work (dont know about you). But there is a way of thinking that soothes my insecurity in that. Its simply to look at myself and think of the times that I have been that way. From time to time, we all do things we aren't excited or wouldn't normally do for people we care about. Sometimes I do it to keep someone from being upset w me, sometimes specifically to make them happy. These things are done because I care but they aren't an indication of how I truly feel about them as a person or how much I
    want to be around them or do things w them in general.

    Trouble, I think, is that NFs want to have evidence that they're wanted for 'themselves' while ISTPs are more about acting like they want your company (to act like they want you specifically can come off as invasive to them). That's mainly just external behavior though. It doesn't mean that NFs don't just want company sometimes or that an ISTP doesn't truly want you.

    All that said, I think you had the right reaction: telling him honestly what you were thinking & letting him have his chance to be there for you.

    I want to sort of bogart this post for a bit and ask a question for the ISTPs (without making another ISTP post)... I hope you don't mind.

    If an ISTP says they are "in love" w you, what does that even mean?

    I'm pretty sure he's just regurgitating what I've said... because several of the times we've had those "I'm upset with us" fights, I've mentioned my irritation with us having no romance, excitement or "honeymoon phase" because I fell hard and he took his sweet time learning to value me. It was never a deal breaker or anything, just a frustration I wanted him to understand (to explain my disappointment/reaction to certain things). I see it as a difference between us in that he's way too guarded & in control to fall like me, so I'd say: "I know you love me, but I'm in love." Then I'd explain what that meant to me: that i was smitten & dreamy & hopeful & frankly: adore him. That it's a separate feeling from loving him, its an excitement. I'd say I'm sure he doesn't feel those things. When I'd say something like that, he'd tell me I was wrong & that he knows he's "in love." But when I ask him what he means by it, he describes love. He says things like: "comfort, trust, deep emotional connection."

    It doesn't get to me much anymore, so this isn't really a problem I'm looking for advice to or anything. But it does bother me that I have no idea what he means when he says it. What feeling he's describing. He insists he is "in love", but how is he defining it? I mean, don't you guys think that sort of thing is hogwash anyway? Seems like "in love" shouldn't even be in an ISTP vocabulary, and I've never really thought about it as a relative term.
    ____________________________________________
    "In my soul rages a battle without victor. Between faith without proof and reason without charm." - Sully Prudhomme

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rachelinpa's Avatar
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    toaster... thanks for your post! i can completely relate and am glad i am not the only one. hahaha. i am also the same way about the in love thing too. i was TOTALLY thinking that just the other day... my istp always repeats "i love you too" and i'm like... well, what does that even mean to you? NFs. haha. i love (i'm in love )with us.

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