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[INTP] Romantically connecting and communicating with an INTP guy?

memz

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I have been in a relationship with an INTP for 6 months. I am an ISFP. Obviously we are going to have some communication differences. There has been little disclosure on his part about his past. I also haven't disclosed much, but it seems like we do it in spurts a little at a time. He is a self professed loner type. I on the other hand prefer having lots of communication. He is fine to go a few days without talking. In the past when this happens my feelings are usually hurt because I feel like he doesnt want to talk to me or maybe just doesnt think about me. He has explained in the past that with his job, he puts everything else aside and does nothing but concentrate on the task at hand. That he would probably not think about his daughter during the day if he didn't have a picture of her in his office. So this apparently carries over into daily life as well. I trust him completely so I don't think that he is cheating or anything like that.

A couple weeks ago, we went a Thursday and Friday without talking. I told him my feelings were hurt, which caused an arguement. He wanted to know how I felt when he went out of state for work for a week and we didn't talk because he didn't have any cell reception. I told him that I understood, though he sent me a message every day on facebook. He then preceeds to tell me that he could go a week without talking to someone. After a few more minutes of arguing he tells me that the next time I'm over his direction I should just call him and we would exchange our stuff back. I told him that I only wanted to be with him. He said that he didn't think it would work out because I was expecting more communication from him than he could give because of other obligations. I have told him all along that even a simple text saying "hey its a busy day. talk to you tomorrow," would suffice. Anyways...we broke up and that Thursday he texted and asked if I could talk. He said he missed me and we decided to meet up the next day. When I went over, after I walked in the door he turned around and held me for quite some time. We sat down and talked for hours. I asked him what he wanted and he kept saying he didn't know. I made it clear that I wanted to be with him. Eventually he asked me if I would be with him and I told him that I was with him and have been. We both agreed that it wouldn't be easy, but decided to give it another try.

So my question for all you INTP's is what is the best way to communicate and feel connected with out being overly clingy? I know there is going to have to be some compromise. Are there any books or articles out there about these types of relationships? I welcome any advice or opinions. Thanks for reading.
 

INTPness

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This is going to sound crazy, but if it's anything like me with my ex-ISFP, you have to back off in a major way and show him that you are capable of being independent. If he thinks that you need him all the time and that you don't have enough stuff going on in your life to keep you busy throughout the day, he's probably going to pull away cuz he'll know that it's going to be a relationship that requires TONS of work. That's not attractive to INTP's at all. We don't like that. I definitely want a best friend in a partner, but in the beginning stages, I want us to establish ourselves as two individuals who function very well without each other and still be secure. If we can't establish that early in the relationship, I usually don't want to go further cuz I know the relationship is going to drain me. You've got to give him the space he's asking for, period. It's that simple. And if you can't, then it very well might not work out.

Show him that you can text him and that you're fine without hearing back from him. You're still happy, you're still secure, you're still being productive at work and in your life, you're still having fun and going out with your friends/family, etc. Just keep living your regular life like before you met him - just that now it's a bonus because you have him in your life. Don't drop everything in your life and just focus all your time and energy on him and forget all your friends and family, work, and hobbies. Get back to those things and then he'll feel like he has more space. And then, if you do those things, I bet you he'll call you once in a while. Even INTP's like to be around the people we care about - and I bet he does care about you. Give him space - just go back to being you and don't worry about if he will leave you or anything like that. Just be you and live your life happily - and he'll really appreciate that and you guys will probably grow even closer because of it.

It's kinda like someone said in the thread about how to have a relationship with an INFJ - "once you're in, you're kinda in" with us. But, in the beginning stages, we want to see a lot of independence. And that you're truly happy being independent, not worrying and fretting all the time. That you're comfortable with it.

