There are 16 personality types defined by the Myers-Briggs personality inventory. Two of them are INTPs and INTJs — both are introverted intellectuals who tend to be challenged in social settings and situations that may require an emotional response. They are masters of their own, logical domains, and their creativity and iconoclastic thinking makes them truly unique members of society.
In spite of their similarities, they do have key differences in the way they perceive and respond to the world. The question is, what happens when these two personality types interact? Can they maintain a successful relationship, romantic or otherwise, with one another?
Are INTPs and INTJs compatible enough to be in a romantic relationship?
INTPs and INTJs have so much in common that it’s hard to imagine them not being completely compatible in a romantic relationship. They both love to get lost in a world of theories and ideas and both equally enjoy their alone time. They can, nonetheless, have major differences.
A closer examination of how their personalities function on a day-to-day basis reveals that INTPs and INTJs will likely have the potential for some serious disagreements.
INTPs are those dreamy, quirky folks who spend their time in deep thought, never follow society’s rules and are perfectly happy to do their own thing. They value truth amongst all else and most often are good-humored individuals who are not overly demanding of others. They might see the value in working on their underdeveloped emotional side but may be unable to achieve noticeable results without professional assistance.
4 Characteristics of INTPs
- Love to do puzzles, figure things out and theorize.
- Have trouble making decisions because they worry that they haven’t fully considered every option.
- They prefer to socialize with individuals or in small groups.
- They don’t care about living up to societal expectations.
Even though they are introverts, it’s hard not to notice an INTJ. They are confident intellectuals who are, depending on the situation, likely to believe that they’re the smartest ones in the room. When discussing a topic about which they are passionate, they have the ability to shut down naysayers or critics with lightning speed and devastating accuracy, but they aren’t flashy — at work, they may labor in the background or might have reluctantly taken on the role of leader if no one else was up to the task.
4 Characteristics of INTJs
- Intellectual, driven and committed to action.
- They are reliable. If they say they are going to do something, they will.
- They are iconoclasts and don’t care what other people think of them.
- They care about ideas and precision rather than money or power.
When considering a romantic match between an INTP and an INTJ, there are many reasons why they might make a great couple.
4 Reasons INTPs and INTJs would romantically mesh well together
- They are both introverts who will understand each other’s unique need for privacy and minimal social interaction.
- They both see the world through intellectual lenses and will enjoy discussing ideas, theories and possibilities.
- They are both curious and love learning.
- While an INTJ likes to make plans, an INTP is often is happy to follow along.
No matter how much they have in common, both personalities have different approaches to life and that may ultimately cause tension in their relationship.
4 Reasons INTPs and INTJs might have problems in a romantic relationship
- Both are not good with expressing emotions and might bottle up resentments.
- They have different lifestyles. INTJs are goal-oriented and INTPs are more go-with-the-flow type people.
- An INTP may get tired of having an INTJ constantly imposing their will on them.
- Both personalities can be inflexible, especially INTJs, so this could be a struggle in the relationship.
Romance / Love / Sex
With their similarities and significant differences, how would INTPs and INTJs approach love and physical intimacy?
Both personality types may have underdeveloped social skills but in spite of that, an INTP can make an enthusiastic and loyal romantic partner.
5 Ways an INTP might approach love
- Ideally, they want someone who is not overly dependent or neurotic because they aren’t good at soothing an insecure romantic partner.
- Flirting is difficult for them. They may attempt an awkward combination of asking personal questions and trying to impress them with their intellect and abilities.
- When they fall in love, they are enthusiastically all in.
- Love to them means minimal drama with no mind-games.
- They may ignore conflict in the relationship or pretend that problems simply don’t exist.
INTJs do not show romantic interest or affection in the stereotypical ways. You must look closely and know them well to be able to tell when they’re interested.
5 Ways an INTJ might approach love
- Finding a love match may be difficult because they have very high standards.
- They hate to initiate contact with people, so if they do, it’s clear they’re interested.
- They value quality time as the most important aspect of being in love.
- They can be hesitant about open displays of affection, especially in public.
- In a relationship, they will forgive slights as long as there is honesty and openness.
When in love, an INTP and an INTJ both bring characteristics to the table that will allow them to mesh well in a relationship:
- They both seek someone intellectual, creative and unafraid of nonconformity.
- Above all, they value honesty and straightforwardness in a partner.
- They are both wired to love very deeply and be faithfully committed to a partner.
The course of true love never did run smooth and for INTPs and INTJs, it’s no different. They each possess characteristics that may result in relationship problems down the road:
- As introverts, they will both be hesitant to take the lead and manage the couple’s social interactions.
- In intellectual discussions or in daily disagreements, both may relentlessly pursue being right.
- They each have a tendency to be inflexible.
Role of Gender
Both INTPs and INTJs have a tendency not to fit into stereotyped gender roles — and typically they don’t care. They are too preoccupied by their own intellectual pursuits to worry about society’s views regarding what behavior is or isn’t appropriate for men or women.
Both male and female INTPs tend to share a mixture of traditionally masculine or feminine characteristics.
Male INTPs are not often interested in leadership roles, dominating others or acquiring financial success. Instead, they are fulfilled just by being left in peace and quietly pursing their goals. They do desire love and friendship but only from people who won’t nag them to change.
4 Characteristics of male INTPs
- They hate to make romantic overtures but when they do, their gestures are sometimes so subtle that they may go unnoticed.
