Dating and Type

Raja Burrows is a contributing guest writer for CelebrityTypes. As with other guest writers on the site (such as Malin Gustavsson, Michael Pierce, and Jesse Gerroir), the views expressed in this article are not necessarily completely overlapping with our own.

By Raja Burrows

First things first: There is no magic formula for finding the perfect mate. There are a million factors that go into whether two people are compatible or not that have nothing to do with personality type. Additionally, applying an overly simplistic view of typology to your dating life 4heartsredo2(“We’re exactly alike in almost every way because I’m an INFJ and she’s an INFP!”) is unlikely to yield the results you want. But a thorough understanding of function order – and, more importantly, the function axes – can provide important insights into many key factors of any successful long-term relationship.

The Judging Axis: Fe-Ti vs. Fi-Te

The best place to begin when talking about relationships is how we experience sentiments. Regardless of our four-letter type, we all have a Feeling function somewhere in our function order; FJ and TP types have Extroverted Feeling (Fe) while TJ and FP types have Introverted Feeling (Fi). All other things being equal, two types with the same Feeling orientation are going to have an easier time communicating than two types with the opposite. In other words, an ENTP is probably going to find it easier to get on the same page, Feeling-wise, with an ESTP or ISFJ, as opposed to an ESTJ or ISFP. The reason is that an Fe user experiences and judges sentiment on the basis of external parameters; as “belonging to the group.” Fe is willing to downplay the individual’s own sentiments in deference to the sentiments of the other people involved. An Fi user, on the other hand, experiences his personal sentiments in a much more subjective, individualized way. An Fi user is therefore likely to feel very uncomfortable with such “insincerity.” Fi will fight tooth and nail to maintain its individuality and expression thereof. An Fi user’s sentiments, then, are very much “her own” and aren’t seeking to align themselves with outside conditions in the way an Fe user’s are.

Because Fi users also have Te, they will tend to be more pragmatic in their thinking. To a Te user, there is an optimal, objective conclusion that can be reached in any given situation in which objective facts matter more than interpersonal considerations. Unlike Ti, Te is not terribly beholden to internal logical principles and is instead eager to refine its conclusions based on whatever objective information presents itself. Te is hierarchical in its reasoning and looks for the “best” solution to any given problem, whereas Ti is much less confrontational and prefers to look for abstract solutions that are less “objective” and more of interest to the Ti user’s personal psyche. As a result, when a major decision is on the line in a relationship, Fi-Te users and Fe-Ti users will take fundamentally different tacks, even if they end up arriving at the same conclusion. While most of the decisions made in relationships are relatively trivial (such as whether or not to order takeout for the third night in a row), there will inevitably come a time when the conversation turns to weightier topics, such as “would you be willing to relocate across the country with me for my new job?” or “do we want to raise our kids in Manhattan or in a suburb farther upstate?” Not that these conversations are ever easy, but there’s bound to be less friction when both parties are more or less speaking the same logical and emotional languages.

While type alone cannot make or break a relationship, there are a few type pairings that require exceptional time and effort on the part of both people to find common ground: ESFJ-ENTJ, ENFJ-ESTJ, ISFP-INTP, and INFP-ISTP. Each of these type pairings feature a dominant Feeling type and a dominant Thinking type with no cognitive functions in common. In each pairing, the Feeling types experience sentiment in the exact opposite way the Thinking types do, which does little to encourage the Thinking type to give herself permission to access the function and side of herself she tends to repress. Add to that the fact that they will rarely perceive any given situation the same way because of their opposing N-S axis and you have two people with several significant cognitive hurdles to overcome on a regular basis. This is not to say they can’t or shouldn’t try and make it work if there’s a real connection between them, but it behooves everyone involved to have a realistic understanding of the additional challenges those type pairings pose.

The Perceiving Axis: Se-Ni vs. Si-Ne

Also important to the orientation of the Feeling function is the axis responsible for Sensation and Intuition. In my experience, the big differences between Fe-Ti and Fi-Te show up in a relationship about 20% of the time, when the stakes are at their highest. The important conversations like those mentioned above require both people to be deeply in tune with their own Feeling-Thinking axis as well as that of their partner. But despite what “Doctor Who” may have us believe, being in a relationship (romantic or otherwise) is more than just an endless series of life or death decisions. Most of the time, you’re going to be debating things like “what should we dress up our two-year-old as for Halloween this year, a giraffe or baby velociraptor?” These are relatively mundane choices that you really don’t want to be spending any more time on than you have to. Actually enjoying the thing you collectively decided on doing is a much better use of your energy than debating it to death.

