ISTJ relationships

ISTJ personalities are dedicated and loyal partners, devoting an enormous amount of effort to ensure stability and mutual satisfaction in a relationship. They also tend to be very responsible and relatively conservative while dating. Once an ISTJ commits to a relationship, they will stick to their promise until the very end. People with this personality type gladly accept their duty to play a specific role in the relationship.

ISTJ personalityISTJs approach relationships from their usual rational and traditional perspective. Dating an ISTJ may not be easy as they are likely to need some encouragement and patience—ISTJs are Introverted (I), after all—but that shell often hides a strong and quiet determination and reliability that is rarely seen among other personality types.

ISTJ personalities are hard workers, and this covers their relationships as well. They will do their best to fulfill their duties and keep the relationship functional and stable. ISTJs can easily take care of daily tasks, and they can also be surprisingly good at providing emotional support as soon as they realize that their partner needs this.

That being said, ISTJs tend to believe that their approach is always right, especially when they are faced with criticism. ISTJs should remember that “winning” the debate might often cause them to lose much more outside it, especially when it comes to a romantic relationship—and even more so when that relationship is still in the dating phase.

In general, ISTJs are not very good at sensing their partner’s feelings and emotions. This may cause some issues if their partner has a Feeling trait (F) as these personalities tend to expect a lot of emotional support, which does not come naturally to ISTJs. Every ISTJ who is in a romantic relationship, no matter if it is beyond the dating phase or not, should pay particular attention to this matter. ISTJ personalities are also likely to stick to traditional gender roles, feeling uncomfortable with anything out of the norm.

Preferred partners: ESFP and ESTP types, as their Extraversion (E) and Prospecting (P) traits counterbalance ISTJs’ Introversion (I) and Judging (J) traits.

Strengths & Weaknesses


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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.