What Each Myers-Briggs Type Wants (But Will Never Actually Ask For) In A Relationship
ENFP: Someone to provide them with a safe, structured place to come back to.
It’s no secret that ENFPs like to think about all the possibilities this world has to offer- and they never last long in a relationship with someone who doesn’t get that. It’s usually clear to potential partners that they want someone who is understanding, willing to discuss ideas and theories, and allows them the freedom to be exactly who they are. Yet something ENFPs also genuinely want is someone who can help them keep a little structure in their lives (because as much as they loathe to admit it, they thrive when they have some) and someone who will provide a safe place for them to rest and process all of the new discoveries and ideas they’ve come across. They won’t ask for this because they hate to admit they need any kind of structure, and they’re afraid their partner may take it too far- but they still hope one way or another a balance can be reached.
ENTP: Someone to give them full autonomy.
ENTPs are known to have their hands and minds into a little bit of everything- they’re easily a “jack of all trades” kind of person who loves to explore the world and all the theories around them from a pretty logical standpoint. Though this type is fairly known for changing partners frequently, when they stumble across someone who is not only interesting but just as interested in the world and discussions around them as they are, then it’s not difficult for them to enter a relationship. As long as their partner values change, growth, and mental exploration, the ENTP is likely going to be satisfied with the relationship; yet even when things are going extremely well, something the ENTP wants from their partner is to have full autonomy to live life on their terms. ENTPs don’t like to feel stifled or held back in any aspect, and relationships can sometimes put a strain on those things if they don’t feel they’re getting the freedom and trust to do the things they want. They usually won’t ask for this out loud because frankly, they can’t see themselves with a partner who doesn’t trust them enough to believe they’ll always come back to the relationship and care for it- so if it’s clear that their partner won’t grant them this, they likely won’t stick around too long.
INFP: For their partner to understand them to the fullest (and they’ll do the same in return).
INFPs are incredible hopeless romantics- they are known to romanticize potential partners and relationships, which at times can lead to disappointment if those ideas don’t flesh out into reality. They’re incredibly nurturing, empathetic, and idealistic; when they do end up in a relationship, they will do everything in their power to make things work. However, even when the relationship is going incredibly smooth, the INFP secretly wishes that their partner will find a way to understand them to the fullest extent- their thoughts, emotions, intentions, and everything in between. INFPs want to get down to the essential core of the people they care for, and they invest a great deal of time doing so- they want their partner to feel understood on every level imaginable. Yet there is a part of them that also wants their partner to return the favor and try to understand them in that exact same way. They won’t actually say this to their partner, because they are aware that not everyone works the same way that they do, and they also don’t want to put any pressure on their significant other because they know how lofty of an expectation this is to ask of another person.
INTP: Someone to take the time to fully understand them without changing them.
INTPs are known to be very reserved and detached individuals who don’t enter into relationships often, yet this doesn’t mean that there is zero desire for one. They tend to be analytical and critical of their environments and of themselves- and this can extend to the small circle of people they do allow into their lives. They tend to require a great deal of freedom and autonomy, and don’t like to feel constrained by a relationship or the expectations that usually come with one- however, if they do comes across someone who can catch their attention, they’re incredibly devoted and loyal partners who strive to understand their partner and how they function, while providing for their needs in the best ways they know how. Yet even in the most relaxed and incredible relationship, the INTP secretly wants their partner to try and understand exactly who they are without trying to change them. Because the INTP is very analytical and interested in understanding things, they apply this same method to their partners- they pay attention to what makes them tick, what excites them, what they strive for in life. In the same way, an INTP wants a partner who will reciprocate that same type of keen and studious interest, without trying to push them to be someone they aren’t. Though the INTP is an honest and straight forward person, they typically won’t ask for this directly in their relationships, because they prefer to let actions speak over words and would rather their partner come to this desire themselves rather than appearing vulnerable and asking for it.
ESFJ: Someone to appreciate all the effort/things they do in the relationship.
