INTPs live inside their minds, they have a sort of mind map charts connecting all the dots between their past experiences, present challenges and future opportunities. Even when it comes to relationships they are quick to do a mental cost/benefit analysis of the relationship. It has to be a satisfying and meaningful relationship, or they would rather stay single. INTPs are not known for casual relationships and hook-ups. The fact that INTPs enjoy independence and can happily stay single for long periods of time also discourage them from complicating their lives with relationships.
INTPs are very choosy and not likely to have a very large circle of friends or significant relationships in their lives. They are mostly concerned with what’s going on in their own little but rousing world instead of what might be taking place in reality. Since, INTPs crave for meaningful relationships, once they have committed themself to a relationship they are very loyal, affectionate and faithful. Their relationship style is straight-forward and angelic. However, if they are not respected within the relationship or if something happens which the INTP considers irreconcilable, they leave the relationship with a pain in their heart and never look back.
How to Approach an INTP?
To a stranger, INTP appears to be shy, uninterested, detached and anti-social. Though they are flexible and relaxed, INTPs tend to be mysterious and difficult to get to know well. They don’t reveal their inner thoughts until the other person has gained their trust and proven themselves worthy of hearing the INTP’s thoughts. People with Intelligence, wits and open mindedness are most attractive to the INTP.
The everyday small talks and chatter bores them. Personal questions such as ‘what they ate for lunch’ can horrify them. Trying to approach an INTP with mundane talks about weather or even complementing them on a new tie is not going to strike the conversation you were hoping for. Instead to break the ice, it is best to find out the topic they are passionate about at the moment and have a sincere conversation with your own additional inputs.
INTPs have no interest or understanding of mind games or non-verbal clues with regards to relationships. It is best to be direct and to the point. If an INTP see you as romantic partner, they’ll say it. They think first and feel later, so while proposing or getting proposed, don’t expect any big romantic gestures. INTPs are quick to friend-zone people if their initial approach (which is often awkward) is not reciprocated. They don’t tend to keep people hanging in the lurch. They quickly make the decision once they have analyzed all the available information. Since they are thinking and intuitive, they just know it when someone is compatible.
In INTPs mind they have a specific checklist (eg. intelligence, creativity, interest in personal growth, wit, loyalty, open-mindedness, and hobbies) that needs to be checked before they can date someone. They prefer remaining single than to settle for incompatible partner. The peer or social pressure doesn’t work on an INTP. They think and make life decisions which cannot be altered by feelings or societal norms. Most likely they will filter out the people who wish to have casual hook-ups and meaningless relationship.
INTP Relationship Strengths
- Their love and affection is almost childlike in its purity
- They are very loyal once committed and expect the same from their partner
- They are straight forward, laid-back and easy-going
- They do not take criticism personally and are willing to have a open-minded discussion on conflicts
- They are not materialistic and overly demanding of their partners. They lead simple life with daily needs.
INTP Relationship Weaknesses
- They find it difficult to expressing feeling and are slow to respond to emotional needs of others
- It’s hard to win their trust, they tend to be suspicious and distrusting of outsiders
- They are not usually good at finance and money management. They would rather do what interest them than work for money.
- They have difficulty leaving toxic and bad relationships
- They find it difficult to deal with emotional situations. They either ignore them, or depart in heated anger
- They can be very impatient
INTPs as Lovers
INTPs don’t find it logical to have the usual mating rituals, courtship process and date nights. It can be very frustrating for the partner who might want to experience the butterflies in the beginning phase of the relationship. INTP’s can’t be forced to do the socially acceptable things if they don’t find them logical.
INTPs take the vows and commitments of intimate relationships seriously. They are very straight-forward, loyal and affectionate lovers. They have imagined their relationship like a movie, to be all fulfilling with a happy ever after. Sometimes, when their imagination and the exciting visions in their mind don’t actuality reflect in reality they get disappointed.
Although, the INTPs are deeply in love and extremely dedicated to the relationship, they have no understanding of their partner’s emotions and feelings. They suppress and try to put a logical spin even on their own emotion and feelings. At the end, when the INTP decides to express their feelings, it is too late or hardly in response to their partner’s emotional needs. Their expressions of love seem lifeless and mechanical. It should not be a surprise if their partner calls them robots. It is completely wrong to say that INTP don’t feel emotions. They do feel emotions deeply but just don’t know how to express and respond to them.
INTPs run away from emotional discussions and interpersonal conflicts. Once the emotional turmoil subsides they approach the conflict from logical and analytical perspective. This may even aggravate the conflict if their partner wants to simply hear words of affirmation, encouragement, love and support instead of a logical explanation to the problem.
Potential INTP Partners
Being the partner of an INTP is not easy, it requires high level of dedication and commitment. An INTPS romantic partner is often also their best friend, confidant, and source of emotional support. INTP’s natural partner is the ENTJ, or the ENFP. The INTP’s dominant function of Introverted Thinking is best suited with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Thinking. INTPs often attract ENFP through their Extraverted Intuition (Ne) and Extraverted Feeling (Fe). It is therefore not unusual for an INTP and ENFP to feel the magnetic pull towards each other.
If an INTP pairs with a NF type, it becomes crucial to understand the basic intricacies of how NTs and NFs view the world and verbalize their thoughts-
NTs say: “I think” – It means they are ready for a debate. They have stated their opinion, but are looking for further inputs, perspectives or interpretations.
NTs say: “I feel” – It means they have made up their mind and are adamant about it. Their statement requires no more discussion, explanation or questions.
