I Wish I Had A Boyfriend

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After breaking up with my best friend, whom I’ve known for over a year, I’m in a particularly foul mood. I feel very upset. But it had to be done, just like a wound needs to be cauterised for it to heal; she was not good for my mental health, said several things which deeply hurt myself and my family (the kind of things you can’t go back from saying—things surrounding death, life and everything in between) and to be honest with you, I believed it was time to part ways. Toxic relationships do nothing except eat away at you, and I learned long ago, ever since someone in my extended family hurt me very deeply (see my Sexual Harassment Experience), that it’s better to cut ties with someone who isn’t healthy for you and hurts you rather than cling in the hope things will get better for the fear of being lonely and having no-one to talk to. Problems had been building for while, she’d said several hurtful things in the past that I ignored and brushed under the carpet even though they cut me to the core, I kept making excuses for her, even when she acted incredibly badly and said things which made me feel as though someone had ripped open my chest and tore my heart out—and one day, I woke up, and realised enough was enough. I’ve had enough monsters for one lifetime.

But this post isn’t about my ex-best friend. No. This is about my future boyfriend. Something positive or negative, depending on how you look at it. I’ve wanted a boyfriend for a very long time. It’s not because everyone else has a boyfriend or because I’ve been brainwashed by the media into believing the key to happiness lies in the attainment of romantic love or some other shtick like that. It’s something more than that. There’s just something incredibly comforting about the male presence (when it is wanted) that I’ve missed since my father left me. Of course, I have plenty of love from my mother and siblings, but it’s not the same, is it, compared to a proper, male presence. I can’t explain what exactly it is, but men have this way of carrying themselves, this aura, this almost swashbuckling, braggardly, boyish feel about them, which I find very comforting and appealing. It’s as if—and I suppose this is the case—men and women are meant to live together, to bring their energies together and exist in harmony and peace. Without the combination of the two energies, one feels as though one is operating at half the level of strength one should be exuding.

There’s nothing in the world like a man that cares for you and loves you deeply. It really is something else. To find one, well, that is something else, too, because it’s so incredibly difficult. In capitalist societies, too often men and women retreat into the world of technology and consumerism in an attempt to assuage their own loneliness instead of reaching out to each other, and I’m no different. When I go outside, if I see someone particularly handsome, I’d rather eat my own hat (well, who wears hats these days, anyway? I’d eat my own t-shirt, since it’s the summer in Australia right now) than go up to them and talk to them, ask them about their day, start “chatting them up”. I physically cannot do it. Make the first move, I mean. I honestly think it’s not in my blood. Or I’m just a coward.

Does anyone else understand what I’m talking about, this desire for a comforting male “presence”? It’s like being in the glow of something soft and warm, like a fireplace, when you are shivering and cold. That’s exactly what it’s like. I suppose I can explain it after all, although in metaphors. I guess it’s only natural for women to be drawn to men and vice versa, it is how our species has survived this far. It’s biological, psychological, spiritual, societal. Love winds up in everything, from the entertainment industry to why we wage wars against other people. And I’m missing it. It really does feel as though I’m a puzzle with half the pieces missing. Like everyone is inside, inured from the cold, while I’m out in the snow, trying to trace my own footprints to find my way home.

I go on Instagram sometimes, scrolling through photographs of couples kissing each other on the cheek, or watch boyfriend-or-husband-tags on Youtube, and a wistfulness comes over me, like clouds across a prairie. I want that, I think, silently, to myself. Will I ever have that? My mouth pinches into a cold sort of expression and I retreat into myself, hands clasping in my lap.

Maybe I’ll end up as the strange little woman with a small cottage filled with cats who wears mismatched scarves and scowls at children on the street as she makes her daily walks throughout the village. You know, the crazy cat lady, with wild eyes and bedraggled hair, unloved until the very end. Some part of me honestly believes that will happen, because at this stage in my life, I can’t imagine ever bumping into someone magically and starting a relationship which ends in marriages and babies and a house with a picket fence. It just seems—-absurd. Unimaginable. How do people meet people, anyway? I certainly don’t meet anyone as I go about my days. Not a single person catches my eye lately, and even if they do, it never leads anywhere, it’s not as if they’ll just suddenly fall in love with me sitting across from me on the train or the bus and sit next to me and introduce themselves like in the movies and books. That doesn’t happen.

And I’m picky. Incredibly picky. The guy for has to be—well, he doesn’t have to be good-looking. He doesn’t have to be rich. He just has to have that special something about him, a kind of innocence and purity, kindness and gentleness, creativity and uniqueness. I’m a sucker for very pure-hearted and innocent guys. He would remind me of me, before I was tainted by society and other people. Worldly guys, wise guys, super-brave tough guys, smart guys—they’re all well and good. But give me a simple and innocent man any time of the day.

I just don’t know if it’ll ever happen and that’s depressing on one level and downright miserable on another. I’m getting older. Not too old, but old enough to start dating, to have that sweetheart and plans for marriage in the offing. I’m not a little girl anymore, or a teenager—-I’m an adult. It’s about time. All my friends are pairing off, left, right and centre, I’m left alone, unmoored, wondering when my day will come.

I think the movies lied. I think books lie. I think I’ve been lied to, you know. I don’t think the fairytale ending exists, and even if it does, I don’t think it happens to everyone. It’s just mathematically not possible. My “soulmate” might be wandering on the planet somewhere but what are the chances I’ll ever meet them and actually get the chance to fall in love with them? Very low, I’m assuming. Sure, heaps of people fall in love and get married everyday, but there are also heaps of lonely and unloved people, who never find their prince or princess. Who live their lives until the end of the days without ever experiencing what it’s like to be in love.

Yes, I’m in a foul mood. In case you couldn’t tell.

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Only Pretty Girls Get Rescued

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Only pretty girls get rescued by the prince.

Let’s face it, ugliness can be the be all and end all. Us humans are naturally drawn towards beauty—and this is never more clear than when female beauty comes into play, because for some reason, the male gaze is oftentimes what women base their self-worth upon.

