INFJ-INTP Relationships & Compatibility: Part I

By Dr. A.J. Drenth

Sometimes dubbed “the golden pair,” many have noted the potential for great compatibility and camaraderie in INTP-INFJ relationships. In this series of posts, we will explore some of the dynamics, challenges, and rewards of INFJ-INTP relationships. More specifically, this series is written from the perspective of INTP males pairing with INFJ females. While some typologists avoid addressing sex and gender differences, having engaged with both male and female INTPs and INFJs, I feel that sex differences do play a noteworthy role in their presentation and cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to relationships. That is not to say, of course, that this series will not have some degree of relevance for INTP females or INFJ males.

INTP Compatibility in Relationships

When it comes to compatibility, male INTPs probably have the fewest options of all the Myers-Briggs personality types. It’s not that they necessarily struggle to find dates. Nor is it the case that INTPs have trouble “falling in love.” Especially in their youth, INTPs can be easily smitten, especially by EF types. EF types outwardly embody INTPs’ inferior function, which the INTPs’ subconscious sees as a quick route to psychological wholeness. As I’ve explained elsewhere, the promise of psychological wholeness is a likely reason why “opposites attract.”

The real problem for INTPs is finding a partner who can hold their interest for the long haul. As discussed in my post on INTP relationships, INTPs (especially INTP males) are prone to devaluing their mates if they don’t stimulate the INTP’s mind. Since INTPs consciously care little about SF matters (think of Einstein’s distaste for the “merely personal”), those paired with SF types will often come to question if and why they love them. This is why INTPs are particularly prone to relational issues associated with narcissism. Namely, because of their inferior Fe, INTPs generally feel they need or want to be in a relationship, but once involved in one, they can end up devaluing their partners or convincing themselves they really don’t need the relationship. This extreme, all-or-nothing approach to relationships reflects INTPs’ Ti-Fe tug-of-war.

INFJ-INTP RelationshipsIn order to find satisfaction in a long-term relationship, INTPs desire a partner who is interesting in regularly joining them in intellectual or philosophical dialogue. Without this key ingredient, INTPs may struggle to find reasons to value or want to spend time with their partners. INTPs don’t want their time spent with their mate to feel like little beyond SF indulgences (although they might find that fun for a while, especially early in life). Rather, they want to feel that, in any given moment, there is potential for deepening their philosophical or psychological understanding through engagement with their partner. In other words, they don’t want their relationship to be at all divorced from their overall goal of understanding themselves and the world. If they can manage to find a partner whose insights complement and deepen their own, INTPs can find ample reason to continue loving and cherishing their mates.

INFJ Compatibility Issues

Since their Fe is far more conscious than that of INTPs, INFJs do not display the “either-or” attitudes toward people and relationships. Sure, INFJs are introverts and need time to themselves, but they are not as fiercely independent as INTPs are wont to be. While INFJs are similar to INTPs in their distaste for small talk (i.e., too much talk about S matters), the fact that their dominant function, Introverted Intuition (Ni), is a Perceiving function makes them less agenda-driven and less concerned with “efficient” use of time (the Enneagram type Five speaks to INTPs’ greediness with time). For INFJs, merely being around people provides them with pleasurable opportunities to perceive and deepen their understanding of human nature.

Despite their general enjoyment of people and friendships, INFJs, can struggle when it comes to finding a worthy and compatible partner. While INTPs seek a partner who can help them understand themselves and advance their theories, INFJs want a partner who is capable of understanding and appreciating their most authentic selves (i.e., understanding and appreciating their Ni and its insights). INFJs often feel frustrated when the world doesn’t see or appreciate them for their true inner nature. Sure, others can appreciate the INFJ’s warmth and people-skills, but it is Ni, not Fe, that is the core of the INFJ’s identity. Moreover, when INFJs do venture to share their Ni insights or subversive ideas, they often feel that others really don’t understand them, don’t care to hear them, or end up looking at the INFJ as though she were crazy.