NFs say: “I feel” – It means they are ready for a debate on the subject and would like others opinions and viewpoints.
NFs say: “I think” – It means they have made up their decision and it requires no more discussion.
INTP Compatibility: Choosing a Partner
Feeling or Emotion– While selecting a romantic partner, INTPs should be careful not to charge themselves with emotions. They should think and make the decision rather than making them based on their feelings or emotions. An emotionally charged INTP often regrets decisions made under emotional heat later.
INTPs’ emotions, both positive and negative, emerge from their least developed function (Fe). It makes INTPs prime targets for being subconsciously chased or manipulated by malicious Feeling types (NF). It is therefore very important for INTPs to not give their feelings upper-hand in choosing a long term relationship partner. Conventional wisdom of “listen to your heart” or “just go with your feelings” often backfires on an INTP. INTPs are better off using their thinking and intuition to determine the potential merits of relationship. It is best if they first investigate the validity of their feelings and have an open discussion with their partner before making false assumptions.
Money Matters– INTPs like to live like a free bird without debts and financial commitments. They resent financial commitments and burdens to earn more which comes along with marriage and children. INTPs don’t care much about aesthetics or material comforts. Following their personal interests is more important to them than running after money. The partners who are financially independent or are content with a simple lifestyle are best suited for INTP.
Sexual compatibility– Sexually, the INTP approaches intimacy with enthusiasm and excitement. The INTP will fabricate the intimate moment with vivid imagination and intensity inside their own head, which may or may not be apparent to their partner. Sex to an INTP is a sign of being loved and cherished. They seek novelty in their sexual life and want their partner to be enthusiastic about exploring and making their sex life better. A dead bedroom like situation might force an INTP to reconsider the worth of relationship.
Freedom– INTPs respond with thoughtfulness, respect, and commitment when granted adequate freedom. INTPs require more freedom than other personality types, which often leads to accusations of selfishness. A controlling partner can force the INTPs to rebel and display passive-aggressive behavior.
INTP and Infidelity
Inferior Fe can make an INTP go berserk if they fail to properly weigh their emotions against their thinking function (Ti). INTPs tend to regularly evaluate their relationships and remind themselves of the reasons they are in the relationship and qualities of their partner which makes them happy. INTPs can instantly run mental cost/benefit calculations in their head. Any perceived or actual shortcomings in their partner, which tilts the relationship benefit scale to negative, can prompt an INTP to abandon the relationship. Their open-ended and novelty-seeking nature can also drift them towards infidelity.
A wholesome lifestyle, loving partner and satisfying career can greatly reduce their propensity to cheat. INTPs are usually committed to personal and relational growth and development. Generally, only a very serious emotional turmoil or an already broken relationship with point of no return can force them to cheat on their partner. Most INTP refrain from cheating not because of moral reasons or due to feelings of their partner, but due to practical reasons and consequences of promiscuity such as STDs, unwanted pregnancy and future pair bonding difficulties.
INTP’s are great at reading situations but bad at reading emotions of people. They can spot a flaw in logical inconsistency from a mile away. Lying and omitting things is treacherous to an INTP. It is viewed as an insult to their intelligence. By making connections between past precedents INTPs can easily root out the truth. If you are cheating on an INTP they will quickly catch it sooner than later.
INTPs are all about experiments and possibilities. If the relationship doesn’t turns out to be what they imagined and also partly due to their inferior Fe, they will tend to devalue the partner and relationship. The doubts about the worth of relationship and their tendency to be self-sufficient can lead to breakups. If INTP wants to break up and have completely made up their mind about the relationship, they will plan the exit strategy and quickly end the relationship. They would avoid emotional discussions and arguments at all costs.
In an unsatisfying relationship INTP begins to worry that their partner doesn’t love them anymore. If the relationship is under devaluation phase, INTPs fail to fully commit to the relationship. An open minded conversation can actually help them find out the validity of their doubts and assumptions about their partner and the relationship. But, to maintain harmony and to avoid hurting their partner’s feelings, they shy away from what can possibly be an emotionally charged conversation.
Outwardly, they show no signs of being upset with their partner. If the partner prod them a little to get their deeper emotions out, they don’t reveal their true thoughts about the relationship. Inwardly, they are slowly distancing themself from their partner. The unsuspecting partner has no idea what is actually happening. The partner feel like the INTP doesn’t like them anymore and end up leaving the INTP for fear of being hurt or hurting the INTP.
INTPs always feel more comfortable expressing themselves through action rather than words. In an INTP life, actions matters more than words. The only way to win back an INTP is to apologize, make amends and take visibly corrective actions. Making emotional appeal or future promises won’t work. What an INTP wants from their partner is to accept the mistake and take actions to solve the problem. INTP’s don’t hold grudge and easily forgive if the things are made right.
INTP’s fear of being alone or unloved, can trap them in mediocre, codependent or even toxic relationships. Their introverted nature further makes it difficult for them to find new love and a better partner. It takes a lot of strength and courage for them to leave bad relationships and start over again. They would rather prefer to prioritize their career or personal interests, instead of going out to look for romantic partners.
INTPs are logical and often doubt the existence of true love. Having a rich though process, full of imagination, possibilities and excitement, their inner word is so beautiful that the external world pales in comparison. They need a strong motivation to form and maintain relationships. For a sustainable and satisfying romantic relationship to develop both INTP and their partner need to have significant wisdom and maturity. Most INTPs prefer to remain single or develop meaningful long-term commitments later in their life.
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