I don’t consider myself a relationship expert, but one topic that continually comes up with personality research is the topic of compatibility. Thankfully, even though I’m no expert, there are lots of experts out there that have a lot of advice about relationships and MBTI compatibility. Thanks to books like Please Understand Me, Just Your Type, and endless other resources I’ve been able to access some really awesome information on types and compatibility. I’ll put some resources and references at the end of this post for anyone interested. Now let’s get started!
INTJs are true perfectionists, and so they take their relationships very seriously. Finding the right person is important to them, because once they make the decision to commit to a relationship they are usually very loyal and devoted partners. They believe in constantly improving their relationship and always strive to bring their very best to the table. A relationship with an INTJ is bound be intellectually stimulating, exciting, and intense. INTJs have a natural self-confidence and depth that many people find attractive and intriguing. They usually make very good listeners, and can encourage other types to pursue their dreams and visions.
What INTJs Look For in a Relationship
INTJs usually have thought carefully about what they want in a relationship. They aren’t often interested in flings or one-night-stands but are looking for something that will last a lifetime. Usually, before they embark on a relationship they will have carefully ensured that the person fits certain criteria so that they don’t waste their time (or anyone else’s). They’re not likely to “fall in love” in a heat of passion or spur-of-the-moment feelings. While they can be extremely romantic, it takes time for them to feel safe enough to divulge their feelings. If you’re in a relationship with an INTJ, you can take comfort in knowing that they probably thought very long and hard about the relationship before pursuing it; and once they have decided on a partner, they are unlikely to have a change of mind.
INTJs are very deep, thoughtful individuals and they look for the same in a partner. They want someone that they can discuss possibilities, theories, and meanings with. They enjoy someone who is imaginative and passionate. While any two types can have a fulfilling relationship and get along; INTJs will naturally be more at ease with another intuitive partner. The reason for this is that they will both be interested in ideas, theories, and concepts and usually enjoy similar topics of conversation and areas of interest. There is a natural flow that comes from two intuitive or two sensor types being together. That said, many intuitors and sensors have found very happy, long-lasting relationships together. In another post, I’ll get into more details about a sensor/intuitive relationship.
INTJs are very honest and direct, and they want a partner who is showing them their true self. Insincerity and phoniness are likely to turn them off very quickly. They can take blunt honesty, as long as it’s not a manipulated personal attack. Like all NT types, INTJs long to get to the very core truth of something; and this is no different in their relationships. If you’re with an INTJ honesty and authenticity is always going to be the best policy. With all this said, INTJs are also usually very private; so even though they’re honest, they don’t want to be pushed into sharing their entire life story over one conversation. They like to develop intimate relationships slowly and build trust as they gradually share their experiences.
INTJs and Guardians (SJ types) in Relationships:
Guardians usually think very highly of INTJs, and admire their hard work and serious, intellectual nature. They can often provide a happy balance to an INTJs life with their practical, feet-on-the-ground mentality. They both respect each other’s schedules and plans and like to have things organized. SJs and INTJs are usually both clean, neat people and so they will often have a happy, comfortable home together. SJs are attracted to the INTJs intellectual intensity, depth, and creative and unique way of looking at the world. With the feeling SJ types, NTs admire their gentleness and compassion, as well as their warmth and loyalty. With thinking SJ types, INTJs will admire their practicality, logic, and effectiveness at getting things done.
Problems can arise when INTJs get frustrated with the SJs love of convention. INTJs are extremely independent and constantly want to evolve and expand their idea of the world. SJs like the familiar and the way things have always been done, and will have a hard time understanding what they may see as strange, non-conformist ideas. INTJs also don’t have a strong need for tradition and social niceties; whereas SJ types are often very aware of traditions and social standards.
INTJs and SJs have different communication styles due to their N/S preferences. This is usually the greatest problem for their relationships. SJ types are extremely realistic, literal, and down-to-earth. In contrast, INTJs are abstract, complex, and analytical and they can both get frustrated with each other’s different ways of thinking. SJ types will often want to just get down to reality, and stop analyzing theories, and INTJs will see the SJ types as being “boring” and unimaginative. Neither is true for either type, but this can be a serious problem in their relationships.
Feeling SJ types can feel abandoned or unaffirmed in their relationship with the private, blunt INTJ. Feeling SJ types greatly desire affirmation and sensitivity, and may feel confused and insecure if the INTJ doesn’t work to affirm their feelings. INTJs may feel overburdened by the feeling SJ types need for what they see as “constant” affirmation.
All this said, an INTJ and an SJ type can have a happy and fulfilling relationship. The key is to being well-rounded and being understanding of each others needs.
