Warm and caring, it may be surprising to learn that INFJs cut off relationships quickly.
The rarest personality type in the Myers-Briggs system, INFJs are typically warm and caring people. But it may be surprising that they’re also known to cut off relationships quickly — see the infamous door slam. What may look like a spontaneous and reckless decision is actually the culmination of well-thought-out subconscious data gathering.
Every INFJ is different, but there are some common reasons we tend to leave relationships. Of course, these things aren’t exclusive to the INFJ personality type, but they are a pretty big deal to us.
Why INFJs Leave Relationships
1. I can’t see a future with you.
This is the biggest deal-breaker for me. It takes a lot for INFJs to develop a meaningful relationship, so if you want an INFJ to commit, be solid and resolute in your long-term plans, and most importantly — make sure they include the INFJ!
It made me laugh when I watched a YouTube video where the vlogger gave dating advice by saying it felt wrong when things seemed too serious right away. I have the opposite problem. Any sign of lack of commitment sends me running. For example, a few months ago, I was casually dating someone. He mentioned not knowing if he would remain in Pittsburgh next year, and shortly thereafter, I broke things off.
2. You lie about something.
Any type of unethical behavior is a huge turnoff for me — for most people, really — but there’s something about being so intimate with someone and only knowing half-truths that disgusts me on a deep level. INFJs need time to open up and trust their romantic partners, perhaps more than some other personality types, so if you break that trust with a lie? There’s no coming back.
I won’t judge you for your past or for something you believe in, but I need to know who you are as a person, completely and wholly. If I feel like you’re shifting the story, I quickly lose my trust.
3. We have totally different core values.
They say opposites attract, but not for the INFJ. We can date other personalities, of course, but if our core values aren’t aligned, then it’s never going to work. In religion, politics, family life, work, and money, we should be on the same page. We don’t have to be in the same paragraph, but we should be on the same page.
I personally value a partner who is open-minded and enjoys high-spirited debates. If I notice that you’re a big spender, I might break things off. Everyone is entitled to be who they are, and it’s worth noting that I’m not looking to change anyone or force them to compromise. I want your core values to come from who you are as a person, not some sort of sacrifice you’re making for me.
4. You take life too seriously.
This may surprise a lot of people, but INFJs have a certain amount of playfulness to them, especially with the people they love. We may seem like a rather serious sort, but that’s because we only truly open up with those who’ve earned our deep-seeded affection.
I don’t want to do laundry on a Saturday night. I don’t want you to chide me for forgetting to do the dishes. It’s important to take care of daily tasks, but it’s also important to enjoy life and cultivate a sense of humor. If we can’t laugh about the little things together, then we’re never going to make it.
5. You don’t respect my big dreams.
Our dominant trait as INFJs is Introverted Intuition. It’s the way we learn about and navigate through life. It allows us to see multiple perspectives, develop empathy for others, and create surprising connections — and it makes us pretty idealistic.
However, INFJs are not pie-in-the-sky dreamers. Our dreams are carefully planned and crafted, and often that includes us forecasting worst-case scenarios. Generally speaking, we are prepared not to be successful and can have lots of doubts about our dreams and visions.
For example, I was very nervous to self-publish my first story, called The Sweep — a science fiction novel that’s incredibly speculative. Yet for all my doubts, there was something inside me that knew I had to do it, even if it didn’t sell one single copy or change anyone’s perspective. I knew I had to do it to be on a path of growth as a writer.
A lot of people would call you crazy for writing something with no hopes of making any money, but INFJs stick to their visions. If I am going to be in a relationship with you, you have to be willing to support my dreams — even if they seem crazy to you.
6. You can only appreciate one perspective.
Personality Hacker nicknames Introverted Intuition “Perspectives,” and for good reason. We empathize with many different people’s perspectives. One-sided people frustrate me; they’re a blank slate for debate. I don’t want my relationships to be filled with conflict, so I try to surround myself with people who can appreciate all perspectives — not just their own.
7. You want to be in constant communication with me.
As an INFJ and introvert, I need space. And there are even times when I go quiet because I’m processing everything that’s going on. Problems arise when you need to be in touch with me all day, every day. Nothing says run for the hills quite like lengthy texts and long voicemails. It is exhausting to make small talk all day and night. Save the interesting stories for date night.
8. We never reach a deeper level.
INFJs crave deep connections with their partners. We don’t just want to know the surface-level details — we want to really know you. It’s important for me to understand your aspirations, childhood stories, aversions, fears, dreams, and hopes. I want to know you on a micro-level, no secrets. But if you have trouble opening up, for whatever reason, then I can’t develop the kind of connection I need.
9. You try to change me.
This is a tricky one. INFJs tend to be people pleasers, so we’ll often forego our own happiness to make sure you’re good. But that can wear thin. I’ve learned over time that I change most when I want to change or when I receive feedback in a professional setting, such as a performance review or written critique.
I don’t need you to be my mother or father, nor do I want to be yours. I don’t care what your opinion is on purple eyeshadow because I’m still going to wear it. Same with being more outgoing or becoming passionate about things you love, like hiking. Everyone is different, and it’s important to respect your partner’s differences while growing alongside them.
10. You have a lot of emotional baggage.
INFJs absorb other people’s emotions like a sponge. In fact, many INFJs are actually highly sensitive, which is why they tend to take on people’s emotions so fully. So, we need a partner who is emotionally stable.
Having a partner in a perpetual state of negativity or hurt distresses me greatly. In the early stages, when we’re building trust, it’s important for me to see you as emotionally competent. Of course, everyone goes through difficult stages — and I’ll take on your battles and fight them with you — but making mountains out of molehills is not something I have energy for.
INFJs aren’t just looking for partners — we’re looking for soulmates. That means we have some idealistic expectations. On my end, I know I need to work on not taking every little detail to heart, and not expecting so much from my partner.
I hope this article has helped clue you in to why things haven’t always worked out in the past with an INFJ. Finding something real and meaningful isn’t always easy, but everything takes a little longer with INFJs for a reason.