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INTJ and Emotional Intimacy

27 posts in this topic

Are INTJ's capable of long-term intimate relationships...or...does that close emotional intimacy make them close down and want to 'get out'?

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COnsidering that many INTJs here are in long-term relationships, I'd have to say that yes, it is possible. ;)

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Yes, it is possible, and even two INTJ can have a good relationship with one another, but like everyone else in every other kind of relationship, there are issues and you do have to try hard to understand where the other person is coming from.

Personally, I like to be in long-term relationships, because I find the whole dating thing to be an inexplicable series of rituals that I find kind of bizarre. I am not that social in terms of wanting to do what other people call "fun" in the first place, so doing it with someone I'm not really that comfortable with because I don't know them very well, doesn't improve the situation at all.

A working LTR can allow for the space I need, too. The early stages of a relationship when the other person wants to live in your pocket make me really tense.

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It's a matter of baring your soul and letting someone in. If you can't do that, you'll never be in a serious long-term relationship.

An INTJ has to remember that they are dating someone because that other person is interested in them, possibly outright fascinated by them, and that letting that person inside your fortress can open doors you didn't think existed.

We feel so alone in the world, finding someone who is willing to get inside your mind is a godsend.

You just have to step outside your comfort zone and let them know what you are actually thinking. If they can handle it, you've found someone special. If they can't, then maybe it wasn't meant to be.

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Are INTJ's capable of long-term intimate relationships...or...does that close emotional intimacy make them close down and want to 'get out'?

Good question and one I can relate to all the time. For me the answer is yes. The closer I get to someone the more I want to run away because I am intensely an "I," independent, and solitary by nature. Close relationships take part of "me" away from me. So, I have to build a lot of trust before I venture too closely into a relationship. The thing that will make me run (and fast too) is when someone whom I'm in a long-term inteimate relationship with breaks my trust. It happened to me last July and it almost destroyed my sense of self.

In any case, building a close relationship is a challenge for me, but it can and does happen.

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Yes, it is possible, and even two INTJ can have a good relationship with one another, but like everyone else in every other kind of relationship, there are issues and you do have to try hard to understand where the other person is coming from.

Personally, I like to be in long-term relationships, because I find the whole dating thing to be an inexplicable series of rituals that I find kind of bizarre. I am not that social in terms of wanting to do what other people call "fun" in the first place, so doing it with someone I'm not really that comfortable with because I don't know them very well, doesn't improve the situation at all.

A working LTR can allow for the space I need, too. The early stages of a relationship when the other person wants to live in your pocket make me really tense.

My wife and I give each other space whenever we need it. If anything happened to her, I don't believe I'd remarry or really date. Perhaps that's why we are reknown for reliability?

I don't like the hurdles of initial dating. The games are utter bullshit.

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It's a matter of baring your soul and letting someone in. If you can't do that, you'll never be in a serious long-term relationship.

When trouble starts in the LTR, as issues come up in all relationships, do we tend to internalize our feelings...not open up about being discontent...and put on a mask as a shield?

Edited by cannotseethe
fixed broken QUOTE tag

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When trouble starts in the LTR, as issues come up in all relationships, do we tend to internalize our feelings...not open up about being discontent...and put on a mask as a shield?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think some of you may do this when you feel somehow guilty about the discontent - like you should be happy but aren't, and feel somewhat...well, "responsible" is the wrong word, but that's kind of what I'm getting at. You're generally more used to making decisions in your heads - and unilaterally; you aren't so comfortable talking your feelings out as you have them. When you start to feel discontented, what you'd really like is to retreat into your bubble and process what you're feeling there, but you don't want your SO to feel isolated, so you do the mask thing. This compounds the problem.

That said, I think many non INTJs are similar, to an extent.

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Well, we celebrated our 25th anniversary this year, so I gather...yes?

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Well, we celebrated our 25th anniversary this year, so I gather...yes?

Wow. That's amazing. I can't even comprehend that length of time, but apparently my parents made 21 years as well. Congratulations!

As for me, I have allowed myself to get very close to someone very quickly, without much thought of the consequences, and for the first time, I knew what it's like to be genuinely cared for and to care for someone else. I'm not sure whether I regret it because it was during the summer, or I should be glad that I found such emotional intimacy with someone where I didn't think it was possible. I have a habit of closing myself off emotionally, and constantly complain of "creepers" who wants to get closer than I want them to (until an INTJ friend convinced me that I'm setting unreasonable standards for them; just because I'm extraordinarily independent and want to take things extremely slowly with people I don't click with immediately), until now.