SP and NJ types have Extroverted Sensation and Introverted Intuition (Se-Ni) while SJ and NP types have Introverted Sensation and Extroverted Intuition (Si-Ne). Though it’s hardly necessary that both people have the same kind of S-N axis, it does help both people “keep things in perspective” as they go through the inevitable ups and down of their relationship. The Se-Ni axis has a direct relationship with objects themselves though Extroverted Sensation and draws from them subjective meaning via Introverted Intuition. The Si-Ne axis, on the other hand, is chiefly interested in exploring all of the possibilities of what those objects could represent through Extroverted Intuition and compares them to subjective impressions of the object via Introverted Sensation. This is not to say, of course, that two people will ever experience reality exactly the same way, but having the same S-N axis will make it easier for them to get on the same wavelength.

All the Single Ladies (and Gentlemen)!

If you happen to not be in a long-term relationship, whether by choice or by circumstance, there are many ways to use typology to maximize your dating life. The first step, of course, is to have a solid grasp on your own four-letter type. In particular, you must be excruciatingly honest with yourself in terms of how your dominant and inferior functions manifest themselves in unhealthy, ego-preserving ways. The more aware you are of your own idiosyncrasies, the more likely you are to recognize when your behavior is en route to a destructive path and to head it off before it actually gets there. While no two individuals wrestle with their egos in exactly the same way, here are some common ways that each type contends with relationship fears as a result of their repressed inferior function:

  • ISFJ/ISTJ: Because ISJ types repress their Extroverted Intuition, they may be overly cautious when it comes to straying from their subjective but nonetheless concrete experiences and ways of doing things. They may see the act of exploring unfamiliar romantic tracks as unnecessary, preferring to defer to relationship dynamics that are already known to them.
  • INFJ/INTJ: Because INJ types repress their Extroverted Sensation, they may be overly cautious when it comes to straying from their subjective and idealized perception of how the world ought to be. They may see incorporating someone else’s values into their lives as a distraction, preferring to stay true to their own vision, blotting out the “unwanted chaos” of another’s demands.
  • ESFP/ESTP: Because ESP types repress their Introverted Intuition, they may be overly cautious when it comes to detaching from their immediate romantic experience and reflecting upon it. They may see such introspection as over-analytical, preferring to push it aside so as to fully immerse themselves in the “here and now.”
  • ENFP/ENTP: Because ENP types repress their Introverted Sensation, they may be overly cautious when it comes to settling into a routine rather than constantly exploring exciting new possibilities. They may see such predictability in a relationship as boring, preferring to be always on the move and seeking out “the next big thing.”
  • ISFP/INFP: Because IFP types repress their Extroverted Thinking, they may be overly cautious when it comes to exerting their will and taking appropriate control of a situation or relationship. They may see such acts of domination as inhumane, preferring to stress each person’s individual freedom and resolve conflicts with an attitude of “live and let live.”
  • ISTP/INTP: Because ITP types repress their Extroverted Feeling, they may be overly cautious when it comes to abandoning their long-held intellectual beliefs in order to feel a sense of sentimental communion with their partner. They may see such appeals to fellow-feeling as disingenuous, preferring to hold fast to their own logical principles, even if it means dishing out some “cold, hard truth.”
  • ESFJ/ENFJ: Because EFJ types repress their Introverted Thinking, they may be overly cautious when it comes to holding fast to their own logical principles at the risk of creating discord with their partner. They may see such honesty as undiplomatic, preferring to glide over rough patches to give the impression of a relationship that is nothing but “smooth sailing.”
  • ESTJ/ENTJ: Because ETJ types repress their Introverted Feeling, they may be overly cautious when it comes to letting their guard down and allowing someone to make an impression on their deeply held emotional values. They may see such vulnerability as weakness, preferring to keep their feelings unexpressed and greatly prefer not to “wear their hearts on their sleeves.”

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, the key to effectively using personality type to improve your love life is first understanding your own preferences and how they manifest themselves as both strengths and weaknesses. There’s so much more to this than simply looking at a given type’s four-letter code and contrasting them with your own. A mastery of the eight cognitive functions is critical for understanding human dynamics through the lens of Jungian typology. And ultimately, the study of personality type is the study of people. When used as a tool to better appreciate your partner, it can enrich and strengthen your relationship in countless ways.