Unattractive girls need not apply. That’s the message we’re sending out to not-so-attractive girls, day in and day out, just by virtue of the amount of flattery, praise and good fortune we bestow upon those deemed “attractive”.

In fairytales, in movies, in books and films, the main character, the woman, is always “pretty” or, occasionally (what am I saying, oftentimes, not occasionally) extremely beautiful, to the point where she “mesmerises” people or whatever and there are about four or five different men lusting after her.

How unrealistic. How sad. Because the truth is, most women are not stunning. We’re not drop-dead gorgeous. Sure, we’re beautiful, in the way flowers and trees are beautiful, because we’re all creations of God, the creator, the universe, but, objectively speaking, you and I, us ordinary, everyday women, not the models gracing magazines or with hundreds and thousands of Instagram followers, are “pretty” on our good days, and downright plain, or even ugly, on our bad days, especially when we wake up in the morning or put on glasses or haven’t showered in a couple of days or wear no make-up.

That’s okay. Not everyone has to be supermodel. Unfortunately, why is there such an emphasis on beauty in society? Because it works. We like to look at beautiful people, because it signifies they are healthy and good to be around for the survival of our species, and for men, it means the woman is fertile, healthy and has good genes, and can give birth to children very well. Not-so-pretty people? Maybe we’re less healthy (I’ve got three pimples on my forehead right now, and I’m not ashamed of it), or just got the short end of the stick when it comes to physical beauty. Either way, it’s a fact we have to deal with, or otherwise we’ll spend the rest of our lives feeling inadequate and miserable.

And here comes the age-old adage: it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And that is true. But hear me out. It’s not just about being an ordinarily “beautiful” person on the inside—kind, loving, caring. Pah. Anyone can be “kind”, “loving” or “caring” if they try hard enough, and spend enough time cultivating an image that echoes these virtues. Being actually kind and good is much harder, and very few people achieve it. When you know that there’s a purity and integrity inside of you that cannot be broken, you start sourcing your self-esteem from that, instead of your physical appearance. I don’t know about you, but plenty of attractive people I’ve met in my life have been the most self-centred and arrogant people I’ve ever met—the kind of people who, when the going gets tough, would instantly abandon you to save their own skin (in other words, they’re the human equivalent of garbage).

So sure, you might not be rescued by a prince.

But do you even want to?

What Kind Of Love Stories Do INFPs Like?

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Well, considering how much of a romantic INFPs are, I wouldn’t blame you if you believed INFPs love the sappy, romantic stories, where the prince rescues a girl, or those love-hate stories where two people hate each other, the sexual tension building, until they finally fall in love, or even those stories, to be a little more unconventional, where the maiden manages to rescue the man, and they fall in love and live happily ever after, walking off into the sunset.

No. While those stories are all nice and good, you forget we are quite creative people, and turned off by the banal and unconventional. No, no and double nope: the stories that appeal to us, the love stories which get our hearts aflutter, and put a big, dreamy smile on ours faces, are the kind that are special, unique, and yes, sometimes a little strange. Oftentimes they have a twist to them, or are particularly pure and innocent. Without further ado, here is a list of the kind of love stories INFPs like.

  1. When the love story does not take the centre stage.

What? Yes, you heard me right. We actually like stories, oftentimes adventurous, fantasy ones, filled with magic and intrigue, where the love story isn’t actually the centrepiece of the novel or film. In other words, we like it when love isn’t a character almost in itself because of the importance it plays in the work of art, simply because it’s different and goes against the grain of the endless parade of books and films where the love between two characters is the reason the movie exists in the first place (take Titanic, or Twilight, for instance). Instead, there are films like Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki (I’ll be referencing him a lot in this post, simply because he is my favourite filmmaker, and, from my interactions with INFPs and endless trawling through INFP forums, one of the most beloved film-makers of INFPs), where the romance is completely overshadowed by the greater plot of a group of people trying to slay a forest god and destroy an entire ecosystem. This is because, for INFPs, romantic as we are, love actually doesn’t play a central role in our lives—more of a sweet, peripheral role, because we are full of dreams, hopes and desires completely unrelated to the search for a mate.

  1. When the love is innocent and pure.

Too often, love stories are about passion, lust and sex. The characters barely know one another, if they were put in a room together for 24 hours they would soon get sick of each other, but put them in a dangerous situation, or in a bedroom, and suddenly, clothes are flying off like feathers from a bird and they’re kissing and everything is happening. It’s a little bit too much for INFPs, if I’m going to be honest with you, a little too much and a little bit unrealistic. Instead, when the love is the enduring kind, where they don’t just fall in love over the course of a day, but grow to understand and learn about each other, seeing each other’s good sides and bad sides— that’s when we truly “fall in love” with the love story. INFPs, although daydreams, can be extraordinarily picky about accuracy and realism when it comes to the books and films we consume—I bet that’s something you didn’t know about us! While I can’t think off the top of my head of such a story—maybe the Sound of Music love story between Maria and Captain Von Trapp?—I do know that such love stories are definitely a favourite of mine and other INFPs.

  1. When the female protagonist is brave, good and strong.

There are so many weak female protagonists in fiction and films, it’s simply unbelievable—so many women who need to be rescued, who fall into the arms of a rich men and stay safe in the shelter of his wealth, so many “transformations” where the heroine turns from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan and the male lead suddenly falls in love with her, that it’s sickening. Do you know what men in real life are like? Most of them are not here to sweep us women off our feet, or buy us Chanel and Dior bags, or take the time to pay for expensive makeovers so that we can look more attractive—instead, they’ve got their own lives, their own problems, their own fears and worries and desires, just like you and me. They’re looking for a friend, someone to love and lean on, just as much as we are looking for those things. So it’s refreshing when a female protagonist in a love story is independent and strong. She doesn’t necessarily need to be a snarky, kick-ass protagonist—since when did strong equate with being extroverted?—but she must have a well of inner strength and power that makes her shine brighter than any glittery eyeshadow or sparkly blush ever could. Why do INFPs like such stories? Because we’re very strong people. Delicate on the outside, as hard as water on the inside (ever fall from a great height and smack onto a body of water? That’s as good as hitting a slab of concrete). We have to survive in a world that oftentimes doesn’t care about purity or morality, and somehow remain pure and moral in spite of that. We’re diamonds, darling, the un-cut kind, and we adore love stories where the female protagonists have an unbeatable gleam in their eye, and knows exactly how to sacrifice themselves to save the world.

