The Types Of Men An INFP Woman Might Marry

couple marriage

Yes, yes, I know, O, maiden, thou does not need a man to complete thy life – and it seems a little ironic, to say the least, to write this after recently taking a vow of celibacy – but just because I have decided not to get into any relationships doesn’t mean I can’t speculate on the various types of people who might be suitable romantic candidates, which I shall detail in this post, and whom, I might add, are, as of yet, entirely the products of my imagination. Which accounts for the vow of celibacy, I suppose.

For those of you idealistic, sensitive men out there, and my heart does go out to you for your continued survival in a conformist society that tries to mold men into masculine archetypes – please feel free to change the gender of the following types of individuals to that of Female, or Male, depending on your preferences.

The Sensitive Artist

Marrying the Sensitive Artist, with his deep, soulful eyes and melancholy outlook on life, is sure to be rewarding – especially if he lives in a dingy attic that overlooks other rooftops in a romantic city, like, say, Paris.

The two of you can spend twilight evenings walking down the boulevards, past quaint cafes with green awnings and golden lights flickering behind the windows, other strolling couples, the odd bicycle rider passing by in a tinkle of bells, having deep, philosophical conversations.

Back at his “studio”, the prints cluttering the walls and the floor resembling multi-coloured puked-up guts can offer plenty of fodder for further philosophical thought – as an INFP, you are sure to discover the meaning of life in a splotch of red and green paint, or uncover a fantastical scene in something that looks like a dog’s breakfast after it has been partly digested. Your rapture at his artistic talent will satisfy him greatly.

In return, he will listen to your deepest desires and dreams, understand the despair you feel towards life and the world, and refer to you as his “Muse”, which you will brush off with an embarrassed air, smiling shyly, but secretly feel very pleased about. However, be prepared to pay for meals and other necessities while with him, and, when the man racks up hundreds of dollars in debt buying new easels and paint tubes, remain uncomplaining as you scrawl your signature onto the bill handed to you by the delivery man at the door.

Who knows: Through your experience with the Sensitive Artist, perhaps you will learn something new: that your INFP nonchalance towards money was wrong, and that no matter how “deep” a partner is, sometimes the depths of his pockets is a little more important.

The Good, Caring, Responsible Man

What INFPs need most of all from other people, and which they very rarely receive, is kindness; and this man is bound to provide this scarce resource in abundance.

He will care for you, just as if you were his own flesh and blood, treating you as the fragile, little creature you are: Helping you with real-world tasks, like filing for a savings account at the bank or getting your car registered; comforting you in the middle of the night when you start crying remembering something horrible you said to someone last year; and he will never berate you for being “too sensitive”, or “too quiet.”

No matter what happens to you in the outside world you can have the comfort of always returning to someone who will tell you that he loves you, and cooks you nice, warm meals to show you that he cares. Unfortunately, though he will be smart enough to work as a system’s manager at his accounting firm, chances are he will not possess a drop of imagination, and bore you to bits. In which case, you will have to decide which is more important: having your own equivalent of a talking pillow to soothe you after being battered by the vagaries of life, or someone you can intellectually connect with.

Intellectual stimulation is simple to obtain on your own, in the form of books and, well, more books, so perhaps it would be nice just to settle for someone who cares. Then again, books are fine company on their own, and, unlike this particular breed of the male species, never become too smothering.

The Executive

The Executive is assertive, confident, and bold – in other words, the ENTJ Myer-Briggs Personality type, who values rules, systems, actions and logic, and is the antithesis of the INFP personality type.

Isabel, creator of the Myer-Briggs Personality Type Test, however, has proclaimed the Executive to be the most compatible with the Dreamers. Though I have yet to completely puzzle out her reasoning – the two personalities could not be any more different – nevertheless, it does not require too great a leap of the imagination to envision the Executive being charmed by the INFP’s air of mysterious shyness, and the INFP attracted to the Executive’s boldness and social ease. After all, we often admire what we lack in ourselves, and opposites, as they say, do attract.