***

Image in the article commissioned for this publication from artist Francesca Elettra.

30 Comments

  1. Scratch says:

    Great article.

    What are your thoughts on ‘mirrored personalities’ that share none of the same functions, but have identical priority or order in the function stack like ISTP/ESTJ or ENFP/INFJ? In my experience these pairings seem to prefer the same lifestyle and come to the same conclusions quite often, but commucation between them is a confused mangled thing where misunderstandings happen frequently.

  2. admin says:

    For our part, we agree. What about you, Raja?

  3. Mandinka says:

    Good article, but I feel that some of it is a bit truncated. It kind of skirts around the surface.

  4. admin says:

    It would probably help all parties if you could be more specific. Like Scratch’s comment above, for example.

  5. AndrahilAdrian says:

    I liked the article too, but it did seem to privilege having functions in common over having function preferences in common. For instance I think an ENP would probably be better matched with an INJ than with an ISJ. Sure, the ISJ may use the same perceiving functions, but the INJ’s more likely to want to talk about/do the same things. In general I think function order matters more than function direction, so an ITP will relate better to an ETJ than a EFJ, etc. In particular I think Ne-doms and Ni-doms have a lot more in common than either has with the corresponding S-dom. Interestingly, though, I haven’t observed the reverse; Se-doms and Si-doms seem to have more differences, and are more likely to clash than Ne-doms and Ni-doms. In particular I think Se-doms are more like Ne-doms than Si-doms. Has that been your experience?

    At any rate, I think ENP/INJ, ITP/ETJ, and EFJ/IFP are all workable, but I’m much more hesitant about ESP/ISJ.

  6. admin says:

    For our part, we are not able to agree with much of that. But, as Burrows also says, we should be mindful of the fact that there is far more to matches than type. Our own experience seems to suggest that people tend to date their opposites, e.g. ENTP-ISFJ. Even if extremely dissimilar in terms of lifestyle, people intuitively recognize parts of themselves in their opposites. I.e. ENTP-ISFJ are superficially dissimilar but they ‘get’ each other on a deeper level. ENTP-INTJ are superficially similar, but they misunderstand each other on a deeper level. We rarely recommend fiction, but Dangerous Liaisons is a great example of both, actually (ENTP torn between ISFJ and INTJ and the blessings and curses of each).

  7. Raja Burrows says:

    @Scratch: My gut says yes…ish. A great real-world example of this is Matt Damon (ISTJ) and Ben Affleck (ESTP). Though, it should be noted that Damon and Affleck are not actually in a relationship and that Affleck, at least, seems to prefer someone with a complementary judging axis when it comes to romance (Jennifer Garner, ESFJ with dominant Fe compared to Affleck’s tertiary Fe).

    But while Si and Se seem decently compatible, it’s been my experience that Ni and Ne can be a little more at odds with one another. This, I believe, is largely due to the “inquisitive-then-satisfied” nature of Ni that runs perpendicular to Ne’s “ever-inquisitive”-ness. Again, though, if we’re take romance out of the equation, ENTJ and INTP could make fantastic friends. As soon as their daily lives and routines start to really intertwine, however, those cracks are bound to start showing up in a big way.

    @AndrahilAdrian: It has been my experience that functions usually trump preferences when both people are self-aware and well-rounded. ESFJ and ENFP, for example, might make a great pair. ESFJ’s well-developed auxiliary Si is a natural complement to ENFP’s repressed inferior Si, and ENFP’s dominant Ne matches well with ESFJ’s tertiary Ne.

    Now, this is not always the case. For example, an ESFP with an exceptionally repressed inferior Ni might be maddened by an ENTJ with strong auxiliary Ni but slightly weaker Se. Even though the two theoretically share all the same functions, their human preferences (i.e. the ones that have nothing to do with type) make them incompatible. For my part, I’m a staunch advocate of exploring our inferior functions to the fullest. Doing so allows us to bypass the false dichotomy that seems to be so prevalent in discussions about type and lets us get into the grit of what truly makes us tick as individuals.