ESFJs are known to be incredible caretakers- they are compassionate, organized, and have a strong desire to help people in whatever tangible ways they can. It’s not uncommon for ESFJs to end up in relationships with those who are a little more scattered and introverted;;; yet even in relationships where they are truly in love, secretly the ESFJ wants their partner to appreciate and affirm all the things and the effort they put into a relationship. The ESFJ loves to go out of their way to help their partner and provide for their needs, as well as showering them with affirmation. They will never ask for any of this in return, but deep down they really would love for their partner to not only notice and appreciate these things but to return the favor themselves. They’ll never ask for this because they don’t want to appear selfish or that they’re only doing these things with an ulterior motive, but it doesn’t change that there is a small part of them that hopes their partner will catch on eventually.
ISFJ: Someone to be their partner in all aspects, not just romantically.
ISFJs tend to be extremely overlooked in the MBTI spectrum- usually because they would prefer to be out of the spotlight and just keep to themselves. However, these types are very dedicated and loyal partners once they find a person they’re willing to commit to. ISFJs usually end up falling for people who are averse to commitment, because they want to be valued enough to change the person’s mind and give them a reason to feel safe and secure- something they want as much themselves. As long as their partner is secure, open, and aware of their sensitive nature, the ISFJ will likely feel happy about being in the relationship. However, secretly the ISFJ wants to know they have a partner in all aspects of life- not just romantically. When an ISFJ commits, they don’t take it lightly, and they tend to have an idea of how this person will fit into their future pretty early on. Yet ISFJs don’t see a romantic partner as only fulfilling one area- they want to know they have a best friend, a life partner, a business partner- whatever life looks like for them, they want to know that their significant other will be able to step up. They won’t usually ask for this because they aren’t always the most open about expressing their own needs, out of a desire to make their partner happy- as well as they can understand that setting this type of expectation can be overwhelming and might even drive their partner away. They just pay attention and hold out hope to see the signs that their partner is up for the challenge in the future, and keeps their fingers crossed it will work out.
ESTJ: To be cared for as much as they are respected.
ESTJs are efficient, practical, and love to take the lead in all aspects of their lives. They are incredible organizers and planners who can easily see the most straight-forward way to achieve their goals- and they usually won’t listen to other’s opinions if they disagree. Though most would assume that the secret thing they want is to be respected- but this is not a secret by any means. ESTJs value respect in all their interactions and relationships, and won’t accept anything less. However, even when they are fully respected by their partner, there is a part of the ESTJ that also wants to be cared for just as much- though they won’t say it out loud or admit to it if asked due to the fear of appearing to be weak or emotional. Despite the way they present themselves, ESTJs still have a softer side that they don’t like to access often, and yet they still feel that desire to have their significant other take care of them and loved emotionally- and they hope that their partner will do this without them having to ask for it.
ISTJ: Someone to take the entire relationship as seriously as them, start to finish.
ISTJs are not ones to send mixed signals or beat around the bush with their intentions. When they enter into a relationship, it essentially feels like a contract- and they take it just as seriously. They don’t choose partners lightly and if they find someone who has captured their attention, it’s because they can see a real future with them. They only ask that their partner be loyal, respectful of their routines/traditions, and to always be honest with them. Yet even when the relationship is going well, the ISTJ really wants to know that their partner takes this relationship just as seriously as they do- though they won’t exactly ask for it out loud. The ISTJ is more than fine with communicating their thoughts and opinions on situations, however they know that dating relationships, even when serious, still aren’t a guarantee of forever- and though they would love to know 100% that their partner is on the same page with them, they know this is a very strong expectation to put on the relationship, and that logically it might put too much pressure on it at the end of the day.
ENFJ: Someone who will willingly open up about their pasts, secrets, and feelings.