  1. When the male love interest is a partner, an equal, not a shield or protector.

Us INFPs can protect ourselves. Because of our quiet and delicate natures, from an early age, we are often bullied, disparaged or taken advantage of. By the time we reach our adult years, we are in no way in the dark about the ugly sides of human nature or our own resilience and ability to withstand suffering. INFP women, if they’re mature, don’t need a man to shield them from the big, bad world. We know our own way through the woods. We don’t need (excuse me while I throw up) a shoulder to cry on and a good (and oftentimes muscular; if you read enough novels you’ll know what I mean) chest to lean on as we sob and cry, and for him to kiss away our tears and hold us close, like a fragile bird, and whisper, “I’ll always be here for you.” Bleurgh. Double bleurgh. We don’t need that. Maybe it comes from an unconscious distaste for the conventional, but us INFPs would feel so suffocated and unwell, to our very core, if that aforementioned scenario happened to us. Instead, we like love stories where the love interest doesn’t baby us, but instead is a good, solid friend almost, who gives us advice and believes in us and urges us to fight for our dreams. Not some male equivalent of a therapist and pillow in one.

  1. When the love story is funny.

Okay, so, yes, I don’t know many comedy-romance films or books, but surely there must be some out there, right? And yes, INFPs, we do need funny love stories in our lives because we’re so serious all the time. Seriously (ha, get what I did there?). INFPs are incredibly serious people: we take the environment seriously, we take our careers seriously, we take our passions seriously, we take our relationships seriously—heck, I even listen to music seriously, making sure I absorb the full sonic experience of every note properly, in the zone and in the moment, all the while imagining some film or book scene in my mind that fits the tune. Fact is, we need to lighten up sometimes, and there’s nothing that’s better for lifting one’s mood than a funny love story. You know, where the guy makes a fool of himself, or the girl goes through a wild and wacky series of events to find the love of her life. Many Korean and Chinese dramas are good at delivering these kinds of storylines. Point is, even though if you asked us, we’d say we didn’t like these love stories, we actually need these stories in our lives, which is why I put it on the list.

 

So there you go folks, a couple of types of love stories that INFPs love. Maybe next time you’re picking out a book or film for your INFP friend or significant other, you’ll keep some of these in mind as you make your choice. Of course, any love story, no matter how banal or bad, is better than no love story, or, worse, a horror movie, so feel free to give your INFP loved one whatever movie they like, as long as it’s fun, entertaining and imaginative. That’s all from me folks for today—see you in the next one!

A Ramble About Relationships

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I don’t understand boys.

One moment, they can be incredibly attentive and wonderful—the next, as if to make themselves seem “less available”, they refuse to join in playing games with you (I’m talking about Charades and games like that; not romantic mind games) and or decline to go on outings with all your other friends. It’s as if they need to make themselves seem better and superior, perhaps even unattainable, to gain your interest.

Anyway.

My last post was about a traumatic sexual harassment experience I have had, and, while it took a certain level of bravery to write about it, I’m glad I did, not only because it can be helpful to other women out there, but it was also cathartic for me. As for what I’m getting up to these days, well, it’s a steady work schedule of studying for my librarianship course (yes, I’ve decided to become a librarian!), writing my novels, and reading lots and lots books, and I have to say, keeping myself busy and engaging in activities I enjoy, a privilege, is something which has made me very happy, and realise that, just perhaps, I don’t necessarily need a male partner to feel complete in this life.

Every young woman (or woman, for that matter) yearns for someone strong and solid to lean on, that’s just a fact of life. There’s something about the male presence, if it is to our taste, that is very reassuring and comforting on a conscious and subconscious level. It just feels comforting, to have a man around, or a boyfriend, or a husband—you feel loved, protected, safe. I know some people like the bragging rights relationships can confer—flashing the large, diamond ring on their finger, interjecting their boyfriend or girlfriend into every single conversation—but I’ve never been interested in any of that. No, I’m more interested in it feeling right. In my daily life, as someone who encounters a myriad of people everyday, I meet countless men, on the streets, at the shops, at the bus stop, and while they’re all fine and good, I have yet to meet someone where I have felt we “clicked”. Instead, it’s just an endless parade of strangers, who I feel no attraction for, no pull towards, who are fine-looking and good in their own way, but don’t resonate with me. And I don’t know if I ever will meet someone with whom I just “click” with.

I don’t think it’s about making a list of personality traits, or dividing personality characteristics into categories and then ticking the boxes, or stating, rather matter-of-factly, that you want an artist, or an illustrator, or a journalist, or a writer, as your boyfriend (guilty as charged). Rather, it’s about a kind of ineffable chemistry and attraction which manifests between two people, randomly and out of nowhere, unable to be predicted or analysed. It just is, the way we need to eat food, or the sun rises: when the right person comes along, they’re just right, whether we like it or not. Love, also, cannot be forced. There are lots of things that can be forced in this world—working, for example, is something millions of people across the world force themselves to do, and which even I have to do occasionally, even though I absolutely love the work I do—but love isn’t one of them. Love, true love, cannot be bought with all the money, pearls, jewels and castles in the world, it simply isn’t possible. That’s because it’s genuine, and cannot be faked.