  8. AndrahilAdrian says:

    “But while Si and Se seem decently compatible, it’s been my experience that Ni and Ne can be a little more at odds with one another”

    That’s actually the opposite of my experience. I find that people with Ni and Ne usually have similar proclivities (i.e. intellectual pursuits and talking about ideas) so they don’t have deep divisions about how they want to spend their time together. In contrast, Se and Si seem to have very different approaches to life. So, to put it simply, se wants to go out and party, while si wants to stay home and do the household chores. In contrast, ni and ne are happy to just have an interesting conversation. They might differ as to how many other people to involve in the conversation, but the foundation is the same.

  9. Enfp says:

    as an NF I feel better connected to NT and SF types.
    They either simulate me or are open to ideas/experiences.

    I think I would annoy TJ types. I couldn’t say which, but I had a awful friendship with one of those types!

  10. SamMM says:

    I agree with AndrahilAdrian. In my experience, the ENP-INJ combination has resulted in exceptionally fulfilling platonic and romantic companionship. My experience as INJ with an ENP mate has been ideal (our judging axis is the same). Among my closest friends, the most represented types are ENPs. There’s an irreplaceable compatibility in the ways in which we experience the world, communicate about ideas, and in the things we value.

    Speaking personally/anecdotally, I have always had trouble relating to dominant S types; I doubt I could be fulfilled by a romantic relationship with someone with an opposite function order. I must disagree with the admin that an opposite function order is a superficial difference (in their example, ENTP-ISFJ). I see that as a very fundamental difference in the way one engages with the world and other people. Of the ENTPs I’ve known, I have trouble imagining them not getting bored in a relationship with an ISFJ, and of the ISFJs I know, I have trouble imagining them not getting exasperated in a relationship with an ENTP.

    @Raja Burrows “it’s been my experience that Ni and Ne can be a little more at odds with one another. This, I believe, is largely due to the “inquisitive-then-satisfied” nature of Ni that runs perpendicular to Ne’s “ever-inquisitive”-ness.”

    I just don’t see, nor experience, that difference as friction. I have found this difference to be complementary.

  11. Individualist13419 says:

    Very well put admin. Pairs with opposite letters are definitely “superficially dissimilar but get each other on a deeper level”. I think this one area in where the typing community is way off (most think for example that ENTP- ISFJ is the worst match for ENTP) and it testaments to a poor understanding of types.

  12. Anna says:

    I’m at ENTP and I generally, though not always, tend to dislike SJ types. I agree that an ISFJ-ENTP relationship might be good for the growth of both individuals, but I cannot see it functioning well over a lifetime. ISFJs would be driven crazy by my constant need for newness and stimulation. I would feel trapped by their desire for security and bored by their disinterest in intuitive topics and discussions. In my opinion, a well-developed ENTP will have a strong Ne function, and thus will have no need of another Ne user to help develop that. However, their secondary and tertiary Ti and Fe would benefit from interaction with other users of that axis. That leaves us with INFJ, ISTP, ENFJ, and ESTP. Of the four, I have found the INFJ the easiest to relate to and get along with, while not being bored, although I have close friends in all but the ESTP category. I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, that Jung also believed the INFJ-ENTP match to be ideal.

    I have two theories about comparability and type:
    1)We match best with people who share our judging axis, but not our perceiving axis. This way, we communicate similarly, but bring different perspectives to the table.
    2) We match best with people who reverse our first function. I have no idea if that’s the technical term for it, but what I mean is Ne-Ni, Fe-Fi, etc. pairings. This would be based around the idea that our first function is our strongest one, and thus is not in need of another user of it, but also that this function enjoys and is unthreatened by its opposite.

  13. Gracie says:

    Si and Se seem decently compatible when both are S-doms sharing the same judging preference. That could explain the long lasting ISTJ and ESTP friendship between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. I’ve also seen long lasting friendships between ESFPs and ISFJs, too. Romantically, though, they tend to go with opposite judging preference.

    Couples with same-functions-but-flipped seem to work best when the couple shares the same first letter. For example, INFP-ISTJ tends to work better than INFP-ESTJ. Maybe because each is more familiar with the other’s dominant function.

    I’ve recently come across another theory that says your ideal mate is someone whose dominant function is your auxiliary function. The theory: exposure to our auxiliary prevents overreliance on our dominant function. So far, this pairing seems to work with ISTP Ashton Kutcher and ESTP Mila Kunis but failed with ESFP Cameron Diaz and ISFP Justin Timberlake. What do you think of this theory?

