Find out how you interact with another type

ESFJ in love

ESFJs are committed and caring partners. They value traditional values and expect their dating and married lives to follow the norm – i.e. no dating leading to marriage. They take all these very seriously. Dating should have its rules – nothing should be too fast and be ahead of its time. They have a desire to be married, settle down with a good partner and live their married lives in an image of stability and prosperity. Once they are married, they give their 100% and honour their commitments very seriously.

Family is important for them and is often their first thing above all else. They will do their utmost to protect and provide for their family. Important dates such as anniversaries, birthdays and graduates are milestones to be marked by proper celebration, and they expect everyone to be present on these occasions.

ESFJs are warm, affectionate and affirming toward their partners. They seek to support their partners and likewise expect the same kind of support. Sometimes, their need for affirmation and support is so high it comes across as emotionally needy, or even fishing for compliments. In the same way, they find it hard to take criticism about themselves. They take all these criticisms very personally and may become very hurt or depressed by a simple negative remark.

Being concerned by how people perceive or speak about them, ESFJs sometimes may allow their relationship with their partner to be affected by the words of others. It’s a good thing when others praise their partners or speak good things. However, if people start pointing out their partner’s flaws or criticise their partners, ESFJs may be affected and start feeling the same way as well.

ESFJs are highly social people who often have a big network of friends and acquaintances. They enjoy going out to gatherings, parties and meet-ups and they expect their partners to go with them too. If the partner is introverted, however, they may find this expectation to be suffocating as they prefer solitude than being around strangers.

They are also great managers in the household and will do their part to ensure that the household is kept and maintained in order and neatness. They are also good with budgeting and will often take control of the household’s finances to ensure that the practical needs of today and future are met. However, they do enjoy the finer things in life like luxury goods or a good night out at a posh restaurant – but it will always be well within their budgets.

ESFJs want to be appreciated for all that they do for their partners and families. They love it when their partners verbally affirm and appreciate them for their efforts, and also when their partners perform acts of service like fetching them from their workplace or getting them an extra cup of coffee. All these little things can make an ESFJ’s day.


ESFJ in Love Strengths

Here are the joys of being with an ESFJ in love...
  • Honour their commitments
  • Strongly supportive of their partners
  • Strong household and money manager
  • Often have a strong network to fall back on
  • Value family and puts family events and occasions first


ESFJ in Love Challenges

Here are the challenges of being with an ESFJ in love...
  • Being overly emotional toward criticism
  • Too affected by how other people think about them
  • May avoid important conversations to avoid conflict
  • May guilt trip their partners to get what they want
  • Uncomfortable with trying new things with their partners

Developing Your Relationships as an ESFJ

To grow in your ability to love and care for your partner, here are some things you can do:

Choose your friends carefully

Because you are so easily affected by what your friends say, it is likely that however you treat your partner will be somewhat influenced by those friends. It’s not a bad thing – sometimes your friends encourage you to love your partner more, but the trouble comes when friends plant seeds of doubt in your mind about your partner’s flaws or question his/her intentions, that’s when you allow it to come into the relationship more than you should.

The best thing you can do is to choose to spend more time with people that give positive input in your life and avoid people that constantly gossip and put down others.

Accept criticism without taking it personally

Constructive criticism helps you to become better, and that may be your partner’s intention at times. His/her intention is not to put you down, but to correct you so that you can become better.

When the criticism comes, resist the temptation to lash back and be defensive. Listen to everything your partner has to say and then process those thoughts privately. Don’t make it personal, but take a step back and evaluate it as if you are a third party. Then ask yourself what you can learn from the criticism and then adjust your behaviour for the future.

Plainly state your needs

If you want something, make it plain that you want it. Learn to say “I want to…”. Make it plain for your partners to understand what you want so that they can give it to you. Don’t expect your partners to read between the lines or read your mind, at least not in the first few years of the relationship. No one can read your mind except God.

Instead, assert yourself plainly and make yourself heard if there’s something that your partner need that is making you uncomfortable or hurt. Your partner will have to learn how to love you better, and he/she can only do that if you constantly give feedback.


Loving an ESFJ

Here’s what you should watch out for when you are dating or married to an ESFJ partner.

Be very aware of their unspoken needs

Even though ESFJs are very outspoken and opinionated about many things, they wish that their partners will be able to anticipate and meet their unspoken needs. It would help for you to notice what they like, what they dislike and then do your best to serve them in those areas. For example, if you notice that your ESFJ partner likes Asian food, then planning dates around Chinese or Japanese food would delight them and show them that you care.

Show appreciation and criticise carefully

Show appreciation to the ESFJs for the small things they do for you, like buying you a drink or bringing an extra umbrella for you. Let them know that you appreciate them for these small things. When you have to correct them, do it carefully. They won’t have a good reaction, but don’t worry. When they finally have time to think about it, as long as you did it gracefully, they’ll get your message.

Go with them to their gatherings

ESFJs love social gatherings, and they’ll like you to come along as well. They like to ‘parade’ their partners to their friends, and also feel included as others may bring their partners along too. No matter how uncomfortable it is for you, or how tired you may be, ESFJs feel loved when you make an effort to go along with them. 

Be careful how you spend your money

ESFJs want predictability and especially in the area of finances. They want to know how you are spending your money, especially on the bigger items. Concerned about providing for the household, ESFJs want to know there is enough and things are budgeted for. It may appear like micromanagement, but that’s not their intention. So just let them know when you’re making a financial decision like donating or buying a bigger item like a new handphone.


Compatible Partnerships

Although we should never discount a person as a potential partner because of his/her personality type, type theory offers a good idea about which types might suit ESFJs better.

According to theory, the ISFP or the ISTP probably form the best partnership with the ESFJs. They are both Sensing (S), which makes communication more straightforward and less chance for misunderstanding. The quiet and supportive ISFP or ISTPs are a great complement to the gregarious, social and stable ESFJs.

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