INFJ, or so I’ve read, are particularly focused on achieving intimacy. That’s certainly true for me – in terms of emotional, intellectual and sexual intimacy.
One thing I’ll note (as an INFJ male) is that I do have some historical cases where I’ve LOST intimacy with a partner. Whilst my outward demeanor remained warm and loving, the actual sense of intimacy died inside me. Physical sex became something I avoided intensely with those partners. Eventually those relationships faded into oblivion.
This has happened to me when I’ve started seeing my partner as either insincere or dishonest and/or, over a longer time, when they’ve failed to understand the ‘real’ me that I had opened up to them. But in all of those relationship instances, the initial intimacy was HIGH, before it faded.
Understanding why so many of my past relationships ended through stagnated intimacy has been a particular concern of mine in recent years. It seems to be the greatest barrier I must overcome to find a truly permanent relationship.
The aspects I’ve been working on as part of my own self-development have focused on several key areas:
Realistic Expectations. As an INFJ, I am aware that I am very prone to idealizing partners. When partners failed to live up to that ideal, it’s caused a grievous re-adjustment in my view of them. I am trying to become more mindful that people are never perfect; they lie sometimes, they are insincere in some ways. This is especially true when people are eager to form good impressions with someone they’re attracted to in the outset of a relationship. I try now to accept this as inevitable and remind myself that this behavior isn’t necessarily indicative of malignant motives. Nor does it make them a ‘fake’ person.
Being Understood. INFJ crave to be understood. What we think and feel on the inside is so very different to what observers assume about us. We are very selective about who we open-up our true selves to. When we ‘honor’ a partner with that entrance to our inner-selves, we expect them to make every effort to understand it. Again, I am now trying to be more realistic about the fact that it can take people a long time to appreciate that what lies inside can be very different to what they’ve perceived thus far. I am also mindful that MBTI theory suggests that certain types will be more or less naturally inclined to grasp an understanding of my inner-self when the door is opened for them.
Working on Intimacy. With maturity, I am learning that intimacy may be something that happens spontaneously at first, but sustaining it demands effort and courage. It’s far too easy to ‘shut down’ and withdraw from intimacy when I perceive any problems in the future of a relationship. I am used to relying on my intuitions, but now I understand that they aren’t predictive of the future – because I can act to effect positive changes and shape the future in the way that I want. Intuitions can be a self-fulfilling prophesy. I now view my relationship intuitions as a warning of how the relationship can fail if I don’t take action and make effort to prevent that happening.
Originally posted 2019-06-10 16:47:47.