INFJ Relationships – Finding Closure And Moving On

by Darbright on June 20, 2011

INFJ relationships are rare to come by. First because INFJ types are rare. Second because INFJs tend to be very protective of their inner core. When they allow that special someone in, that person has access to everything that is the essence of them.

In other words, INFJs don’t have “relationships” with the one they love. They have mates… i.e. life partners. When INFJs truly love someone, they love that person all the way to the end of their lives and possibly even beyond. So when things come to an end, as they have a tendency to do, INFJs get wounded to their core.

And this raw gaping wound in their soul can last a long time. It takes years for an INFJ to recover from a soul wound. On the surface, it may seem that life has returned to normal after awhile. But on the inside, the INFJ is still reflecting over the events, decisions, words and actions that have taken place during the relationship.

So how does an INFJ actually recover from this soul wound and heal themselves?

Your typical breakup advice doesn’t really work with INFJs. I think it’s mostly because INFJs are so rare that no case studies or relationship work has been done with them. What you get in advice for the masses applies to that… the masses.

INFJ Relationship – Being On The Receiving End

I refer to INFJ relationships that end because of a breakup caused by the other party. Why? If an INFJ has already made a decision to move on from a relationship, they would already have started the process of disassociating important parts of themselves from the relationship.

They would have understood why certain aspects just wouldn’t work and come to peace with letting that part go. So part by part, an INFJ would ease out of a relationship in the softest manner possible. They do this to allow time and social conditioning of their partner to get used to life without them.

When an INFJ wants to move on from a relationship from someone they still care about (but don’t want to spend the rest of their life with), they do their best to minimize the pain and hurt that may result from the breakup. They will do it in ways that are so subtle, you never really notice they are moving on until you are already used to living without their conscious presence.

Of course if you were paying attention to the relationship in the first place, it’s less likely that an INFJ would consider moving on unless the two of you are truly incompatible.

But when it comes to the other party initiating a breakup with an INFJ on the receiving end, I doubt that most other types give the same type of consideration. The motto of the faster the better usually applies. The “it is better to hurt them now rather than prolong the agony” is the typical advice given for initiating breakups.

So for INFJs whose core have been left vulnerable and exposed, it’s literally stabbing a red hot knife into their entrails, twisting it and slowly carving their heart out type of soul agony. The pain and hurt resonates for years even after the breakup. It’s a metaphysical reaching into their chest with your hand and yanking their heart out while it’s still beating.

And since most INFJs keep their inner circle to a limited number of people, it’s unlikely you’ll see them out partying and socializing as part of their healing process. On rare occasions when they need to get out of their minds, yes, they may need an outlet to just distract them. But as a rule of thumb, INFJs will spend their solitary moments coming to terms with whatever happened.

Obtaining Closure In INFJ Relationships

There are some key points that I wish to share here. I think most INFJs and spiritually aware people will understand this. When it comes to understanding universal spirit, it helps to know that everyone that lives on this planet comes from the same soul source. We are like little drops of water that are separated from the ocean, each an individual with their own perspective, personality and character. But yet we are all made from the same substance.

A lot of the experiences that we have on this planet relate to this planet. When we move on after death, life and values are much different on the other side. Physical things and earthly desires start to pale because they have no “value” when everything exists at the metaphysical level.

The thing is when you love someone, you love someone. You just do. You may never live your life with the person that you love, but it is good enough to know that because of love you need to set them free. Even if it hurts like ten thousand demons are rampaging through your soul having a wild malevolent party eating your heart out one bite at a time.

When it comes to letting go, for most INFJs who reach their spiritual maturity, the value of “the Highest Good of All Concerned” is the dominant factor. And this is the principle that you need to hold onto as you begin the process of finding closure.

INFJ Relationships – Actual Exercise For Finding Closure

Ok, this may seem like I’m piling it on in the pain and hurt department. But it also depends on where you are in your recovery stage and the reasons why things ended.

When you understand that the Highest Power is Unconditional Love, you might understand the reasons behind why you might want to try this.

Take out your journal, your private sacrosanct place. This exercise will help you bring a sense of completion and allow you to move on a little easier.

What you are going to do is to create a life for yourself in one of your inner worlds with your ex-partner. Since I am a guy, I’ll be writing this from a male INFJ perspective. If you’re female, just use the female perspective to create your own inner world, ok?


What You Are Going To Do…

You’re going to live a complete life from beginning to end with the person that you love. Begin from the beginning or a comfortable place where things were still good between the two of you. If you were single and dating at that time, then start from that point. If you were married, then start from a place where things were still going great in the marriage.

I’ll start from the where you are a single in a relationship.