In the end, INFJs seek a partner who validates their worth and values their ideas, one who truly understands and appreciates their inner world. Like INTPs, they seek a companion who can convene with them in the world of abstractions and ideas, particularly those related to people and human nature. Of course, this is not all they seek, but a shared metaphysical foundation is of high concern to both types.

You can learn more about INTP relationships in Dr. Drenth’s eBook (#1 INTP book on Amazon!):

intp book

Related Posts:

INFJ-INTP Relationships: Part II

INTP Love & Relationships

INFJ Relationships & Compatibility

Comments

  1. Paul says

    This is a good idea to discuss this and all, but as an INFJ male, I feel I should be honest and say that it’s incredibly frustrating never to see an INFJ male’s perspective.

    • Daniel says

      Then why don’t you give your own perspective so other INFJ males won’t feel the same frustration? INFP male here.

      • William says

        Being a male INFJ, as opposed to being a female INFJ, from a male INFJ’s perspective:

        1) People are more likely to listen to what a man has to say instead of brushing it off as crazy. Regardless of gender, a developed INFJ will try to present a logical case for something when speaking what is ultimately be a decision the INFJ made because of feeling i.e. “gay marriage doesn’t actually cause anyone any harm when you think about it logically.” Saying “I know my relationship will work despite no forethought or research or logic… BECAUSE MAGIC!!!! OH YEAH!!! I’M PSYCHIC!!!!” deserves ridicule for being so ridiculous. This is why I take solace in my F being very mild. Applying T is easy for me, even though I’m naturally inclined to F.

        2) More women have a dominant F function than men, so we F function males should have a higher number of well-suited matches among females than a dominant F function woman would have among men.

        3) Relative to women, more societal pressure is put on men to be macho/callous/uncaring to others (pressure for T) as well as more societal pressure is put on men to be extroverted i.e. how men are expected to take the initiative in most things (pressure for E).

      • Ingrid says

        INTP female here. Yes, people often call me ‘tomboy’, and my INFJ boy ‘girly’. I don’t understand why there is such a gender discrepancy in the representation of both types, while we are not discrepant in numbers.

  2. says

    INTP (female) here.

    I believe the INTP (fem) & INTJ (male) is the best match because the societal pressures of women to be “emotional” and men to be “clinical” (much like William aforementioned) are apparent.

    With INTP (f) and INTJ (m), the confidence and maturity of each will make the difference. If the two are confident in themselves/mature, they will be fine with a more dominant female partner. I’m no Ph.D, just conjecture from experience and research.

  3. infj says

    infj chick here, will report the same experience with intps: they are good at seeing thru to us. it’s pretty typical for us to lie a lot about who we are in order to get along in the world and I know I do it a lot. the desire to get to the truth in a situation is a big help here as we really do crave to be appreciated for who we are. discomfiting to find oneself under that penetrating gaze however.

    likewise I think a lot of intps guys are pretty shy and lonely and it’s fun to chat them up and flirt with them a bit to kind of pull them out of it. some of them really seem to want to communicate but don’t do it well and it’s fun and easy to help them thru this.

    also, and maybe this is against type, but I am totally down for specious mock-debates and banter and these guys will get into it too seeing it quite correctly as a pointless intellectual exercise devised for our combined amusement. they’ll also do it without boring the shit out of me, frequently with amusing anecdotes or the appropriately hyperbolically moronic retort.

    weird caveat infjs tend to be uber physically unaffectionate but crave and enjoy sensuality whereas intps sometimes seem to communicate their feelings better thru sex. seems like a v nice opportunity for compatibility here, tho I’ve never slept with one (so far, still holding on hope).

    I think typically they tell us infjs that we should date entps or estps or even enfps but I find that extps tend to be rather (compensatorily) narcissistic while enfps are too scattered to hold my interest.