What irks me is when people turn ordinary things like marriage, and giving birth to children, into status symbols. Mothers carry around their babies, proud of the fact that they’ve given birth, that they have such a healthy and wonderful relationship with their partner, that their diamond ring was so-and-so many carats, that they’re so happy, that they have such a nice house in this suburb, and a car, and go on vacations, and have all these extended relatives and friends who they can rely on in times of aid—it’s as if they’re trying to use pure things, like love and children and relationships, to flaunt their own good fortune, wealth and prestige. They collect children like they do rare and valuable objects. They tick things off a list in life, giving themselves a gold star whenever they achieve one of them: fantastic wardrobe, filled with Dior and Chanel; handbags galore; holidays to Bora Bora and Vietnam; a high-paying and high-status job. It’s a little sickening, the way all their relationships, all their desires, are based on the empty and superficial, on accumulating more, of creating more wealth and security, both monetary and social and psychological, for themselves, and for themselves alone. They live in an insular world, where they are the princess or prince, and all their needs and desires reign supreme. People like that are very distasteful, don’t you think?

Then there’s the fact that—I’m going on a bit of a ramble here—some people have that ineffable quality, known as charisma, which makes them fun to watch and listen to. What is that? I have never possessed an ounce of that in my entire life. The closest I can come to describing my own personality, as a self-professed INFP, is that I’m bit of an imaginative, awkward dork. Bespectacled (well, bespectacled 40% of the time, since I don’t wear glasses if I’m not working) and clumsy, with a constant faraway look in my eyes, I think the only kind of person who could fall in love with me is an absolute fantasy and creative nerd. I honestly think that is the case. I certainly don’t view myself through rose-tinted glasses: and the truth is, the person I am, deep down, is just someone in love with creativity, delighted with and full of wonder about the world around me, and the worlds humans can create. That’s the best I can do, in terms of a description of myself.

Do I like objects, like jewellery and handbags, the way other women do? Sure, I like them. Who doesn’t like pretty dangling things, and pretty bags? But they’re not necessary  to my happiness. In fact, I could very well do without them—they’re just nice to have. Am I someone who joins the Australian night scene and goes drinking and clubbing well into the wee hours of the morning? Nope. I’m practically a shut-in compared to those partygoers, spending most of my time absorbed in work, such as the upkeep of this blog, writing my fiction, and studying and working on my librarianship course, as well as keeping up with current affairs and reading journalistic pieces voraciously online because I’ve been born with an insatiable curiosity about life and the world the day I was born. Ahem. In other words, I’m a total nerd.

I like to think someone will fall in love with me one day. Probably he’ll be an idiot, a bumbling fool, with messy good looks and a pencil stuck in his ear (okay, I do really want to marry an artist—sue me) and a head full of daydreams. And one day, we’ll lock eyes, or bump into each other carrying the same book, and it’ll just be kismet, and we’ll live happily ever after, donating the proceeds of our creative work to charities, living in a cottage, growing food in our own garden (and unfortunately probably killing our own chickens—sorry chickens) and rearing our children in an atmosphere of wonder and magic.

Or I could end up alone forever. Which, all things considering, isn’t so bad.

Girls Bring The Boys Out!

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I’ve written quite a few posts on love and romance regarding the INFP personality type, but I haven’t really ever written anything about the INFP women themselves—in other words, while I’ve detailed what INFPs like or want in man, and the kinds of man they might marry, I haven’t yet talked about the kind of partners INFPs women will make. And a disclaimer: I apologise for writing from this only from an INFP woman’s standpoint, and not an INFP man’s point of view—that is because I am an INFP woman, and cannot comment on the romantic qualities of INFP men with accuracy. However, if you’re an INFP man and reading this, feel free to comment and let others know what qualities INFP men bring to a relationship! Second disclaimer: these thoughts and opinions are my own, based on my experiences and interactions with other INFPs and my in-depth understanding of myself; other INFPs may be different, and that’s okay, because we’re all unique. Now, without further ado, lets find what makes INFP women bring the boys out!

Well, to be honest with you, before I begin, the truth is, most INFP women are overlooked by men. Sure, we may be pretty, and lovely, and “sweet” (I loathe that word; I don’t like it when I’m referred to as “sweet”, it makes me feel so flimsy and powerless for some reason) and kind, but we often radiate a kind of “don’t-come-near-me” aura, or a “I’m-lost-in-the-clouds-and-can’t-see-you” type of personality aspect that makes men very wary to approach us (they’re intimidated, in short), and oftentimes, this is a smart move, because us INFPs, being sensitive, can be very particular about the appearance, personality and aura of the man we like. One wrong move, one wrong word or behaviour, or a certain lustful gleam in one’s eye, and we are out like a too-slow person in musical chairs. So finally, for real this time, without further do, these are the qualities INFPs can bring to a relationship, if you can manage to get to be with us (it’s not that we feel superior to men, it’s just that we’re very sensitive and picky and gentle creatures).

1. Intelligence.

We’re a very smart and intuitive bunch of people. That’s just a fact. So be prepared for someone who has the ability to occasionally read your mind, know when you’re telling a whooper, and can sense, with the accuracy and sensitivity of an otherworldly creature, if you’re cheating on us (or even thinking of cheating on us). Let me just put it out there: it’s not easy being with an INFP, because we will look deep into your soul, into the dark and light, and see whether we like what we see—or not, in which case, we will break up with you. Instantly. INFPs, once they’re mature and fully-evolved, never hold onto anything that is bad for them, or toxic. Take it from me. What’s more, we can tell, from a mile away, if you only love us for our appearance or for the opportunity to “get in our pants”, and such men we do not even revile, they’re so beneath our notice.

2. Possible disgust and contempt.

Did you hear me right? Disgust and contempt? INFPs bring disgust and contempt to a relationship? What in tarnation do you mean, Anne? Well, what I’m trying to say is, the slightest thing, since INFPs are so sensitive, can trigger disgust or contempt for a person in an INFP. Let me give you an example. I once dated a guy who decided that the best way to get me “sexually attracted” to him was to go on and on about how much money he was capable of earning. This rubbed me the wrong way. In fact, it made me feel physically ill: he was lecherous, and greedy, and money-grubbing, and all-round entirely horrible. Suffice to say, I didn’t like him very much, and soon broke off the engagement. Likewise, if we can tell that you’re not the type of person to risk yourself to save, for example, a child, or don’t have it in you to make the moral, good choice when the time comes (and trust me when I say we can tell, even if the situation never arises), then we’re not going to be interested in you. Period. In fact, no matter how rich or handsome you are, we will be turned off. INFPs are angelic and pure creatures—we’re the closest thing to a completely kind human being that exists on this planet, and if you don’t measure up to our barometers for purity, morality and kindness, if we so much as catch a whiff of poison or evil in you, then you’re out.

