11 Things to Know About Loving an INFP Personality Type

There’s no way around it: relationships are hard work—no matter what your personality type is. Everyone needs to get certain things out of a relationship to feel satisfied. And if you’re an INFP personality type like me, you probably have a deep need for harmony and emotional connection.

Unfortunately, I didn’t always have harmony in my marriage. “Clash of the Titans” would have been a good way to describe our relationship at times. Thankfully, my husband was awesome enough to take a personality test so we could figure out how to work together better. We discovered that we’re complete opposites—he’s an ESTJ. We have zero letters of our personality type acronyms in common.

I understand now why we argued over the simplest things. My husband thinks in terms of logic and reason, while I live in a world of feelings, intuition, and personal values. I often said to him, “I don’t have a logical answer for this, it’s just a feeling I have.” For a long time, he couldn’t wrap his mind around this. But now he understands that’s how I think as an INFP.

Learning that my husband and I processed things differently because of our different personality types was like throwing our marriage a life preserver.

So, if you’re in a relationship with an INFP, here are some things you should know:

1. We work with feelings instead of logic. Most of the decisions we make are based on how the outcome will make us feel. Don’t ask us to explain our logical reasons for choosing something as most of the time we won’t have any. If it makes us feel good and fits with our personal values, it’s a good decision in our book.

PH circle 2Understanding your personality type can help you leverage your natural strengths. Take the free personality test from our partner Personality Hacker or get resources to grow as an INFP.

2. We attach emotion to almost everything. If we’re watching a sad movie or reading a sad book, we may cry. But our crying isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, INFPs tend to be empathic and caring. We’re so in touch with the emotional side of life that we may feel the suffering of others (including fictional characters) as if it were our own. Trust me, if you empathized with other people’s emotions the way we do, you’d cry too!

3. We may be sentimental about certain objects. Getting rid of certain things may be hard. To us, items from our past are not just material objects but symbols that represent moments in time or pieces of our heart. We may feel like we’re giving away a part of ourselves if we have to get rid of a treasured item. So, if we keep a birthday card from 15 years ago or that box of stuff from our college days, please try to understand.

4. Even if you don’t understand, please honor our decision-making process. INFPs can have a hard time making decisions because we see many different ways a situation could go. As mentioned above, we do things because it feels right and fits with our inner values and beliefs. If our partner questions our motives or puts pressure on us to decide quickly, we may get defensive. Give us time and space to “try on” different decisions and see how they feel.

5. Learn about our values. We’d rather be true to ourselves than try to fit in with the crowd. We don’t just follow the traditions of others—we explore our own values and ideas and decide for ourselves what seems right. These values are our very soul and moral compass. They involve an inner love of certain things and an inner aversion to other things. Our values allow us to wake up everyday without feeling like the world is going to crumble around us. So if you really want to get to know us, take the time to find out what we value.

6. Don’t purposely push our buttons. Some people think it’s funny to hover right around our boundary. They tease or say shocking things just to see how we’ll react. For example, telling us we have to go to a party right now, then saying, “just kidding, I just wanted to see what you’d do,” is not okay. While this might be entertaining for the other person, it’s not fun for us. If we get angry, it can take us a while to cool off.

7. It can take a while for us to bounce back from negative emotions. We process emotional experiences at a very deep level. If something negative happens to us—like fighting with our partner or experiencing a setback or loss—it can take hours, days, or even weeks for us to feel better (this of course depends on the severity of the situation). Don’t tell us to just get over our feelings.

8. Validate our feelings. We’re so used to people telling us to “suck it up” or “stop being so sensitive.” Sometimes we’ve even been laughed at when we’re emotional. This may make us believe that what we’re feeling is wrong. Please let us know that whatever we’re feeling is okay as there is no right way to feel.

9. Comfort us when we’re sad. If you notice we’re feeling sad, ask if you can just sit with us or if we want a hug. We may not want to (or be able to) explain right away exactly what’s bringing us down, but just knowing you’re there for us will help.

10. Know that there will be times when it’s difficult for us to compromise. Because we’re guided by our own values, there will be times when compromising goes against every part of our being. It may seem like we’re being stubborn, but we’re really just trying to honor our own values. This will happen rarely, but when it does, please make an effort to see things from our perspective. Try to understand where we’re coming from.

11. Sometimes planning stresses us out. We like having a rough idea of what’s coming up so we can prepare our energy in advance. But excessive planning can be overwhelming and stressful, so we may resist. For example, if we’re going on vacation, we may not want to sort through tons of websites and make list after list of where we could go. We’d rather let our heart decide and make a decision based on what inspires us.  retina_favicon1

Read this: How to Make a Decision You Feel Good About as an INFP Personality Type


  • Sue says:

    You nailed it! I’m an INFP and this is totally me. I’m saving this to show to anyone I’m in a relationship with because you expressed it so clearly. Thanks!

  • Erin says:

    Absolutely! I’ve gotten better at not hanging on to objects (I had way too much clutter), but these are generally spot on. I get a lot of crap for how emotional I am, how I can’t brush off someone being a jerk, and how I can’t easily get over negative feelings. And, yes, my decisions are totally hard to explain to my family and friends.