I wish the best for you. You ISFP's have great hearts - and I loved that about my ISFP ex. But, it ended for a lot of the reasons that I mentioned above.
 

memz

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Thanks for your reply! That makes alot of sense and I'm definitely trying to give him his space. Is there a good way to approach an INTP about more in depth discussions? Or do most INTP's need time to build trust? I sometimes feel like he doesn't trust me enough to discuss certain topics. I told him that and all he says is that it will come. How can you tell how an INTP feels about you? Obviously I know he likes me or we wouldn't be together, but my feelings for him are strong and I wonder if he feels the same way I do. If he told me he loved me I would tell him back, but I don't want to be the first to say it and possibly scare him. I just wish I knew how to tell how he felt without straight up asking. That would be awkward for me. Sorry for all the questions. I tend to be the over analyzing type. :)
 

INTPness

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Hmmm, yeah, it sounds like for some reason he's not ready to "go there" with you yet (in-depth discussions). You have to let it come in due time. It's not something you can force. INTP's love, love, love (did I say love?) deep conversations about a variety of things - but I'm assuming that you're talking about discussions like "how do you feel about me?" Don't push that on him. If he has something to say on that issue, he'll make sure that you know. It sounds like he's in that awkward stage, where he's still trying to figure things out - where he definitely cares for you and feels some sense of devotion/loyalty to you, but he's not yet sure if he loves you. Sometimes that takes time and it can't be rushed or forced. It either happens or it doesn't. Just be secure in the fact that he's with you. I would say it's highly, highly unlikely that he'd be seeing someone else on the side or anything like that. I like to keep my life pretty simple and uncluttered, so trying to date multiple people at the same time just complicates things for me. I like to date one person and really focus on them and get to know them and see how well we work together - simply by being ourselves. If you're "trying really hard" or "doing things you wouldn't normally do after 15 years of marriage", he's going to see that. Don't put up a front or a false image of who you are. Truly be yourself so that he can get to know the real you and he can see how things would be with you if he were to remain in a relationship with you.

This is why I'm very patient in relationships - cuz I want the "first impression" to wear off. Everybody shows their "A game" at the beginning (including INTP's) - I think it's human nature. But, he's probably not going to make any huge decisions about a future with you or about "true love" until he sees the inner you. He wants to see you angry, he wants to see you not get your way once in a while (see how you react), he wants to take a week or two away from you (see if you're still calm and secure or if you're freaking out), he wants to see how you interact with friends/family, he wants to see your heart, your humor, maybe your work ethic, stuff like that. He wants to know who you really are behind the big smiley face.

You can pretty much talk to INTP's about anything I think - but I'd wait on the "love" and "feelings" thing in this case. It sounds like he's still figuring things out and figuring you out. The fact that he held you for a while - that's a big thing. I think that's a very intimate thing for an INTP. Very much from the heart. Don't take it as "I want to spend forever with you" - just know that he's still working things out for himself and he needs some time - but I can tell you one thing for sure, I don't hug just anyone like that. I hug people - but it's the "pat pat" kind of hug. This kind of hug shows that he cares about you. Just take it slow and - I know it's hard - but try to really relax in the relationship. I think anxiety causes a lot of relationships to falter in the first year - cuz people want to "secure the deal" or "finalize it forever" or whatever. That stuff takes time. You can't rush that stuff or else it all comes tumbling down.

Honestly, if I'm with you 7 days a week, you probably aren't going to get a lot of those hugs (unless you're my wife). But, if I only see you once or twice a week, you'll probably get even more of them cuz I'll miss you and I'll want to be affectionate with you. Just a thought! :D
 

rav3n

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One thing about INTPs. They expect you to be yourself but it takes forever for them to show themselves. ;)
 

INTPness

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One thing about INTPs. They expect you to be yourself but it takes forever for them to show themselves. ;)

Heh. Shhhh. Don't tell 'em that part. Yeah, it takes a little while for us to settle in.
 

rav3n

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Heh. Shhhh. Don't tell 'em that part. Yeah, it takes a little while for us to settle in.
:laugh: You're so busted!

The more you emotionally pressure an INTP, the more they retreat. Blast them with negative feelings once and they turtle. Do it enough times and they run. Chase them and they will break Olympic sprint records.

If you really want an INTP, be independent. When you're with them, make it a positive experience. As seekers of knowledge (nosy as hell :tongue:) their curiosity naturally brings them back.
 