It turned my world upside down, and now I don't know if I'll ever see him again. I'm thinking that it was a mistake, and keeping emotionally detached is right. I do want a LTR someday, but given my extremely independent nature, I don't know if that's possible. I like to travel too, and LTR might just become LDR. I'm more of an adventurer, and I don't know if I can sacrifice intellectual and cultural stimulation for a relationship. But if I'm emotionally attached, I might just be persuaded (by emotions) to give up my plans. Emotional intimacy destroys all semblance of rational thought.

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@Antares: Some of that is like hearing myself speak. Personally, I don't consider being emotionally hurt that big a disaster - you can rationalize away most of it :)

If you don't start relationships with a decent number of people, how will you find someone who will really like you? ... and how will you learn how to manage relationships well enough that you can maintain them despite their problems? (yes, both we, and the people we're interested in, tend to be emotional babies sometimes :p )

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They're very much capable. Perhaps an emotionally immature INTJ will have problems with LTRs and intmacy, but there is nothing about the cognitive functions that make the INTJ, i.e. Ni+Te+Fi+Se, less likely to enjoy intimacy.

It is a common error to think that feelers are better with intimacy than thinkers. Not so. Fe is about politness and creating harmony, not true intmacy. Fi is about your inner values, that doesn't help in establishing intmacy either (ironically when I see pemissim about LTRs on this board it's usually peoples' Fi acting up).

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Its the stronger sense of self, and higher thinking focus that gets in the way of feeling and responding to emotions that can occasionally cause problems, if that doesn't work well with your spouse.

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Wow. That's amazing. I can't even comprehend that length of time, but apparently my parents made 21 years as well. Congratulations!

Thanks! I can't even comprehend being in my 50s. It's like I woke up one day and oops here I am...grey haired! It seems like yesterday our eldest was just born and now he's nearly out of college. Some people get depressed by that, but I find humour in it

As for me, I have allowed myself to get very close to someone very quickly, without much thought of the consequences, and for the first time, I knew what it's like to be genuinely cared for and to care for someone else. I'm not sure whether I regret it because it was during the summer, or I should be glad that I found such emotional intimacy with someone where I didn't think it was possible. I have a habit of closing myself off emotionally, and constantly complain of "creepers" who wants to get closer than I want them to (until an INTJ friend convinced me that I'm setting unreasonable standards for them; just because I'm extraordinarily independent and want to take things extremely slowly with people I don't click with immediately), until now.

Whatever weirdnesses were in my family, it doesn't seem to be anything that gave me pause to fear emotional intimacy and I wonder if fear of emotional intimacy isn't more about early family life than personality type? In grade school I learned to keep to myself for the most part, but that's because of the barbarism of grade school "society" and afterwards I dropped that part of myself with some ease.

As a group we INTJs do seem to be more than average picky about relationships, though. Perhaps that's what comes of being analytical about everything?

It turned my world upside down, and now I don't know if I'll ever see him again. I'm thinking that it was a mistake, and keeping emotionally detached is right.

If you don't, there will be someone else. I know that sounds trite, but it's commonly said because it's true.

There is some advantage in being detached from results. If you're attached to them and things don't continue with him, then the attachment will just keep you from moving ahead and finding someone else.

I do want a LTR someday, but given my extremely independent nature, I don't know if that's possible.

I'm living proof that it's possible. DH's number one reason for wanting to marry me (as opposed to others) was my independent nature. He wanted an equal partner and is independent himself. He didn't want an albatross around his neck or anyone who's emotionally high-maintenance. I could understand his view, because it's one I share myself, and it's why I thought it would make sense for me to marry him. I have similar needs in that respect.

If there's one guy out there like that, there are more. LOL you wanna meet my son?

I like to travel too, and LTR might just become LDR. I'm more of an adventurer, and I don't know if I can sacrifice intellectual and cultural stimulation for a relationship. But if I'm emotionally attached, I might just be persuaded (by emotions) to give up my plans. Emotional intimacy destroys all semblance of rational thought.

You may find you don't so much give up your plans entirely as modify them and add some others of his -- things you hadn't considered before that you would also enjoy.