The next few paragraphs are about re-creating the relationship into the form of memories, so the language I use may seem to imply that events have already happened. It is an exercise in creating possibilities in your inner world to find closure in your heart and mind.

And so we begin…

Remember the first time the two of you met. The initial flutter, nervousness and gathering of courage that you needed to make the first approach. You were hoping that she responds in kind, but you never know for sure what her reaction is going to be. So when she replies, the dance begins.

Remember how the two of you start to talk and hang out a little. Remember the fun, laughter and joy the two of you enjoyed. Remember the sharing of intimate details and soul secrets that you would only share with your life partner. Remember the times that you spent together in the sunshine and the moments that only two of you will ever know.

Remember the best and the worst of her. Remember how you loved the best parts of her and remember how the two of you went through the worst parts together. Revisit the times that the two of you fought… and create a resolution that satisfies the both of you.

Imagine how you went through picking that engagement ring knowing what you know about her. You’re hoping that she will accept what you can offer, even if you know that she deserves better than whatever you could possibly hope to offer.

Imagine your proposal to her and asking for her hand in marriage. Imagine her delight, laughter and joy as you went to one knee and offered her the ring. Remember the sparkling light in her eyes when she said yes. Remember how your heart leapt and throbbed when she smiled with tears in her eyes as she accepted the ring on her finger.

Go through the planning of the wedding. The picking of the bridal gown, the long waits in the shops as she tried on dress after dress to find the one she finally loved. The discussion of details about who to invite to the wedding, what kind of entertainment to be had, and what the set-up would be like.

Imagine the day finally arriving, when you were ready to receive her at the altar. Feel the nervousness and anxiety that pounds at your heart as you wait for her to make her entrance.

Remember how your heart lifted in hope when the church doors started to open and the rapt silence that befell your soul when she finally stepped through.

You wonder why someone as beautiful and wonderful as her would ever marry someone like you. And then you stop questioning and accept the blessing that life has so generously offered you, because you know you will gladly spend the rest of your life making it up to her.

Imagine your honeymoon. Remember the fun and laughter that you shared when the two of you travelled to your favourite destinations. Oh how the both of you enjoyed the sun, the sand and the surf. Remember the intimate candlelight dinners and soft music playing in the background as the two of you speak softly in the lush darkness of the day.

Remember the moments when the two of you made love. Fall into the soft, sensual and romantic encounters. Feel the passion of the hard and aggressive moments. Feel the sharing of physical pleasures that spill out into the intimate surroundings of your lovemaking. Remember the teasing and building up of pleasurable intensity, keeping her on the edge until her cries fill your ears and her climax satisfies your soul.

Remember the languid moments after as you rest in each other’s arms, limbs tangled amid passion-wrecked blankets. Remember the moments of physical and soul connection as the two of your drift into blissful sleep.

Remember the re-entry into society and working life after your honeymoon. The tough times the two of you go through together as you seek to establish yourselves into a new life routine. Imagine going through hard moments of life together as both of you meet with obstacles in work, family and life. Remember how the two of you fought and disagreed with one another.

But always remember how the two of you came back together and worked it out.

And for the tough times you went through together, the relationship became stronger and the foundations became surer. Because you know that regardless of what life throws your way, you will be there for her as much as she will always be there for you.

Remember the first news of her pregnancy. Feel your heart leap with joy and then the worry that comes over the health of both her and your child. Feel the kind patience of your soul as she snaps at you over the fussing as you do your best to wrap her in cotton wool until the baby is born.

Remember the times when you went to classes with her in preparation for the birth of your child.

Remember how your heart stopped the day her water broke.

The rush to the hospital was controlled frenzy. Take part in the craziness of the birthing process and finally hold your child in your arms. Feel the quiet joy and pride that both of you shared as you held your baby in your arms.

Remember the times when you woke up in the night to soothe your baby. Remember the tiredness and her kicking you out of bed to change the baby’s diapers. Remember the moments that the two of you spent watching your child grow up.

Remember how the two of you talked late into the nights about what kind of person you would like your child to be, and how much you loved each other still over the years. A love for each other that is separate from your child, yet encompassing your baby in your world.

As you continue to imagine and create a life together with the person you love, always hold to the principle that the two of you worked things out and came to love each other more. Even when your thoughts want to derail and go into dark moments, always find a way back to making things right.

This is… after all…. your inner world of imagination. You are the creator and participant in this experience of life. This is where you get the chance to finally live out a life together with the one you love.

Create a life together all the way to the end. A life that is real with its ups and downs, its moments of joy and its moments of sadness. Create a life that encompasses the important things to you. Watching your children grow up into fine adults, the life the two of you shared and the years when you realized that the both of you were getting older.