    • jen says

      I (infj female) second your take. I think the guy I fall for is an INTP. For a year I thought he’s INTJ but after getting to know him better, he seems more an INTP. He does express more thru sex. Hopefully you’d find an INTP with mutual attraction soon. :)

    • j.ax says

      INFJ CHICK: WOW, you need to write a book, you describe things well. Much like roller coasters give us the thrill without the danger, you described the only type of small talk I can have: something like a practice debate exercising intellectual playful banter without the fear of judgment or disdain. Online, I just “met” an ISFJ woman and we have only emailed (I can’t handle two sentence texts or chats). I am cautious not to say too much though. Elain from Seinfeld said it best: “I’m trying to get a little squirrel to come over to me here. I don’t wanna make any big, sudden movements. I’ll frighten him away!” I don’t want my overpowering T mind (41%) – or analytic ability- to scare her away.

      Any advice for INTP males to find (or keep) our dream INFJ chick?

      caveat: thinking back to my past relationships, you are right about sex, I’ve been told I’m powerfully sensual; in my early years I was a bit self-conscious and not sure how to be during sex and had no idea of what I was doing other than to just do what came naturally. (no pun intended). I am romantic but in an awkward way as described in the article.

      2nd caveat: When I was younger, I realize now that I did devalue the women in my relationships and had some contempt. I feel absolutely horrible about this now and regret my thoughts and behavior. I know I would not do any of that now. I am much more in control of how I behave and understand the behavior of others, Back then, I guess I had an unrelenting need to be understood or, at least, have someone understand my passion for knowledge and the motivation behind my passion. In my case, I lived in Japan and delved into anything and everything about the society and culture. I felt compelled to learn the why and how of modern Japanese Comedy Humor (frequently on youtube); I finally found and then understood Rakugo. After feeling of completion, I could then moved on to something else to find the root cause or beginning. I juggled many mysteries all at once. I was asked why I lived in Japan for 15 years when I never really liked being there. I thought about it and could only reply honestly that I hadn’t quite figured it out yet. I’m now an expert of Japan and fluent in Japanese but that doesn’t help me at any Benihanas I’ve ever been to.

  4. Jeff says

    I have been looking for a relationship much like this one unknowingly, and everything started out just how it should. Though I may be saying all of this a little premature; I feel that this may be my match. I’m not going to say much more because I do not want to jinx it.
    P.s. Scorpio/Virgo= another highly compatible sign

  5. Bruce says

    I’m male (INFJ) and female partner (INTP). We work together but don’t live together ( unrelated reasons). She finds it very difficult to express her true feelings to me,whilst I am able to bare my soul to her because I trust her. We do see things differently; this had led to many misunderstandings, but as we’ve gone on, we’re getting to know each other. Sexual relations between us are very good. For me it’s almost a spiritual experience in that the connection we have brings us so close when we make love. We seem inseparable at the moment ( 18mths) ; everybody who knows about us sees this connection between us….it’s as if we’re in our own world. We laugh and joke all the time and have such fun together…..however, it always seems that the end is around the corner …..we’ lol have to sit and see…..?

  6. Keegan Says says

    I am an INFJ male and my partner is an INTP female. Every so often it seems like our opposing traits – particularly the difference between the T and F – can cause conflict. I speak more with my emotions and she speaks more with logical thought, and it, every so often, will confuse her as to why I either feel or don’t feel a certain way. She almost treats everything like it is one huge equation and I treat everything like it is one huge romantic novel. Therein lies the problem, she will often believe that if she acts a specific way, I will respond a specific way, and will not understand why my reaction is at all separate from the one she anticipated.

    Sometimes it appears as if she lacks any empathy at all, which, every so often, can hurt my feelings. I will, however, tell her when my feelings are hurt, thus resolving the issue.

    People on the outside seem to think that our relationship is perfect and that we are the best couple in the world; however, there are issues between us and, every so often, those issues are difficult to resolve. It usually boils down to the fact that I am just extremely emotional, and she is just extremely logical.

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