I had to give up some plans, but I added others I like just fine. The key in a relationship is that it doesn't get lop-sided, where only one person's wants prevail. That can take some work, but I've found it worthwhile.

---------- Post added 09-05-2010 at 04:39 PM ----------

Fe is about politness and creating harmony, not true intmacy.

*sigh* Yes, one of the biggest problems I have is dealing with people who will settle for faux unity when real unity can be had.

Or people who try to make peace out of chaos, which I'm sorry, but I've yet to see that work.

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They're very much capable. Perhaps an emotionally immature INTJ will have problems with LTRs and intmacy, but there is nothing about the cognitive functions that make the INTJ, i.e. Ni+Te+Fi+Se, less likely to enjoy intimacy.

It is a common error to think that feelers are better with intimacy than thinkers. Not so. Fe is about politness and creating harmony, not true intmacy. Fi is about your inner values, that doesn't help in establishing intmacy either (ironically when I see pemissim about LTRs on this board it's usually peoples' Fi acting up).

Yeah. To be honest I think an emotionally immature anybody can and probably will struggle with intimacy. And there's likely to be considerable similarities in the way this manifests, though the actual factors at play that make it difficult to achieve intimacy may differ.

I haven't thought in any depth on the subject, but I tend to think that anybody that feels a genuine desire for intimacy has the capacity to achieve it - but it's possible that the desire has to actually be to give it (however selectively), rather than just to be thoroughly swept away by someone so mindblowing they drag you out of your reticence. I don't think this was something I was particularly willing to do until very recently, and I think my past relationships reflect this. I don't really know anything about type, but I'm guessing the reason some INTJs might feel they can't do it is because letting someone else in that much involves making yourself vulnerable, which involves somewhat of a leap of faith (or at least doesn't sit very well with flawless contingency planning). That doesn't mean it's not possible for INTJs, or even that it's harder necessarily - I think you could probably look at every type and find a reason for why it's difficult to let people get under your skin. What constitutes intimacy is a personal thing, I think. I might be naturally open, and happily share parts of my headspace with a stranger when it would take someone else a year to open up about similar things. That just means that opening up about those things is more significant/more intimate for them - it doesn't mean I achieve intimacy rapidly with every stranger I talk to. Getting to that point where you share more of yourself than you typically do can be difficult for any type, I think.

To sustain intimacy, I think effective communication is key.

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If my INTJ-ness is any clue, I would say that INTJ's can and do form deeply intimate emotional relationships. In my history, these relationships have been exclusive and singular, but deeply intimate and emotional. I can count the number of women I have "fallen in love with" my whole life on my fingers. Where as for some others, "falling in love" feelings happen all the time.

The trend for INTJ's is for long term and loyal relationships. This has been true for me, in spite of some terrible difficulties. Getting "into" the inner side of me is difficult. Once in, the commitment is very solid and I'm willing to work to make the relationship work. But once broken, you're out and you're staying out.

I think the rarity of such emotional and intimate connections for INTJ's makes for much deeper relationships. If you are "in" with an INTJ, value that relationship.

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Are INTJ's capable of long-term intimate relationships...or...does that close emotional intimacy make them close down and want to 'get out'?

Just a few random thoughts from a non-INTJ on this. I'd say overall, yes, I think INTJs are capable of close emotional intimacy, but it can be difficult and it "looks" very different from what I'm used to seeing/experiencing.

Personally, it may take awhile for me to warm up and let someone in closer to my "inner circle" but once he gains that trust then I don't have too many problems slowly inching forward. The way it works for me is somewhat like 'one step forward, half step back, half step forward, half step forward, oh! a step forward, maybe a half step back' depending on how quickly we're getting closer, how scared I get, other factors getting in the way, etc. I'm pretty slow in romantic relationships so if he sticks around during that then it's really nice. Hey, I never claimed perfection. ;D

The perspective I get from INTJs is more like 'starting line, starting line, step forward, step back, oh! two steps forward, wtheck-three steps back!?, two steps forward again'. I don't think it's done maliciously (well, maybe sometimes a tinge of it subconsciously :p) or to jerk anyone around, but more as a function of maybe not knowing what to do and therefore somewhat shutting down? Because for me, I can usually figure out what emotions I'm going through so it's rare for me shut someone out or put up a wall again after it comes slowly down. Or if I don't know right away, I have no problem discussing those emotions. Which, essentially, is all part of the emotional intimacy growth process. However, I find that figuring out and/or talking about emotions don't exactly fall into an INTJ's area of strength or preference which can make experiencing emotional intimacy difficult at times. I think it's when an INTJ realizes this and tries to work through it that they can find it though. :nice:

Edited by cheerbear
too

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It is a common error to think that feelers are better with intimacy than thinkers. Not so. Fe is about politness and creating harmony, not true intmacy. Fi is about your inner values, that doesn't help in establishing intmacy either (ironically when I see pemissim about LTRs on this board it's usually peoples' Fi acting up).

That's not Fe. Fe is about taking others' values into context. It's understanding and acting on others' needs and wants. Which is just as important as understanding and acting your own inner needs and desires.

Being polite and creating haramony can stem from any of the judging functions. Ti, Te, Fi and Fe are all going play a part in finding it to be logical in some form to be polite and create haramony to succeed in relationships with others.

Intimacy is about building a bond with each other through experiences, similarities, trust and connections. The functions are tools in helping build those bonds, not the actually intimate bonding itself.

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That's not Fe. Fe is about taking others' values into context. It's understanding and acting on others' needs and wants. Which is just as important as understanding and acting your own inner needs and desires.

Being polite and creating haramony can stem from any of the judging functions. Ti, Te, Fi and Fe are all going play a part in finding it to be logical in some form to be polite and create haramony to succeed in relationships with others.

Intimacy is about building a bond with each other through experiences, similarities, trust and connections. The functions are tools in helping build those bonds, not the actually intimate bonding itself.

Yes to clarify it is a natural but not required step to go from understanding people's needs and desires to wanting to help create peace and harmony. But it is not a required step. You can understand without wanting peace and harmony.

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Yes to clarify it is a natural but not required step to go from understanding people's needs and desires to wanting to help create peace and harmony. But it is not a required step. You can understand without wanting peace and harmony.

True that. And some even utilize that realization of needs and desires in a malicious manner.

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Are INTJ's capable of long-term intimate relationships...or...does that close emotional intimacy make them close down and want to 'get out'?

This INTJ is capable of it, but not on a large scale. I can and do love very deeply, but I only love a select few.

I don't balk at emotional intimacy, but I am very cautious with it. I take care and invest very carefully. I test each new investment before I make it (sticking my toe in the water, as it were), but as long as I feel confident about and comfortable with it, I'll keep on investing.

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The perspective I get from INTJs is more like 'starting line, starting line, step forward, step back, oh! two steps forward, wtheck-three steps back!?, two steps forward again'.

...[pause for thought], half step back, [interminable silence], [spontaneous INTJ decisiveness], twelve steps forward, [ENFP confusion], ENFP: two steps back, [spontaneous ENFP decisiveness], ENFP: ten steps forward, INTJ: forty seven steps back :p

I don't think it's done maliciously (well, maybe sometimes a tinge of it subconsciously :p) or to jerk anyone around, but more as a function of maybe not knowing what to do and therefore somewhat shutting down? Because for me, I can usually figure out what emotions I'm going through so it's rare for me shut someone out or put up a wall again after it comes slowly down. Or if I don't know right away, I have no problem discussing those emotions.

I feel like it's the not knowing right away that they don't much like. For an INTJ, "I don't know if this will work out" is a negative thing. For me, the same thing reads as "I don't know that this won't work out", and serves as a reason to just have a go. But I think that might be because I find it easier to open up and let people in enough to keep them happy without feeling like I've given too much of myself away. INTJs seem to find it harder to open up, so maybe it feels like there's more at stake if they do that and then things don't work out?

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Of course we're capable of it. Once an INTJ decides to stick it out, they stick it out. It's a side-effect of "the heart follows the head." Once we decide we really like someone, something extreme has to happen in order to break that.

We are, by and large, however, not so good at intimacy itself. That takes a lot more emotional trust than we're used to surrendering. It takes a while for Fi to grow in and allow one to reveal one's true heart.

In summary, INTJs are good at "long term" but take a while to learn "intimacy."

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This INTJ is very capable of it just not on the level of someone who is needy 24/7.

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Only if I am with someone relatively sane and emotionally stable. Which seems to rule me out with about 80% of the single female population.

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