ENFJs are incredibly open and nurturing- they love to provide for their loved ones in any possible way they are able to. They are incredible at picking up on vibes and cues from those they care for- able to tell when they’re having an off day or when they need some space, as well as when they need to talk things out. ENFJs aren’t ones to shy away from the person they want- they make it clear from the beginning if they want to enter a relationship, and if they do enter into one, they will never stop supporting their partner or stop helping them try to become a better version of themselves. Yet even when they are truly in love with their partners, ENFJs secretly want their partner to completely open up to them about everything- they’re pasts, their secrets, even their deepest fears. ENFJs truly are interested in their significant others and want to understand them as thoroughly as possible. Yet they won’t ask for this, mostly because they understand that being this open is such a huge weight to put on someone, especially if they are naturally reserved or private. They do hope in time their partner will feel comfortable doing this on their own, and the ENFJ will go out of their way to create a safe space for them to do so.
INFJ: Someone who challenges their thoughts and discusses them.
INFJs are known to value learning and empathy, and they usually are fairly private people- they prefer to daydream and brainstorm ideas and potential visions than out in the tangible world- but their minds are incredibly fascinating places to be, so it’s very understandable. Though they tend to be pretty guarded and don’t allow too many people in, if they meet someone who takes the time to break through their walls, establishes their trustworthy, and is open-minded, the INFJ will be pretty intrigued to give the relationship a go. Yet even if the relationship is going well, deep down the INFJ wants to have a partner who is willing to challenge their thoughts and discuss them- in a considerate way, of course. INFJs have strong moral beliefs and overall they want to know their partner is on the same page, but they also realize that there are all sorts of angles and points of view that should be taken into consideration and they don’t claim to know everything there is to know. They won’t actually ask for this because they don’t want to come off as being a disagreeable person- in fact, they’re very concerned with harmony and making their partner feel comfortable- and they don’t want to risk rocking the boat too much. Nonetheless, they still hope as time goes by their partner will feel comfortable enough to do this on their own.
ESTP: Someone to give them a place to relax after they’ve been out in the world.
ESTPs are known to be incredibly exciting and adventurous- they like to be out in the world where all the action is, and they usually don’t like to be tied down in relationships. They usually feel like being romantically involved with someone will only take up their time that they could be using exploring other possibilities- however, if they find a partner who they find interesting, who is willing to tag along on adventures with them, and doesn’t shy away from trying new things, then they’re likely to give it a chance. However, despite how well the relationship might be going, deep down the ESTP really craves having a partner who can give them a place to relax and space to unwind after they’ve been running around for a while. Though they are certainly not “stay at home” type of people, ESTPs are still human, and even they get burned out and exhausted after a while (though they wouldn’t admit it). They won’t ask their partner for this because they like to believe they are more than capable and don’t actually need the rest, and they don’t want to risk appearing boring to their partner’s or to anyone else. Yet nonetheless, they hope they can end up with a partner who can see when they need a break and are more than willing to give them a place to take one- and they are just as ready to jump back out into the world again.
ISTP: Someone to give them as much independence as humanly possible.
ISTPs aren’t shy about the things they want- they just don’t feel like sharing them most of the time unless it’s necessary. They aren’t normally ones to jump into relationships due to their desire to be alone and have their own space, yet this doesn’t mean they never find partners that they truly are invested in. ISTPs are known to be great problem solvers and hands-on experience types of people, and they enjoy exploring and trying new things whenever they’re given the chance, and it takes a particular kind of partner to make them decide they want to enter into a relationship. Yet even when they find someone who does seem to respect all their wants and needs, there is still a secret part of them that wants their partner to give them as much space/independence as possible. It’s not that they don’t want to be around their significant other- they just are their most comfortable and in their element whenever they’re doing things on their own, without feeling tied down. They won’t actually ask this of their partner because they are aware that it slightly defeats the purpose of a relationship if you barely ever interact with the other person- but they still hope their partner can pick up on their need for space and still give it to them every once in a while.
ESFP: Someone to be just as passionate about life as they are.
