INTPs (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving) and INFPs (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving) are both independent thinkers, intellectually oriented, and very imaginative. They can also be socially challenged — they don’t care for crowds and need personal space and down time to recharge. Still, both tend to do well in their careers because of their deep commitment and work ethic.
In spite of their similarities, they do interact with the world differently. An INTP attacks all issues with a strictly logical interpretation while an INFP tends to base their decisions and opinions on emotions. INTPs are more open-mined and willing to consider endless permutations of possibilities.
INFPs, on the other hand, have a strict set of personal values that are largely immutable. INFPs are idealistic and optimistic, known for having their heads in the clouds. INTPs are more realistic and fact-based in their approach.
Are INTPs and INFPs compatible enough to be in a romantic relationship?
Like most personalities, INTPs and INFPs can make a relationship work if they really want it to happen. They must listen to each other, communicate and respect one another’s differences. They are likely to have shared interests due to their similar personality traits, which can help reconcile their differences.
INTPs are intellectuals who love to dream up abstract solutions to the world’s problems. They are fascinated by the prospect of a future with new technology and innovations. Logic dominates their thought processes rather than emotion but that doesn’t keep them from being deeply passionate about their projects and theories.
4 Characteristics of INTPs
- They may seem unapproachable or unfriendly but in reality, they are just inwardly focused.
- They are adept at coming up with out-of-the-box solutions.
- They do not have any time for flattery or false compliments. INTPs prefer delivering and receiving the unvarnished truth.
- They may not be able to communicate their emotions very well but are, in fact, deep feeling people.
INFPs are empathetic nurturers who love to work on behalf of other people to make the world a better place. They are creative, imaginative and have an idealistic view of life. They may struggle with anxiety and self-doubt but will always put the needs of others above their own.
4 Characteristics of INFPs
- They are very concerned with other people’s feelings and will strive to create harmony in any situation.
- They process information with an emphasis on emotion, therefore they tend to have gut feelings and operate on instinct rather than what facts may dictate.
- They tend not to be assertive on their own behalf. If someone else is being bullied, only then will they step up and say something.
- They dislike conflict and may try to avoid difficult or uncomfortable situations.
Because INTPs and INFPs are both introverts who enjoy intellectual pursuits, are imaginative thinkers and value authenticity, they may inevitably become attracted to one another.
4 Reasons INTPs and INFPs would mesh well romantically
- They will both want to take time and really get to know each other before becoming romantically involved.
- They both have the same idea of what social fun means — small groups, one-on-one evenings at home and intellectually oriented activities.
- Neither are rigid about their home life or schedules.
- They both will tend to get bored easily and will constantly strive to learn new things or try new activities.
Even with all of their similarities, INTPs and INFPs have significant differences that may prove to be challenging for maintaining a relationship.
4 Reasons INTPs and INFPs might have problems in a romantic relationship
- INFPs are romantic by nature. INTPs are not particularly romantic. Consequently, the two may have trouble seeing eye to eye on how much romance is too much.
- INFPs are typically very devoted to their partners which may feel suffocating to an INTP.
- An INTP will tend not to take an INFP’s emotions as seriously as they need them to be taken.
- INFPs view the world from a humanistic point of view. INTPs tend not to see things from a human betterment point of view but rather from more of a scientific perspective.
Romance / Love / Sex
When an INTP’s relationship with an INFP evolves from romance into a serious commitment, can it survive?
Yes, it can survive as long as there is mutual respect for each other’s differences and a commitment by both parties to work on their communication.
INTPs need someone to love who is trustworthy, will not criticize their emotional shortcomings and who is on the same intellectual level. They need to be able to share interests and passions.
3 Ways an INTP might approach love
- Above all else, INTPs are looking for an intellectual connection with a partner.
- Even though they are in love, sharing their feelings might be difficult for most INTPs.
- To an INTP, expressing love means being there to be supportive rather than showering someone with compliments.
INFPs love being in love. Having a compatible person to be the object of their affections is absolute heaven for them.
3 Ways an INFP might approach love
- An INFP’s goal is to find a deep and meaningful emotional connection with someone.
- Not only do they share their feelings but they need to hear that the other person understands and accepts them.
- To an INFP, expressing love means nurturing and care-taking.
What would cause INTPs and INFPs to mesh well in a love relationship?
- They will both enjoy intellectual conversations and will appreciate the other person’s point of view.
- If their values are similar, they will relish pursuing the causes that reflect those values, albeit in different ways.
- If they embrace their differences, each personality could learn a lot from the other.
What might cause INTPs and INFPs to have problems?
- The difference in emotional fluency could be frustrating for both parties.
- INTPs tend to be blunt, which an INFP could misconstrue as being overly critical.
- Communication may be difficult for this pair because they both have a tendency to bottle up anger or not face difficult issues head on.