Imagine the time when you finally made peace with going through death’s door and getting ready to meet each other again on the other side. Imagine how your life would have been if the two of you got the chance to live with the best of each other.

Finally, make peace with yourself that you have already lived a life with the one you love. In another world, in another time, perhaps all this would have taken place. But the truth is… it did.

It took place in your inner world. You got a chance to live out a full and complete life together. You got to experience the best of each other. You got to experience the worst of each other and yet made it through.

You have already lived a life with the one you love.

And now that you have, let go of the need to have that person in your life. Allow the one that you love to go free. To experience the journey and life’s lessons that she (or he) needs in their journey. Know that you do so because you have already lived the life you wanted. Let go because of the love you have for their soul and their journey in this life.

And when you have made peace within your heart and soothed the cry of your soul, you can continue with your own journey in this world. You know that you have already lived a thousand lifetimes in the deepest depths of your heart and this is but another path to walk.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Albert January 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

Genious once again Man! you are Awsome!!!! especially the part you have mentioned the knife stabb inside our souls and heart. it is the same i felt when my GF left me. the way you wrote the title the same way i felt, the pain was so harsh that i kept on throwing the pillow to the wall and crying for months and years under the pillow and the only question i came up inside my head was “Why am i so Fucking Sensitive?” the only part i dont agree is the clouser part becase everyone has a different way off letting go :) i made my conclusion just by living alone… :( something i wished it would have never happened painful but i did it even though i still loved her.

Darbright January 3, 2012 at 12:34 am

@ Albert: Yup, everyone has their own way of finding closure. I’ve tried so many different ways in the past to let go of relationships that didn’t work out. It’s all part of the journey of growing and learning how to love.

Going through the anger, sadness, hurt and finally reaching a point of acceptance. And with acceptance, also sending out a blessing for the well-being of the one you love in this lifetime, whether he or she knows it.

Don’t worry too much about living alone for the rest of your life? Just take the time to heal your wounded soul, and I think that once you are ready, you’ll learn to love again.

Developed INFJs are just too awesome to be alone. ;-)

Albert January 3, 2012 at 9:42 am

i hope i dont get to live alone. i am already over it and so far i have not had no luck on finding one. all we can do is hope…

Pany January 8, 2012 at 12:36 am

Thank you!!! Thank you!!! You are the voice that touch my hurting soul, your understanding has help me found my closure! Thanks once again!!!

Darbright January 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

@ Albert:
My take is that we just need to learn to truly love and appreciate ourselves. Not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that honors the essence that is within.

And sometimes, it’s not about “finding” that someone. It’s clique, but it’s really about “being” the best someone you ought to be. Far too many people find their partners emotionally and intellectually “boring” after being in a long term relationship.

But when you’re always learning new things, having fun, picking yourself up after setbacks, and generally just being an incredible human being… hmm… who doesn’t want to be with someone like that? ;-)

@ Pany: You’re welcome! The sun is always shining, even if it’s behind the clouds. :-)

Lana March 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Just found your site and i must thank you..

You helped me undertand myself and what im going through..
Gosh my heart is bleeding and im scared to cry and just choke back tears.. but rejection hurts..

I vowed to be a better person and now realise that losing people who are not on the same journey as you is part of the process.. fell in and out of love.. sometimes i wish i didnt feel so much.. but then again thats whats makes us soo unique.. the way we feel and communicate.. it hurts but i guess its all part of learning..

MsD April 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm

“…it’s literally stabbing a red hot knife into their entrails, twisting it and slowly carving their heart out type of soul agony.” I thought I was the only one who would write such things! ;-)

I agree with Albert’s comment above. Each person’s situation and handling of their pain are different.

For myself, learning how to listen to my intuition from the very beginning would have saved me years of heartache. So live and learn.

Live to tell a most fabulous story in another chapter…of life.

Swagata De April 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

I dont know what to say. True bliss, but then again things are only meant to be discovered when the time is right and I guess this is the time when I was supposed to have discovered it. I thank u and I thank my god.

Lissie June 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

I have read this post and many of the comments underneath, and I feel such a glow warmth and gratitude and validation. I see that many of my fellow INFJs have had a similar experience reading this. Truly, Darbright, whoever you are, your words have astonished me. They have cut through my long-practiced barriers and filters and defenses and landed straight in my heart. How can you know me so completely, though we have never met? I thank you for this gift.

Louisa June 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Wow. That article rendered me kind of speechless. I have a question for you, since you seem to have an understanding of INFJ’S like no other…I was involved with an INFJ man for several years. I’m very much an ENFP girl and we connected in an incredibly intense way. We would spend hours and hours almost every day talking and sharing thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We opened up to each other and understood one another in a way we never had with anyone else.