3. Devotion.

If it so happens that you’re attractive to us, both physically and mentally, that you’re kind and pure, and we happen to actually fall in love with you, and our heartstrings actually get entangled with your heartstrings, then, let’s face it, you might as well have made a loyal friend for life. I cannot stress this enough: once INFPs are in, we’re in. We are highly loyal creatures, and our love, the strength of our hearts, knows no bounds. We will be your life partner, we will stand by you, whether lightning or sunshine strikes the sky, and you will never, not on this entire earth, find someone more devoted or caring. This doesn’t mean we’ll be submissive or subservient—devotion doesn’t necessarily entail us being a doormat—but instead, it means, although we retain our independent lives and identities, our existence becomes irrevocably tied to yours, and we would, if necessary, give up our life for you.

4. Have a love for anything exciting or fun.

By “fun” we don’t mean clubbing and waking up with a hangover the next day, or visiting places all around the world; instead, what I’m talking about is the consumption of fiction. Reality is boring. Fantasy is where the good stuff is—where we enjoy ourselves the most, live lives we could have never dreamed of living, be people we could never possibly be in real life; and if, somehow, you share this love for excitement and fun, or better yet, if you provide it, by gifting us our favourite books or movies (without the intention of getting us to fall in love with you; INFPs are immune to bribery), then we’re pretty much going to like you very much. By gifting us books and movies in the genre we love, you are essentially giving us pieces of magic and showing you care and understand us, and if that isn’t swoon-worthy, then nothing is.

5. Be unique.

INFPs are special, in the truest sense of the word; we retain our childlike wonder, have fantasy worlds bursting inside our heads, love animals, are kind to a fault. We are special. Of course, all personality types are special in their own way, but there’s something unique about INFPs. We’re like butterflies: beautiful to behold, fragile to the touch, and incredibly sensitive. Without us, the world would be a much darker and boring place; in a way, we’re almost like creatures of light, dispelling darkness wherever we go. So, by the same token, it helps if you’re quite a creative and unique person yourself, such as a filmmaker, or a writer, or an artist, or a children’s book illustrator, or a painter, etc. Creative types tend to gravitate towards other creative types, because imaginations blossom when they’re closer to other imaginations; and if I had to marry someone, in an ideal world, it would be the illustrator of the pictures and front cover of my future books.

 

So that’s it, so far (I might make a part 2, depending on the reception of this post) of my list of things INFPs might bring to a potential relationship. It takes a special kind of person to love and be with an INFP, and oftentimes, INFP women never find someone who loves them as much as their father or brother loves or loved them. Although we are quite happy on our own, and find solace in being a part of the universe, it’s good to have someone around, to lean one’s head on someone’s shoulder and feel safe and protected. If you’re interested in an INFP women, keeps these 5 points about what INFPs bring to a relationship in mind, so that you’re properly prepared for and aware of what you’re really getting into.

How To Win An INFP’s Heart

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Over the years, I have received a lot of messages from men asking about how to win over INFP women (although, strangely enough, not the other way around; is that part of the discrimination INFP men feel in this world? Sad.) and have decided, at last, to dedicate an entire post to this matter. A disclaimer: while I profess to be quite the quintessential INFP, I am still only one INFP, and what works for one INFP woman or man may not work for another, as all INFPs, despite our shared psychological functions, are unique, individual people, who have grown up against different backdrops and in various backgrounds. So, without further ado, here are some ways to win an INFP’s heart.

1. Not be evil.

This is kind of a given, because the INFP you have sitting in front of you or floating around in your life, I guarantee, has quite a pure and angelic heart, and if, morally, you are not on the same level, they are unlikely to feel warmly towards you, let alone be attracted to you. We do not like evil. We do not like unkindness, coldness, superiority complexes, hardness or cruelty, something which many people in the world have in spades. Therefore, if you want to win an INFP’s heart, the first step is to be a genuinely good person, in and out. The kind of guy or gal who loves dogs and cries at a little at the suffering of others, you know what I mean? Those kind of men and women are the types of people us INFPs adore. If you’re a little cruel, a little harsh around the edges, then you’re only option is to change and do a 180° transformation, because no evil is going to live in the men or women we date.

2. Be romantic.

Ha. I know what you’re thinking. Hey, I’m romantic. I’m very romantic, my dear lady. No, you’re not. I can guarantee you’re not romantic enough. You see, I think you just don’t get it. We INFP’s don’t just want everyday romance. We are romantics, idealists, we live and breathe romance, and consume enough romantic fiction for nearly no human being to be able to possibly match up to our expectations. You need to treat romance as an Olympic sport. You need to be creative, to be original (more on that later). Instead of treating her to a candlelit dinner and some roses, write her a beautiful song completely dedicated to her and sing and play it to her on your guitar (provided you have the talent, of course) or leave a trail of candy, like in the story Hansel and Gretel (INFPs love fairytales! She’ll adore this) all the way to a little gingerbread house you baked, and inside, hidden within the biscuit house, is a small note or poem dedicated to them. Or a little miniature witch and her cauldron—really, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is creative. You need to up your game, mate.

3. Be a creative and original person.

Are you a follower? Are you conventional? Do you have none of your own thoughts, and not a single original bone in your body? Then, sorry, we will not be interested in you. It might sound harsh, but it’s just facts. INFPs are creative people—we are often artists or writers—and if you don’t have that same creative streak in you, it’s very hard for us to love you, very hard indeed. We dislike those who swim with the current, and adore those who swim against it, idealising and deeply admiring those who challenge the status quo. If you’re not an original person, not creative, I would wonder why you are pursuing an INFP in the first place, and why you love her, because one of the things INFPs love to be loved and admired for is their creativity.