ESFPs are incredibly charismatic and excited about connecting with the world them- particularly with the people around them. Though they usually tend to date more on the casual side of things (there are so many interesting people, and so many people interested in them) and they don’t want to miss out on any options that might come their way. Yet if they do happen to form a particularly strong connection with someone who is open, friendly, and willing to go with the flow, they’ll likely be inclined to pursue the person full course to see where they might end up. However, even if the relationship is going well, the ESFP secretly wants to see their partner be just as passionate about something as they are about, well, everything. ESFPs may have a reputation of wanting the spotlight, but they also hold a deep amount of compassion and support for the loved ones in their lives, and they truly want to see their partner have the same spark inside of them that the ESFP does- and they’ll be more than willing to encourage and support their partner in that. The ESFP won’t ask for this because despite their belief that everyone has to be passionate about something they know if you have to force someone to be passionate, it’s not really genuine, so what’s the point? They also don’t want to pressure their partner into responding to something in the same way they do, so at the end of the day, they’ll just try to encourage their partner subtly and hope to see that passionate side of them eventually.
ISFP: Someone to break past their deeply set walls and appreciate their artistic/softer side.
ISFPs are incredibly creative and private people- and they honestly prefer it that way. ISFPs usually keep everyone at a safe distance and rarely let anyone into their social circle; Yes, partially out of the fear of being hurt, yet also at the fear of not being appreciated for who they are. Most of the time ISFP’s will allow potential partners to slowly vanish because they aren’t ones to let anyone in easily- yet if they come across a person who not only is understanding and intriguing to them but is also willing to put in the time and the effort to earn their trust, then they’re likely to at least entertain the possibility and give the person a chance. However, no matter how well the relationship appears to be going, the ISFP still longs for a partner they can express all of themselves to- someone who is willing to break down all of their walls and access the side of them that they don’t let anyone else see. Despite all the hesitation and fear that they won’t be understood, the ISFP would genuinely like to share this part of themselves- but only with someone who they know they can trust 100%. They won’t ask this of their partner, partially because they like to keep their thoughts to themselves, but they also realize how much they are asking of their partner, and it can be a ton of pressure to place on someone’s shoulders. Though they’ll still place some amount of distance, they still hold out hope that they’ll come across a person who isn’t afraid to gently expose this side of them- though they doubt it will actually happen.
ENTJ: Someone to help them unearth their romantic/emotional side.
ENTJs get a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to relationships- mostly because they usually seem very goal-oriented, spend a great deal of time working on projects, and can come off as incredibly blunt or harsh when they try to communicate things to people. ENTJs certainly aren’t ones to settle when selecting a partner- they want someone that matches the standards they’ve set for themselves in their minds, as well as someone who is actually going somewhere; preferably in the exact same direction they are. ENTJs aren’t shy about going after what they want, and they aren’t afraid to pursue someone in hopes of entering into a relationship with them. Yet even when they truly are enjoying their relationship and see it going somewhere, there is still a secret part of them that wants their partner to unearth their softer side that they like to keep hidden. Most of the time, ENFJs want to project a strong air of confidence and refuse to look emotional or weak in any way- yet when it comes to their relationships, they genuinely want to feel comfortable enough to let that side of them show- though they won’t ever ask this of their partner or admit to it if confronted with the idea. They want to continue to project the idea that they are strong, capable leaders who only use logic, yet they still hope that their partner can still find a way to see past this at some point.
INTJ: Someone who understands them on an intellectual level and emphasizes it before any other.
INTJs know that relationships require multiple levels in order to thrive- physical, emotional, mental, etc. They like to have their space and tend to be pretty self-critical, which can cause them to take a very long time to find a partner they truly want to be with. As long as they have a partner who respects their space, is honest with them, and is interested in growing within the relationship, things will go smoothly for the INTJ. Yet deep down, the INTJ secretly hopes that their partner will prioritize the mental connection they have over the other aspects of the relationship- because this is where the INTJ places their focus. INTJs are always wanting to learn and grow in their knowledge of things around them, and they know they can’t continue a relationship with someone who doesn’t see value in learning things. Yet truly, they hope their significant other will take it to the next level and value this connection above the others (emotional and physical) because of how important the INTJ finds it themselves. They won’t ask this of their partner directly because they understand that this isn’t typically where most people place their focus, but they still hold out hope that their partner will pick up on this either way.
Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/lacey-ramburger/2019/04/what-each-myers-briggs-type-wants-but-will-never-actually-ask-for-in-a-relationship
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