However, we were long-distance and that circumstance was ultimately what caused everything to fall apart, since neither one of us at the time could make the sacrifice and relocate. In an attempt to move on I hastily got involved with an incredibly insecure INFP (who, to make a long story short, I married, allowed to manipulate me and hold me “hostage” for over 7 years and with whom I have a child).

My INFJ and I stayed in touch for about a year or two after I married. He then stopped responding to my emails…I don’t know the exact reasons why. Maybe to try to heal after all the hurt we’d put each other through? To move on?

In any case, I’ve tried to move on as well…I’m the kind of girl who falls easily and hard, but falls out of love just as quickly and easily. But no matter what I do, I can’t ever get him out of my mind or heart. A decade later, I’m still crazy in love with him, though we’ve had no contact in nearly 5 years. I tried to reach out several times, (the last time being over 3 years ago) with no success.

Next month I’ll be in the area where he lives, and I’m thinking it’s been (hopefully) long enough that he might respond if I try to contact him. I don’t know what I’m expecting….a second chance at a relationship would be amazing, but just to have him back in my life, even only as a friend, would be rewarding in itself.

As an INFJ, once you close your heart on someone, would you ever let them back in? Should I call him or email him? Should I pursue him, or let him go? I’m so torn up about this….normally I’m an extremely confident girl who doesn’t have a hard time at all getting men, but he makes me feel so unsure about myself when it comes to how/if I should approach this situation.

He’s the only one I want, the only one I can see myself staying in love with. Something about you INFJ’s gets under our ENFP girls’ skin I suppose! Any advice would be so helpful and appreciated. Thanks so much.

Darbright June 12, 2012 at 1:50 am

@ Louisa:

Every relationship is different. And it’s difficult to compare what happens in one relationship to another.

I’d say that an ENFP gal can also quite easily get under an INFJ’s skin too. There’s just something about their zest and energy that draws an INFJ to them.

Maybe it’s because they bring the outgoing, social energy that INFJs tend to have less of.

The thing about INFJs is that very few people ever enter into their inner circle. And INFJs can take it very hard when they lose these people they have become close to.

And when it comes to romantic connections, it can be even more devastating.

I don’t know your INFJ guy. And saying that, it’s also true that every INFJ is a different person based on their life experiences, upbringing and environment.

Two INFJs may take a completely different tack when faced with the same problem, since INFJ is a personality type, not a person.

But if it’s been a decade…

Things would have changed. People change going through life experiences, right?

He would likely be a very different man from the guy you knew 10 years ago.

If he’s dropped contact while you were still married, then it’s my guess that he’s likely to have accepted the fact that you chose another man over him.

I would say, why not go ahead and contact him if you can. But just be forewarned that he may already be married, dating someone, or just moved on with no place for you in his life anymore.

Or, he may be sitting on your messages and he doesn’t have a clue what to do. He can’t decide if it’s better or worse to bring you back into his life.

If he does reply and meets up with you, I’d really take things one step at a time. Don’t assume anything, especially if he’s still single.

Both of you were hurt, and whatever trust that existed then needs to be re-established. INFJs do not let people who waltz out of their lives back in so easily, if ever.

Especially if he was really hit hard and soul wounded.

His guard will be up, whether consciously or subconsciously.

The older and more mature an INFJ gets, I think the more they seek kindness, compassion and understanding in their life partner. None of that feminist or chavinist crap.

It’s a meeting of two people who understand and accept each other as equals, and who have different strengths and weaknesses.

While having an ENFP brings a lot of fun, zest and extroversion, an INFJ also needs to know his partner has a mature and strong side to her that he can rely on in his darker moments.

Go contact him. He may really be sitting on his hands unsure of what to do. And take your time getting to know each other all over again.

I hope this helps, and isn’t as harsh as I think it might be.

Darbright June 12, 2012 at 2:20 am

Here’s a video I just happened to come across today about the perfect mate.

You’ll never know when the right person will walk into your life as you become the best person you can be. ;-)

Erika August 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Yes. A past relationship sounds exactly like what you wrote. I wish your post was something I could have read 2 yrs ago. Long story short, once I realized he had a drinking problem (he hid it very well as they all do) after about three months together, I went through the whole “he can change” (that mates of people who have addictions go through), he tried and failed.

I knew being in my mid 20′s this was not the life I wanted into my future, so I went with my mind over my heart, and my heart hurt like it never has before. Months and months later, after many fights–I felt like a changed person. I didn’t feel like myself, the arguments and mistrust poisoned me, as I am not a conflict person (I’m an INFJ afterall).