4. Be a deep thinker and be complex.

You can’t be an airhead. You have to be a complex, deep sort of person, the kind who can chat with her or him late at night about stars and the universe and personality and men and women and the meaning of life. You must be able to keep up with her or him. Our thoughts can be expansive as the universe. We are so incredibly connected with the Consciousness behind everything, and Mother Nature, and invested in being the best human being we can be, that if you’re not just as complicated and fascinating, you won’t have our interest for long. Ooh, you know what would be a real doozy, that would any INFP definitely interested in you? If you have a tragic past. And therefore have some personality flaws because of that. Us INFPs LOVE wounded, complex people, because it tugs on our heartstrings, and oftentimes, this is the spark that can lead to love. Be a deep, wounded, complex man or woman, and you’ve got it made. But be genuine. Fake something, lie about something, and you might as well break up with him or her forever.

5. Have an intense dislike for disingenuous people.

When people say it’s good to have similar interests to your partner, they’re probably not talking about this—that you should have a shared dislike for disingenuity. INFPs are perceptive creatures, and can sniff out when someone is being disingenuous from fifty miles away. We absolutely hate suck-ups, or people who take advantage of other people, or those who trample on the weak and innocent on their path to riches, fame or success, and if you loathe the same thing, we are, you know, kind of on the same side, and that can create a bond like nothing else. The same goes for you—if you want to attract an INFP, be a genuine person, not fake and simpering, and not only after stupid things like sex and money.

6. Be able to withstand a tempestuous personality.

On the outside, especially to strangers, us INFPs can seem quite shy, delicate and sweet. We’re not. We’re more like silent warriors, whose sword is the pen and whose hearts can shine brighter than the Fourth of July. Our emotions, in addition, are incredibly powerful, and we can be furious, joyous, depressed and wistful all in the same breath. We are complex people, and can flash like summer storms. Be ready to face this part of us, and to love and accept it, if you truly love us and want to chase after us, because if you can’t handle us, we’re perfectly fine on our own, without you.

7. Be wise and brave.

INFPs love wisdom. In many ways, you should have a certain fatherly or brotherly air about you, because this not only makes us feel safe, we also feel as if we can turn to you, like sunflowers towards the sun, for help. Be wise, be brave, be sure, be strong, be capable of holding up the sun and the stars for the right cause, and we will give you our love in return. There’s nothing we hate more than cowards, or people lacking in compassion. Our hearts are like tiny, multi-coloured universes, and we are brave and compassionate people, who have grown up on a diet of books filled with brave and compassionate characters fighting against evil, been taught by the likes of Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen to be the person we are today. Don’t disappoint us; sourpusses, people who resent others for their success or their creative talent or their happiness, cowardly people who don’t dare to stand up for what is right and true, do not interest us.

8. Be innocent.

Innocent people are kind. Us INFPs love innocent, simple (but not necessarily unwise) men and women, who are kind down to the very depths of their soul. You know this kind of person. They just don’t have a single mean bone in their body. Half the time, they don’t even realise evil is staring at them in the face until it’s before them, that’s how innocent they are. We love these kinds of men and women, and fall in love with them, because we feel the need to protect them and a kinship with them. Nothing makes us fall in love with someone more than kindness. Let me repeat that. Nothing makes an INFP fall in love with someone more than a kind heart. So be innocent, kind, brave, strong, pure and wise, different, and you’ve got a chance at stealing away our heart.

On Romantic Scenarios

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To put it nicely, I am a hopeless romantic. To put it rudely, I am a desperate, young woman, who needs romance they way some people need their next hit of nicotine.

And since, added to this pile of a mess that I am, I am also an inveterate daydreamer, quite a few nice romantic scenarios cross my mind on a daily basis, and most of them are too good not to share. For instance, today, the romantic scenario popped into my head, perfect for any rom-com or movie if anyone of you out there are interested in writing and directing one, of a girl who is revived using CPR by a handsome savior, who then wakes up in hospital with said handsome savior sitting by her bed, concerned for her well-being, and enraptured by her beauty, rather like a twist of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Wonderful, isn’t it? As I imagined it, I put myself in the place of the woman, and the entire thing was so delicious and romantic, I actually smiled in real life, right in the middle of the First Aid class. Talk about embarrassing.

Oh. And here’s another one. A young woman goes wandering in the forest, looking for her grandmother (okay, I might be basing them all off of fairytales in this post, but, you know me, I love stuff like this, where there’s a pattern to it and it’s all Disney-like). To her surprise, instead of her grandmother, she encounters an evil, bad wolf, and only with the help of the handsome huntress, who slays the wolf, saves her grandmother, and kisses her in the end, is the young woman able to escape the forest, free and unharmed. Okay, perhaps that one ran a little too close to the fairytale. Oh goodness, my fingers are flying across the page—I made the mistake of buying and drinking some Coca-Cola today, forgetting it contains caffeine, and now my insides are all jazzed up.

Come on, I know there are some more inside of me. I spend a good fifty-percent of my time daydreaming, so there’s plenty of juicy material to be had. Let’s see. Oh! If we’re going to run with the fairytale theme here, we might as well go with it. Cinderella. A poor, penniless young woman (me), somehow manages to meet a rich, handsome man, who somehow falls in love with her—together, they while away their time riding private jets and visiting hotels, and eventually, she convinces him to spend most of his fortune on helping the poor and the world’s abandoned children, and on animal cruelty, because, after all, Cinderella is meant to have a kind heart. That one is a favourite of mine, if only for the ending—and the fact that I’ve certainly never stayed at a luxury hotel before.

Beauty and the Beast. Well, to be honest, there’s nothing to work with here, because I can’t imagine a modern re-telling without some serious plastic surgery to take place, and I certainly would find it rather strange to fall in love with someone only after they’d had their face artificially altered. Let’s find another one. Usually I’m absolutely boiling with romantic daydreams. I’m lost, alone and sobbing, trying to escape a terrible, arranged marriage, to a cruel and lewd man. In order to escape, I traverse, on a suicidal mission, on a boat into the darkest areas of the nearby sea, ready to float away into oblivion, only for my boat to rock up on an island where a young, handsome stranger has been living, keeping a deep, dark secret, which I must unlock if I am to escape with him from the island together.