StillWaters

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I have a close friend who is an INTP guy. I find that my INTP is often unaware of his own emotions, or if he's feeling something, he can't define it or explain it. The emotion he feels most intensely and often happens to be anger, and he has a lot of it. He will often react with anger to perceived slights in a very childish way. As far as love goes, he has told me he doesn't understand love, but he understands making agreements with people and he keeps them. His lack of understanding of his own emotions causes him to be fickle -- to want things that change week by week, or simply to not know what he wants at all.

For example, when I first met him, he said he was monogamous and wanted a girlfriend. Then he changed his mind and lost interest in both of the women he was dating. Neither of them became his girlfriend. Now he wants to be single and fool around with lots of women. Every now and then he contemplates asking someone out but doesn't, because the person is "too this or not enough that." He claims to carry the torch for a woman he dated last year in another city, but doesn't have many positive things to say about her, and didn't try very hard to keep her. He seems to be a prisoner of his moods.

It sounds like your INTP might be similar. For me, these are reasons enough to keep my INTP friend in the friend zone, although at times he has expressed more than platonic interest in me (and just as quickly moved to deny it later). Sometimes it's really rough to try and get your emotional needs met by INTPs. The more emotionally healthy and mature they are, the better. Mine, obviously, isn't.

As far as the lack of communicating frequently enough goes, my INTP friend and I see each other and communicate frequently, but if a few days go by when we don't, I no longer take it personally. I used to think maybe he didn't want to be my friend anymore when that happened, but after knowing him for about 5 months now, there is a definite rhythm to his communications. If about three days go by and I don't get a call, text, or IM from him, I just go ahead and ping him. If more than a week goes by without hanging out with him, I go ahead and ask if he wants to get together. He's always receptive. I phrase it positively, like "I've missed you, want to grab a beer?" I don't accuse him of not contacting me enough or ask if he still likes me. (I used to have a purely platonic female friend who acted like that toward me and now we are no longer friends). If you phrase things positively it won't seem clingy when you contact him, and I would give it at least a couple of days before you do so to show him you respect his need for space.

Even when you're dating someone, you don't need to talk to them every day. This is especially true for us introverts. I'm fine with going a day or two (at the most) without communicating with the guy I'm seeing (who is not my INTP friend, but I believe an INFP); it creates anticipation of talking to him and more to discuss when we do. When we first started seeing each other we would often only talk once or twice a week to set up dates and now it's almost every day.

You also might want to slow your roll a bit. Six months isn't a long-term relationship yet. It's OK if it's still dating-ish at that point and not relationship-ish. Especially for an INTP.
 

INTPness

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:laugh: You're so busted!

Gulp.

The more you emotionally pressure an INTP, the more they retreat. Blast them with negative feelings once and they turtle.

Love interest on left. INTP on right.




Do it enough times and they run. Chase them and they will break Olympic sprint records.




If you really want an INTP, be independent. When you're with them, make it a positive experience. As seekers of knowledge (nosy as hell :tongue:) their curiosity naturally brings them back.

:wubbie: How yoooou doin?

I have a close friend who is an INTP guy. I find that my INTP is often unaware of his own emotions, or if he's feeling something, he can't define it or explain it. The emotion he feels most intensely and often happens to be anger, and he has a lot of it. He will often react with anger to perceived slights in a very childish way. As far as love goes, he has told me he doesn't understand love, but he understands making agreements with people and he keeps them. His lack of understanding of his own emotions causes him to be fickle -- to want things that change week by week, or simply to not know what he wants at all.

For example, when I first met him, he said he was monogamous and wanted a girlfriend. Then he changed his mind and lost interest in both of the women he was dating. Neither of them became his girlfriend. Now he wants to be single and fool around with lots of women. Every now and then he contemplates asking someone out but doesn't, because the person is "too this or not enough that." He claims to carry the torch for a woman he dated last year in another city, but doesn't have many positive things to say about her, and didn't try very hard to keep her. He seems to be a prisoner of his moods.

It sounds like your INTP might be similar. For me, these are reasons enough to keep my INTP friend in the friend zone, although at times he has expressed more than platonic interest in me (and just as quickly moved to deny it later). Sometimes it's really rough to try and get your emotional needs met by INTPs. The more emotionally healthy and mature they are, the better. Mine, obviously, isn't.