  14. AndrahilAdrian says:

    “Our own experience seems to suggest that people tend to date their opposites, e.g. ENTP-ISFJ. Even if extremely dissimilar in terms of lifestyle, people intuitively recognize parts of themselves in their opposites. I.e. ENTP-ISFJ are superficially dissimilar but they ‘get’ each other on a deeper level.”

    I think the “opposites attract” approach may look good in theory, but in practice those “surface differences” will count for a lot. I think it would be very difficult to maintain a relationship with someone who’s dominant function type is one’s inferior function type. T doms would find it very difficult to provide the level of emotional affirmation F doms tend to want, while T doms would be frustrated by the F doms’ difficulty in articulating their thought process. S doms and N doms might be more likely to work, but only if they happened to share the same interests, which usually isn’t the case. I think both individuals would have to be well developed initially to make it work; dating your opposite because you think it will help you grow is a very bad idea.

    “I’ve also seen long lasting friendships between ESFPs and ISFJs, too. Romantically, though, they tend to go with opposite judging preference”.

    Well, most women are Fs and most men are Ts, and since most people are straight, most couples will have opposite judging preferences. It doesn’t mean people are necessarily drawn to someone with the opposite judging preference.

    “We rarely recommend fiction, but Dangerous Liaisons is a great example of both, actually (ENTP torn between ISFJ and INTJ and the blessings and curses of each).”

    I actually think Valmont was much better suited to Merteuil than Tourvel. That’s sort of the point, that his efforts to “reform” himself by seducing Tourvel would never work because he wasn’t taking her nature into account. Dangerous Liaisons can be read very well as a sort of proto-feminist deconstruction of men seeking “redemption” through virtuous women, a gender reversal of Austen and Richardsons’ deconstructions of women seeking to “reform rakes”. To put it in typological terms, Valmont was wasting his time trying to get Tourvel to develop his inferior fe and si, which he needed to do himself.

  15. Individualist13419 says:

    As an INTP I can honestly say that the type’s I’ve gotten the best along with are NTPs, NFPs, ISTPs, and believe it or not, SFJs. I think alot of intuitives that get familiar with the MBTI really have more acquaintances that are the of “opposite type”, than the’re aware of. When these intuitives come across MBTI forums, videos etc. online that tend to celebrate and glorify intuitves, I think alot of them develop notions somewhere along the line “since I’m an intuitve, I can only get on really well with other intuitives, hence the people I really like must be intuitives!”. At least that was the case for me. I remember thinking that at least two of my friends where NFJs whereas in fact, both really are SFJs.

    From a personal perspective I see the real NFJs as insightful, friendly, but still a little too intense (presumably due to Se) and narrow minded. I find it easier too relax with SFJs.

  16. Individualist13419 says:

    I think people here need to refine their understanding of opposite types. Really, two types are opposite if they have opposite functions and different function order. NTPs opposite are SFPs, SFJs opposite are NTJs, STJs opposite are NFJs and NFPs opposite are STPs. Truly, it is these type combinations which might suffer from communication problems, etc. NOT NTPs and SFJs, NTJs and SFPs, STPs and NFJs or STJs and NFPs.

  17. Scratch says:

    “Well, most women are Fs and most men are Ts”

    Source? This has not been my experience.

  18. ATB says:

    Interesting article. Cannot disagree more on the opposites theory though. Sure, opposites attract, but I believe it was Fromm who said that we seek someone different from ourselves in our immaturity, but our maturity brings us closer to those who are more like us. Speaking from experience, this makes sense.

    Once we approach individuation, we come to deeply accept ourselves and no longer seek someone to complete us. It’s the difference between a “you complete me” kinda love and a “I’m good all by myself, but I’m at my best when we’re together” love.

    Equally if not *more importantly are the Big Five measurements. Highly disagreeable nuerotics are difficult partners in general. Add low conscientiousness to the mix and you’ve likely got a deeply disturbed mess on your hands. Uniquely low Openness in a disagreeable partner will be needlessly invalidating for someone high in this trait.

    Many theories emphasize the importance of having the same judging functions as your mate, but as dominant perceiver I find this to be faulty. Certainly it’s important to have the same values, but how one reaches those values conclusions is less important than the fact that you do. Opposite perceptive functions can lead to abuse and discontentedness in a partnership. This is particularly true for the dominant intuitive who finds little validation in the external world(particularly Ni-doms). There’s nothing like opening up your world to your mate and having them tear it down, laugh, or dismiss it as complete madness. The soulmate connection for Intuitive types is that knowing that you’ve finally found yourself on the same wavelength as someone else. It’s pointing out a rose whilst walking hand in hand with your partner, and in both seeing its layers, standing in awe of how the layered petals reflect the complexities of our universe, our world, ourselves. I’m sorry, but this cannot be had with regularlity in a relationship of opposites.

