INTPs live inside their minds. They have a sort of mind map chart connecting all the dots between their past experiences, present challenges, and future opportunities. Even when it comes to relationships, they are quick to do a mental cost/benefit analysis of the relationship. It has to be a satisfying and meaningful relationship, or they would rather stay single. INTPs are not known for casual relationships and hookups. INTPs enjoy independence and can happily stay single for long periods of time. Not needing someone to be around them all the time discourage them from complicating their lives with relationships.
INTPs are very choosy and not likely to have a huge circle of friends or significant relationships in their lives. They are mostly concerned with what’s going on in their own little but rousing world instead of what might be taking place in reality. Since INTPs crave meaningful relationships, once they have committed themself to a relationship, they are very loyal, affectionate, and faithful. Their relationship style is straightforward and angelic. However, if they are not respected within the relationship or if something happens that the INTP considers irreconcilable, they leave the relationship with pain in their heart and never look back.
INTP Approach to Love & Dating
To a stranger, INTP appears to be shy, uninterested, detached, and anti-social. Though they are flexible and relaxed, INTPs tend to be mysterious and difficult to get to know well. They don’t reveal their inner thoughts until the other person has gained their trust and proven themselves worthy of hearing the INTP’s thoughts. People with Intelligence, wits, and open-mindedness are most attractive to the INTP.
The everyday small talks and chatter bore them. Personal questions such as ‘what they ate for lunch’ can horrify them. Trying to approach an INTP with mundane talks about weather or even complimenting them on a new tie will not strike the conversation you were hoping for. Instead, to break the ice, it is best to find out the topic they are passionate about at the moment and have a sincere conversation with your own additional input.
INTPs have no interest or understanding of mind games or non-verbal clues with regard to relationships. It is best to be direct and to the point. If an INTP sees you as a romantic partner, they’ll say it. They think first and feel later, so while proposing or getting proposed, don’t expect any big romantic gestures. INTPs are quick to friend-zone people if their initial approach (often awkward) is not reciprocated. They don’t tend to keep people hanging in the lurch. INTP quickly decides the fate of the relationship once they have analyzed all the available information. Since they are thinking and intuitive, they know it when someone is compatible.
Inside INTP’s mind, they have a specific checklist (e.g., intelligence, creativity, interest in personal growth, wit, loyalty, open-mindedness, and hobbies) that needs to be checked before dating someone. They prefer remaining single to settling for an incompatible partner. The peer or social pressure doesn’t work on an INTP. They think and make life decisions that feelings or societal norms cannot alter. Most likely, they will filter out the people who wish to have casual hook-ups and meaningless relationships.
INTP chameleons – Do INTP have a different personality for every person they talk to?
Does INTP behave differently among different people? The simple answer is no. INTP prefers originality and genuineness. They want to be accepted for who they are and would not behave differently for social approval or external validation.
But if you dig deeper, INTP can be chameleons and change their persona to fit in the social environment. It has to do with social, professional, or emotional needs. INTP does switch persona if the other person or group matters to them or fulfills their particular need. INTP are logical people with questionable social skills. They learn these social skills over time by observing the people they interact with. They imitate the facial expressions and learned words without actually feeling anything.
If somebody matters to INTP, they will adjust their behavior around them to not disturb the harmony. INTP has the ability to compartmentalize their life and social needs. If a friend circle is important for them, they would act goofy and entertain them with the kind of jokes the group would enjoy. On the work front, they will dress professionally and even indulge in small talks that they absolutely loathe otherwise.
But this INTP chameleon act is time-bound. If they are forced to continuously act in a way they don’t like, INTP will rebel. The INTP was adjusting their behavior to suit your temperament because they cared about you for certain reasons. Being superficial drains them. They will gradually try to balance their real self with the one that is harmonious to you. If pushed too far, INTP will be forced to re-evaluate your importance in their life.
How to propose an INTP?
Everyone likes to hear that someone loves them. INTPs are no exception. Just keep one thing in mind while proposing an INTP- Don’t propose in a public place where people are around. It would make the INTP very uncomfortable. They won’t be able to express their feeling when people are watching, even if it is just friends and family.
Instead, plan a one-on-one outing or decorate the room with flowers and candles. INTPs love all the drama and excitement of proposals, but only when no 3rd person is watching them. They would love the creative and imaginative ways to propose. It doesn’t have to be materialistic. Just your true expression of love would make them happy.
INTP Relationship Strengths
- Their love and affection is almost childlike in purity.
- They are very loyal once committed and expect the same from their partner.