After slowing ripping off the bandaid for months, almost like I was actually starting arguments knowing it would eventually lead to us breaking up, a certain afternoon was the last straw and I flipped (never knew I could be the way I was that day), knowing it was my only way out.

And no matter how much I hurt, I could only feel for him–I felt like I wrecked him. I felt like I abandonded him, I knew he can only change for himself, not another person (and finally I didn’t just know that, but believed that). And for the next year could only think about how much he must be hurting.

I did a LOT of journaling, which is what helped me through. I didn’t read about how to cope, friends advice didn’t help. It just took time and writing out my thoughts. Rereading what I had wrote, and writing more about all that we went through.

Now I’m happy/healthy now with my current mate–and those old journals have actually go into the trash a while back ~ they served their purpose and now they’re gone. Once in a great while I’ll think about him and hope he’s doing well ~ sending out my good intentions, because I will never forget.

Nim August 30, 2012 at 12:34 am

Darbright – all that you’ve written here are just perfect. I would really like to know more from the perspective of those INFJs who initiate the process of separation… what do they go through, how do they deal with it?

Jennifer September 13, 2012 at 2:43 am

Dear Darbright,

I am very happy to have stumbled on this post, and I have had a similar experience. Years ago, I was dumped (on my birthday) by a guy who I really, really liked. As ususal, it took me a long time to get over this. Actually, a year passed and then I discovered a tidbit of information about the break up which brought it all back!

Luckily, at that time, I had the opportunity to get away for a month, by myself, to be creative – and something wonderful happened. I did what you suggest in this post (!), but I made up a new character for myself. I, now, believe that I used my animus as a guide and my daydreams were actually an ongoing healing meditation. As I had all day to sink into my imagination, and was open to my muse, it was wonderful, and powerful and definitely helped me feel better about myself and engendered thoughts of love as opposed to dumped feelings.

Interesting….thank you for sharing.

Julia November 14, 2012 at 7:11 am

OMG! you are so right! I never understood how some people could love someone one minute then not love them the next. I thought I was weird. I will always love my ex no matter what, even though we cannot be together. I also have a hard time cutting people out of my life. The relationships I have built are long-term family members I have chosen. I love your blog… keep writing!

SuziQ January 7, 2013 at 4:09 am

So I am an ENTJ female. Like your article states, when I met the INFJ male we immediately hit it off pouring our souls. It felt so incredible to have someone understand my complex ENTJ personality and be able to jump around given my ADD and above average IQ (which at times makes it difficult for others to understand my thought process).

For the first 6 weeks all was perfect, but then we had one weekend where my “feelingless, wild, cold, dominaring” came out and the INFJ immediately shut down, didn’t want to even discuss learning from this and helping me tone myself down some.

I can be a typical ENTJ, but at times also borderlineINTP and ENTP (never INTJ). I am used to building relationships by bringing out issues, discussing, coming to terms, and peacefully have this help one grow the relationship stronger. But to go from the INFJ calling me 3-4 times a day for 6 weeks, telling me daily how he misses me, making plans and buying firewood to spend time with me, driving me around town showing me how he wants to improve self (to me almost asking for my reassurance), and then after 1 weekend shutting down completely seems odd.

I never thought INFJ’s to be the lying type, but this really makes me feel like there was another prior girlfriend and he lied about it and wanted back with her. However, that is my NT side trying to rationalize my experience and keep in mind my NT are in the high 90′s, while my J/P is borderline and I am very acceptant to other people’s thoughts if it is logical and rational, and I can at times be an E, do not like being alone, but like best if I’m alone with my loved ones, instead of a crowd. In large crowds I switch from the cozy nurturing girl to the Dominaring Social Butterfly that has everyones’ attention, without really enjoying this site of me.

I just wanted to get the perspective of other INFJ’s to see if truly after 1 bad weekend an INFJ that was truly commited can fully shut down and just be friends, or if most other INFJ’s would value me opening up the line of conversation in an attempt to understand the INFJ and help develop that perfect relationship we both desire. MUCH LOVE and THANK YOU!!! <3

Tori January 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I wish I had seen this years ago, yet it’s comforting to find it now that I am well on my way to not needing it. I coped by forcing myself to look away and choosing to not betray my heart anymore with the illusion that I was still in love. It was painful and bittersweet relief to leave him behind to suffer his own consequence for all the wrongs he did. But in the end I knew I had to love myself enough too. Even though letting go of my own promises made me come close to hating myself through guilt, I always knew my heart would be better off without the sacrificial chains I had placed on it.

