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I’m an INTJ personality type. And, for most of my life, I felt like it was very hard to find a partner who really “got” me. That changed when I started dating an INFJ—someone who is like me in so, so many ways, yet as different as the sun and the moon in others. The relationship we’ve built together may not always be what people might call an “explosive” love, but it’s one of the happiest and most fulfilling I’ve ever had.

It turns out we’re not the only ones. While INFJs and INTJs can butt heads around our Thinking/Feeling divide, in many ways, we are drawn to each other. As a result, this pairing is a common one (as common as any pairing can be for such rare personality types). If you know an INFJ/INTJ couple, expect them to be together for a while—there is a good chance that wedding invitations are in the future.

What Makes INFJs and INTJs A Perfect Match?

Both INFJs and INTJs have Introverted iNtuition or “Perspectives” as their dominant mental process, which makes them brilliant, but also makes them quirky outliers who often don’t fit in. As a result, when an INFJ and INTJ meet they can easily feel like it’s the first time anyone has truly understood them.

Having a dominant Perspectives function in common also lets INFJs and INTJs dive deep into each other’s experiences. This mental process, which I liken to metacognition, is what allows human beings to step back and take a bird’s-eye view of the world, including how other people think. When Perspectives-dominant people are together, they find it easy to see past each other’s differences and identify underlying similarities. This is part of what makes these two types form such deep bonds, and why INFJ/INTJ relationships feels so smooth.

Other things that make this a great pairing include:

  • The conversations never get old. Anyone who’s had a long relationship knows that, over time, you can run out of topics to talk about. But INFJs and INTJs always seem to have fuel for great conversation. Yes, things do quiet down after a few months—we’ve already heard each other’s funniest stories, after all. But with our shared love of learning, and the joy we take in connecting different ideas, conversation remains intellectual and riveting long-term.
  • You can be quiet together. The introvert couple that stfu’s together stays together. It’s impossible to overstate how gratifying it is to spend time with my partner, doing separate things in complete silence. It could be reading, writing, or simply perusing our devices side-by-side; we’re both totally happy with quiet time. (The INFJ is more prone to breaking the silence with an amusing observation, while the INTJ will produce less frequent but far longer rants about something they just read.)
  • These two types back each other up. If you’ve never experienced it, it’s hard to understand how meaningful it is to have a partner who supports your life goals. This may be especially true for INTJs and INFJs, who both tend to have big ambitions but occasional problems with implementation. Thankfully, the problems tend to be complementary: I can help my INFJ plan her work and troubleshoot problems, while she helps me take the social pulse of a situation and gauge whether a project will even find an audience.

Finally, as Introverts and Judgers, both the INTJ and the INFJ tend to have a reserved, “normal” exterior covering up a whole lot of iNtuitive weirdness underneath. Together, we get to let our quirky sides out and indulge our flights of fancy—without giving up our generally organized lives.

The Differences Every INTJ/INFJ Couple Must Navigate

All of the above may sound made in heaven, but every couple has their differences. While each INFJ/INTJ couple is unique, here are some of the differences I see come up most often:

INFJs care about people. INTJs care about knowledge.

About 60% of the arguments an INTJ/INFJ couple have boil down to one thing: the INTJ talking in blunt terms about ideas they think could be factually correct while the INFJ struggles with how those ideas impact them (or others they care about). INFJs tend to see the personal side of any topic and don’t enjoy discussions that ignore this side. INTJs, on the other hand, enjoy discussing the merits of the idea itself, in abstract terms, and treat the personal impact as a footnote. This can come off as deeply insulting, without the INTJ realizing why.

If you have been in an INFJ/INTJ relationship, you can probably think of many examples of discussions where this happened. They may have become heated—even though both people were “right” in some sense. INTJs take note: the Thinker/Feeler divide has nothing to do with how intelligent either person is, but it is a dramatic difference in worldview. It may be the single biggest source of conflict in any Thinker/Feeler relationship.