- They are straightforward, laid-back, and easy-going.
- They do not take criticism personally and are willing to have an open-minded discussion on conflicts.
- They are not materialistic and overly demanding of their partners. They lead a simple life with daily needs.
INTP Relationship Weaknesses
- They find it difficult to express feelings and are slow to respond to the emotional needs of others.
- It’s hard to win their trust. They tend to be suspicious and test their partners a lot in the beginning.
- They are not usually good at finance and money management. They would rather do what interests them than work for money.
- They have difficulty leaving toxic and bad relationships.
- They find it difficult to deal with emotional situations. They either ignore them or depart in heated anger.
- They can be very impatient.
INTPs as Lovers
INTPs don’t find it logical to have the usual mating rituals, the courtship process, and date nights. It can be very frustrating for the partner who might want to experience the butterflies in the relationship’s beginning phase. INTP can’t be forced to do socially acceptable things if they don’t find them logical.
INTPs take the vows and commitments of intimate relationships seriously. They are very straightforward, loyal, and affectionate lovers. They have imagined their relationship like a movie in their head, to be all fulfilling with a happy ever after. Sometimes, when their imagination and the exciting visions in their mind don’t actually reflect in reality, they get disappointed.
Although INTPs are deeply in love and extremely dedicated to the relationship, they have difficulty understanding their partner’s emotions and feelings. They suppress and try to put a logical spin even on their own emotion and feelings. In the end, when the INTP decides to express their feelings, it is too late or hardly in response to their partner’s emotional needs. Their expressions of love seem lifeless and mechanical. It should not be a surprise if their partner calls them robots. It is completely wrong to say that INTP doesn’t feel emotions. They do feel emotions deeply but don’t know how to express and respond to them.
INTPs run away from emotional discussions and interpersonal conflicts. Once the emotional turmoil subsides, they approach the conflict from a logical and analytical perspective. This may even aggravate the conflict if their partner wants to hear words of affirmation, encouragement, love, and support instead of a logical explanation of the problem.
Potential INTP Partners
Being the partner of an INTP is not easy; it requires a high level of dedication and commitment. An INTP’s romantic partner is often their best friend, confidant, and emotional support source. INTP’s natural partner is the ENTJ, INFJ or the ENFP. The INTP’s dominant function of Introverted Thinking is best suited to a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Thinking. INTPs often attract ENFP through their Extraverted Intuition (Ne) and Extraverted Feeling (Fe). It is therefore not unusual for an INTP and ENFP to feel the magnetic pull towards each other.
If an INTP pairs with an NF type, it becomes crucial to understand the basic intricacies of how NTs and NFs view the world and verbalize their thoughts-
- NTs say: “I think” – It means they are ready for a debate. They have stated their opinion but are looking for further inputs, perspectives, or interpretations.
NTs say: “I feel” – It means they have made up their mind and are adamant about it. Their statement requires no more discussion, explanation, or questions.
- NFs says: “I feel” – It means they are ready for a debate on the subject and would like others’ opinions and viewpoints.
- NFs says: “I think” – It means they have made up their decision, and it requires no more discussion.
INTP Compatibility: Choosing a Partner
Feeling or Emotion– While selecting a romantic partner, INTPs should be careful not to charge themselves with emotions. They should think and make the decision rather than making them based on their feelings or emotions. An emotionally charged INTP often regrets decisions made under emotional heat later.
INTPs’ emotions, both positive and negative, emerge from their least developed function (Fe). It makes INTPs prime targets for being subconsciously chased or manipulated by malicious Feeling types (NF). Therefore, it is essential for INTPs to not give their feelings the upper hand in choosing a long-term relationship partner. The conventional wisdom of “listen to your heart” or “just go with your feelings” often backfires on an INTP. INTPs are better off using their thinking and intuition to determine the potential merits of a relationship. It is best to investigate their feelings’ validity and have an open discussion with their partner before making false assumptions.
Money Matters– INTPs like to live like a free bird without debts and financial commitments. They resent financial commitments and burdens to earn more which comes along with marriage and children. INTPs don’t care much about aesthetics or material comforts. Following their personal interests is more important to them than running after money. The partners who are financially independent or are content with a simple lifestyle are best suited for INTP.
Sexual compatibility– Sexually, the INTP approaches intimacy with enthusiasm and excitement. The INTP will fabricate the intimate moment with vivid imagination and intensity inside their own head, which may or may not be apparent to their partner. Sex to an INTP is a sign of being loved and cherished. They seek novelty in their sexual life and want their partner to be enthusiastic about exploring and making their sex life better. A dead bedroom-like situation might force an INTP to reconsider the worth of the relationship.