- To others, they may seem emotionless because they have many walls up for self-protection.
- They often feel misunderstood.
- Will find someone attractive based on their personality first and then their appearance.
According to societal expectations, women are supposed to be caring nurturers who love fashion and can’t get enough of gabbing with their girlfriends. In these ways, INTP women do not fit the mold. They value intellectual interests, aren’t overly preoccupied by their appearance and would prefer a quiet conversation about ideas over a big night out on the town.
4 Characteristics of female INTPs
- Would prefer an intense intellectual debate instead of shallow chit-chat.
- They do not have time for any chauvinistic ideas about how women should be.
- They do not seek validation from men or anyone else.
- They are straightforward and logical which can be off-putting for some potential romantic partners.
They are known as the independent, cold and calculating thinkers. It may be difficult to imagine any INTJ male or female in a relationship that requires a loving give and take.
INTJ males may be the boss at work because they are self-confident experts and good at making decisions. That doesn’t mean they are the typical alpha male, however.
4 Characteristics of male INTJs
- Unwilling to be flexible when they believe they’re right.
- May seem cold and unfeeling to outsiders but are willing to share their vulnerabilities with intimate partners.
- They can be dismissive of a partner’s emotions because they judge them to be illogical.
- They can adapt to being in a couple if they make an effort to understand their partners.
Female INTJs can be a bit intimidating; they are unapologetically confident and will not suffer fools gladly. Like their male counterparts, they prefer to rely on facts, rational thinking and logic and are not controlled by their emotions. This makes them unique and downright threatening to certain male personality types.
4 Characteristics of female INTJs
- They are individualistic and self-reliant to the point of making others feel unwelcome.
- They are terrible at flirting.
- They are private and need a lot of space both at work and in personal relationships.
- They have tightly controlled emotions that may not be accessed all that often.
Possible relationship scenarios between INTP males and INTJ females
- When an INTJ female asks her INTP male partner to do the laundry, he may spend too long wondering about properly sorting and separating the clothes. As he stares at the washing machine considering all possibilities, the INTJ may simply get frustrated and just do it herself.
- An INTP male may feel rushed by an INTJ female to make decisions. The INTP may eventually resent this and could secretly believe that she’s the one with the problem because she doesn’t put enough thought into decisions before charging ahead.
- At the beginning of the relationship, an INTP male might love the fact that his INTJ girlfriend is willing to handle making plans and arranging their life. Eventually, however, he could start to feel bossed around and may have a hard time expressing his frustrations with her.
Possible relationship scenarios between INTP females and INTJ males
- A perfect date night for this couple would be a quiet dinner for two followed by a movie in a genre that they both like. On the way home, there would be a rousing intellectual discussion about the movie’s themes and directorial choices.
- If an INTP female wanted her INTJ boyfriend to join a book club with her, things may go well at first. They would both enjoy discussing book themes and theories with others. The event may turn sour, however, when the INTJ would insist that his literary interpretations were the only correct ones at the gathering, exasperating the other readers.
- Imagine that an INTJ male has an important business meeting that will secure the funding for his project. His INTP wife plans to wear an utterly unfashionable dress she’s had for years. He disagrees and wants her to buy something more appropriate for the occasion. She’ll reluctantly agree but will grumble. She has never seen the point in dressing to impress.
As introverts, both INTPs and INTJs put a high value on the few, solid friendships they have.
They typically have a small circle of friends that they trust. Because of their idiosyncrasies and introvert tendencies, they frequently feel misunderstood by much of society. When they find someone willing to accept them for who they truly are, they will be a loyal and long-term friend.
4 Characteristics of an INTP’s friendships
- They need friends with patience — INTPs notoriously don’t like to plan and when they do, they may be absentminded and mix up details.
- They value people who have inner character more than those who have social status.
- They have difficulty with emotion. They want to be supportive of their friends but may struggle with how to do it.
- Their friends need to understand that INTPs do not hold back when asked for their honest opinions.
Being friends with an INTJ is all about loving them for their eccentricities. They may appear arrogant, bossy or difficult to others, but their true friends know that their intentions are pure.
4 Characteristics of an INTJ’s friendships
- They may be reluctant to make the first move in a friendship. If the friendship shows promise, they will want to take it slowly.
- They must have friends who won’t be offended by their need for alone time.
- Their friends need to share their passion for lively, intellectual discussions.
- They do not tolerate insincere people or any kind of shallow phoniness.
Can INTPs and INTJs be friends?
Yes, they can absolutely be friends. They have a lot in common, tend to value the same things and will see the world in a similar way. They will need to communicate to resolve grievances or misunderstandings which could be a problem as expressing feelings isn’t a strong suit for either of them.
4 Reasons why INTPs and INTJs might mesh well together
- Imagine the rousing intellectual discussions they will have. They will both appreciate that there will always be something new to learn from one another.
- Neither one would have any desire or expectation for a wildly social lifestyle.
- Both would happily give each other sufficient alone time.
- They would understand the other’s emotional limitations.
4 Reasons why there might be problems in an INTP and INTJ friendship
- They may feel that they’re in competition intellectually or may feel compelled to outdo each other.
- Their day-to-day lifestyles may clash dramatically.
- Each will inevitably start to view the other as inflexible and unreasonable because of their unwillingness to see other perspectives.
- Because both are introverted, they may each fail to instigate social interaction.