How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. A lot of factors go into love, but here’s one very important way to express it to your introverted significant other, based on their Myers-Briggs personality type.
ISTP — give them space
One of the most independent of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, the live-in-the-moment ISTP will need more space than others. Space to tinker with their projects in their private world alone. Space to change their mind, change their plans, and just relax and go with the flow. Yes, although this type may fool you with their seemingly boundless energy for exploration, they are, nevertheless, quite introverted. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ignore your ISTP. Always up for (quiet) thrills, ISTPs feel a sense of intimacy when embarking on adventures together. So, when your ISTP emerges from their solitude, suggest a hike together on a new trail — or ask them to show you what they’ve been working on in the garage, and watch their face light up.
ISFP — cultivate intimacy
The ISFP can be a bit of an enigma. Private yet emotional, shy yet charming, ISFPs can be difficult to figure out — especially at first glance. This sensitive (and sensual) introverted type feels things deeply but tends to camouflage those emotions from others. Creative and artistic, living in a world rich in color and texture, ISFPs often turn to art or music to express their feelings. Nevertheless, ISFPs crave passionate intimacy on all levels — mental, emotional, and physical — with their partner. Spend time in your ISFP’s inner artistic world by perusing a new art museum or simply flipping through their sketchbook (or music collection) and talking about what each entry means to them on a personal level. Top it off with gazing deep into their eyes, hand holding, and a kiss.
(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality assessment.)
ISTJ — appreciate their hard work
Practical-minded and responsible, ISTJs are best known for their dedication and hard work. Indeed, few other types possess the ISTJ’s spirit of determination to push through difficult situations and get things done (and yes, sometimes that stubbornness works against them!). Tuned into their surroundings, and with a keen eye for resource management, ISTJs are the ones who work quietly behind the scenes to make sure everything’s running smoothly. But, being introverts, this no-nonsense personality has little desire to shine the spotlight on themselves. As a result, sometimes their contributions in a relationship go unnoticed, or worse, get taken advantage of. If you’re the partner of an ISTJ, appreciating their hard work, day in and day out, will make their (pragmatic) heart soar. It doesn’t take much, and in fact, flowery words may even embarrass your ever-honest and blunt ISTJ; a simple note or a well-placed “thank you” will do.
ISFJ —praise them for the little ways they care for you
Similar to the ISTJ, the ISFJ works hard. In fact, for this responsible and dedicated personality, it’s nearly impossible to separate their work and actions from their identity on a personal level (and sometimes that can really hurt, as this emotional introvert is quite sensitive to criticism). Patient, loyal, and generous with their time, ISFJs delight in caring for their partner in little ways, on both an emotional and practical level. But, being introverts — and sometimes shy introverts at that — ISFJs feel more comfortable working in the background than on center stage. As a result, their generosity can be taken for granted in a relationship, or worse, taken advantage of. ISFJs may feel quite uncomfortable trying to remedy this, as this polite and kind personality is prone to bottling up their feelings and shying away from confrontation. Words really matter to the ISFJ, so if you’re the partner of one, say “thank you” often, and tell them when you notice them going out of their way for you; they do it because they love you, and making you happy makes them happy.
INTP — encourage intellectual exploration
Philosophical yet playful, private yet intellectually enthusiastic, INTPs are always surprising their significant other. Seeing the world as one big complicated — yet logical — machine, INTPs excel at abstract thinking and logical analysis, easily grasping how seemingly unrelated parts of a system work together. As a result, this imaginative and original personality is capable of mind-blowing innovation, and they apply that same creativity and quest for truth to all areas of their life, including their romantic relationships. Although at times a bit insensitive (blame Introverted Thinking) and absent-minded (Extroverted Intuition), INTPs nevertheless desire close, intimate connections. So how do you insert happiness into an INTP’s (highly rational) heart? Encourage intellectual exploration — book a lecture, dissect a documentary, or attend the book-signing of their favorite author… together.
INFP — romance them
Passionate and energetic, the INFP is the ultimate introverted idealist. Believing that humans are good and the sun will come out tomorrow, INFPs view the world through rainbow-colored glasses. And this is exactly why their partner (and others) admire and enjoy them so much — their optimism gives INFPs a near-boundless sense of resiliency in the face of hardship. Although at times too altruistic and somewhat impractical, this sensitive and emotional introverted personality makes an open-minded and accepting friend and partner. In their romantic relationships, the INFP’s idealism translates to a desire for romance — to both swoon and entice. Being the unique individuals that they are, every INFP will have a different definition of what romance means to them, but you probably can’t go wrong with intimate conversation, poetry, and their favorite love songs — anything that inspires their caring and idealistic hearts.
INTJ — meet them in their mind
Imaginative, principled, and quick thinking, INTJs move through life like a colossal game of chess, one that requires intellect, contingency planning, and strategy. Indeed, if something piques their (insatiably curious) interest, they can be shockingly persistent, pouring hours — years, even — into seeing their ideas through. Always striving for optimization, efficiency, and growth — both in their personal lives and work — this brilliantly intellectual introvert is hard-working and determined, sometimes to the point of painful over-analysis and stubbornness. Being a “Thinking” type that prizes logic and couldn’t care less about social “rules” and norms, INTJs can feel totally clueless when it comes to romance. Nevertheless, INTJs want love, too — so what’s the best way to give it? Forget bouquets of roses or other “cliched” expressions of love. Instead, meet them in their chess-board mind: smart conversation, unabashed honesty, and a critically acclaimed movie, lecture series, art installation, play, or anything else that will make them think.
INFJ — understand them
Creative, insightful, and inspiring, INFJs are the dreamers and doers of the Myers-Briggs world. Combining a strong sense of compassion and an altruistic nature, this sensitive and emotional introvert cares deeply about others — even if they sometimes have trouble expressing it. Due to their natural ability to read people well and see behind even the most carefully crafted facade, INFJs become their family and friends’ go-to therapists; they easily grasp how people and events are connected, using their intuition and wisdom to cut to the heart of the matter. As a result, INFJs can feel made to understand but not be understood. Despite their easy-going appearance, INFJs can be perfectionistic and brooding, rarely content with the status quo. As a result, they’re looking for someone who “gets” them — or at least makes an enthusiastic effort to peek inside their inner world of contradictory thoughts and emotions. If you’re the significant other of an INFJ, show your love like this: hands held at a poetry reading, movie screening, or other cultural event, and a conversation of the most intimate nature about what’s really on their mind.