Freedom– INTPs respond with thoughtfulness, respect, and commitment when granted adequate freedom. INTPs require more freedom than other personality types, which often leads to accusations of selfishness. A controlling partner can force the INTPs to rebel and display passive-aggressive behavior.
INTPs and infidelity- Do INTPs Cheat?
A wholesome lifestyle, loving partner, and satisfying career can greatly reduce their propensity to cheat. INTPs are usually committed to personal and relational growth and development. Generally, only severe emotional turmoil or an already broken relationship with a point of no return can force them to cheat on their partner. Most INTP refrain from cheating not because of moral reasons or due to the feelings of their partner but due to practical reasons and consequences of promiscuity such as STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and future difficulties.
INTPs are great at reading situations but bad at reading the emotions of people. They can spot a flaw in logical inconsistency from a mile away. Lying and omitting things is treacherous to an INTP. It is viewed as an insult to their intelligence. By making connections between past precedents, INTPs can easily root out the truth. If you are cheating on an INTP, they will quickly catch it sooner than later.
INTPs are all about experiments and possibilities. If the relationship doesn’t turn out to be what they imagined and partly due to their inferior Fe, they will devalue the partner and relationship. The doubts about the worth of relationships and their tendency to be self-sufficient can lead to breakups. If INTP wants to break up and have completely made up their mind about the relationship, they will plan the exit strategy and quickly end the relationship. They would avoid emotional discussions and arguments at all costs.
In an unsatisfying relationship, INTP begins to worry that their partner doesn’t love them anymore. If the relationship is under the devaluation phase, INTPs fail to commit to the relationship fully. An open-minded conversation can actually help them find out the validity of their doubts and assumptions about their partner and their relationship. But, to maintain harmony and to avoid hurting their partner’s feelings, they shy away from what can be an emotionally charged conversation.
Outwardly, they show no signs of being upset with their partner. If the partner prods them a little to get their deeper emotions out, they don’t reveal their true thoughts about the relationship. Inwardly, they are slowly distancing themselves from their partner. The unsuspecting partner has no idea what is actually happening. The partner feels like the INTP doesn’t like them anymore and leaves the INTP due to fear of being hurt or hurting the INTP.
How to win back an INTP ex?
INTP gives a considerable amount of thought before making the final decision to break up. There is usually a chain of events that have made them believe that the relationship is doomed, and it is best to end it now. Once concluded, INTP breakups are usually full and final.
INTP won’t change their decision easily. But there are three things you can do to get back an INTP-
- Listen and understand what they tell you during a breakup. An INTP will give you the exact and logical reason they don’t want to be in the relationship. Most likely, the issue is something that can’t be helped. For example, their trust is broken. There is nothing that can be done to make things right.
- INTPs always feel more comfortable expressing themselves through action rather than words. In an INTP life, actions matter more than words. The only way to win back an INTP is to apologize, make amends, and take visibly corrective actions. Making emotional appeal or future promises won’t work. INTP wants their partner to accept the mistake and take concrete actions to solve the problem. INTP don’t hold a grudge and easily forgive if things are made right.
- Don’t try to manipulate an INTP back into the relationship through emotional appeals or social pressure. Please don’t ask your friends or family to persuade them into getting back together with you. Bringing 3rd party into the relationship matter would actually make it worse. Don’t promise them something you can’t keep. They will spot the manipulation, and you will never see them again. Honestly, try to understand and resolve the underlining reason behind the breakup to get back an INTP.
INTP’s fear of being alone or unloved can trap them in mediocre, codependent, or even toxic relationships. Their introverted nature further makes it difficult for them to find a new love and a better partner. It takes a lot of strength and courage for them to leave bad relationships and start over again. They would rather prefer to prioritize their career or personal interests instead of going out to look for romantic partners.
INTPs are logical and often doubt the existence of true love. Having a rich thought process, full of imagination, possibilities, and excitement, their inner world is so beautiful that the external world pales in comparison. They need a strong motivation to form and maintain relationships. A sustainable and satisfying romantic relationship to develop both INTP and their partner need significant wisdom and maturity. Most INTPs prefer to remain single or develop meaningful long-term commitments later in their life.
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Hunaid Germanwala is a digital marketer and content creator at Health Products For You since 2014. He has an MS from Ulm University in Germany. His mind is always buzzing with creative ideas and is eager to explore new perspectives. His motto in life is “Better to Light the Candle than to Curse the Darkness.”