Find out how you interact with another type

ISTJ in love

ISTJs are hardworking and dependable partners who are committed to making their relationship work. They aren’t the most expressive of their emotions but see the utmost importance in honouring their commitments to their partners. ISTJs highly respect the institution of marriage and tend to fit into their traditional gender roles, where ISTJ males become the breadwinner of the family, while ISTJ females see their role as the maintenance of the household.

They are traditional and expect things to be done in a certain way. In the household, they would like to keep their things in an organised fashion, and give clear standards to their partners and children about things should be done around the house. For example, they expect their partners to keep their shoes in a certain way, or tidy up and organise their desk with a particular system. Partners who are more spontaneous may find this trait suffocating, even as they appreciate the neat and tidy household they get to return to all the time.

ISTJ’s strong respect for the facts helps them be accurate or right most of the time. However, in a relationship, ISTJs may compromise intimacy. Feeling partners who desire compromise or sensitivity from them may not get it – and instead, find themselves facing a brick wall of ‘correctness’ many of the time. As a result, ISTJs unwittingly damage their partner’s self-esteem in their bid to be right.

They also have a harder time expressing their emotions. It is not that they feel any lesser, but their stoic appearance and desire to rely on facts instead makes it hard for others to penetrate their ‘shell’. For this same reason, ISTJs also find it hard to praise or encourage their partners for a job well done, because they view these duties as necessary and an expectation. Instead, ISTJs prefer to show their love through acts of service and fulfilling their commitments like providing for the family or taking care of the household chores.

Even though ISTJs don’t show emotions, they want to be appreciated by their partners for their practical contributions to the relationship and the household. Being introverted, they are happy to work behind the scenes without recognition, but love it when their partners acknowledge them for their selfless sacrifice. Partners can appreciate them with thoughtful gifts, words of affirmation or practical acts of service.

ISTJs are also extremely careful with their finances. They are usually the Chief Finance Officer of the household, budgeting for today’s needs and tomorrow’s commitments. They avoid spending beyond the necessary, often opting to live a simpler life. It’s not to say they don’t love a luxury item or two. They do. However, they are careful to ensure that these wants never impede on their ability to provide for themselves and their loved ones.


ISTJ in Love Strengths

Here are the joys of being with an ISTJ in love...
  • Responsible; honour their commitments strongly
  • Put the practical needs of their partners before their own
  • Faithful to ensure household needs are taken care of
  • Good with budgeting their money
  • Have a clear idea of what is right and wrong


ISTJ in Love Challenges

Here are the challenges of being with an ISTJ in love...
  • Need to be right spoils intimacy with their partners
  • May have a challenge expressing their emotions
  • Inflexible and rigid to change
  • May suffocate their partners with tradition or set way of doing things
  • May not give enough encouragement or praise to their partner

Developing Your Relationships as an ISTJ

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

Don’t try to be right – instead, preserve the relationship

As an ISTJ, you are probably right most of the time. With the facts readily at your hand, you are more than equipped to show your partner why he/she is wrong and you are on the right side of the argument. However, recognise that your desire to do so is hindering your ability to build closeness and intimacy with your partner.

Sometimes, it’s not about being right or winning the argument – sometimes it’s just about giving that up so that you can be on the same side with your loved one. So, instead of thinking about what is right, think about what can make your partner happy and fulfilled. It would do wonders for your relationship in the longer term.

Express your emotions as they come

How do you feel right now? Are you angry or sad? Are you perturbed by something you observed? Your partners find it hard to get through to you because they have no idea at times what you are feeling. Because you don’t question your own feelings enough, you may also be unsure about what you’re feeling. Also, you tend not to trust that side of yourself that you deem wild, uncertain and ambiguous. However, your emotions are just as important. If you don’t care for them and consider them, you’re going to explode one day irrationally and perhaps say or do something you might regret later. So, as the emotions come, try to say them to your partner – let him/her know you are trying. I’m sure they will appreciate the effort.

If doing this is too much for you, you can always start by sharing factual information about yourself with your partner. Start by talking about your childhood, where you went to school, what your favourite memory was, what was your favourite food. As you open up, your partner will reciprocate. Perhaps then, you can start to share some of those feelings that went with the memories

Let things be disorganised or uncertain, sometimes

Your faithfulness in the household makes everything work. People know where to find their stuff, and every day there’s some predictability about what’s going to happen. Your partners can rest assured that you will always ensure that the household will be well-provided for financially too. That’s great.

However, the trouble comes if you disallow your partners to try something different or, in your eyes, risky, or that you expect your partners to keep the same level of neatness or organisation as you. It’s not going to happen, and you can learn to be more comfortable with it. Occasionally allow some deviation, some trying of a risky activity so that your relationship can continue to blossom or get the new spark it needs.


Loving an ISTJ

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

Expect them to take a while to open up

ISTJs are, by nature, private reclusive and very careful about who they reveal information to. When you are dating them, ISTJs tend to back off from requests from the dates to ‘open up’ about their family, their past lovers or anything they consider to be too personal to reveal. The more you try to get them to open up, the more they will avoid you. Best is just to let them be; they will reveal what they deem appropriate with time and comfort.

Private dates are preferable

ISTJs are private and tend to find parties or large gatherings to be draining or tiring. When dating, they rather have quality time with you one to one, without interruption or disturbance from others. To them, this is a date (not a party). If you’re an Extrovert, go out with them one to one and resist the temptation to ask anyone else along. If you want to go to a large gathering, you can check with them if they want to come, but be happy if they want to excuse themselves.

Tidy up after yourself

ISTJs get stressed out when they see a place in disorganisation. If you’re not the tidy sort, then make an extra effort to keep things where you first found them, rather than leaving them lying around. No doubt, you might have been the subject of their rebuke for not doing so. Take extra care of this, and you will relieve quite a bit of their stress to upkeep the household as it is.

Be careful how you spend your money

Especially if you’re married. ISTJs are burdened to meet family needs before wants. If you are spending money apart from what they’ve budgeted for, they get stressed out. You can get around this by telling them how much you’re intending to budget for ‘pleasure and luxury’ each month and then spending within it.


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 ISTJs better.

According to theory, the ESFP or the ESTP probably form the best partnership with the ISTJs. They are both Sensing (S), which makes communication more straightforward and less chance for misunderstanding. The fun-loving, excitable ESFP or ESTPs are a great complement to the stable and stoic ISTJs.