Then there’s the book I’m writing at the moment, called The Woodlands, which is basically, in a nutshell, and which I will eventually type up and post on Wattpad, is about a romance between a young woman and one of the fae, an otherworldly young man with vivid green eyes. But there are so many more inside of me—if I could just turn the right tap, I’m sure all of them will come gushing right out. Imagine if there was a young man, wounded and alone after a battle, who stumbles alone to my cottage—okay, I might have read a story like this somewhere, but still, nevermind, how romantic!—and, obviously, I heal him, and he happens to be drop-dead gorgeous, and after bringing him back to life, with my tender and loving hands, he awakens and falls completely and utterly in love with me! How convenient! Daydreams often are.

Or, if we go in a more realistic direction, a young man stumbles across my blog or reads one of my books, and happens to fall in love with me, and we somehow reach out to one another and start talking online and then we meet up in real life and we fall in love and get married and have kids and live happily ever after.

The dark truth is, most likely, most probably, unless some Divine intervention takes place—and I still don’t know yet if it will—nothing particularly wonderful and romantic will ever happen to me. I have lived enough years on this planet to know that real life and fantasies almost never match. Red Riding Hood might be saved by the wolf, but that doesn’t mean the hunter will fall in love with her—most likely he’s already married, and has got kids of his own. In real life, rich people tend to fall in love with other beautiful rich people; people do get plastic surgery in order to make themselves more attractive in the dating market, especially in Asian countries; and I don’t have any nursing or medical abilities whatsoever, and would, in reality, just stand by and watch as some handsome young man fell in love with some capable, beautiful young nurse. Everyday of my life, I watch other couples happy together, I see families, I see husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, and inside, I heave a little sigh, because it might never happen to me, this business of falling in love, not in this dark, dreary world they call reality.

In the real world, there are no fairytales. There are only nightmares. So far, at least. My life is devoid of anything romantic whatsoever—even my taste of it, when I ventured into the world of dating for a little while, was bitter and uncomfortable, because the kiss I shared with the man was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was enough to make me wonder if I was, in fact, lesbian (I’m not, just to clarify).

So, handsome, young men, looking for odd, kind and creative daydreamers, where are you? Are you actually out there? Do you really exist? Maybe you are reading these words right now, in which case, call me, my number is — just kidding, I wouldn’t make my number public on the internet. Either way, if you are reading these words right now, just know there is someone out there who yearns for you just as much as you probably yearn for me, and I know this is but a shout in the darkness, an echo, but maybe one day we’ll meet, in real life, and maybe the person behind these words will be close enough to touch and maybe we’ll love each other and everything will be all peachy and fine.

And then again, maybe not.

In The Rain

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I wish I was someone dazzling, someone people marvelled over.

 

Stunningly beautiful, sharp-witted, elegant, gorgeous in any dress, with smooth, tanned skin and shapely legs, with a handsome man by my side who has the ability to make my knees weak with a kiss.

 

I wish I was the popular girl, dark-haired and beautiful, strutting down the aisles of the school like I owned the place, grabbing boys by their ties and kissing them behind lockers.

 

I wish I was brave, fearless, wild, someone so lovely and fierce only a hunter would fall in love with me, and a handsome one at that.

 

I wish I was a princess out of a fairytale, who sees her prince from afar, while seated in the bevelled window of her tower.

 

I wish I was a gorgeous lady, going out clubbing every single night, tossing back drinks like candy, and getting men to eat out of the palm of her hand.

 

I wish I was a flapper’s girl, with flirtatious red lips, ready to enchant any man that comes my way. I wish I was anybody, but me.

 

No, that’s not true. I love being me, and it has taken me a long time to reach this point. I love myself. I just wish for something more exciting, and sensual, to enter my life; it’s something every young woman with a mind full of daydreams wishes for, secretly yearns for, even if on a subconscious level. Why do I love being me? I love how deeply I think about things. I love my own insight. I love my own beauty, I love my face, with its relatively big eyes, rather large nose and big lips. I love my body, even where the fat rolls up around my waist. Heck, I even liked the cheese-flavoured popcorn and prawn chips I ate today, as unromantic and ordinary that might be.

 

The day will come when all my romantic fantasies come true. Actually, I don’t know if they ever will, but I hope they do, and I have a feeling they will come true, so, for the purpose of this piece of writing, yes, it will all happen to me. Until then, I have to find a way to live with myself. Lately, I’ve been working on being a kinder and less vain, self-absorbed person. Writing a blog post about yourself might not be the best way to do this, you might think, but, in actual fact, while being understood is one of the reasons I write this blog, I also want to make others feel less alone and comforted through my words. If I can do that, I honestly think I can die happy. If there is someone out there who religiously checks up on my blog, and hangs on my every word, and is brought to tears because they resonate so strongly with my words—then, I think I have achieved what I wanted to achieve here.

 

Let’s see. What should it be like? The perfect romantic moment. Indulge with me for a moment. Perhaps it will be with a handsome man, underneath the boughs of a tree. No. It doesn’t have any sparkle to it. Maybe he should crawl in through the window of my bedroom, like Edward the vampire, and surprise me with sweet-smelling kisses! I’m joking; that would be terrifying. No. Let’s think about this properly. On a boat, on a lake. We’re getting closer. I just paused for a long moment to think. In the rain.

 

 

In the rain.

 

Perfect.

 

 

Goodnight.

 

Heartbroken

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The problem is, I have the ability to love anyone—except for murderers, rapists, and other terrible people. Everyone can be adorable in some way, cute in some way, interesting in some way. I am kind. Loving. I say this with as much honesty as possible. Too bad, this proved, when it came to dating, to my ultimate downfall.

Because I couldn’t differentiate between the love I feel for everyone, and the kind of love one feels for one’s romantic partner.