    If dominant intuitive, the ideal partner likely has your dominant function in their dominant or aux position:

    INJ-INJ

  19. ATB says:

    Interesting article. Cannot disagree more on the opposites theory though. Sure, opposites attract, but I believe it was Fromm who said that we seek someone different from ourselves in our immaturity, but our maturity brings us closer to those who are more like us. Speaking from experience, this makes sense.

    Once we approach individuation, we come to deeply accept ourselves and no longer seek someone to complete us. It’s the difference between a “you complete me” kinda love and a “I’m good all by myself, but I’m at my best when we’re together” love.

    Equally if not *more importantly are the Big Five measurements. Highly disagreeable nuerotics are difficult partners in general. Add low conscientiousness to the mix and you’ve likely got a deeply disturbed mess on your hands. Uniquely low Openness in a disagreeable partner will be needlessly invalidating for someone high in this trait.

    Many theories emphasize the importance of having the same judging functions as your mate, but as dominant perceiver I find this to be faulty. Certainly it’s important to have the same values, but how one reaches those values conclusions is less important than the fact that you do. Opposite perceptive functions can lead to abuse and discontentedness in a partnership. This is particularly true for the dominant intuitive who finds little validation in the external world(particularly Ni-doms). There’s nothing like opening up your world to your mate and having them tear it down, laugh, or dismiss it as complete madness. The soulmate connection for Intuitive types is that knowing that you’ve finally found yourself on the same wavelength as someone else. It’s pointing out a rose whilst walking hand in hand with your partner, and in both seeing its layers, standing in awe of how the layered petals reflect the complexities of our universe, our world, ourselves. I’m sorry, but this cannot be had with regularlity in a relationship of opposites.

    If dominant intuitive, the ideal partner likely has your dominant function in their dominant or aux position:

    INJ-INJ
    ENP-ENP

    Your next best types probably share dominant intuition with you, but in the opposite attitude:

    INJ-ENP

    Dominant judger’s will find better success with those who share their judging functions and values.

    ETJ-ETJ Here, perception is less important because it is auxiliary and therefore more inconspicuous.

    Again, the above is assuming each person has come to a place of acceptance regarding themselves and is looking for a missing piece to their puzzle.

  20. AndrahilAdrian says:

    “Well, most women are Fs and most men are Ts”

    “Source? This has not been my experience.”

    Well, this very website lists all the F types as “more common among women than men”, and vice-versa for all the T types.

  21. Scratch says:

    All right, admins, same question. If it is based on counting celebrities typed its deeply flawed seeing as how its neither representative of the general public or a high enough sample size. If it is based on people who have taken tests and provided gender it is equally flawed as people who take the tests aren’t representative either and the fact that the tests have quite low accuracy rates makes it next to useless. Personal anecdotal data is equally unreliable as who you know is very dependent on your own personality, for instance most of my friends have a thinking function near the top.

    Until we can conclusively prove something through rigorous testing I think we should refrain from making sweeping generalisations and presenting it as authoritative data. Bad data pollutes way too much already.

  22. Rachel Wood says:

    @AndrahilAdrian

    You say that ESPs and ISJs will have conflicts in relationships because of the way they live their lives. The example you give is that, simply put, Se doms will want to go out and party, while Si doms will want to stay at home and take care of chores. Then you say N dominants don’t have this kind of conflict, because all they want to do is discuss interesting abstract ideas.

    My reply to this is:

    1. As you no doubt are aware, the ESPs and ISJs are much more complex than that.

    2. ENPs and INJs should theoretically have exactly the same conflict, but in the realm of ideas and possibilities, rather than the everyday.

    ENPs will want to “go out and party” in the realm of
    ideas, while INJs will want to “stay and do chores” to realise their internal idea.

  23. Rachel Wood says:

    I’m an INTP, and I think the worst type for me to have as a romantic partner would be whatever type Ryan Gosling’s character is in ‘The Notebook’ (ISFP maybe? It’s a while since I watched it, so can’t say). That guy got on my nerves so much haha!