INFJs lift people up. INTJs criticize.

In general, INTJs can come across as overly negative, picking apart the inefficiencies or shortcomings of any situation, and this can exhaust an INFJ. Meanwhile, INFJs tend to put out a lot of reassuring, supportive words to those they love, and these words can seem insincere or meaningless to an INTJ—who would much rather get results than a pat on the head.

INTJs can see the future. But INFJs see the present, too.

INTJs primarily use Perspectives to forecast how a system will work, predicting problems before they arise and building elegant solutions long before they’re needed. We live almost entirely in the future. INFJs, on the other hand, key in on a deep level to the people around them, reading what’s going on behind the scenes right now. An INFJ learns early in life to trust his or her gut feeling about someone they meet, while an INTJ views hunches with suspicion (often to their detriment).

INTJs plan everything. INFJs learn by doing.

As an INTJ, it seems obvious to me that the “best” way to achieve any goal is to plan out the steps to reach it; the only potential downside is dragging your feet too long in the planning stage. But with my INFJ, I’ve witnessed an amazing alternative approach: rather than studying, learning and planning before acting, she simply looks for people who are already succeeding and copies what they do. This “learn by imitation” strategy means she can start a new project with nothing more than a vague plan, and—if she has good role models to look at—vastly outpace me at bringing it to fruition.

INTJs prize efficiency. INFJs prize comfort.

While an INFJ and INTJ’s personalities are similar, the minutiae of how we live our lives are almost completely different. When I leave the apartment, for example, I make sure the key is in my hand before I get to the door; my INFJ waits till she’s there and then looks for it in her purse. In the car, I give most of my attention to driving efficiently—for example, switching lanes ahead of time to go around someone who’s making a left turn. My INFJ takes no particular steps to get to where she’s going faster. Instead, her attention is on the conversation, music, or something else enjoyable. In almost everything in life, she will choose comfort or ease of convenience over pure efficiency, and I will choose the opposite.

What happens when INTJ/INFJ couples fight?

Because of their dominant Perspectives function, INTJ/INFJ couples actually have the power to prevent small peeves from turning into big fights, especially if they are a little older and have learned the power of compromise. But no couple is perfect, and fights happen. What’s fascinating about this pairing is how they happen—and how they can be salvaged.

In general, whether a disagreement turns into a fight depends on which mental processes the couple uses to address it. For both the INFJ and the INTJ, the Copilot process is the ideal decision maker. For INFJs that means Extraverted Feeling (“Harmony“), and for INTJs it’s Extraverted Thinking (“Effectiveness“).

Here are the complete car models of both types:

 

When a disagreement comes up, and both partners use their Copilot functions, they’re likely to defray it with no major argument. The INTJ, for example, might think, “If I just give in on this, our plans for tonight won’t get derailed,” leading them to compromise—a perfect use of Effectiveness. The INFJ might think, “Arguing about this will be disruptive and cause me stress, and I don’t want that,” and make a similar small sacrifice. The result: no fight.

But sometimes one or both partners won’t stay in Copilot mode. This could be for several reasons:

  • They had to make too many small compromises already, and decide to dig in their heels.
  • They’re stressed or defensive because of something else—a bad day at work, for example, or following a difficult diet.
  • The issue that comes up is so big and stressful that one partner (or both) automatically go into defensive mode.

When this happens, the INTJ/INFJ couple will fall into their 10-year-old mental processes. An INTJs 10-year-old is Introverted Feeling (“Authenticity“), which involves getting indignant and feeling violated. An INFJs 10-year-old is Introverted Thinking (“Accuracy“), which involves second guessing the truthfulness of every statement.

In other words:

During a fight, the INTJ becomes the Feeler, and the INFJ becomes the Thinker. And they are both incompetent at these roles.

The INTJ will start to rant about the unfairness of the situation. They may construct elaborate metaphors or hypotheticals trying to make their feelings understood. They could try to turn the tables and argue that they are the victim in the situation, even if they were actually the one who caused the initial slight. They will cast blame on their partner.

