Whether you’re in a relationship or currently looking, you know the good ones are equal parts spark and work. Respect, communication, and attraction are just a few of the qualities you’ll need. What’s more, each introverted Myers-Briggs personality type craves something specific from their partner. Without it, they just won’t be happy. Although every introvert is different — and what we desire may change over time — here’s what I believe each type wants.
What Each Introverted Type Wants in a Relationship
At times mysterious and shy, ISFPs can be difficult to get to know. But don’t let their enigmatic and somewhat aloof vibe fool you — ISFPs are deeply feeling individuals. These highly creative introverts are sensitive to the core and tend to listen more than they speak, sometimes coming across as private and moody.
Nevertheless, ISFPs can make wonderful partners, as they possess a level of warmth, charm, and enthusiasm that’s hard to find elsewhere (like many introverts, it simply takes time for their real personality to come out). Unlikely to ever grow “stale,” ISFPs are known to surprise their partners with new curiosities and adventures. These usually involve the five physical senses, for example, snow-shoeing by candlelight or browsing a pop-up antique market.
So what do ISFPs need in their relationship to be happy? Security and reliability are great, sure, but they’re not necessarily what ISFPs crave. Rather, this affectionate introvert wants physical intimacy coupled with emotional intimacy: hugs and kisses that mean more than mere touch.
Never dull, ISTPs embrace each new day and the adventures they bring — and they’re more than happy to take their significant other along for the ride (just one of the many reasons they can make excellent partners). Like ISFPs, ISTPs are rooted in the here and now and enjoy hands-on, real-world experiences. Give them a car engine to dissect any day over a theoretical analysis of the car’s impact on modern culture — or anything, really, that lets them use their hands.
Probably not the type to gush with flowery verses of love, ISTPs feel close when sharing simple experiences, like hiking a favorite trail or working on a project together. Never force things with an ISTP, as quick demands for commitment or a road map to the future will make them feel caged-in.
The introverted type most likely to shake things up just to see what will happen, ISTPs want the freedom to follow their own path — and a partner who understands this. In other words, you may need to give your ISTP a long leash.
Have you ever met an ISFJ on Tinder? It’s possible you have, but they were probably only hoping to blend in. Tradition-oriented and responsible, ISFJs don’t usually do flings and one-night stands just for the thrill of it. Rather, this routine-loving personality is at their best when clear expectations have been established. In other words, where is this going, and what do I mean to you?
ISFJs can make great partners because they genuinely care and want to make others happy. They also read people well, often sensing what they need on a practical level — a warmer coat for winter or a protein snack — and they’re more than happy to pitch in. But don’t take their big hearts for granted. ISFJs take their relationships seriously, and in turn, expect others to do the same.
Not knowing where they stand with someone, feeling like their status within a relationship could change at a moment’s notice, or simply not being able to envision a solid future with someone will leave an ISFJ quite unhappy. So what do ISFJs want? You guessed it. Security.
Similar to ISFJs, ISTJs probably won’t be found chasing their next relationship high. This “do it right” introvert takes dating seriously; no pick up artists or call you maybes here. If they’re looking for a partner, they’re looking for someone who checks all the boxes of their (reasonable and well-thought-out) relationship checklist.
Dependable and thorough, often representing the pinnacle of traditional family values, ISTJs can make great partners. It’s true, they can be difficult to get to know, on account of their reserved introverted nature and penchant for keeping their emotions to themselves. Nevertheless, they see it as their duty to protect, support and provide for their family. If you’re under the wing of an ISTJ, you can be sure things will run as smoothly as possible (and on time).
As a result, ISTJs need a partner who has their back — someone they fully trust with the stuff of day-to-day life. Unreliable, easily distracted wanderers need not apply.
Strangers’ eyes meet from across a crowded room. Hands reaching for the same book on the bookshelf. Laughing and talking about life for hours. To the idealistic and romantic INFP, nothing could be better.
