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.
In 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 Relationships & 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.
Learn More in Our Books:
INFJ-INTP Relationships: Part II
INTP Relationships & Compatibility
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” 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.
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.
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 (18 mths); 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…..?
I am an INFJ female dating an INTP male (as I just had him take the Myers-Brigg test last night). I can completely relate to everything that you said in your post above. We seem to be inseparable, but I always feel like the end to us is coming because of misunderstandings. It requires much grace and compassion on my part for him not being able to communicate his feelings, as I can always pour my heart and soul out to him. I guess time will tell if we are strong enough together, after 18 months of a relationship, to endure all the misunderstandings and obstacles that get thrown our way. It was very comforting to read that someone else was having the same experience.
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.
I’m an INFJ female and my partner is an INTP male. We’ve been together 3 years. He’s only on the introversion side by a small percent. Maybe that’s why it works for us so well. There are frustrations in the relationship of course but I couldn’t see myself without him and he feels the same about me.