I’d been seeing this man for a couple of days. He was Australian-Korean. He wasn’t the most handsome guy, and I knew I wasn’t completely attracted to him. But he was sweet beyond comparison. When we walked, he would lightly touch my waist, guiding my forwards through the throng. He would touch and stroke my hand. He would kiss me on my cheek, on my hand. Everything was fine, perfect, loving, sweet. He told I was sweet, I was gorgeous, a woman so lovely it was a wonder some other man hadn’t snatched me up yet. He paid for all our meals. He carried my bags.

We talked about everything. What we wanted to name our children. Getting married. Children, marriage, love, religion, skies and stardust and the darkness that lingers inside of ourselves. Nearly nothing was off-limits. Even grown-up topics, like discussions about pornography and the frequency with which men indulged in it, we discussed. Grown-up stuff.

Everything was perfect. I was set on marrying him.

And then he kissed me.

To say it was awful would be an understatement. It was like being smooched by a wet marshmallow, except the marshmallow was badly moist and tasteless. I didn’t feel anything. No attraction, no chemistry, nothing sexual at all—just plain, well, aversion. And just like that, my dreams evaporated like steam.

I didn’t know how to break it to him afterwards, but I hugged him and told him the truth. I feel no sexual attraction for you. I told him the truth. And in the last word in person towards me, “Bye,” I heard the finality in his statement.

I feel close to crying. The disappointment is destroying me from the inside. I thought I had found “the one”. I thought all those stupid love songs and stories were going to make sense, were even starting to make sense. But it was all an illusion. Now I’m lost and confused. Heartbroken. I loved him, as a friend, as a brother, as a lover—but not enough to ever kiss him again, or sleep with him, or do anything with him a couple are meant to do together, eventually, which are crucial and important to a relationship. I couldn’t fathom it. I fear too many of those kisses would make my stomach roil. If he ever read this, and I doubt he ever will, he would be more heartbroken than he already is. He asked me never to call him or text him again, because he couldn’t bear to see me with another man and to see me anymore when I couldn’t be his. He is drop-dead gorgeous when it comes to wooing and romancing, everything I could have hoped for in a man—but that wasn’t enough.

I’m listening to My Heart’s A Stereo and grinding my teeth. I hate this. I really do. I feel so lonely, like I’m destined for spinsterhood. I want someone quite badly, and it’s awful that I don’t feel complete without a significant other. And what constitutes a significant other? What if his kisses make my head swim, but he treats me like garbage? Would that be enough? Should I search for good kisses and good romance, do I believe a person such as that exists right now? The answer is, no, not yet, I don’t.

I suppose I will get over this eventually. More quickly than he will perhaps get over me. But I’m heartbroken, all the same, and as he fades out of my life like a lovely firework, I’ll crawl into bed, curl up like a lonely, little girl, and dream of princes and princesses.

The Facets of Love

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The facets of love. What is love? Romantic love, exactly?

That’s something I’ve been exploring, as I’ve grown older and matured into a young woman, no longer a little girl who had playground crushes on good-looking boys and pined after them from afar. I think love starts off as friendship; you begin as friends, who care about each other, and like aspects of the other person. Then, slowly, attractions of the more sensual kind begin to creep in, and slowly, romantic love blooms and blossoms, like red ink through water.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. There’s chemistry, too; I mean, two people just somehow get along, there’s an intangible feeling in the air between them when they are together, something sweet and wonderful. Chemistry is something that cannot be faked: it’s either there, or it isn’t.
Kindness is also something I find very attractive. I don’t think I could ever love a man who wasn’t kind. That’s just me. I’m sure there are plenty of cold and cruel people in this world, who find solace in the embrace of other cold and cruel people. And likewise, kind and loving people only find warmth in the arms of those who are kind and loving in turn.

Love is such a human thing, so infinitely complex and multi-faceted. There are so many different kinds of love, but for the purposes of this article, I’m only going to focus on the romantic kind, the one that occurs between a man and a woman, or a woman and a woman, or a man and a man. Since I’ve begun dating, I’ve felt as though my psyche has opened like a flower. I couldn’t believe that, for this long, I’d been missing out on such a fundamental part of what it means to be human.
Obviously, I’d had crushes on men, or teenage boys, a fair amount of them. Most of them were dashingly good-looking, far beyond my league—or so I thought—and, in the end, because of my social anxiety and awkwardness in my youth, ultimately spurned me.

I listened to Taylor Swift songs for so long, without really relating to any of them, the stories of heartbreak and betrayal, even though I adored the lyrics and the tunes, and, as a matter of fact, I still don’t entirely relate to them. I’ve only dated, not had a proper boyfriend, and definitely haven’t gone through the heartbreak of a proper break-up, which, cross my fingers and wish on the stars, I hope I never do, because it would kind of be crushingly-disappointing.

I feel as though I understand men a little more. Not entirely—I don’t think any woman can ever completely imagine what it’s like to be a man. But there is something about masculinity that is appealing. I suppose that’s why I’m considered “straight”. But men like to feel dominant, in certain ways, something which I’ve begun to learn, and they can be kind and caring, in certain ways, too. You just have to find the right person.

Love stories still don’t entirely make sense to me. Compared to my experiences with love, they are more like roaring bonfires, while mine are like the warmth of a heater, gentle and slow. Or maybe even a candle, although a candle is rather weak in flame and fire. Stories about love, like Romeo and Juliet, are passionate, though, and I am beginning to understand, as I grow to date and understand dating, that there is the potential inside myself for a love like that, as obsessive and deep, and all-consuming, although most of what Romeo and Juliet experienced might have been lust.

I’m still shy about talking about these things. I’m unfamiliar with it. It’s new territory. I feel as though I’ve grown as a person, in a matter of a week or two, just because I’ve started exploring romantic love. It’s exhilarating, but also a little scary. I don’t know how to be me sometimes. I try so hard to be genuine I wonder if it is actually coming out forced or fake. I don’t know if someone could actually accept the real me, with all of its flaws and burdens.

But isn’t that what love is all about?