INFPs dream of the ultimate romance. They may even find themselves playing (and replaying) scenarios in their mind about how it will be. The type most likely to put their partner on a pedestal, they may go so far as to envision a role no real human can fill (he speaks five languages, has six-pack abs, and appeared on MasterChef?).
What INFPs want in a relationship, you can see in their eyes: romance. And that’s exactly why INFPs can make amazing partners. Although at times closed-off and moody, INFPs won’t hesitate to show their partner just how much they mean to them: a song, snatch of poetry, or sentimental gift.
Yet INFPs rarely smother. Understanding and kind-hearted, this introvert approaches relationships with a childlike sense of openness and trust. They may be passionate romantics, but they understand their partner’s need for space — because along with romance, it’s something they desperately need, too.
Never short on ideas, INTPs are known for their intellectual curiosity. Always seeking to understand — not necessarily to control or use — this introvert applies logic to all that they do. Often called the philosophers of the Myers-Briggs world, INTPs can make quick work of anything from quantum physics to the blueprints of their dream company. In the same way that ISTPs build with their hands, INTPs build with their minds.
Yet for all their mental prowess, they often struggle to connect with others. In part, this is due to feeling uncomfortable with emotional expression — both their own emotions and those of others. Plus, talk of quantum physics doesn’t usually equal party invites. Nevertheless, INTPs can make great partners because they’re flexible, eager, and deep down, romantic. Yes, you read that correctly. Underneath their hard logical armor is a heart born for love and made of squish.
INTPs know they won’t necessarily chase all their ideas to their natural end, but for them, that’s not the point: The value is in the ideation. They need a partner who doesn’t just tolerate their unique way of operating but believes in it. In other words, someone who is as enthusiastic about all of life’s possibilities as they are.
Everyone feels misunderstood from time to time. When someone honks at you in traffic. When someone misinterprets your words or actions. When you fight with your significant other. Yet for many INFJs, feeling misunderstood is a day-to-day experience.
Perhaps it’s not that INFJs are so wildly confusing that people cannot comprehend them. Rather, this introvert understands others so easily, almost in the blink of an eye. Often seeing the hidden things, the things others want to be shuttered, INFJs easily sniff out what’s really going on. Many of them are highly sensitive people, after all.
For this reason, INFJs can feel made to understand but not be understood. And that brings me to what they crave in a romantic relationship: a deep sense that their partner “gets” the real them. It’s an emotionally intimate, “I see you for all that you are” connection.
This, of course, is a tall order, because none of us can ever truly walk in another’s shoes. But for INFJs, a little understanding goes a long way. This is why INFJs can make great partners themselves. Although at times their guarded and distrustful demeanor prevents it, when they care about you, they will work hard to know you on a deep level. You might even say that creating emotional intimacy is an INFJ superpower.
Let’s be honest. Like other “Thinking” types, INTJs can get a bad rap for coming across as cold and robotic. They generally prize logic and efficiency over ooey-gooey emotions, and they’ve always got a goal they’re working toward — so either helps them or get out of the way!
Deep down in their steel-plated chests, INTJs do have a beating heart, and whether it’s readily apparent to them or not, even they need strong connections with other human beings to thrive. That’s right, Masterminds need love and support, too. This may look somewhat different for INTJs than it does for other types. Rather than “frivolous” expressions of feelings (emotions are things they generally keep private), they desire to connect mind-to-mind.
For the INTJ, this may look like sharing big ideas, talking earnestly about interesting topics, and generally romping together in an intellectual playground. All this high-minded effort is worth it, though, because INTJs can make wonderful partners; when they commit, they fully mean it.
Plus, as much as we all wish it, life (and relationships) are never smooth sailing, but that’s another area where INTJs can shine. Being born problem-solvers, they may work harder than any other personality type to overcome relationship problems as they crop up. Yep, they’re committed.
Introvert, do you agree with what I wrote about your personality type? Let me know in the comments below.