Aren't we fun? As we age, Fe becomes more refined.
 

memz

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Thanks for all the insights! I'm definitely learning how to give him his space with out being clingy. I dont know what exactly happened with his ex-wife, but he has custody of his kid. We try to do stuff with the kids, but I'm in school full time and my 2 are with their dad for a few hours during the week. So not alot of time to do that. I do stay with him on my work weekends because he lives 10 minutes from my job and my kids are with their dad. He doesn't come to my house often because I live in a different town and we are usually his direction anyways. I just worry sometimes too that our relationship is more of a convienence one. I'd like to think not, but sometimes I wonder because it is usually me doing alot of the work. Then again thats more of my clingy nature coming out. But I'm trying to believe that he wouldn't stick around for something like that. I definitely have my insecurities because of past relationships, but I'm trying really hard to be patient and understanding as well as not so clingy.
 

INTPness

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Oh, and when you are at his place ALL DAY or ALL WEEKEND, try not to be all up in his grill the whole time. Be willing to go in the other room and watch a movie by yourself (yes, 2 whole hours by yourself), or go do some errands by yourself, or do whatever you gotta do. I love it when it's like this:

1. Go have a nice lunch together. Talk about how things are going with each other, eat some good food. Maybe grab some dessert afterwards or go do something fun.
2. Come home - you do your thing, I do my thing for a few hours.
3. Hey, wanna go have dinner together? Or cook something? Eat a good meal. Maybe watch a movie or go for a walk together or whatever.
4. Some more alone time doing our own thing.

Rinse. Repeat. If you guys go somewhere like an amusement park with the kids or something, then yeah, you'll have to be together all day. No big deal. But, sometimes if its 24/7, it starts to feel like I'm babysitting. Just sayin. It doesn't mean he likes you any less. Just means he needs some time to himself throughout the day.
 

memz

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Oh, and when you are at his place ALL DAY or ALL WEEKEND, try not to be all up in his grill the whole time. Be willing to go in the other room and watch a movie by yourself (yes, 2 whole hours by yourself), or go do some errands by yourself, or do whatever you gotta do. I love it when it's like this:

1. Go have a nice lunch together. Talk about how things are going with each other, eat some good food. Maybe grab some dessert afterwards or go do something fun.
2. Come home - you do your thing, I do my thing for a few hours.
3. Hey, wanna go have dinner together? Or cook something? Eat a good meal. Maybe watch a movie or go for a walk together or whatever.
4. Some more alone time doing our own thing.

Rinse. Repeat. If you guys go somewhere like an amusement park with the kids or something, then yeah, you'll have to be together all day. No big deal. But, sometimes if its 24/7, it starts to feel like I'm babysitting. Just sayin. It doesn't mean he likes you any less. Just means he needs some time to himself throughout the day.

I am at work until later in the evening and then get up the next morning before he gets up. So really we are only together for a few hours then go to bed. Ditto for the rest of the weekend. I will say though he likes having seperate sides of the bed. Don't cross "the line" type thing. I'm a snuggling type where he is not so much. But are INTP's more the type to show how they feel in a sexual way versus a telling you and showing you? I notice with him its the little things he does like changing my head light and fixing small stuff to show he cares instead of bringing flowers. Or is a little more physically affectionate when he sees me for the first time in like a week. This is my first relationship with someone this introverted. But I'm in this for the long haul, so I'm just trying to underdstand as much as I can. I love all the opinions and tips. I really appreciate them.
 

INTPness

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I am at work until later in the evening and then get up the next morning before he gets up. So really we are only together for a few hours then go to bed. Ditto for the rest of the weekend. I will say though he likes having seperate sides of the bed. Don't cross "the line" type thing. I'm a snuggling type where he is not so much. But are INTP's more the type to show how they feel in a sexual way versus a telling you and showing you? I notice with him its the little things he does like changing my head light and fixing small stuff to show he cares instead of bringing flowers. Or is a little more physically affectionate when he sees me for the first time in like a week. This is my first relationship with someone this introverted. But I'm in this for the long haul, so I'm just trying to underdstand as much as I can. I love all the opinions and tips. I really appreciate them.

