The often enigmatic traits of the ISTP personality type mean that dating an ISTP may be a very complex and interesting experience. Their Thinking (T) trait is likely to give an air of coldness and detachment, but it is offset by ISTPs’ Observant (S) and Prospecting (P) traits in a way that can be very attractive to their prospective partner. ISTPs live in the present, looking for new activities and experiences and avoiding routine and strict schedules. People with this personality type will also do their best to resist any attempts to control them, either directly or indirectly. All these traits should be kept in mind by anyone who is dating an ISTP.
ISTPs are also very independent and need a lot of personal space, especially in a romantic relationship. It is important to note that people with the ISTP personality type tend to gravitate toward sensual and practical activities and are likely to try to change the habits of their dating or long-term partner if their approach to life is somewhat different.
ISTP personalities see their obligations as something that needs to be renewed on a daily basis—even if they say “I do” in front of a priest, that actually means “I do (until something changes).” This does not mean that ISTPs are unwilling or unable to develop and maintain lifelong relationships; they simply dislike committing to something without an exit clause. ISTP dating or long-term partners should be aware of this tendency and should try to avoid pushing the ISTP to commit too early in the relationship.
Sexually, ISTPs see intimacy as something that is both an art and a source of pleasure. They are unlikely to be too strict or traditional when it comes to sex—either when dating or later in the relationship. ISTP personalities are sensual and practical, able to use all five senses without any effort at all. They will probably encourage their partner to simply relax and have fun.
ISTPs are not very emotional and are likely to try hard to conceal and protect their emotions, mostly because they are not really sure how to handle them. Despite this, anyone dating or in a long-term relationship with an ISTP should know that they tend to have very strong and deep feelings, even if they find it difficult to express them. Furthermore, as already mentioned above, ISTPs live in the present and so do their feelings—they may be very passionate one day and indifferent the following day. Their romantic partners should not take this too personally; this is simply how the ISTP mind works.