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  1. #1
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Thumbs up ISTP freaking out... as much as any ISTP ever freaked out @ anything. Help please.

    My ISTP boyfriend and I (ENFP) are living together for a three-month trial period while we both decide if we want to get married.

    Here's the problem:

    This impending decision is causing my ISTP a LOT of stress. He doesn't know what happiness is and he's unsure if he's ever experienced it. Ergo, he's unsure if we should get married. He doesn't want to get married unless he knows he's happy. But since he doesn't know what happiness is, how can he be sure? Thus, he is stuck in this eternal logic loop. It's sort of like the koan of ISTP love.

    I think that trying to understand if he's "happy" is absolutely the wrong way for my ISTP to approach this decision. Of course I want him to be happy. But, in other areas of his life he almost never uses terms like "want" or "like." He never says, "I'm happy." While he's certainly made major life decisions before now, he says that he never made them because he felt overwhelming joy. Instead, they were the product of a lot of quiet reflection and careful reasoning. For example, he made the decision to go to grad school over 1000 miles from his home state, because he reasoned that this was the next logical step for his career. (Voila Ti.) And while he doesn't regret his decision, it caused him much stress and discomfort in the beginning. But he did it anyway.

    So I suggested to my ISTP, that if he waited until he wanted to declare his love on top of a mountain, he was going to wait a very long time because this isn't the way ISTPs thought about the world. I told him that he shouldn't expect to being jumping for joy about getting married. In fact, he would probably feel a lot of discomfort and that was normal for him. "You never jump for joy about anything," says I. "What makes you think this is going to be any different from the way you approach the rest of your life?"

    I think he's afraid that if he doesn't feel all gushy about getting married then either there is something wrong with him, or there's something wrong with the relationship. So I'm hoping for some suggestions on how ISTPs make such big decisions.

    [BTW, just to clarify, I'm not trying to convince my ISTP to marry me. I'm just trying to help him and support him while he sorts this out himself.]

    My ISTP boyfriend will be reading this, btw. Thanks in advance to anyone, regardless of type, who can shed some light on the inner workings of the ISTP mind.

    Thanks!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Three month trial period?

    Explain this concept.

    I'd imagine most people need longer than three months, except for my grandfather, who proposed on the second date. To a woman 20 years younger than him. Ha!


    Also, how old are y'all and how long have you known each other.

    I'm nowhere near getting married, but I'd imagine these questions bear relevancy on the situation.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  3. #3
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Why do you need to decide whether to get married RIGHT AWAY?

    Why do you need a fixed time of living together to decide? Talk about high-pressure. I would be constantly stressed in that kind of situation, too!

    Why do you want to get married now, or at all? Why does your bf? Maybe these answers aren't the same.

    edit: if it's relevant, I've been living with my bf for about a year and a half now, and we have no intentions of getting engaged in the near future. I would never have moved in with him if I'd considered it a step towards marriage, or a "trial period".
    -end of thread-

  4. #4
    Controlled Mischief StephMC's Avatar
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    Yeah, my best advice is to let him make the decision to move in with you without making him feel he's making a huge, life-changing decision to marry you along with it. It would make me go hysterical if I simply tried moving in with someone only to be wracked with thoughts that moving in implies years of commitment which implies marriage which implies little kids running around which implies...etc.

    Oh wait. This has happened Needless to day, after 3 months of me going out of my mind, I moved out and broke up with the guy. On the other hand, I've lived with someone that never made me feel that making the decision to live with him was making a huge life-changing decision, and that's working out just fine. Stress free.

    I'm not saying we don't know marriage is a possibility. Just let us live blissfully for a while after one huge decision is done, and then move on to the next once we get comfortable with the first.
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

  5. #5
    Senior Member seamaid's Avatar
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    Does he maybe need more time / experience? Are the 3 months almost up? The stress seems to come from the growing pressure to decide something he doesn't know enough about yet.

    I've been living with my ISTP for 4 months, been dating a year total. We are not anywhere near getting engaged (he's just about to turn 27 altho I am 29). I myself would want him to propose if things continue to go well for another year. I mean, that's enough time and experience to really know what it's going to be like day in, day out. With enough cycles of good, great, bad, and boring days he'll know if that particular dynamic is what he wants for the long haul.

    I know that if he asks me to marry him, it won't be on one of our boring days, lol. He'll BE overjoyed (if not verbally so, but just all lit up), like when he has some nice surprise planned up his sleeve. The fact that you say he doesn't know if he's ever been happy sounds very odd to me. Happiness doesn't have to be !!!!!! <-- like this all the time. It can be comfort, peace, satisfaction, and contentment. Hasn't he ever just felt good? Is he depressed?

    IMO, I think the deadline is sapping all the joy out of something he would probably want to do when he thinks it's right (after careful consideration of every factor).

  6. #6
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    yeah...my advice is to take marriage off the table and just live together...don't rush into it and i would think as an enfp you would need them to want it just as much as you...personality types aside...don't justify it based on that and don't settle for less than you need.
    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.
    -Jim Morrison

  7. #7
    One day and the next Rainne's Avatar
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    Eventually, after awhile...an ISTP will probably say something along the lines of "We should probably get married."

  8. #8
    full of love Kingfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    yeah...my advice is to take marriage off the table and just live together...don't rush into it and i would think as an enfp you would need them to want it just as much as you...personality types aside...don't justify it based on that and don't settle for less than you need.
    that is how i feel too, i think that works well.
    it's got to feel right.

    my wife and i lived together for 5 years before we got married. we just let things take their own course.

  9. #9
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    I agree with the ISTPs. You say you're not pressuring him into marriage, but to call living together a "trial period?" Yeah, that's pressuring. Just live together, and if marriage eventually comes to the table, address it then.

    I've been living with my current GF for approx. 2.5 years. And we've discussed marriage, but living together is hardly a stepping stone or a trial period.

    It sounds like you love each other, which is good.

    Living together can make or break a relationship.
    Last edited by rhinosaur; 06-03-2010 at 09:47 AM.

  10. #10
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    Have you two had any major disagreements to navigate through?

    It's mostly those types of scenarios where I discover how I really feel about almost anyone.

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