7 Secrets About Dating an INTP

an INTP personality dating

Dating an INTP is like opening one of those surprise mystery bags — you never know what you’re going to get. We’re the wild cards; the unpredictable, spontaneous, ever-pondering philosophers of the Myers-Briggs world. Every date will be different, so throw your dating expectations and scripts out the window, because we’re sure to unintentionally catch you off guard.

(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality assessment.)

With that said, there are some simple things you can do to touch our laid-back and low-maintenance hearts (yes, I promise it’s there… somewhere). Not to mention, we’re generally pretty pure souls who have no intention of infidelity — or the “extroverted” energy required to do so — so rest assured that we probably won’t be the ones sneaking around behind your back.

Still intrigued? Proceed with caution. (Just joking, let yourself loose.)

Secrets About Dating an INTP Personality

Speaking from personal experience, here’s what you should know about dating an INTP:

1. Keep things interesting.

Prolonged stagnancy will ultimately leave any INTP running in the opposite direction. This is because we’re experience junkies who incessantly crave novelty, thanks to our Extroverted Intuition (Ne). Routine has a bit of a codependency issue with boredom. However, that’s not to say that keeping certain things consistent, like regular communication (sorry in advance if we suck at this one) and quality time together, isn’t important to us. Everyone needs some degree of predictability in their lives, and INTPs are no exception.

It’s also important to shake things up from time to time, to keep our crazy rich imagination fuelled and running. Intellectual stimulation and challenge will keep us on our toes — and keep us coming back to you for more. Spark our Extroverted Intuition, and you’re a shoo-in. Think: new activities (a mix of hands-on and relaxed), topics of conversation (the more crazy, big, and random, the better), or creative ways to express your affection.

2. Honesty is king.

Lying will get you on our (very, very short) bad list. We don’t like to keep grudges, but lying is a one-way ticket to make us do just that. It takes a lot to rub us the wrong way, as we’re generally pretty relaxed and accepting.

Are we being too distant? Tell us. Need more emotional support? We’ll go the extra mile for you. At the end of the day, we’ll take the naked truth over the best-dressed lie. Truth is high — if not at the top — on our values list. Our Introverted Thinking (Ti) requires information to be effectively delineated, and the truth streamlines this process.

Acknowledge this need, and you’re more than golden.

3. Give us a LOT of space.

Constantly asking how we are or what we’re doing will freak us out. Bombarding us with texts and being clingy will scare us. Being introverted, we value our independence (to an extreme at times). There’s always a good book to be read or a new school of thought to research the heck out of (alone).

Respect our need for extended alone time to recharge, and we’ll appreciate you for light years to come.

4. Psst: we like hugs.

Disclaimer: if we ask for a hug, you can be dead sure that you’re someone we’re really comfortable with. Like many introverts, we can be hard to get to know at first, but when we open up, we’re silly, cuddly, and sometimes even downright weird.

Since we’re not the best at expressing our emotions or giving compliments, physical touch can be our way to show our love. Again, quality time (and your undivided attention) is generally the greatest thing you can share with us.

Good hugs are like kryptonite to us. Use this knowledge with discretion.

5. Please don’t pressure us to talk about our feelings.

To be honest, we probably — okay, almost definitely — don’t even know how we’re feeling. Valuing logic and facts over ooey-gooey emotions, it can be a real challenge for INTPs to get in touch with their feelings (even though, deep down, we have them). When we try, it’ll probably come out as a jumbled mess of word vomit, which will most likely be accompanied by a crooked smile and a monotone, “Yeah, I tried.”

The pace we initially set can be unpredictable at times; we may be prone to coming in hot and going cold mid-way through. This is because our Extroverted Feeling (Fe) is at the end of our function stack, and is typically not fully matured until we reach our forties.

The way we express our feelings can come off as childish or naive. Or you may be met with a confusing, stony silence. We may unintentionally hurt people due to our directness, so our locked-down emotional expression can act as our defense mechanism.

Reassure us that our words won’t be taken too personally and open discussion is always welcome. This will ease our anxieties and help us eventually open up.

6. Emotional outbursts = severe stress

During that rare occurrence when we’re crying a river and evidently distressed, please be there for us. If we’re actively making an effort to communicate our needs and feelings, know that it’s not easy — it takes all of our trust and patience to do so.

This is our grip function, Extroverted Feeling, in full swing. Think of it as a feral toddler throwing tantrums and setting fire everywhere. It can arrive on the scene whenever we’re met with back-to-back deadlines, inescapable social demands, or bad news out of the blue. How do you soothe this finicky one? By understanding its needs.

In the rare case of us becoming a full-blown emotional wreck, your presence and sincere advice means the world to us. Listen attentively.

7. View it in terms of a friendship.

(With benefits — wink.) For some INTPs, the term “relationship” may generate a lot of unnecessary stress, bundling with it the pressure of official labels and PDA. For the most part, we keep our relationships fairly low-key and separate from family and friends. Although it may seem like it, we don’t mean this as a douchebag move. We’re definitely not playing you, or avoiding intimacy altogether. It may take years for us to become completely comfortable around anyone.

If you view it as a friendship and let the process unfold organically, it’ll be more deeply rooted in the right reasons and have a far greater chance of surviving the test of time. This way, the pressure can be lifted. Show your trustworthiness and integrity, and we’ll reciprocate.


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Now that the cat’s (halfway) out of the bag, why not find out all the (covert) mushy things we’ll do when we’ve given our hearts to you? The rest is up to you to discover. Good luck and be prepared for the weird. Your quiet mystery bag will not disappoint.

Have you dated (or are currently dating) an INTP? What was your experience like? I’m curious — let me know in the comments!

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Lily Yuan is a minimalist with a knack for just missing the bus. As an INTP, you can bet her type has been (and still is) questioned profusely. You can visit her website or connect on LinkedIn.