The INFJ will start to demand answers to impossible questions: Why did you say this and not that? They may revisit the timeline of who said what and who said it first. They can dig into a vast repository of past slights, quoting something their partner said years ago as proof that the partner is lying or wrong. Rather than just arguing about the current situation, they will question their partner’s intentions in the relationship itself.

How to Resolve an INTJ/INFJ Fight

There is a way out of these fights, but it’s hard to implement in the heat of the moment. It involves physically separating. This wouldn’t be a good idea for every couple, but INFJs and INTJs are both Judgers and they both need resolution in the fight—a noble instinct that, unfortunately, leads them to keep arguing until someone gets hurt.

If they can force themselves to physically separate, however, it’s impossible to keep arguing the point. Instead, they have to go over it again and again in their own heads, alone. This is the ideal circumstance for their dominant Perspectives function to take over. Perspectives is a slow, contemplative mental process that’s excellent at analyzing things. If the INFJ and INTJ can just be alone for a while, they will essentially meditate on what happened and see the other person’s point of view.

I call this approach “kicking it upstairs,” because it returns you to your Driver process. Getting out of the 10-year-old mindset is incredibly hard in the heat of the moment because you’re defending against each new statement from your partner. Once you’re alone, however (and your phone is silenced), you have no new stimuli. It’s much easier to get into the reflective mode of Perspectives because it’s the only source of new revelations about the conflict.

Only after this “cooldown” period will the INFJ or INTJ return to their Copilot process. It’s after an hour apart that I can say to myself, “The health of our relationship is a lot more important to me than winning on this issue. The effective thing to do is to compromise.” I find that my INFJ is much more caring afterward, too.

The one catch with this approach is that you can’t use it as a weapon. Neither an INFJ nor INTJ will react well to their partner walking out on them mid-argument—they will feel betrayed. Instead, you have to agree in advance to use this process the next time you fight, and then someone has to invoke it when the time comes. Emphasize that you’re excusing yourself so you can have a chance to think and that you want to cool down and approach the issue from a better place.

As a whole, an INFJ/INTJ relationship is extremely fulfilling, and it tends to be a smooth one. Are you an INFJ or INTJ who has dated the other type? Are you in a relationship with one right now? What do you feel pulls you two together—and what are the biggest stumbling blocks?

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Showing 20 comments
  • AS
    Reply

    I think INTJ/INFJ relationships should be left to highly mature and healthy people. I had a relationship as an INFJ with three different INTJs and they were each a bit of a nightmare by the end. My inability to feel secure in myself and their inability to see past their strong views didn’t equal a healthy and growth-oriented relationship. If, however, an INFJ is able to feel like they are “enough” as they are (ie deeply emotional while their INTJ partner is deeply logical), and if an INTJ can let go of their pride and gain a little more empathy for the fact that others think and feel differently from each them, then I think it could be a very invigorating and growth oriented relationship, just like you said. When these things aren’t the case, the INFJ gets into a constant state of being triggered and the INTJ into a constant state of feeling stifled.

    Not trying to rain on your article, as I think it’s great! But I don’t necessarily agree that this pairing is always a smooth one. It takes a ton of work for the benefits it provides, much more than some other pairings.

    For example, I’m with an ENFJ now, and the biggest issue we have is we’re constantly trying to make each other happy and forgetting our needs. But it’s so ridiculous and clearly out of love, so our starting point for working on this issue comes from a really positive place. Feels much different and much more growth oriented than my past relationships, in part because I’m with a feeler, but also in part because I’ve gained just a little bit more of that maturity I mentioned in the beginning 😉

    • Andre Sólo
      Reply

      Very good points AS, I agree those are the big stumbling blocks!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      You are so right. I think we could say that about any relationship, in fact. The success of the relationship is extremely reliant on the health of both individuals.

