Loving an INTJ — 10 Tips to Keep in Mind

Photograph by Hanny Naibah via Unsplash

So you’ve found yourself in love with an INTJ, huh?

Welcome to an elite club of people who consistently pull their hair out because they love their INTJ partner but sometimes can’t understand them.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of people out there just like you. And since I’m an INTJ who’s been a stable, happy relationship for ten years, I’m going to walk you through ten of the top tips to keep in mind for loving your INTJ.

1. We’re not impulsive, so don’t surprise us.

Seriously, don’t.

Not enough information? Let me break it down for you: INTJs love to plan. When you plan a surprise, you put our plans into some sort of limbo. Because we’re romantically involved with you, that makes the situation more confusing because we’re looking for a reason as to why you would surprise us and then we can’t think of one and then…

Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s sort of a “does not compute” situation. Surprises don’t factor into the logic of our decisions.

INTJs hate, hate, hate surprises. Of course there are always exceptions, but I’ve never met an INTJ that was surprised by a partner and was thrilled about it. In fact, my own husband never surprises me, not even for my birthday, because he knows I can’t handle it. Too much stress.

So don’t surprise INTJs, even if they say it’s okay. (It’s usually not okay.)

2. We have emotions.

INTJs and emotions…can you have both in the same sentence?

Of course. We’re not robots, even though a lot of memes will have you thinking that we are. We have a deep well of emotion; it’s just that we don’t tend to show them.

When it comes to relationships, we are romantic at heart, some of us more than others. It just takes a lot for us to get there. I mean, how many INTJs do you know that walk around, hugging and kissing everybody?

Zero.

That’s because we save the best parts of ourselves, the emotion and heart, for our partner. It does take a while for us to open up, but by the time we do, we’re already emotionally invested into you. We will do everything we can in our own INTJ to make sure that you’re happy and that we’re happy together.

3. Sex is better when it starts at a mental level.

Our entire internal lives focus on mental stimulation. We love logic games, day dreaming, plotting, planning, and working on new things. We live for it.

That goes for sex too. We’re the MBTI type that enjoys having foreplay start in the mind and then move into the bedroom. (Clawing at us is the opposite of this, mind you, for those who think clawing is akin to animalistic foreplay.)

You want to engage us in bed? Tell us what you like or don’t like about what we’re doing, or a sex fantasy you had, or buy a sex positions book. Get creative with your sex life and let us play around with making it better every time we end up in bed.

4. We know you better than you know you.

We are well aware of how little you care about that new car and how much you care about your bartending/surfing/negotiating skills. We know that while you might like your apartment, you really want to move across the country and live in a house by the beach. We can see so far inside of you that we see the masks of you that you didn’t realize existed.

That’s because as INTJs, we strip everything away. We don’t like to sugarcoat anything, and that includes our relationships. And the more time you spend around us, the more you’re going to realize that our observations on you, which we might let slip in conversation, are downright Hannibal-scary.

We don’t mean to be scary; we just get you on a level that most people don’t. That’s important to us, because we’re in love with you. We want to know everything about you so that we can have a strong and lasting relationship.

5. We know ourselves well enough to know we have to think through our feelings.

INTJs are always thinking about themselves. That sounds self-absorbed, I know, but hear me out:

We are thinking about ourselves because we want to improve as human beings. We want to be better lovers, friends, professionals, humanitarians, and citizens. We think about ourselves in terms of our weaknesses first, because we want to tackle them. We think about our relationships to other people in order to decide how best to approach (or reapproach) that dynamic.

So trust me when I say that we know ourselves well enough to know that we think, not feel, our way through our feelings.

That means logic overtakes us in almost every aspect of our lives. We thrive on breaking down fights, arguments, etc, to components within a situation and then analyze what may or may not be working so we can fix it. Emotion has zero place in that, so we put our emotions (which can be very strong at times) to the side when dealing with important situations.

