One night my friend and I were hanging out on my sofa, drinking tea and eating chocolate, when we decided to take an online personality test to see what Myers Briggs personality types we were. We were curious and thought that it would be fun. After answering all the questions and getting our results, we were surprised to find that the both of us are INFJs (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging). We laughed when we read that it is the rarest personality in the world, only making up 1% of the population—no wonder we understood each other so well!
After doing some more research about INFJs I discovered a little bit more about myself and about why I do some of the things that I do in my relationships, past and present. I realized that I love and fall hard. I seek a deep connection with the man I’m with and if I don’t have that then I’ve found that it isn’t worth pursuing a relationship.
I wrote a post a few years ago about having a deep friendship with my boyfriend before we were an official item—we could talk for hours and share our deepest thoughts with each other unselfconsciously. That was part of what drew me to him. I had never had that with anyone before. It meant a lot to me to have that connection, because it was a clue to me that the kind of love we had could be unconditional, emotional, and spiritual—not just convenient or physical. It was different than lust.
In the past I would feel pressure to settle for just any man in order to not be alone. I’d hear people tell me that I needed to be with a man who can take care of me and provide for me financially. Because according to them, that that was what mattered most. I’d hear the culture around me tell me that I should have sex with a man on the first date, and that a sexual connection was the most important thing in a relationship.
But I always felt myself wanting something more than financial security or sex—I wanted real love. I think that everyone is looking for this, but I was just lucky to come to this realization through knowing my personality better.
Hence, It was no surprise when I read that INFJs tend to value intimacy and quality time, as well as being very emotional and sensitive. I wear my heart on my sleeve and tend to get hurt easily. I’m always craving my boyfriend’s attention and affection, and sometimes when he is working a lot and we don’t get to spend as much time together, it hurts my feelings and I take it personally.
When that happens I tend to be pretty private and can have a hard time telling him exactly how I feel because I don’t want to hurt his feelings or make him mad—but I’ve been working on getting over that and communicating calmly instead of holding it in and then eventually blowing up.
On the positive side, my sensitivity makes me aware of the needs of others. I know a big part of any relationship is taking care of each other, and I genuinely like to make sure that my boyfriend is taken care of and happy. He sees that and tries to make sure I take care of myself, too. This year with part of income tax return he encouraged me to spend some money on myself, because I usually just don’t. I would rather get things for him, my kids or the house. I appreciated him saying that, given what he knows about my personality.
I guess it goes to show that knowing yourself better really helps you love better. Little did I know that a ten-minute personality test could help me to make sense of so much in my life. It helped me become self-aware of my tendencies in relationships—my strengths, the things I need to work on, and what I value most. This self-awareness helps me communicate better with my boyfriend. It helps us understand and deal with some of our conflicts better. And while he and I might not have the identical personality type like my friend and I do, our awareness of our differences makes us that much stronger.