      As an INFJ married to an INTJ for 15 years, I completely concur that there can be hardships… especially if both parties are not focused on growth and compromise. Both types fear vulnerability so much that it takes years to strip away the layers of protection and reach true intimacy. It took my husband and me 10 years to get to a point of true intimacy. We were both living in our 10-year-old cognitive functions. I was pragmatic and emotionless and he was given to spontaneous explosions which I despised him for. I viewed it as weakness.

      Once I started to grow and step into my copilot of Harmony, he started to feel safer. I think INTJs have a harder time finding that safety and being willing to open to it. Now he is the most attentive, kind and thoughtful person I have ever met. But it took a lot of work to get him there, and it took a lot of work to get me to a place where I could trust him and help him to trust me.

      Ten years may seem like a long time to make a relationship work, but it was the familiarity of him that kept me going. Our effortless conversations. The safety I felt to be myself. I knew he loved me unconditionally and understood me profoundly, and that made up for a lifetime of never feeling understood.

      Again though, it is hugely important that both people are focused on personal growth, as with any successful relationship. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “Golden Couple,” but if there is, one person’s lack of self-awareness can sink any relationship, IMO.

      • AS
        Reply

        This is beautiful, Charis! What an amazing love story – and a real one at that <3

        • Charis Branson
          Reply

          Awww, thanks. It still isn’t perfect, but it has taken too much work to even consider wanting to start over. I just got him where I want him! 😉

    • ALPLILY
      Reply

      INFJ here, and I love INTJs. Just haven’t found the right one yet.

  • Vioanna
    Reply

    I gotta say, this article is nearly a perfect example of my relationship with my husband I’m an INTJ and he’s an INFJ, which is an interesting mix since we’re both rare even for our types.
    I met him in high school and he became my best friend in the most natural way I’ve ever befriended someone. While he may not get every single thing I say, he just completely gets me. We’ve come to describe ourselves as two sides of the same coin.
    For example, he comes to his ideas of the universe, life, and consciousness from a more Zen way and I come in with hard critical thinking and science. But well both see that the natural flow of nature falls in the same way.
    He’s majorly helped me develop my feeling into something that takes in more consideration of people rather than the facts around them. It’s help me let go of any need of control I thought went into a relationship.

    The portion on fights and resolution is perfect. We have been together for 6 years so far, and we’ve always the ability to compromise since day one. We’ve learned recently through long (and cooled down) discussion what it means to resolve issues with space. It’s been a big help to understand that and not yet caught up fighting like 10 year old. Now nearly every disagreement is a building block because we learn more about each other. I really couldn’t imagine my energy existing without his. It’s a yin and yang kind of thing. He’s really my perfect balance.

  • Linda
    Reply

    This article is so confirming. I am a female INTJ who borders on INFJ. My closest male friend is the same. We can talk for ten hours straight without feeling bored or drained. Quiet time together is peaceful and relaxing. We both feel as if we are completely understood and known by the other, which is something we haven’t been able to experience with other people. We both had long term marriages to opposite personalities, and it was disastrous for each of us. Being with other personality types can quickly drain and frustrate us. We are quirky and share a bizarre sense of humor. We spend a lot of time laughing while others look at us strangely. I feel most at home with my INTJ/INFJ friend. We don’t feel the need to try and change each other, and rarely need to compromise because we are so similar. I have read several times that my perfect match would be an ENFP. ENFP’s drive me nuts after a very short time together and I am constantly fighting the urge to try to change them. Thanks for the confirmation.

