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  1. #1
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    Default Is this INTP into me, or just being friendly?

    I'm an INFP who sometimes types as an INTP - my Fi is strong, though, and I think my age and profession (academic) have fine-tuned my logical side. I'm interested in an INTP, and I think he's interested in me, but I'd appreciate an INTP take on his behaviour before I attempt to take it any further. If we remain friends, that's fine, because I enjoy his company and the way his mind works, and he's also a great professional contact. But I would also enjoy exploring a more intimate relationship with him, if he were so inclined.

    There is a not-insignificant age gap between us - he's probably 15 or 20 years older than me. Our relationship is further complicated by the fact that he was my PhD supervisor. I was pretty crazy about him then, but I knew nothing could happen because a teacher/student relationship would have been a breach of his professional ethics. He was always extremely kind and supportive, and generous with his time and feedback.

    After I submitted my dissertation and passed, he asked me out to cocktails and dinner - but I was under the impression at the time that this was something he did for all his PhD students. Now - five years later! - I'm wondering whether that was *strictly* the truth (at least, the cocktails side of it. I can't imagine him plying any of the middle-aged male candidates he had at the time with whisky sours). At the time, I was involved in a relationship and so again, nothing could have happened between me and Dr. INTP.

    Five years on, I work at a different university and have been very happily single for several years. A few weeks back, on a whim, I dropped in to see if he might be in his office, and to say hi. He was there, and very happy to see me, but in the middle of uploading final grades, so I suggested we have coffee to catch up and he enthusiastically agreed.

    Since July 1st we've had coffee once and lunch three times, each time lasting about two hours. He seems to enjoy himself? I figure he wouldn't keep suggesting or agreeing to meet again if he didn't. He goes out of his way to make me laugh, teases me, and usually insists on paying, or at least doesn't want me to pay for him. He picks up on my moods - for example, "You seem much more relaxed than last time I saw you." This was true. The time before I'd been (irrationally) worried that he'd never want to see me again. He seemed pleased that he had picked that up. I am very reserved and internally-focused so it can be difficult for others to discern my mood (thanks Fi!).

    Other stuff he's said that made me wonder, because they seem like the kind of details he might not usually notice. And he always sounds faintly surprised when he says them:
    "That's a nice dress - the colours suit you."
    "That's a nice handbag."
    "I remember you as a redhead, but you're naturally a brunette, aren't you?"

    At times he goes into long monologues about his latest passion, which is fine by me, because I always learn something new when I'm with him. Once when he fell into one of these monologues, he was a little embarrassed and said, "If we're going to continue these lunches, you'll have to stop me from lecturing you on my obscure interests." I told him that in fact I liked it, which was true. Last time we had lunch he used the phrase, "If we're going to pursue this friendship, you might have to put up with my complaints about insomnia." So I'm not sure if he sees it as only a friendship.

    Last time he walked me all the way back to my car with an umbrella in case it rained (it was a grey day and I was unprepared).

    He kisses me on the cheek every time we say goodbye.

    Soooooooo, I just want to know if I'm reading too much into this, or if it sounds like he might be into me.

    Thanks in advance, and sorry that this is so long.

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Sounds like he is into you. But if you want something long term, think whether or not you want to have a 70 year old husband other leg in the grave already when you are only 50..
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    It sounds like he's interested in you, so if you're interested in turn, continue to see where things progress and reciprocate with small things that can signal your interest in turn (or larger things if he fails to pick up on the smaller things).

    But sure, look at all the practical issues involved in a relationship as it progresses throughout life, when you decide what you want to do, as well as evaluate what attracts you to him / why you are interested. For example, when you first met, there was an imbalance of power in the relationship; how does a more mutual relationship change things, if any? Still, Maybe since you're both older (late 30's and mid/late 50's), you're both more aware of what you want, have been content being single [so you're not trying to rush into a relationship], and would only come together out of mutual interest. So maybe it's not that much of an issue.

    There are many other general factors to consider. Age is one. It can work (for example, the celebrity Celine Dion, whose husband is much older than her), it just presents some things that have to be accepted or worked through. Does the generation difference create any difficulties? (For example, I'm Gen X or younger in mindset and find more conflict with Boomer males.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"
    "You can't take a picture of this, it's already gone." ~ "Six Feet Under"

  4. #4
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    Thanks to both of you for your thoughts!

    When I look at the long term implications of this relationship, they don't include marriage. I never intend to marry or cohabitate again. It doesn't work for me. I own my own house now anyway, and I wouldn't give that up or be able to tolerate anyone else in my space for too long.

    However, I have had some concerns about the generation gap, which is one reason I'm taking it so slow. That's definitely something for me to think through. We share similar views, but his interests are much more focused than mine. Whether or not it matters to me that he shares many of my interests, or only some, is something I've been pondering.

    Thanks again. Your objective views are very much appreciated.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hitoshi-San's Avatar
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    I think he likes you . Whenever I think of Fi, I don't think of kissing someone on the cheek for absolutely no reason or randomly being all like, "you look so nice today!" and even more so elaborating on it. From what you've said it sounds like he really cares a lot about how you're doing and pays plenty of attention to details and will remember anything about you pretty fondly.

    But about the age thing, you could, once you feel like things are starting to pick up and you're very open with each other if you're not already, ask him what he thinks about that, or what his thoughts are of not only his generation but other ones, like yours, millennials, etc.

    Even if you think you know what the answer will wind up being, it never hurts to bring it up and have a discussion about it.
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  6. #6
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    I am definitely going to address the age thing next time it comes up. Actually, we both teach Millenials, so that gives me an easy way in to the topic.

    I'll be interested to hear his views. He's quite bohemian, so I suspect it'll the age difference will be less of a concern for him than it might be for some people. But you're right - it never hurts to discuss it.

  7. #7
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    Sounds like he's into you. You could try being bold and ask him if you're still uncertain. An INTP I knew loved when women acted more boldly in that way.
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  8. #8
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    I feel like we're both skirting round the issue and probably won't stop until 2038 at this rate, sooo. I might just have to ask!
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  9. #9
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    You only live once.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elektralite View Post
    I feel like we're both skirting round the issue and probably won't stop until 2038 at this rate, sooo. I might just have to ask!
    Or you could just tell him how you feel. I get the impression he wouldn't judge you even if he didn't reciprocate the same sentiments.
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