True love, and the hope for it, is no match for sacrificial love. Don’t settle. Don’t let guilt blind you. It’s like being too blind to see that your partner was too deaf to hear you. And at least from my experience in a toxic relationship I can tell you that one day you will look back and be amazed just how much more clear everything seems when you look back. Not everything that glitters is gold.

SuziQ January 9, 2013 at 3:19 am

Thank you Tori, and I agree with your view. I am letting go and not settling. I’m certain I’m not “perfect” and might never be “perfect” (who really is?). Perhaps I’m the one who brings upon toxicity (especially when switching from ENTJ to ENTP) in various relationships, but I am willing to adapt and work on building a non-toxic relationship, if given the opportunity.

At least I admit this, and am willing to learn & grow with someone who can hear me out, share feelings with, and doesn’t make me feel guilty about being myself and asking for guidance and attempting to find a means to better communicate. Yes, communication can sometimes be difficult (especially dealing with I vs. E and various forms of self expression). It can bring upon anxiety in the beginning when trying to understand each other (and this can be “toxic” at first) and find a way to communicate. However, in my little “Logical ENTJ Mind” (LOL), working issues out and not letting anxiety lead away, is necessary to grow relationships and friendships stronger and build upon defining true happiness in life.

I perceive relationships to be based upon respect, honesty, and love, and not on guilt, abandonment, and confusion (maybe I’m wrong, but was willing to hear the INFJ view, but his stance on perfectionism did not even allow for thus and he pushed me away). I hope one day to feel like you Tori and wanted you to know I really appreciate your reply and perspective about glitter vs. gold. I will remember this everytime I allow new people to enter into my life, in hopes to one day have all the glitter fly away and have a golden man will stumble upon my rock, and decide to stay, lift me up (while considering both our needs), and together be one solid golden rock in life. HEARTS and HAPPY 2013!!!

Tori January 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm

To SuziQ, I am glad you found it helpful. It was not directed towards you specifically but I am happy someone read it. I read your post and I just wanted to say that I REALLY appreciate people who want to understand me and are patient. I think your effort to communicate would have been welcome, and, therefore, I think something else is probably the problem. The only thing I can think of that would make me change my mind like your INFJ did is if I had a good reason to think it is not going to work out. We tend to overanalyze. Perhaps he could see incompatability or a potential problem and did not want to hurt you. I wish you the best in finding real gold! I am now in a healthy and wonderful relationship with someone so I know it’s possible. Don’t lose hope. And a good 2013 to you too! :)

alice January 14, 2013 at 9:17 am

Oooh this was helpful. I’m an INFJ feeling silly for falling hard and fast for an INTP. But it was long distance and that isn’t what he really wanted, though for about 3 months it was just lovely.

It helped me to read about the ‘highest good,’ as it has been my philosophy for a long time, and I don’t know that I’ve seen it described elsewhere than my head. :o) (I guess I’m not that original.) I do believe if someone isn’t going to be happy with me, it is better for us both if they move on. Ouch. Because I will always wish well for those I have loved.

I’ve been pining all day and your exercise just made me cry and cry. I needed that. It’s funny, in past relationships I’ve commented, “somewhere, in a parallel universe, this worked out the way we hoped.”

Anyway, thank you. Thank you!

Pat January 26, 2013 at 2:53 am

Thankfully so many well written and thought out words.
I am 54 years old and have been married to a woman that is an ISFJ and has BPD.
This combo has wreaked havoc on me for 32 years. I cannot count how many times I have left in my mind. Yet the desire not only to do what is “right” kept me there but the idea that things could work if only…get me in the game.
It has been only in the last few years that I found out that I was an INFJ, although all along I knew I was different, and about her.
I often hear in my hearts ear that “greater love has no man” so I have a not so much new found purpose as a reason why. But for all this to play out I have to be who I am, not who I have tried to be, a combination of reactions and fearful forebodings.
There was a time that I thought I had confidence, usually that was only things going my way for awhile. There are some rather large mountains I have climbed with four children, terminal cancer, running my own business for nearly 20 years yet I am only beginning to see myself as a self that has something to offer other than the mortgage payment.
So often as an INFJ we seek harmony in the home and relationships they offer we may compromise to have what looks like peace. While I never comprised on the main things in many other ways I gave away myself, I mean my self to have not necessarily peace but less conflict.
If given a chance again I would never do that. But knowing that now might just be the latest step in the process and more often than not it seems to be ok. Since I have to live with the consequences one way or the other it may be as well for the right reasons as not.
I am writing to say that sometimes you may need to break up to stay in the relationship. And the first person you will break up with is your old self that was never you anyway. Move on from that person first to be that person you were created to be and mirror that love to the old other and see if it brings out a new them that the new two can still in dreams and real life live happily ever after.