In this relationship, regardless of what gender you are, who the dominant partner is clearly defined. You will always have someone to tug you down from the clouds back to earth  with his rational thought processes, thereby helping you to take action rather than daydream your life away; but be prepared, as he is a predominantly logical thinking, to sometimes have your feelings trampled over, and to pick up your battered heart from the floor at the end of a long day.  On the other hand, expect good conversations, as both of you, being intuitive, will probably enjoying imagining the future together, and developing long-term plans.  You will also not have to worry about having your bank account drained, as this type of man is often quite successful in the career, usually opting to work in lucrative fields such as business.

Ultimately, he will be appear powerful and dynamic – captivating, even – but this relationship is liable to go down in flames unless either he grows a little more sensitive to your feelings, or you grow a little tougher in order to withstand his constructive criticism. Still, it can be the basis for a good partnership, and you may even find yourself peeping a little more out of your shell due to his influence, growing a tougher exoskeleton – but, if I were you, I’d stick with the books for less heartache in the long run.

The Quiet Writer

For those INFPs out there who are fond of writing themselves and are looking into it as a career, the Quiet Writer has the ability to offer the perfect partnership – it will be practically like dating yourself! A shared love of literature will be the glue that binds the two of you together, and dates will probably consist of visits to the bookshop or the library, tottering back to the car with tiny towers of novels balanced in your respective arms.

The rest of your time together will probably be spent sitting together or in separate rooms writing or reading, with the occasional visit to the other’s room or lifting of eyes from the page, to comment on what one has read, or written, and ask for additional input regarding it. Birthday presents will be books, and more books, and for the two of you, the idea of a good evening is to sit, side-by-side, at the kitchen table, upon which lies an open dictionary, and giggle over the strange words that exist in the English Language – erinaceous, for instance, which means to resemble a hedgehog. The next morning, you will say to the Quiet Writer, as he awakens with scruffy bed-hair beside you, “My darling, you look most erinaceous,” and the two of you will burst into laughter again. By all accounts it sounds like the perfect relationship, but there is always the chance, the two of you being equally retiring and antisocial, for the relationship to dwindle away into something that more resembles two roommates, sharing a living space, than  anything romantic or loving. But, you know, at least you’ll have plenty of books.

I hope this selection of potential mates has given you some food for thought. Do not forget that dating is not confined to Myer-Briggs Personality Types, and that any personality type can fall in love with any personality type, as each of us are too complex and nuanced to be encapsulated by four mere letters.

I, however, in the process of writing it,  certainly came to some conclusions of my own – namely, that, well, as long as I have books, there is very little else I need; but, we all desire companionship, sooner or later, so it’s best to keep an open mind regarding such things, even if having a partner, though it might be an evolutionary imperative, is not exactly a psychological necessity. This should not rule out the possibility of one enjoying having someone warm to curl up against at night, when your heart is too cold, and the world is too big.

But, then again, you could just get a cat for that – much less maintenance.

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Being A Young INFP

Girl

Well, no-one has it easy.

But as a young INFP, it’s particularly hard. In the past, I’ve been called out for whining and being overly melodramatic, for focusing on my poor little issues when other types struggle just as hard, but this is what I truly believe in: young INFPs have it hard. Of course, not all young INFPs have it hard, because not all INFPs are the same. Like all things, we come in all sizes and shapes and forms and, yes, even personalities. So I can merely speak from my own experience, take what you will of it.

Ah. To be seventeen and confused. Yet, to be a seventeen and confused INFP is an entirely different matter.

Other personalities wade through the social and business life of our world with ease; it is their natural habitat, and they swim free and gay as dolphins in pools of watery cash, flicking up coins with their tails in snickers of high laughter. INFPs, on the other hand, are more like butterflies, whose wings grow limp and whose flight is impaired by contact with such water. Yes, we can swim, but we soon need the shore, and are left bedraggled and miserable.

Within me lies such a conflict. Occasionally, I feel as if the friction is so great it could tear me in two, rip down the middle of me in a blinding hash of red glare and leave me two broken burnt human halves, quivering in hot indignation. On one hand, I want to do nothing more than throw all caution to the wind and throw every fibre of my soul and being into my one and only love: writing.