    • It can be hard when your objects pile up and you feel you need to get rid of a few. Have you also ever heard of being a highly sensitive person? People that are told they are ‘too’ emotional or need to ‘not be so sensitive’ sometimes are highly sensitive people.

  • Sandra says:

    Wow. I’m an INFP but also a Virgo, so most of these are me to a T, but I enjoy planning and I’ve always been torn between my logical and emotional sides. I hate when people tell me to be strong when I’m crying because I’ve always believed it’s important to feel what you’re feeling when you’re feeling it cause bottling things up does NOT work!

    • Thanks for sharing Sandra. I can understand what you mean by you disliking people telling you to be strong because it’s important to feel your emotions. And I agree with you in the terms of what they are trying to communicate. I do, however, try to see it in a different light. Strength to me is having the ability to live in my truest, highest authentic self. It means that I accept the fact that I am an INFP and highly sensitive person. There is a saying that goes something like this “I cry, not because I’m weak, it’s because I’ve been strong for so long”. 🙂

  • M. says:

    This. Just .. this! It’s me all the way through. Particularly number 2 and 3 is something I often notice about myself. I attach emotion to everything – this is how I remember people and situations – and therefore also makes me very sentimental about a lot of the stuff I have in my flat. They remind me of feelings and situations that is very dear to me. I sincerely bless the day I found this website. I’ve grown to understand and appreciate myself more since then. Forever grateful to know that nothing is wrong with me – that I’m okay, just the way I am.

  • James says:

    This fits me to a T! or should I say to an INFP! 😀 The question I have for you, as I feel like my whole life I have been highly sensitive, is do we have a heightened sense of spirituality and/ or the supernatural?

    • Hi James, My apologies for the super slow reply. I would like to think that our spiritual/supernatural side would be sensitive as well as we are very aware of everything else in the world. What are your thoughts?!

  • Beth says:

    Most of these are true, except I am not sentimental about stuff at all. I tend to hold on to and cherish memories. I am that friend that can tell you what we both wore and ate for lunch on a special day 15 years ago……

    I also am emotional but never cry. I think it was because I trained myself not to.

    • Love that you are able to hold onto memories like that! Do you like to travel often? It’s too bad when we feel the need to hold back our tears, I totally understand where you are coming from though. <3

  • Aquafina water says:

    Well written!! Never related more!!

  • Sarah Minerella says:

    I’m an INFP and totally relate to most of this. Only exceptions are that though I do rely on and make decisions based on feelings, I’m still a pretty logical person. Also, I make detailed lists / itinerary for anything even remotely resembling a trip! Not feeling like I’m in control will stress me out.

  • April says:

    Same here, Sandra. I recently read an article about INFPs and it was perfectly me, but this one is slightly different. I’m also a Virgo and work to balance my logic and reason with feelings and emotion. I think we have the best of both worlds. 🙂

  • Gary in Nashville says:

    Hi, I just read this. I’m an ISFJ/INFJ. My S and N are almost equal. I have been dating an INFP and she has recently pulled back and does not want to see me over a difference we had. She is worried that we are too different, I’m not worried. Any suggestions or thoughts??

  • Jerz says:

    Hi Tessa, i am of the ENFJ personality and my boyfriend is dead on an INFP. I have been researching and studying INFP because he is truly worth it and i love him and want to show my support. But it’s been hard. 2 years and he still wont say he loves me, actually he wont even tell me we are in a relationship. Although everything we do is a relationship. Family functions, we do things as partners, he is very involved with raising my daughter as if he is her father, he loves the idea and plays along when ppl think we are married. But he has a difficult time expressing love towards me, verbally. How can i know for sure and not feel as if i am assuming a “relationship” in my head. What should i look out for. Apparently he has bragged to everyone else of me as hia lady, but he just won’t acknowledge it to me.

  • Itsybitsyflower says:

    Wow, this is super helpful information! I think the part about planning is hard to explain, but for me, I do enjoy writing down and planning a trip if it’s an exciting adventure, but I think it’s more about having a loose plan and not wanting to commit and leaving things open so that I can freely change my mind whenever needed.

  • Tesa, I am in the boat with you. I’m an INFP and my husband is an ESTJ. There must be something about that complimentary aspect that draws us to our mates. Thank you for this article. I will share it with my husband, so he sees that I’m the only one who looks at the world this way.

  • I sent this to my husband to read. Perfect explanations to things I really struggle to explain. We really differ in some of our values and I have really defied him a couples times. I love that you mention travel because that is exactly what we are doing right now. I paint and blog inspiration about our adventures together. I love just seeing where the road leads. We have no idea where we will be in November but we’re hoping to live in Germany.

  • My wife is an INFP and this describes her perfectly. I’m an INTJ and I think we mesh really well because of that. But where we tend to clash is in that I use reason to make every decision and I tend to get frustrated when people aren’t making reasonable decisions. Of course that mentality is frustrating to my wife who cares more about how the outcome of a decision makes her feel.