SJ February 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm


Pleased to have discovered this blog today with a Google search of ‘How to survive as an INFJ’ which I am sure says a lot! Keep up the good work and is there a way that the commenters here could connect with each other more here? We need to connect with others like ourselves as we are so rare. We also need the empathy and nurturing that we so readily give to others to be given to us. We need to prop each other up when we are weak from propping up everyone else and dealing with their problems.

Some relationship questions:

Do you think that INFJs are more likely to be co-dependent as they are so nurturing and accepting of others’ difficulties and baggage? Do they too easily allow others to ‘take centre stage’ all the time with their emotional demands? (I know I do and am tired of it).

How can INFJs make sure they get their own emotional needs met in a relationship (or is the advice to just choose the right partner in the first place)?

What is good advice for INFJs who are unhappy in their relationship due to lack of balance between their own emotional needs and those of others?

Do INFJs agonise more about whether to end their relationships than other types and therefore live with something they are unhappy with for years in order to keep the peace, avoid conflict and avoid their own needs?

Do INFJs have more of a a tendency than other types to put their partner first and not keep up their friendships? If so, how can they push themselves to find new friendships and stop this habit? How can they find people that they really connect with?

If let down, do INFJs find it harder to trust than others? I know that trust is key for me and a lack of it is very hard to deal with.

Thanks for taking the time to think about these questions – I felt they needed to be asked.

IamHisbeloved March 10, 2013 at 4:45 am

What a soothing help to my soul this article is. I am an INFJ and struggle deeply with my depth of love, the amount of pain that knows no bounds in my life and loneliness very few understand because of my need for connection, my need to be seen and to truly see others.
It is good to know that I’m not alone… There are a few of us out there and also quite a few who want to understand us.
Thank you.

Nora April 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Hey this was remarkably refreshing…and so sweet of you to share your insights. Trying to recover from relationship failure or mutual delegation is tough for an INFJ to manage by ones self. but I believe in that aloneness I found the strength and ability ti love and appreciated. my self as much as I did my partner and that has given me such a perspective on how how I love. its grrreat to be an INFJ

Caroline May 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I am an INFP in a relationship with an INFJ. He is there emotionally for everyone & therefore “lifting” all, myself included. There is a high cost that he has paid & not been re-numerated for, emotionally.

I desire to be there for him emotionally & meet his needs in this relationship, yet I find I am not knowledgeable in what an INFJ man truly needs to restore himself emotionally & improve a connection with deeper understanding. I desire to bring balance back to his life & could use some advice on what would be meaningful to him as an INFJ man.

I would appreciate any insights.

roy May 10, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Thank you.

Diane September 15, 2013 at 7:26 am

Wow.. I can’t believe how insightful this was for me. I have never understood why break ups have been so hard for me even when I know it’s for the best. While others it takes just a few weeks to move on.. It takes me months even years. Thank you for this. I will actually try this exercise. I would love more than anything to stop feeling the pain that follows a loss of a partner.

Darbright September 16, 2013 at 2:25 am

Breakups are always painful when your heart and soul are fully invested in what’s best for the other party, even at your own expense.

It’s important to bring closure to any open wound caused by relationships. This is just one way I tried that helped me realize that while we live on the physical plane, on the spiritual plane there is always a larger plan in motion.

We are made for human interaction. Sometimes, the full healing comes only when you meet someone who loves you just as you are. Their love energy fills that empty space within to restore your heart.

I am wishing you well and good healing of the heart.

Diane September 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Thank you. I recently dated a ISTP. We moved fast and it was wonderful. We even dicussed our different personalities. both at the time thinking we could work through if we knew them upfront. but as fast as it started it ended. I was of course shocked and wounded.
He “logically” made the decision with no “feelings” involved and filed me away. That hurt worse. I thought at the time, knowing how he would handle it, would make it easier for me but instead it left me feeling like a wounded animal. He’s already wanting to date and move on. The thought of that just crashes my soul. Because I feel if you truly love someone, that would be the furthest from your mind. But then again… He’s not a INFJ.

Darbright September 16, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I understand it’s not easy to find someone that you might genuinely like.

And it’s probably even tougher to find someone who has a chance of being compatible (with an INFJ). You’ll have to ask yourself what you’re really searching for in a partner.

A long term/life time partner, or someone who is around right now but probably not later.

Finding a life time partner is much more challenging, because they have to “fit” at three levels:

1. Physical Attraction
2. Emotional Attraction
3. Intellectual Attraction

That’s really a tall order to meet any other day, much less for INFJs. When it comes to the issue of love compatibility, it’s really fate/random chance?