On the other hand, I am deathly afraid of the consequences of such a step. Every way I turn, there is a wise figure who says, with so sagacious a nod of their head, that to do so would be folly. That one needs a degree if one wants to eat. That the starving artist is not a romantic ideal but a cruel reality. That if I do choose this path, of working a dead-end part-time job and leaving on rice and beans in some cramped room, I will come crawling back to the institutions and beg them to accept me back into their cold bureaucratic arms. To chase magic and pumpkins, only to return penniless and ragged back to the home of my stepmother.

My heart whispers its quiet truth, but my mind is afraid to listen. For, like many INFPs, I cannot stand the structure of educational institutions, the regimen and the monotony of having information and learning fed and dictated like so many cubes of tasteless food. My idea of learning is to be set loose in a library, and allowed to read and explore on any topic I please, drink my fill from the wells of knowledge until I am bloated and sated, spurred on by natural curiosity and delight. The university campus grounds is a large, hollow, impersonal complex, of students scurrying about like so many blind tortoises, blinking blearily from their books and laptops. I have been there, and I have felt their cruel, cold smiles. It is no place for a butterfly. It is like setting me loose in an empty cavern of quietly silent, quietly bloodthirsty bats. There is nothing there for me, and yet I am told to enter this dreaded cavern, I am told to enter into the lair of the dragon and shed invisible blood.

Many things are difficult. Finding people I can connect with, converse with, is difficult. They all seem so caught up in the web of unrealities, of stocks and profits and economies, all of which are more evanescent and airy-fairy than my fantasies and stories. Do they realise that? Do they realise how much of what we worry about is but imaginary, like a town of people who fret over the arrival of dragons that do not exist?

Also, I am young, and I am lonely. These two things, when found hand in hand, is a most miserable thing. I am lonely because there is no-one I know who understands the slightest cell of my being. For the most part, I am happy to be alone: I am, after all, an introvert. But even the souls that seek solitude desire company at some point, and I am lonely, so lonely, so starved for another soul to pour myself into, for the liquids of our being to mix into a sweet brew.

Everyone has a demon, and mine is money. It rests at the bottom of my soul, staring up at me like a particularly smug and fleshy golden frog. Its bulging, batrachian eyes glitter and glimmer with harsh greed, while every now and then a yellow tongue flits out to capture and crunch into scintillating smithereens another fluttery-fly dream. Late at night, when I am dark and alone, it begins to hop, up and down, up and down, every flesh golden fold of fat jiggling and shaking in horrid mocking.

If you’re an INFP, you are also your own worst enemy. After recently devouring one of Sylvia Plath’s journals, and pressing my fragile heart against another kindred spirit through the medium of words and pages, the both of us calling out to each through the dried wrinkles of time like two people pressing their hands on either side of mirror (such is the magic of books!), I am in awe of her talent, and in despair over my own. Daily regime for me consists not of exercise, or eating well, but self-flagellation. This demon is smaller, but sharper: it sits perched on my shoulder, a tiny, nasty, gibbering creature, spitting hate and self-loathing into my ear.

To be burning on the inside, and to be baked on the outside. That is what it is like, being a young INFP, poised on the precipice between childhood and adulthood, afraid of falling into the ravine between. Cooked and skewered and branded by everyday life: every glance, every word, every person, every sound, every noise, every hateful, hateful noise. But under the layers of flame, there smolders something quieter and stronger. An unbreakable spirit.

And this glow, which is not flame and not light but simply a strength, extinguishes all the pain, blinding white engulfing the golden and orange, and propels my limbs into motion. I will jump out of the kiln, out of the pits of hell. I will stare down the frog at the well of my soul until its bulging eyes close in fear, and flick that detested bird off my shoulder. There are demons, yes, but they can be defeated through confrontation. That is all they are afraid of.

And then I will dance, with the soft, heart-shaped glowing pulsing in my chest, out in the open, away from the fire, until all the butterflies and flies and birds of the world descend upon my body in a shower of glinting, translucent rainbows.