    • Jem
      Reply

      Hi Linda, INTJ female here. I’d love to know your star/sun sign and that of your best friend if you don’t mind. I’m a Jungian Astrology enthusiast. I’m on the lookout for my INFJ, though I’ve read that when INTJs stop looking that’s when they find their match (hopefully INFJ for me). My sister is INFJ and we’ve had a lot of 10 year old style fights, but after so many years and only just diagnosing our MBTI types do I now understand why we get along so well. I always thought she was my crutch cos I value her opinion very much and look up to her even though I’m the older one. Now it bothers me less cos I need help that only she can give, being INFJ, my sister and my closest confidant. Great article Andre and great point Vioanna about your husband helping you develop your feeling side…exactly why I want an INFJ…to balance me out. And I believe only someone like me who understands me can help me learn (I’m as stubborn as a ram *wink, wink*) as I value very few people’s opinions. That’s why I agree with the ENFP comment, though I don’t think I’ve ever dated one…too many differences to feel safe enough to relax and learn. I could be wrong though.

  • JRW
    Reply

    I am so happy that you feel you have a great relationship with your significant other! I feel I would have to agree with the above comment. As an INFJ I have tried to openly foster friendships with INTJs and have come away feeling deeply hurt, angry that I let them get to me, and sad that they have been unable to get over their “God” complex. That being said, I do believe that there are healthy INTJs to be found. I just havet met any yet. I find that the ones who are unhealthy have the complex…

    • Septimus
      Reply

      I’m an INTJ and I’ve had a past relationship with an INFJ, to which turned out…less than optimal. She turned out to be very insecure nearing the end of our two-year relationship and was afraid of commitment and became increasingly shallow. Though she blocked herself off after the breakup (half of which was guilt, and the other half due to my curiosity which only made her guilt worse), she came to a point of opening up just enough that I finally understood her point of view and it was both the most painful and relevatory few months of my life. Through her choosing to break up, I grew and she fell as a result. I’m only 19, but I see myself as a really well balanced INTJ. I know you said you know they’re out there; but since you were the last comment and I’m the proof, I figured I’d just let you know lol. Reading this article makes me very much want another INFJ in my life, even as just a friend. The proportion of unhealthy mentalities to healthy ones is disturbingly high, but I’m confident I’ll find someone already on my path with me.

  • Jonathan
    Reply

    This is the best article I’ve ever read on INTJ/INFJ!

    Both my wife of 12 years and I agree this describes us perfectly.

    I agree with a lot of the comments above. It takes work for it to be fulfilling. As an INTJ it took me a long time to be able to communicate to others that I do care about the human effects of a system or solution. It took my INFJ a long time for her to believe that I cared too!

    Both have to be willing to grow. Once they mature a bit they really are the Gokden couple.
    I couldn’t imagine a deep intimate relationship with any other type. They just don’t get me and honestly, I don’t see how an INFJ could be fully understood by any other type.

  • Valerie
    Reply

    Great article. I didn’t know there were many of these pairings. I’m an INTJ female and my husband of 29 years is an INFJ male. Your analysis of the INTJ/INFJ argument is spot on.

  • Joanne
    Reply

    This really is a great article! I’m an INFJ who’s never been in an official relationship with an INTJ (or anyone, for that matter), but I do have a friend who I had a complicated, intense, and passionate past with.

    We were in our twenties and we were drawn to each other, but neither one of us was equipped to start a truly vulnerable conversation about it. On top of that, we had different views on faith and spirituality (he lost his faith a long time ago) and that held me back a great deal. It kept us from sleeping with each other.

    Now, it’s almost 10 years later and he’s on his second long-term relationship since we stopped our two-year do-si-do and I can’t help but think that he should be with someone more substantial. She’s a sweet and talented girl (if I had to guess her type, I’d say she’s an ENFP), but I’ve been having these feelings and thoughts lately that he should be with me. I don’t know their relationship well, but I sense I understand him better than she does in some ways.

    I know he still has feelings for me, but he’s happy in his current relationship and we still have completely different views on faith, but I can’t help to think that maybe that’s okay if it means being understood in other deep ways.

    Perhaps we’ll always just be this love that never was; a relationship that can’t be tarnished with reality.

    Le sigh.

