ISTJ relationships

ISTJs are dependable through and through, and this trait is clearly expressed when it comes to their romantic relationships. Often representing the epitome of family values, people with the ISTJ personality type are comfortable with, and often even encourage traditional household and gender roles, and look to a family structure guided by clear expectations and honesty. While their reserved nature often makes dating ISTJs challenging, they are truly dedicated partners, willing to devote tremendous thought and energy to ensure stable and mutually satisfying relationships.

Happiness and Moral Duty are Inseparably Connected

ISTJ personalityBlind dates and random hookups are not ISTJs' preferred methods for finding potential partners. The risk and unpredictability of these situations has ISTJs' alarm bells ringing, and being dragged out for a night of dancing at the club just isn't going to happen. ISTJ personalities much prefer more responsible, conservative methods of dating, such as dinner with an interested coworker or, in their more adventurous moods, a setup organized through a mutual friend.

ISTJs approach relationships, as with most things, from a rational perspective, looking for compatibility and the mutual satisfaction of daily and long-term needs. This isn't a process that ISTJs take lightly, and once commitments are established, they stick to their promises to the very end. ISTJs establish foundations, fulfill their responsibilities, and keep their relationships functional and stable.

As their relationships transitions into the long-term, ISTJs gladly see to the necessary daily tasks around the house, applying the same sense of duty to their home life that they do in the workplace.

While this may not translate into particularly exotic intimate lives, ISTJs are dependable lovers who want very much for their partners to remain satisfied. It takes patience on the part of more adventurous partners, but if different activities can be demonstrated as equally or more enjoyable than those already within ISTJs' comfort zones, they are perfectly capable of trying something new.

However, emotional satisfaction can be another matter. While ISTJs are able to provide surprisingly good emotional support, this only happens when they realize that it's necessary, and there's the rub. As Thinking (T) types, ISTJs are not naturally receptive to others' emotions, not unless they are stated clearly, and a partner usually only says "I'm angry" when it's too late to address the initial grievance.

Let Your Heart Feel Their Afflictions, and Give Proportionally

People with the ISTJ personality type can get so caught up in the belief in their correctness, in "winning" arguments they thought were about facts, that they don't realize their partner may have viewed things from a perspective of consideration and sensitivity. Especially with Feeling (F) partners, this can be a huge challenge for the relationship. Ultimately though, ISTJs' senses of responsibility and dedication set the tone, and they spare no effort in noting to this distinction moving forward, the consequences having been demonstrated as real.

While ISTJs' staid approach may seem boring to some, there is an undeniable attractiveness to it, though felt perhaps more by respect and admiration than emotional passion. ISTJs' shells hide a strong and quiet determination and reliability, rare among other personality types, which can benefit even the flightiest personalities, allowing them to stay connected to the real world while still exploring new territory. Partners who share the Observant (S) trait are the best fit for ISTJ personalities, with one or two opposing traits to create balance and to expand ISTJs' sometimes overly isolated world, such as partners with Extraverted (E) or Prospecting (P) traits.

Strengths & Weaknesses


Your name:
Aug 28, 2014 08:18:40
For the ISTJ being such an abundant type, there is a real lack of information on us. I've read 6 other entries and they go into extreme detail, especially in the area of relationships. Also, there are far fewer comments on the ISTJ entry than others. I guess we ISTJs really don't like to open up.
Aug 25, 2014 14:36:45
I disagree with the relationships section and that I prefer thinking over feeling.
While I most definetly am in ISTJ (being that I'm an introvert and I am extremely observant), I feel as though theres a neutral balance for me between the two. The test only gave me a 7% preference though, so I guess that's not terrible.

After looking through the other types, I perso
nally think I'd like to be with an ETSJ type more so that ESFP or ESTP. Possibly because ISTJ are always making plans and calling the shots; allowing stress. It would be nice to have someone take the control in a relationship.
Aug 15, 2014 18:29:22
I've gotta disagree with sticking to traditional gender roles (for me anyway). I often take the opposite role from traditional considering how contradictingly domineering I am. Which I guess makes it a bit harder because of my unwillingness to back down and compromise over this and my orientation specifically.
Aug 27, 2014 22:48:16
Note the article says "likely to stick to traditional gender roles." The word "likely" is very important. It basically means, "probably." Not everything is written in stone.
Aug 11, 2014 10:45:59
I'm defiently a ISTJ type.
Jun 15, 2014 13:05:15
I'm a female ENFJ dating an ISTJ and we are hitting a point where I am sometimes offended by something he says or does (and he's unaware), like when it comes to going to mutual friends' wedding together--he has insisted on getting 2 cards/gifts because "it's logical and practical." I was offended since we are on 1 invite as a couple.

Do any ISTJ guys (or any type really) have suggestions for me as an ENFJ to get through to him? He is really really poor at picking up subtleties in social functions even with friend b/c he's so logical to a point--he will say this and he's aware. He struggles with reading between the lines. His strongest letters are S and T. My strongest letters are E and N.
Jun 17, 2014 20:06:20
Christina, I think he has to be reminded that human beings are not emotionless robots. If we were, we'd have been rendered extinct long ago, since we are so dependent on the protection of loving adults when we are young. We're one of the few species in the (land-dwelling) animal kingdom unable to walk within days of birth. Ignoring the existence of feelings and the necessity of taking feelings into consideration in ALL aspects of human interaction is therefore irrational, often counterproductive, and always sub-optimal. Expecting humans to adapt to him by functioning without emotion is not only monumentally unreasonable and selfish, it's foolish and ultimately undesirable. If he thinks people just need to be more rational, he should start with the one person whose behavior he has complete control over: himself.

I'm an INFJ, and I've been hurt plenty by cold types. I have found that writing what I want to say about my feelings is much better received than a verbal conversation, which usually ended in massive frustration for me before I learned some coldness-speak.

As a last resort, tell him if he wants to have sex (or play tennis, or talk, or whatever activities you share which are of value to him) with a mechanical lump of metal, he can go get one. Humans are messy. Deal with it, and feel lucky to have someone in his life with the patience and intelligence to help him deal with it by explaining to him what's gone wrong and what needs to be done, and who represents a great opportunity to learn how to overcome his own weaknesses in human interaction.

You're not weak for having feelings. He's weak for refusing to acknowledge and adapt to incontrovertible reality. Put that in a velvet glove, not too thick and plush, and hand it to him. Good luck!
Jul 06, 2014 21:51:03
Hi Christine, can you be direct with him and tell him exactly what you want? If as you say he doesn't get subtleties, then be straight down the line with him. If he thinks getting 2 cards is more practical, then just go out and buy one card, and tell him this is how it is! :o)
Sep 11, 2014 04:56:56
Logic and practicality state that one couple should buy one gift. Split the cost, effort, and time. He is avoiding the emotional tie. Dacey is right. Just remind him that emotions matter.
A proud ISTJ
Sep 25, 2014 14:56:08
Ok, we don't have enough info to make assumptions like you are. She has clearly written that he isn't trying to be rude and emotionless but doesn't realise he is, so you can't verbally attack someone for a crime that they didn't know they did. You taking your anger from past relationships gone wrong out on anyone with a thinking (t) type personality is stupid and pointless expedition.