    There’s one famous scene where he does this “Big Romantic Gesture” (Im sure that’s what the screenwriter thought it was) where he jumps onto a fairground ride and hangs dangerously from it — while doing this, he says to the girl that he’ll let himself fall if she doesn’t agree to go on a date with him…

    I mean, come on! That’s only a few steps removed from saying that you’ll slit your own throat open if the girl refuses to give you a blowjob!! :D

  24. AndrahilAdrian says:

    “My reply to this is:

    1. As you no doubt are aware, the ESPs and ISJs are much more complex than that.”

    I am aware, which is why I prefaced the statement with “simply put”. Nevertheless, I think there’s truth to it as a generalization.

    “2. ENPs and INJs should theoretically have exactly the same conflict, but in the realm of ideas and possibilities, rather than the everyday.

    ENPs will want to “go out and party” in the realm of
    ideas, while INJs will want to “stay and do chores” to realise their internal idea.”

    I am aware of that too, which is why I mentioned that ne and ni types might conflict over how many people to invite to the conversation. My point is that the E/I contrast in the “realm of ideas” is likely to be much less of a problem for a relationship than the E/I contrast in the realm of everyday life, so E/I couples who favor the realm of ideas (Ni/Ne) are likely to conflict less that couples who favor the realm of everyday life (Si/Se). The difference in lifestyle between “going out and partying” and “staying in and doing chores” in everyday life (where they’re actually different activities) is much greater than the difference in lifestyle implied when you take “going out and partying” and “staying in and doing chores” as a metaphor for different approaches to thinking/talking about ideas (where the activities are actually the same).

  25. Rachel Wood says:

    @Adrian

    Hmmm, Im not so sure…

    Exploring and discussing ideas for fun seems to be more of an Ne thing to me. I’d guess Ni dominants wouldn’t be as interested in the conversation as they are in bringing their idea of how things should be into reality. And so Ni will lead the person to be more “chore”-oriented because it believes in getting the boring stuff done today, to make their Big Idea come true tomorrow.

    Ne types are more distanced from their ideas, and so they just follow them down whatever rabbit holes they find exciting in the moment, just for the fun of it, and don’t have the same kind of personal involvement.

    It just seems this could create conflict to me. :)

  26. ATB says:

    Hi Rachel, hope you don’t mind my butting in.:) I agree that exploring and discussing ideas with what seems to be no conclusive point or apparent purpose may be Ne more than Ni. But do Ne types generally like to discuss ideas moreso than Ni types? I don’t think that’s necessarily true, particularly for a combination of Ni + Fe(INFJ/ENFJ), who often see deep, soul piercing discussions as the very meaning of relationship bliss. :) I suppose it also depends what is meant by the term “ideas”.

  27. Rachel Wood says:

    @ATB

    No, I think you’re right. :)

    My response was against the idea that ENP-INJ relationships are exempt from the same type of conflict as ESP-ISJ relationships, in the long term.

    I didn’t mean to imply that Ni types don’t enjoy discussing ideas — they live for ideas. :D

    In my experience, they are more likely to have made up their mind about the idea beforehand, though, than the ENPs. :D

  28. Enfp says:

    I wanna correct myself, I think I have bad relationships with anyone high in Si. ISTJ, ESTJ, ISFJ’s. I need new things, they make it their business to sabotage it.
    I’ve had good things going with ENTJ’s and ENFJ’s.

  29. Steve ENTP says:

    I agree with everything about this article, especially as I’ve gotten older. As an ENTP, I always wanted to date an INJ as I figured they would get me. Several of the girls that I have date or pursued were INJs, in my mind, because they were smart and capable of having deep conversations. I have realized, however, that two of the girls were SFJs (Same Alpha quadra). They were smart and I made the mistake of confusing intelligence with intuition.

    I’m almost 26 now, and I mostly look for SFJs in dating. Thankfully, I can afford to do so as these types make up a significant percentage of females. In contrast, I imagine it could be difficult being a male ESFP trying to find a dream INTJ girl.

    To my fellow ENTPs: The reason we might be turned off by the SFJ lifestyle is because of our own selfishness due to lack of self-perception. Although it is inferior, I am aware of my Si and see it as a necessity in my life. If I was married to ISFJ, for example, I would use Si as a base of operations from which to take flight with my Ne. In other words, I can go to work/social events and get my complete fill of intuition. But at the end of the day, it would be nice to be able to have a stable household to come back to.

  30. AndrahilAdrian says:

    lol “the SFJ lifestyle”

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