That doesn’t mean we don’t process our emotions, it just means that we have to come to emotion through logic and reason. It can take a long time to process it all, but we eventually arrive at a conclusion. And sometimes? We might even talk to you about it.

We’re not going to argue with you from emotion, and in the rare instance that we do, know that you are in real trouble.

6. We don’t do passive-aggressive, so be blunt.

We hate small talk, we hate passive-aggressive people, we even hate the cycle-of-emotion talk that some people do to avoid getting to the point.

INTJs are notoriously blunt: at work, in love, and in life. We can be downright tactless if we think our point isn’t getting across.

So a soft and breezy tone isn’t going to cut it with us: you are going to have to be blunt. This goes for when we annoy you, when something’s wrong, or when you need to get a point across.

Being blunt with us shows us that you respect us enough not to get to the point. We need that in our lover, because we can’t expect to get it anywhere else.

7. It takes us a while to be loyal, but when we’re get there, we’re there.

Here’s the nitty-gritty: INTJs have a hard time trusting people. It just doesn’t come natural to us. Many of us have had experiences where people have disappointed us and we’ve let them go because of it, so we’re not exactly chomping at the bit to let someone new in.

So it will take a long time for us to be loyal to you. We need to make sure that you mean what you say (and in this world, that’s a rare find) and that you will actually follow through on plans that you’ve made. Honesty and loyalty from you is exactly what we are looking for…and expect.

Once you’ve proven to us that you can be trusted, we’re loyal to you for life — or until/if you make a mistake. We will be there for you whenever you need us because we know you’d be there for us.

And that, my friend, is the basis of any relationship with an INTJ.

8. We’ll encourage you to be the best you can be.

If we’re with you, and most INTJs in relationships are in long-term relationships, it means that we have high standards for ourselves, you, and our life together. And for our part, we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you have everything possible in front of you in order for you to reach the potential we know you have locked away inside of you.

This can mean that sometimes we’re hard on you. We want you to work hard, study harder, try to network, try new things. We push you, not because we want to make you uncomfortable, but because we want you to see yourself the same way we see you: a brilliant person we’re in love with.

A lot of us don’t realize that when we think we’re being “encouraging,” we’re really just “nagging.” This is when you need take Rule №6 into account and tell us “cut it out, you’re nagging me.” Then we’ll dial it all the way back, because sometimes we’re not sure how to help; but by telling us what doesn’t work, you help us learn the best ways to encourage you in your dreams.

9. Arguing with us is not the same as fighting.

INTJs love to argue: we live for it. Nothing’s better than having a debate on a political or philosophical issue. We also get a lot of happiness out of being respected enough to be debated.

But when it comes to personal fights…we’re not so good with that. We will argue with you on things just for the sake of it, but it might take us a while to realize that the small argument is actually a fight and you’re upset. You’re going to have to tell us, “no, actually I’m upset because you said/did ___” and then we’ll get it.

Also, please remember that arguing is like breathing for us; we can do it without thinking. We don’t think arguing is the same thing as fighting, it’s just a way to air out ideas. If you’re not sure whether or not we’re arguing for the sake of arguing or are really upset, ask us before reacting.

There’s no sense is overreacting to something that comes naturally to us if you know that we’re not upset with you.

10. Don’t buy us anything…seriously.

“I’m surprisingly picky, but I will love whatever you get me” is not a sentence you’re likely going to hear from us.

Don’t get us wrong; we find it nice that you want to shop for us, but we usually pick up the things that we want because so few people get it right. That’s right: we’re really picky. We’re so picky that it can drive you insane if you try to buy us something nice.

We suggest that if you do want to get us something, ask us first: we probably have a little wish list and you can choose from there. Or you can always try getting us a gift card to a store you know we frequent, and as impersonal as it sounds, giving us cash is also an option.

Or, you know, take your chances with shopping without advice.

We’re not complicated, though social media and memes might make it seem like we are; we just require a little patience and understanding. We love just as fiercely as anyone else, so that patience will end up in a beautiful, lasting relationship — just hold on a little longer.