INFJs don’t date just for the sake of dating, and we won’t invest our energy if we can’t picture a deep relationship.

Just when I finally decided I liked this guy and felt ready to take the next step, the whole thing went belly-up.

About a year ago, a coworker asked if I could meet with one of his clients. I agreed and soon met with an incredibly attractive and charming 20-something guy. Sparks flew, but I felt it would be weird to seek him out afterwards.

I thought I’d never see him again, but this past January, as I was reluctantly scrolling through a dating app, there he was. To my shock, we matched. And on New Year’s Day. It was serendipity … or so my INFJ self thought.

We texted every day for a week-and-a-half, then met up for dinner. I wasn’t completely sold on our compatibility, but I was willing to give him a chance (as INFJs tend to do). By the end of an amazing second date — coffee and a browse through Barnes & Noble (an introvert’s dream!) — I had fallen hard. We continued to text daily, sending each other everything: music, memes, poetry, you name it.

But at the end of our third date, he said, “I just wish I wasn’t so busy and could spend more time with you.” I said I was happy with whatever time I could get with him. We hugged, but then he added, “I’ll see you around, yeah?” And something about that phrase and the way he said it made me think he really meant, “Goodbye.”

And I was right.

He texted me later that night, thanking me for dinner, and I told him I had a great time but wanted some clarification on what he meant by his last remark.

I hate to say we’re mind readers, but it tends to be one of our INFJ superpowers. Here’s what he said:

  • “Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want you to think I’m not into you.” Alright, I’ll let that triple negative go and try my best not to overanalyze, something we INFJs usuallyexcel at. 
  • “I’m just too busy to commit to giving you the time I want to give to the relationship.” I never said I needed a lot of time … or wanted a relationship (yet) … 
  • “I even had to delete all my dating apps because I don’t even have time to swipe.” Hold the phone. You were still swiping on dating apps?! 

The infamous INFJ door slam — abruptly cutting someone (him) out of my life — was carried out swiftly thereafter.

Above anything else, INFJs value the strong connections we have with other people. Although we relish our solitude, we need time with the people who really get us, too — our kindred spirits with whom we can have deep, meaningful conversations. 

So when it comes to finding a romantic partner, we need to have this deep mental and emotional connection with them, as well. It’snot just a deal-breaker for an INFJ, but for many other personality types,too. In retrospect, I can see that he and I didn’t have that connection.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that there are a few things about being an INFJ that seem to predispose us to misadventures in love. 

5 Reasons INFJs Struggle With Romantic Relationships

1. We don’t date just for the sake of dating — we won’t invest our energy if we can’t picture a deep relationship.

I can’t tell you how many times my mom has told me to try dating around a little. I know I can’t be the only introvert who’s heard, “You don’t have to marry them!” … like 800 times.

But that’s the thing about INFJs: If some kind of commitment isn’t on the table, we’re generally not interested; it’s one of the reasons INFJs leave relationships. Commitment doesn’t mean marriage necessarily, but we’re not going to invest what precious social energy we have on someone if we can’t picture a deep relationship with them.

2. We loathe get-to-know-you small talk, because it leaves us lacking connection.

I hate those memes that imply all introverts hate people because it’s simply not true. People fascinate me; small talk does not. 

However, first dates kind of necessitate small talk, as you’re both trying to establish a baseline knowledge of things about each other. This often leaves us unsatisfied with the level of connection we make on a first date.

That said, first dates can be wonderful when they’re tailored for introverts, such as having coffee at a bookstore or finding a game (perhaps at that same bookstore!) that asks the other person introspective questions.

3. It can take a while for us to decide how we feel about someone.

I often feel like I’m three steps behind when it comes to deciphering my feelings. The INFJ Extroverted Feeler (Fe) characteristic naturally attunes us to how others are feeling, but often alienates us from understanding our own feelings. 

Most of the time, I get a pretty strong sense of who a person is and how we’ll get along after one interaction, but when it comes to romantic interests, I’m often so overwhelmed that it takes me a lot of time and energy to decide how I really feel about someone.

Over time, I’ve learned it’s OK not to know how I feel (even if the other person seems to know) and figure it out at my own pace. 

4. We notice everything, even the subtlest cues.

When my ex-whatever-we-were said, “I’ll see you around,” I’m sure he could’ve gotten away with “letting me down easy” if I wasn’t hyper-aware of body language, intonation, and phrasing. INFJs tend to absorb even the subtlest cues, making us feel like the human equivalent of a lie detector and a mood ring rolled into one.

INFJ relationships would probably be easier for everyone involved if we tried to mute some of those incoming signals, but it’s not something I’m capable of turning off. So when I feel my partner isn’t being totally honest with me, I call them out on it.

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