INTP relationships and dating

Even though romantic relationships and dating are inherently difficult for INTPs, people with this personality type take them very seriously. The main problem that INTPs are likely to face in this area is that they are not naturally sensitive or emotional individuals. Consequently, understanding another person’s feelings or expressing their own is not something that an INTP is well equipped to do.

Furthermore, INTPs strongly dislike being at the centre of emotionally charged situations. As interpersonal conflicts are virtually inevitable even in the happiest romantic relationships, INTPs may find those situations quite frustrating and consequently try to avoid or ignore emotional conflicts in their relationship, especially during the dating phase. If there is no escape, the INTP will try to find a solution but will likely rely on the analytical approach, which can be very different from what their partner [especially if they belong to one of the Feeling (F) personality types] might expect. INTP personalities should try to include this in their thought process, especially when it comes to dealing with conflicts in the earlier stages of the relationship.

INTP_2These weaknesses aside, INTP personalities tend to be very loyal and faithful partners. INTPs are also unusually direct and honest, even if they have just started dating someone. People with this personality type always stick to their commitments and are actually quite easy to date and live with—they have simple daily needs and do not demand much from their partners.

However, despite seeking simplicity in dating and romantic relationships, INTPs do not lack passion or romantic feelings. On the contrary, people with the INTP personality type tend to be extremely creative individuals whose vivid imagination allows them to always remain very enthusiastic and passionate in romantic relationships. Anyone dating an INTP may be quite surprised by this sometimes.

INTPs’ simple daily needs are completely opposite their inner world, which is bound to be very complex and colourful. However, there is a certain logic behind this: INTPs purposefully seek simplicity in the “real” life so that they can focus all their mental power on the inner world.

People with the INTP personality type are likely to use their rich imaginations to achieve as much as possible in intimate situations. While their enthusiasm can be very impressive, INTPs should be aware of their tendency to prioritize the inner world. It is entirely possible that an INTP will imagine an intimate situation in a very exciting and interesting way but will choose not to reveal that to their dating or long-term partner.

Another potential issue that someone with the INTP personality type should try to resolve is their tendency to overlook their partner’s emotional needs. As already mentioned above, INTPs are not naturally sensitive or emotional, but their partner might have a very different personality. It is important for an INTP to try to understand their feelings and communicate on the emotional level, instead of simply relying on commitment and dedication and believing that this is all that is needed. Of course, their partner should also be aware of INTP personality traits and quirks, and try not to demand a constant flow of emotions from the INTP.

Preferred partners: ENTJ and ENFJ types, as their Extraversion (E) and Judging (J) traits counterbalance INTPs’ Introversion (I) and Prospecting (P) traits.

If you would like to learn more about how INTPs can get better at starting and maintaining healthy romantic relationships, including advice aimed at specific personality type combinations, download the INTP 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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20 Responses to “INTP relationships and dating”

  1. Brett Reply

    Emotional responses don’t come naturally to me, either in romantic or social situations. I have to think about what the correct response is in any given situation. It works well when my wife is digging for compliments, I usually get the answer right.

  2. Awesomeness Reply

    I would like to know, if the paring for the relationship is more based on a balanced couple then an a compatible one?
    By that I mean, It seems that the paring is made so that the significant other is the opposite of the other one.
    But in my head, I’m an INTP and both the ENTJ and ENFJ scares me. I do believe that my brother is a ENTJ and although it is interesting being around him. He stress me allot.
    I feel more at ease being around a I (Introvert), like myself then being with a E (Extrovert).
    Furthermore it seems for me more logical being with a S (Sensing) so they can help with my N (Intuitive) part. They could be the concrete of my abstract.
    Of course sense emotions are scary: noooooo F (Feeling). Just a T (Thinking) would be just find. Because we need some debates!
    And I’m still struggling between a J (Judging ) and a P (Prospecting). Because I need someone to pull me down to earth or I would still be up there, undecided.
    In conclusion an ISTJ or an ISTP. Would be more logical.

  3. INTP Reply

    @Awesomeness – I’m not in any way specialist in this, but I’ll try to help how I can.
    Yes the “preferred partner” here is one that complements the other.

    Doesn’t mean like 2 INTPs can’t have a great marriage, it’s just hard because neither will likely take the 1st step for instance.
    Don’t let that stop you, because once they do their common NT will make it great, because they can argument and counter argument beautifully, heated debates being the norm. Although others might think they are fighting because of it, they feel like they are finally talking. (self experience)
    And at the end there are no grudges, it doesn’t really matter who won, because INTPs argument for the sake of decomposing ideas and see the chain reaction, and do so logically not bringing emotions into debate.

    Don’t focus on “the Best” personality for a relationship, because people are different, the letters represent only the dominant side.
    For instance 2 INTPs, one might have a high score on J (40% for instance) although lower than P (60%), while another might be J 10%, P 90%. Both are INTPs, and really different.
    I gave this example because I feel that closer relationships or romantic relationships, tend to focus more on J/P, if both your values have a close % you should always be fine with either J or P partner, but extreme opposites stress the relation over time.

    About INTP + ENTJ:
    INTPs need a lot of freedom and alone time, that’s why you feel stressed sometimes with your brother.
    ENTJs tend to be pushy wanting you to love his ideas, forcing you to show they have some shortcomings.(sorry if I’m a bit biased ;P )
    Other than that, if your brother is an ENTJ you complement each other, except on emotional level.
    Understand that your brother might actually need your subjectivity and lack of judgement (his weakness) and you can achieve more with his practical side (your weakness), but tell him when you need free time lol.
    Hope I helped.