First off, let me tell you why I consider myself qualified to talk about TiNe’s (INTP's) love lives. I’m an FeSi (ESFJ) and have been in a great relationship with a TiNe guy for the past 8 years total—4 of those years we’ve been married and that’s been really awesome—we plan on keeping it that way. I’ve also observed TiNe family members and close friends at various stages of romance, including other successful couples that have been together happily—some for over 25 years. One of my strong points as an FeSi type is reading people and understanding their feelings and motivations and how they relate to others. So feel free to just consider this series an outsider’s semi-professional opinion.
The beginning of a romantic relationship for a TiNe is scary— and by ‘the beginning’ I mean the circumstances that cumulate to potentially become a romantic relationship. It is my understanding that TiNe’s are constantly calculating things; how to get the character in the game they’re developing to jump a certain height, all the possible things a person could say to them if they were to actually approach a person, the plot to that movie they just saw last night, plus more (always more). This probably occurs all at once, or in rapid succession. So when a TiNe notices that they have developed a serious romantic attraction, they likely Freak. Out. There are too many possibilities, and all of them include those scary, sneaky little buggers called feelings. TiNe’s aren’t likely to come right out and say, “Hey baby, I think you’re sexy—let me take you out tonight.” They will more likely harbor the attraction for a few months or years or until someone else brings it into the open—or until it goes away.
You see, feelings are the TiNe’s Achilles Heel. They feel safe in their logical Ti-Dom world, where they can calculate all of the possibilities; where things make sense to them. Feelings come in bursts, and can be very unexpected and intense—especially if the TiNe is younger and/or hasn’t spent much time developing their inferior Fe side. The older a TiNe gets, especially if they have more experience dealing with their own romantic relationships or romantic interests, the more they might feel comfortable with being the catalyst for bringing about a romance. However, if it is a romance you seek with a TiNe, I wouldn’t count on them making the first move.
If a TiNe has caught your eye—and I can’t blame you; they’re usually smart, loyal, and somewhat mysterious, with an adorable squishy side that comes out every now and then—you should accept the fact that you will need to make the first move. And by first move, I don’t mean just flirting or coyly hinting at your feelings—you need to come right out and say what you want. Otherwise you leave the TiNe to calculate all the possibilities about what your new actions might mean (which will likely cause the them to convince themselves that you don't actually like them and therefore approaching you is unsafe), or, even more frustratingly, the TiNe might not even notice flirting or hints (because they might be too wrapped up in analyzing something else). Avoid the uncertainty and frustration and please just call it like it is. The TiNe will respect your honesty and direct manner. They despise ‘games’ in romantic situations—the TiNe sees this sort of behavior as illogical, dishonest, and therefore unattractive.
Once you have exposed your feelings, don’t expect them to immediately have a big reaction—there might not be a big show of gushing right back or running away in the moment. If the TiNe hasn’t considered you romantically before (or even if they have), they will probably need some time to process the information. It would be wise to tell them that you realize they need time to process, and request a deadline for when they think they will be able to revisit the issue. Schedule time to talk—whether it’s 10 minutes, or a week from that moment. It might seem nerve wracking to wait for a response, but separating yourself for a predetermined amount of time will allow both of you to reflect. If the TiNe hasn’t thought of you as a romantic candidate until this point, this could give you an advantage within their mind. If they already consider you someone worth spending time with, you’re basically halfway there. Now that they know about your feelings, allowing themselves to explore the possibility could be deemed a lower risk. The fact that you’re already attracted to them will be flattering and potentially exciting, and they might consider the chance of pain diminished slightly. Even if they haven’t consciously considered the possibility of you being a romantic candidate before, they might realize that they were, in fact, harboring feelings just below the surface that might bubble up at this point.
When you come back to the conversation and figure out where to go from there, you will likely either be in a new romantic relationship with your TiNe (WIN!), or you can talk about how to proceed if they don’t return your sentiment. Either way, the TiNe will most likely respect you for being honest and up front with them and allowing time and space to process the information.
If you do decide to move forward with the romantic relationship, hold onto your hat! Once the TiNe’s inferior Fe is activated romantically, they get very close very quickly. They are fiercely loyal, and surprisingly amorous partners. Physical touch is typically very important to TiNe’s, because they might be bad at expressing their feelings verbally. You will see their soft, squishy side—i.e. don’t be surprised if the TiNe is suddenly bursting at the seams with love songs, romantic poetry, gifts, etc. just for you. If this is your experience, realize that healthy TiNe’s likely crave close, intimate, long-term relationships. Please be careful with their hearts; you are now directly connected to that Fe Achilles Heel. They trust you deeply.
Stay tuned for the next installments where we will examine the next stages of a TiNe relationship.
Iris Strauss is an FeSi (ESFJ) from Austin, TX, where she lives with her husband, Andrew, and cat, Tibby. When she isn’t working or spending time with her family, she enjoys painting, writing, having in-depth conversations with good friends over coffee, planning dinner parties, and traveling to new cities. She is passionate about type theory and learning about what makes individuals tick. She has many and varied dreams, including living on a farm in the French countryside, opening a coffee bar with her husband, and publishing a novel.
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