INTPs live rich worlds inside their minds, which are full of imagination and excitement. Consequently, they sometimes find the external world pales in comparison. This may result in a lack of motivation to form and maintain relationships. INTPs are not likely to have a very large circle of significant relationships in their lives. They're much more likely to have a few very close relationships, which they hold in great esteem and with great affection. Since the INTP's primary focus and attention is turned inwards, aimed towards seeking clarity from abstract ideas, they are not naturally tuned into others' emotional feelings and needs. They tend to be difficult to get to know well, and hold back parts of themselves until the other person has proven themselves "worthy" of hearing the INTP's thoughts. Holding Knowledge and Brain Power above all else in importance, the INTP will choose to be around people who they consider to be intelligent. Once the INTP has committed themself to a relationship, they tend to be very faithful and loyal, and form affectionate attachments which are pure and straight-forward. The INTP has no interest or understanding of game-playing with regards to relationships. However, if something happens which the INTP considers irreconciliable, they will leave the relationship and not look back.
- They feel love and affection for those close to them which is almost childlike in its purity
- Generally laid-back and easy-going, willing to defer to their mates
- Approach things which interest them very enthusiastically
- Richly imaginative and creative
- Do not feel personally threatened by conflict or criticism
- Usually are not demanding, with simple daily needs
- Not naturally in tune with others' feelings; slow to respond to emotional needs
- Not naturally good at expressing their own feelings and emotions
- Tend to be suspicious and distrusting of others
- Not usually good at practical matters, such as money management, unless their work involves these concerns
- They have difficulty leaving bad relationships
- Tend to "blow off" conflict situations by ignoring them, or else they "blow up" in heated anger
INTPs in Love
INTPs approach their intimate relationships quite seriously - as they approach most things in life. They take their vows and commitments seriously, and are usually faithful and loyal. They are usually pretty easy to live with and be around, because they have simple daily needs and are not overly demanding of their partners in almost any respect. While the INTP's internal life is highly theoretical and complex, their external life in comparison is usually quite simple. They like to keep the complexities of their external world to a minimum, so that they can focus their brain power on working through their theories internally. This makes them very straight-forward, honest lovers, with a love that is quite pure in its simple, uncomplicated nature.
Although they choose to keep things straight-forward in their relationships, this does not mean that the INTP is lacking in depth of feeling or passion. The INTP is very creative person, who has vivid imaginations. They can be very excitable and passionate about their love relationships. Sometimes, they have a problem reconciling the exciting visions of their internal worlds with the actuality of their external circumstances.
Romantically, the INTP usually approaches intimacy with enthusiasm and excitement. Some INTPs play down entirely the need for romantic relations in their lives, but most use their rich imaginations and child-like enthusiasm to make the most of the moment. The INTP will usually be experiencing the moment with vivid intensity inside their own minds, although this may or may not be apparent to their partner.
The largest area of potential strife in an INTP's intimate relationship is their slowness in understanding and meeting their partner's emotional needs. The INTP may be extremely dedicated to the relationship, and deeply in love with their partner, but may have no understanding of their mate's emotional life, and may not express their own feelings often or well. When the INTP does express themselves, it's likely to be in their own way at their own time, rather than in response to their partner's needs. If this is an issue which has caused serious problems in a relationship, the INTP should work on becoming more aware of their partner's feelings, and their partner should work on not requiring explicit positive affirmation to feel loved by the INTP.
INTPs do not like to deal with messy complications, such as interpersonal conflict, and so they may fall into the habit of ignoring conflict when it occurs. If they feel they must face the conflict, they're likely to approach it from an analytical perspective. This may aggravate the conflict situation, if their partner simply wants to feel that they are supported and loved. Most people (and especially those with the Feeling preference) simply want to be encouraged, affirmed and supported when they are upset. The INTP should practice meeting these needs in conflict situations.