  • Elle
    Reply

    I’m an INTJ and my late INFJ significant other sadly passed away.
    During the time we were together – I have never met someone that balanced me, made me see where I could be irrational and simply brought out the best in me as I’m a true believer if – if you have love ❤️ then love is all you need.

    I miss him so much for I have never fallen so hard for a person because with him being an INFJ he simply understood me and for once I do don’t have to explain myself to him. We truely were amazing and I wish there was another him – When I’m ready and able to go back into the dating scene I wish and hope to find another INFJ as I know that are our true match, but due to losing him only recently. I’m just not ready to make that transition as at the moment that’s not the way anyone truely in love would find possible! I had met the greatest person I felt whole and now at least I know what it takes to date someone like me who has always felt a little left of the middle.

    • Andre Sólo
      Reply

      Elle, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your late INFJ. It sounds like you two had many treasured years together. I’m glad you were able to find him and thank you for your touching comment.

  • J. J. W.
    Reply

    Elle, i don’t know how i can comfort you. because i have somebody that i care deeply for, we’re an INFJ/INTJ friendship, and i know how much you must’ve cared for him. Likewise with my INTJ she’s my best friend in the whole world, and funny thing is that compared to most friendships, i barely know her. But i know exactly who she is, and i love her for that (if that makes any sense) i care deeply about her, and i know that she cares deeply about me. to lose her would be the end of my happiness for a long time. (I’ve lost a father, so that i know how that kind of pain feels, and how it can drastically change one’s life)
    When an INFJ and an INTJ become friends, or partners, it is the real thing. So i know how much you have to be pained by this. Rest assured that for everything there is a season, you’ll get through this when the time is right.
    Best wishes, an INFJ

  • Kate
    Reply

    I’m an INTJ female and my husband is an INFJ. We’ve been together 11 yrs and both found this assessment incredibly accurate! We were laughing at how accurate many parts were. The car model explanation was immensely helpful. I knew there was a pattern to our ‘big’ arguments but they are so infrequent I could not identify that we both work from the 10YR function. After so long together we generally operate from co-pilot but we have many decades ahead of us. I’m sure bearing this in mind will help for unavoidable ‘big’ arguments in the future. Thank you for posting.

  • Leonora
    Reply

    As an INFJ,I had a hard time understanding my INTJ boyfriend early on relationship but praise God we were able to get through it. Being in a long distance relationship helped us reflect on issues more often and avoid big arguments. Knowing him made me understand personal differences even better and molded me to become patient (I like someone who replies faster but he is the type of person who doesn’t text back right away unless it isn’t urgent Hahaha).
    The greatest stumbling block for us would be, me being emotionally high maintenance (sometimes) and him being clueless about how I feel. I most of the time overthinks and he’s preoccupied.
    We almost broke up twice, first because I was still immature that time (I was 19) and felt like he already lost interest on our relationship. I was sure it was the end but he did not give up on me, he instead gave me a month to think things over. After a month he was the first one to reach out since he knew I will never call him first even if I wanted to ( 😀 ). The second time was worse, he was the one who asked for some time and space. Being INFJ, I decided to end the relationship feeling like I’m being a burden to him and thinking he does not love me anymore. It took us 7 months of no constant communication before finally patching things up which he initiated. Nevertheless, we were able to deal with our differences and realized we have this world only we can understand. He once said he tried discussing our topics to his friend but none of them can relate.
    I know we still have many years ahead of us and what I’ve learned here would help us deal with whatever we’ll face in the future. With God’s grace and guidance 🙂

  • Leslie
    Reply

    I am INFJ woman and just had my first experience dating and INTJ man. This article really summed it up perfectly. We enjoyed each other’s company so much, it was like we go into our own little world and talk, debate, joke, laugh — even just being in one another’s presence was calming, comforting. It was really rare and lovely. I’m sad to say that in the end, our break up was over a difference in values. Sharing similar values between these two is key because if the INTJ can rationalize his/her values but they make the INFJ feel insecure or and safe, you’re at an impasse.

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