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INFPs are idealistic and romantic partners. They are also supportive and encouraging. Being fiercely loyal to their partners, they desire a long-term, passionate love relationship, and take their commitments seriously.
INFPs tend to project perfection in their lives. They want to find the ideal job and live out their ideal life. But nowhere is this stronger than finding the ideal soulmate. The result of this is not always positive, as INFPs tend to project this idealism on their partners. At first, they are blind to their partner’s faults, seeing only what they want to see, and even falsely assuming that their partners have certain traits.
But when the initial infatuation dies off, INFPs start to see flaws in their partners that they deem to be unsatisfactory or even flawed. When such a thing happens, INFPs may start criticising their partners, comparing them with this imaginary ideal person. If the INFP continually does this form of projection, their partners may feel lousy or even take a beating to their self-esteem.
At their best, INFPs are one of the most supportive and encouraging types. They are great counsellors – always willing to lend a listening ear. They have a unique perspective that can help their partners see through the problem - sometimes even helping their partners see that there wasn’t even a problem in the first place! Believing their partner’s potential, INFPs won’t hesitate to call out the greatness within their partners.
INFPs are peace-seeking and hate conflict. For the most part, they will avoid disagreement with their partners by deferring to their partner’s opinions. For most things, they have no issue with their partners making the final decisions. However, if these disagreements are in violation with the INFPs deep-seated values or principles, partners will be surprised to see a very insistent, stubborn and inflexible INFP who will refuse to budge even an inch! In this case, compromising on their values is akin to death!
Being people of dreams and passion, the INFP is happiest when they are in free pursuit of their dreams. Partners who know the INFP’s dreams and give permission to them to chase it will have a very happy and fulfilled relationship. These dreams could be fighting for a cause, chasing a potentially underpaid profession like becoming an artist, writer or musician. Partners who force INFP to see the practical side of life (like making them choose a job based on salary alone) might win out for a season, but will be surprised to see a disillusioned and unhappy INFP.
INFPs feel most loved when their partners show patience to understand their often complex inner world. INFPs often feel alone, especially if they see the gulf between their ideal and reality. Beyond all the words of affirmation and acts of love you can give them, INFPs want to be understood. Partners should resist trying to ‘solve’ this issue, mainly because INFPs don’t see it as an issue, but rather a part of who they are.
|Here are the joys of being with an INFP in love...|
|Here are the challenges of being with an INFP in love...|
To grow in your ability to love and care for your partner, here are some things you can do:
Take criticism objectively
You see the good things in others. You prefer to praise, encourage and support as opposed to pointing out fault. However, when your partner criticises you, you tend to react negatively to the feedback. You may even lash back at your partner for being hurtful. They intended to help you improve.
Learn to take criticism objectively. Evaluate what your partner has said, and ask questions to clarify. See what your partner is trying to say, and concede or apologise if necessary. Only after that, you can try to explain your actions to help your partner understand where you’re coming from too.
Listen before feeling your values are threatened
You may jump to conclusions quickly about someone’s principles, especially if you see them doing something you consider unethical or against your principles. You may criticise your partner or judge them without seeing the whole picture. Doing so may cause a rift in your relationship.
Instead, stop and listen. Clarify with your partner about their behaviour. The truth is, your partner carries a different set of values from you. Just because they’re more pragmatic or less people-oriented doesn’t necessarily make them evil people.
Don’t project your idealism on your partner
You are a hopeless romantic. At many points in your life, you have imagined the ideal partner for yourself – elegant, classy, intelligent, yet attuned to the spiritual (or something like that). Perhaps you’ve even met this person before – and thinking about it fills you with a sense of hope and romance. And you have this sense that this person will ‘complete’ you.
The person you date will likely be far from this ideal. They’re not going to reach your standards. What is suffocating for them is if you start using this ideal as a standard for your partner to reach. You’re going to beat up their self-esteem unintentionally.
Yes, your partner can improve, but so can you. Learn to build your partner up from a space of encouragement, not criticism.
Here’s what you should watch out for when you are dating or married to an INFP partner.
Give them space to be themselves
INFPs need their space to be authentically themselves. This means that they want to be able to express their thoughts and feelings freely without the fear of being judged. They want to make decisions without feeling you want to control them. It is not that they won’t listen to advice – they are usually open, but they want a personal space without inhibitions to dream and act on those dreams.
Talk about their dreams and ideals
INFPs live for a dream or a beautiful vision of the future. They can be disinterested or apathetic about most things, but become super passionate when you talk about their hopes and dreams. They will become highly engaged, and share with you about the change they want to make in the world. Support and encourage them.
Listen and ask questions to uncover their heart
INFP are private people who only reveal their true thoughts and emotions to those whom they believe care. To show you are genuinely interested in them, ask them open-ended questions and get them to share their personal stories. Don’t comment or make any judgments – listen attentively and show you care about what is going on in their hearts. If they sense you are open, they’ll pour out their hearts to you.
Allow them to be spontaneous
Allow INFPs to be spontaneous. When they’re working in the corporate sector, they’re likely going to keep schedules. But not when they’re relaxing. When they’re off work, they want to hang loose, no schedules, no deadlines. They rather take things as they come and spontaneously respond to changes. This is their soul time – so don’t take it away from them by enforcing any plan on them!
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 INFPs better.
According to theory, the ENFJ or the ENTJ probably form the best partnership with the INFPs. They both prefer Intuition (N), which makes communication more straightforward and less chance for misunderstanding. The assertive and planned ENFJs or ENTJs are a great match for the whimsical and spontaneous INFPs.