INTJs and Artisans (SP types) in Relationships:
Artisans admire the INTJs penchant for effective action and their non-conventional style and attitude. They can also help the naturally serious INTJ to lighten up and enjoy life “in the moment”; providing fun opportunities, laughs, or creative sensory experiences. INTJs and SPs are often initially attracted to each other because of their many differences. The SPs admire the INTJs ability to forecast future trends, and the INTJs admire the SPs friendly, energetic nature. INTJs can help the SP type see past the present moment and take an interest in the big picture. SPs can help INTJs to loosen up and enjoy what is happening all around them, right now.
Problems arise most often because of the S/N difference in these types. INTJs live in their heads, whereas SP types live in their entire bodies. INTJs look towards the future whereas SPs live in the here-and-now. SPs are bored easily by long theoretical discussions and abstract ideas. INTJs get overwhelmed by the SP’s constant need for excitement and stimulation. INTJs want the SP types to explore future ideas and plans together, and the SP types want to just get done talking and “do” something. SPs are the ultimate “doers”, who don’t like to sit around and mull over things or talk about what “could be”. What matters to them is what’s happening right now. SP types also tend to be more spontaneous and start projects without finishing them which can bother the effective-minded INTJ. INTJs like organization and planning, and can find spontaneous changes disruptive and stressful. However, sometimes the excitable, spontaneous nature of the SP type can be a breath of fresh air for the INTJ.
INTJs and Rational (NT types) in Relationships:
INTJs will obviously have a natural affinity to other NT types. They’ll enjoy talking about the same types of theories and topics, and will both enjoy similar activities and interests. Different NT types will value different things, but in general NT types will always enjoy the INTJs intelligence, competence, and ambition. Because they are both logical and straightforward, an NT/NT pairing is usually very amicable. They will probably rarely hurt each others feelings because they understand each other so well. They will also love talking over their various dreams and theories, reading similar books, or watching similar movies.
Because NT/NT relationships have many of the same strengths; they will also share many similar weaknesses. If an INTJ is with an ENTJ, they will both be so perfectionistic that they may drive each other crazy. An INTJ relationship with another NT type might also lack the warmth and depth of feeling that an INTJ craves. Most people long for a type of opposite to balance themselves out, and this is no different for the INTJ. NT types are also very stubborn, and if they get into a heated argument about something, neither type may be willing to back down and admit their mistake. They are also both very private and may have a hard time forming a close, deeply intimate bond. Overall, this relationship could make for a great friendship; but a romantic relationship is usually a little trickier. Of course, just like any other pairing, this relationship can work if both people are well-rounded and generous.
INTJs and Idealist (NF types) in Relationships:
The NT/NF relationship is supposed to be the most ideal pairing of them all. INTJs and Idealists usually have a very deep attraction to each other. They share a strong mutual interest in abstract ideas, theories, and meanings. NFs deeply admire the INTJs ability to focus and concentrate, and the INTJ admires the Idealists depth of feeling and personal warmth. INTJs and NF types make great sounding boards for each other’s ideas, each offering a unique perspective that the other usually respects and marvels at. INTJs help NFs to be more logical and straightforward while NF types help the INTJ to get in touch with their introverted feeling and to be more sensitive.
Frustrations arise in this pairing when the INTJs blunt, straightforward manner unintentionally offends the NF type. NFs are very sensitive and crave harmony. More than any other type, the NF type wants a “soulmate”. So the INTJs private nature and logical mindset may seem un-affirming to the NF type, leaving the NF partner feeling insecure and unsatisfied. Also the INTJ may feel overwhelmed by the Idealists desire for the “perfect” soulmate, and may feel overburdened by trying to meet their partners emotional needs.
If these types try to understand each other and work to develop all their functions, they can enjoy a very deep, meaningful, happy relationship.
INTJ Strengths in Relationships
– Usually self-confident
– Honest and authentic
– Often intelligent and capable
– Usually good, thoughtful listeners
– Always searching to improve and “optimize” their relationship
– Deeply committed and loyal
– They give their partner independence and freedom
– They aren’t usually possessive
INTJ Weaknesses in Relationships
– Not naturally in tune to other people’s feelings
– Prone to being blunt or insensitive
– May be emotionally unsupportive
– Can be stubborn and believe that they’re “always right”
– They can be intensely private and hold back part of themselves from their partner
– Their perfectionism can make the relationship taxing on their partner
INTJs can find happiness with any of the Myers Briggs types, so please don’t take these thoughts as indications to leave a relationship. I greatly believe that any two types can be happy together as long as they work to understand each other and develop all their cognitive functions.
I’d love to know what you think about all this, and if you have any personal experience to share! Let’s talk it over in the comments!
Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey
Just Your Type by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger
Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs Myers and Peter B. Myers
Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types that Determine How We Live, Love and Work by Otto Kroeger