Haha. There seems to be a lot of variance in terms of whether INTP's are affectionate or not. I like to be affectionate, but there's a time for affection and there's a time to sleep. Call me a compartmentalizer, but I find it hard to do both at the same time.
 

Tallulah

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One thing about INTPs. They expect you to be yourself but it takes forever for them to show themselves. ;)

This is so true, I can't even express how true it is. I'm starting to see what a horrible pain in the butt we are in relationships.
 

memz

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One thing about INTPs. They expect you to be yourself but it takes forever for them to show themselves. ;)

Thank you for saying this. For the last 6 months I have felt like it was more of an issue of him not trusting me. But I guess he really is just that shy and introverted. But with bigger issues I thought it was a trust issue because I know he was hurt badly by his ex. We both accept the other as we are, but when there has been little disclosure sometimes I felt like we were lacking in connection. HUGE thing for an ISFP. But we have been talking alot more since we got back together and thats slowly improving. Now I know when he does tell me something more personal, that its a huge thing for him. Makes me appreciate it that much more.
 

Tallulah

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Thank you for saying this. For the last 6 months I have felt like it was more of an issue of him not trusting me. But I guess he really is just that shy and introverted. But with bigger issues I thought it was a trust issue because I know he was hurt badly by his ex. We both accept the other as we are, but when there has been little disclosure sometimes I felt like we were lacking in connection. HUGE thing for an ISFP. But we have been talking alot more since we got back together and thats slowly improving. Now I know when he does tell me something more personal, that its a huge thing for him. Makes me appreciate it that much more.

Something that frustrates some of the feelers in my life is the fact that I tend to share things organically, as they come up and are germain to the conversation at hand. It's always felt strange and unnatural to just volunteer a lot of extraneous information about myself. It can seem to others as if I"m being secretive, but really, it's just that it hasn't come up yet. But the intensely personal stuff? I have to know you and trust you a lot before I spill that. I have to know you're invested and trustworthy, and won't throw it back in my face or blab to others.
 

Sinmara

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Something that frustrates some of the feelers in my life is the fact that I tend to share things organically, as they come up and are germain to the conversation at hand. It's always felt strange and unnatural to just volunteer a lot of extraneous information about myself. It can seem to others as if I"m being secretive, but really, it's just that it hasn't come up yet. But the intensely personal stuff? I have to know you and trust you a lot before I spill that. I have to know you're invested and trustworthy, and won't throw it back in my face or blab to others.

You say that as though it's some sort of abnormality. That's how I communicate; I express/reveal things as they come to me. I tend to do it at a quicker pace than most since I'm a chatterbox when I'm comfortable with a person but it's the same method. You're right, tossing out random information for the sake of it is awkward.

I'm dating an INTP right now and he does this too. It's amusing sometimes because we will be talking and he'll mention something that happened in his past, I'll be a bit confused because he's speaking as though I should know what he's talking about, then he has this forehead-smacking moment of "OH! I haven't told you this yet!" and then comes excruciatingly detailed story time. It's cute. For now. ;)
 

memz

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Something that frustrates some of the feelers in my life is the fact that I tend to share things organically, as they come up and are germain to the conversation at hand. It's always felt strange and unnatural to just volunteer a lot of extraneous information about myself. It can seem to others as if I"m being secretive, but really, it's just that it hasn't come up yet. But the intensely personal stuff? I have to know you and trust you a lot before I spill that. I have to know you're invested and trustworthy, and won't throw it back in my face or blab to others.

I have never really thought he was being secretive as much as I thought he just didn't trust me yet. I tend to feel people out before I trust them. It usually takes me quite some time to build up trust. Funny thing with him is that I have always felt like I could trust him. I'm at ease telling him stuff. But I think he is alot like you are describing. He tells stuff as it comes up. One time we were talking about his ex wife and he said she used to buy random useless things. I casually asked like what. He just said not to worry about it. So I've learned too that when he tells me stuff just to listen and not ask to many questions. He will shut down just as quick as he started talking. Tonight he called me and as we were talking he asked me what I meant by something I said like 2 weeks ago. I remembered what he was talking about, but what is up with waiting 2 weeks to ask. Do INTP's really sit on stuff that long thinking about it before they ask?
 
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