Role of Gender
Typically, INTPs and INFPs possess both stereotypical gender characteristics and traits considered atypical for their sex.
Because they are dominated by logic and not overly emotional, male INTPs tend to fit male stereotypes much more than female INTPs fit female stereotypes.
Society expects a male to be stoic and typically, INTP males are stoic. They do not like to appear vulnerable or show their emotions. It’s not that they don’t have any feelings, it is actually quite the opposite. They feel overwhelmed by their emotions and often can’t express themselves.
4 Characteristics of male INTPs
- Unlike a stereotypical male, an INTP does not like to make the first romantic move.
- They spend so much time in their own heads, sometimes it’s difficult to communicate effectively with other people.
- They love a puzzle or an intellectual challenge.
- They enjoy relationships with other people but also need time alone and personal space.
Girls are supposed to be bubbly and sweet. They’re supposed to gossip and shop and be overly emotional. INTP women are generally not any of those things, so they may feel misunderstood by or isolated from other women. They also may be interested in pursuits that are considered to be more masculine or nerdy, like science fiction or comic books.
4 Characteristics of female INTPs
- In response to stress, they will be rational and collected rather than emotional.
- They do not like to feel vulnerable by opening up emotionally to others.
- They tend to have more male friends than female friends.
- Most of their partners would consider them to be low-maintenance or easy to keep happy.
Both INFP males and females are caring, creative and gentle, all of which are considered to be more feminine than masculine attributes.
Male INFPs are in a quandary. Society expects males to be competitive, non-emotional and assertive and male INFPs tend not to display those qualities. They are caring, contemplative and can be emotional, traits generally associated with females. Consequently, they often feel out of place and awkward.
4 Characteristics of male INFPs
- They are very sensitive, especially about what they perceive to be as criticism.
- They tend not to be focused on sports or competition as other guys might be.
- Their career will usually have some creative aspect to it.
- They are idealistic and would usually consider themselves to be optimists.
Female INFPs embody many characteristics that are most commonly associated with women. They are gentle and caring and are natural nurturers. They are very empathetic and tend to prioritize other people’s needs before their own.
4 Characteristics of female INFPs
- They will listen to other people’s problems but may be reluctant to share their own issues.
- In social situations, they may prefer to be quiet and just listen.
- They are emotionally complex and can often be misunderstood by others.
- They are usually very creative and imaginative.
Possible relationship scenarios between INTP males and INFP females
- An INFP woman gives her INTP husband a poem that she’s written and asks his opinion. He is not impressed. He knows, however, that she is very sensitive to criticism and that he tends not to be the most tactful person. After years in the relationship, he knows how to gently offer a few critiques while praising her effort.
- An INFP woman regularly works at a local charity. Her INTP boyfriend doesn’t usually want to get involved. On this day, she convinces him to come to the charity’s headquarters by telling him they need help streamlining their organizational process. He’s a streamlining expert, so he’s suddenly happy to help.
Possible relationship scenarios between INTP females and INFP males
- As a couple, an INTP female and an INFP male are art lovers. A new gallery is opening up in town and they both know one of the featured artists. They will go, even though they aren’t happy about the big crowd that will be there. She will want to leave as soon as possible but he will want to stay a little longer, so as not to hurt their friend’s feelings.
- In the last months before their unborn baby is expected, an INFP husband hovers over his INTP wife, asking how she feels, is there anything she needs, etc. The wife appreciates this but would very much like him to back off and give her more personal space.
INTPs and INFPs may both be introverts but that doesn’t mean they don’t take their friendships seriously.
INTPs may take a while to warm up, but once they have accepted someone into their own friendship circle, they will remain loyal and true to them until their last breath.
3 Characteristics of INTP friendships
- Even though they may not be overly emotional, INTPs can make very loyal and trustworthy friends.
- They are unflinchingly honest with their friends which can sometimes come off as critical.
- They usually have some specific interest in common with their friends.
It is pretty much an undisputed fact that INFPs make wonderful friends. They are caring, loyal and will always put their friends’ needs ahead of their own. The only problem is that sometimes they may be a little too needy.
3 Characteristics of INFP friendships
- They are the kinds of friends who will drop everything and be there for support if a friend needs them.
- They won’t be friends with just anyone and need to take time to get to know someone.
- They may get their feelings hurt easily, especially by their friends.
Can INTPs and INFPs be friends?
They can absolutely be friends if they are willing to be completely honest with each other and meet the other half way in regards to their differences.
3 Reasons INTPs and INFPs might mesh well together
- They are both intellectually oriented and curious about the world.
- They both understand the need for alone time.
- They prefer one-on-one socializing rather than socializing in large gatherings.
3 Reasons there might be potential problems in an INTP and INFP friendship
- They both have difficulty expressing themselves and because of that, their relationship may suffer.
- An INTP may become exhausted by an INFP’s need to be so involved with other people.
- An INFP might feel dominated by a more opinionated INTP.