People with the ESFJ personality type value security, stability, and a sense of belonging. Naturally, romantic relationships are very important to them, especially if they culminate in marriage and family. ESFJs take all relationship stages very seriously. Even if they have just started dating someone, they will do their best to understand and support the other person.
Support and mutual respect are very important factors in ESFJ relationships. ESFJs strongly dislike all forms of conflict and criticism, especially if critical comments are coming from someone close to them—they are likely to take them very personally. People with this personality type need to know that they are loved and appreciated, and this can greatly influence their mood and self-esteem.
While ESFJs should definitely try to grow a thicker skin when it comes to rational and justified criticism, partners of ESFJ personalities also need to make sure that they offer enough support and attention. ESFJs are naturally very warm and loyal, but they really want to be trusted and valued by people who mean a lot to them. This can keep them going in the face of immense difficulties; ESFJs can be surprisingly tough, but they need to know that their partner will be there to support them every step of the way. There are few things more hurtful and depressing to an ESFJ than a sudden realization that their partner does not really respect or care about their dreams or opinions.
That being said, less mature ESFJs may feel the need to be appreciated, but not have enough inner strength or wisdom to actually attract the attention they seek. In such relationships, the ESFJ personality may become very needy and seek their partner’s approval at all costs, even if it means going against their own principles and values. ESFJs should be careful not to fall into this trap, especially if they are still in the dating phase. Neediness is not only unattractive, but it may also lead to an abusive relationship, which will further damage the ESFJ’s self-esteem.
ESFJ personalities are great at dealing with everyday matters, including money management. They will happily take such responsibilities upon themselves and work hard to make sure that everything is fine with this aspect of their relationship. On the other hand, ESFJs tend to be very traditional, so they will probably stick to socially expected gender roles in the relationship. Anyone dating an ESFJ should also be aware of this; people with this personality type are likely to obey the perceived “dating rules,” which may change depending on what environment they are in.
Generally speaking, social status is very important to ESFJs, and they will definitely care how their relationship is seen by their social circle, relatives, etc. It is crucial that the ESFJ recognizes this trait and puts it in perspective; otherwise, both the selection of their dating partners and the ESFJ’s behavior in romantic relationships may be influenced more by other people’s opinions than by their own values. ESFJs tend to be very social individuals, and they enjoy having a big circle of friends, but that need for social validation should not overshadow their own dreams.
From the sexual perspective, ESFJ personalities tend to be very affectionate and sensual, seeing intimacy as a fantastic way to make their partner happy. ESFJs are very much in touch with the physical world, and they are also highly emotional—this makes them great sexual partners. It is likely that the ESFJ will prefer predictability and traditional roles while they are still dating or if their partner is fully satisfied with such a situation. However, they will also be open to experimenting and trying new things if the other person is willing to reciprocate.
Preferred partners: ISFP and ISTP types, as their Introversion (I) and Prospecting (P) traits counterbalance ESFJs’ Extraversion (E) and Judging (J) traits. ESFJs should remember that these types are Introverted (I) – it may take more than a couple of dates to draw their true personality out.
If you would like to learn more about how ESFJs can get better at starting and maintaining healthy romantic relationships, including advice aimed at specific personality type combinations, download the ESFJ In-Depth Profile – a 60+ page guide covering a number of diverse topics. If you are single, you might also want to take a look at our Dating section.
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