There are ways to evaluate if someone is a good match for what you’re lookin for, but I’m not an expert in that. I’m no “love guru” to dispense advice on matters of the heart, only to share my own insights and experiences.

Darbright September 16, 2013 at 6:56 pm

P.s. I can only hope that if you mix around with enough people of the right type, there’s a higher chance of bumping into someone who wants to be with you as much as you want to be with him.

Amelia October 23, 2013 at 4:17 am

Thank you so much for writing this. I’m an INFJ and I was engaged to an ISTJ (ironic, yes?) two years ago. When he broke things off so quickly and completely it was like my entire world just stopped. To this day, he doesn’t understand how I could still have feelings for him and about our relationship and to me, it’s like it all still happened yesterday. Granted, I’ve “moved on” and can live a normal life now, but even driving by our old apartment complex can bring everything right back up. You’re so right, when an INFJ decides to love you unconditionally, there isn’t any stopping it. It’s just nice to know I’m not alone<3

Amanda November 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm

How do you deal with betrayal. I’m still reeling from it and I can’t seem to find a way out of the emotional gridlock. It’s almost everything has frozen up. I believe I dated a ESTJ which for some reason I felt we could somehow connect or that I could change him. But he could see the side of me that wanted to help. In his opinion I was irrational and crazy, which I couldn’t understand from anyone’s point of view. But it’s extremely difficult now to heal from the hurt and abuse.

Darbright November 10, 2013 at 5:41 pm

@ Amanda:
I’m not too sure about dealing with betrayal. The “right” thing to do is understand that people do what they do. You don’t get betrayed by a dog for barking, because that’s what dogs do. They bark.

The “wrong” thing would be try to get revenge or hurt others back. Sometimes it helps. Most times, if you do it out of wrong intentions or a misguided sense of purpose, it probably hurts you in the long run.

As for dealing with hurt from betrayal…

It hurts because it’s not just about having someone you trust hurt you. It hurts also because it makes us question ourselves, why we even trusted that person in the first place. That we’d be so easily fooled by a face, nice words and some helpful actions.

It doubly hurts because we “should have known better”.

Finding someone we connect with is rare. People who are in a group can also feel lonely, so when meeting someone actually “gets” us and connects with us on a deeper level can make us feel that perhaps there’s something to living this life after all. It’s not just about me, myself and I trying to make our own lonely way through this life.

But when we trust someone on an emotional, spiritual even, level… their betrayal just doesn’t hurt us emotionally and mentally. It can literally tear away a part of ourselves that we invested into the relationship and into them. It’s like having a part of your energy being torn away, leaving ragged edges of your soul flapping like a rag in the wind.

I’ve not found a way to “restore” that kind of hurt and loss on my own. I don’t even think it’s truly possible to recover like that. I feel that in the right time and in the right place, someone else comes along to share their “energy” and a little bit of themselves which we then use to stitch back our ragged souls.

If you can find healing in the energy flow of nature, I suppose that’s one way to reconnect with life. However, since I personally live in a city, there isn’t that much nature to reconnect with on a regular basis. I’ve had fortune in meeting people along the way who helped to restore that inner being within.

We all need time to make sense of what happened. That’s why time is a good healer. To jiggle the pieces of the puzzle, question the who’s, the why’s, the hows, and everything in between. Until things make sense to us.

You have to learn how to trust yourself and your judgement again. You’ll have to allow yourself to grieve, to despair, to hurt. But most of all, you’ll have to accept that it’s part and parcel of the healing journey that we all go through.

That eventually… things will get better.

As for people, I came across this realization that made me laugh…

Have you ever tried to change yourself and realize how difficult it was? If you can’t even change yourself, how much more difficult will it be to change someone else (who may not even feel they need to change) in the first place?

When we stop trying to change others, we learn to accept them for who they are. And when we accept them for who they are, we learn how to forgive them and move on.

They’re not perfect.

Neither are we.

When you learn to accept the world as it is, instead of how you think it should be, you’ll stop trying to change others and start sifting the sand for the gold instead.

I hope this helps.

Em April 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Thank you so much. This is very validating and very true. I don’t feel like putting my personal story out there today, but in brief, I have been trying to figure out why on earth the process that allowed me to accept the end of one relationship was NOT working for me this time around, when I didn’t initiate the breakup. I felt like the guy couldn’t have broken up with me more kindly or with more valid reasons–even the breakup was practically a pleasure after what I’d been thru with the first man. So confusing, though. Where I have had success in letting go has been almost entirely in the “for the greater good” realm. Thanks for affirming what I’ve been going thru.

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