Friday, February 15, 2019

10 Qualities I've Decided to Look for in My Ideal Match Thanks to Having Dinner with an ISFJ

Hey, everyone.

So, I know I was supposed to cover the Gothic qualities of the INTJ this week, but I still need some time with that one. Plus, the inspiration for this post struck like lightning, and since Valentine's Day was yesterday, this post is topical. Anyway...

Last week I had dinner with a friend, and yes, she is definitely just a friend. Seeing as how her hair was up in a ponytail, she was wearing glasses that remind me of a pair my grandmother once had, and that she was wearing a baggy sweater instead of a form-fitting one, this was definitely just "dinner with a friend" for her.

However, it would be totally inaccurate to say I had no interest or curiosity in dating her at all. The purpose of our tryst was for me to pick her brain on ways to build our young adult group at church, but I also used it as a sort of "test date" to see how compatible she and I are. As it turns out, despite the both of us being very Catholic and able to get along swimmingly, I don't think we would make a very good couple.

Now, I knew going into the meeting she was an ISFJ, so I knew to check my INTJ-ness. There was really only one point where it really showed--that is to say, there was only one point where I was little argumentative and maybe a little more aggressive than I should have been since I knew I was right--but the "date" was still very interesting as it gave me some great insight into 10 qualities I would love for my ideal match to have.

Before I begin though, I must preface this post by saying that I understand that not all of these qualities are ISFJ-like. Some are completely dependent on the fact that my friend is an entirely different person from me and has had a unique life. Point of fact, I could have dinner with seven different personalities and likewise pull 10 qualities for an ideal match from the experience. So, I'm not claiming that all ISFJs are like this, and I'm not writing--or at the least, not trying to write--a criticism of my friend, although there will be places where the article tends that way. Now, then...

1. Comfortable with Her Own Thoughts

After we were seated, I adhered to the more basic cordialities by asking my friend how work had been. She works with mentally challenged children, tending to their learning needs in whatever shape that may take, from simple arithmetic to how to use the bathroom. She said that for the most part that work had been fine, but at the end of January, beginning of February, Michigan experienced a "deep freeze", during which time, many schools were shut down. Well, my friend still had to work, but since the child she works with didn't show those days, she said she had a lot of time to herself, which wasn't a good thing for her.

Apparently, my friend doesn't do well under poorly constructed conditions, meaning the only place she can turn to at such a time is within and to her own thoughts. She confessed she wasn't very comfortable with that. I was a little surprised since my friend isn't the stereotypical ISFJ. ISFJs aren't known for pursuing higher education, but my friend is looking to get into graduate school, so I thought she could handle her thoughts, meaning she was in touch with her inferior function (Ne).

This sudden confession from her that she couldn't handle her own thoughts was sort of startling and discomforting to me as I am very comfortable with my thoughts. It was at that time I decided I would like a girl who can handle her own thoughts without being perturbed.

2. Grateful

Now, since most of these qualities are going to sound like criticisms of my friend, I decided to include this one about gratefulness, not just for her sake, but also because I think it's an attractive quality in women.

So, when my friend and I decided to make plans to meet, I immediately decided I would pay for it. Partly because I saw it as a "proto-date" and partly because I had the feeling the situation might've felt a little awkward for her and therefore easier to swallow if it didn't cost her anything. After all, it did sort of come out of nowhere. But I also did it because I am trying to be more traditionally manly, and there's nothing wrong with treating a girl respectfully with whom nothing romantic may develop.

So, indeed, she was grateful that I was willing to cover dinner--and the tip--but she also thanked me for being considerate of the fact she's vegan. Before we ordered, I asked her if it would bother her if I ate meat, to which she said it wouldn't, and then she thanked me for my concern since most people don't bother. Now, usually I wouldn't give a damn about a vegan's feelings because most vegans are self-righteous, holier-than-thou types, but my friend's main concern regarding meat is the consumption of growth hormones, which I think is legitimate. (Although, it's not enough of a concern for me because for all I know the reason why I'm almost six-and-a-half feet tall is due to BGH.)

But the point is, when she thanked me at both intervals, her overall demeanor was very sweet and I felt like I got a glimpse into the true personality of my friend, so gratefulness is an attribute I'll be looking for in my dates from now on.

3. Knows How to Debate

This one is a little weird, because if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'll know I don't attribute myself to the idea that INTJs love to debate. I mean, I can see why people would think that, but I personally hate doing it because of the possible conflict that may surface as a result. Plus, it's just infuriating when you know you're right, but the other person doesn't seem to be able to appreciate that. Anyway...

When I told my friend that her fears regarding BGH are legitimate, she said there were other reasons too, including that she is lactose intolerant and that veganism is better for the environment. Well, that last point isn't entirely true.

I had heard stories about the claim that veganism is more sustainable for the environment, and curious to see if it was true, I did some investigating and found an article that basically said it wasn't. (I unfortunately don't remember where it came from.) Turns out, out of a list of 11 different diets, veganism fell to number 5, with standard omnivore diets--which is where I fall--was at number 4. The top spot belonged to regular vegetarianism that allowed for the consumption of eggs and dairy products.

Obviously, my friend found this interesting and I explained the two reasons why this is so: 1. A lot of energy goes into the production of food, regardless of it being meat or vegetables, however, meat also has a high output of energy when digested whereas veggies don't, and 2. Land that is used for growing crops is nutrient dense whereas land used to grow grass to feed cows is nutritionally bankrupt. In other words, if we tried growing crops where we pasture cows, we'd get bad crops, and if we grew grass on nutritional ground, it would be a waste.

My friend however still tried to defend her lifestyle by saying that it still requires a lot more energy to produce meat than it does to produce crops. Well, that might be true, especially when you consider the fact that you have to slaughter cows in addition to feeding them, but my first point already covered this part of the argument: indeed, meat is costly in terms of energy input, but its energy output is also significantly higher than the output of vegetables.

Getting back to my friend and the point of this quality, when my friend tried to argue against me, even after I had already "won", it did feel like she was trying to save as much face as possible or that she was trying to defend a sinking ship. So, another quality I would like in a future match is a girl who knows how to debate properly and can accept defeat gracefully.

(Also, my friend's argument that nuts and beans are good sources of protein doesn't hold much water either. Nuts and legumes contain only a fraction of the protein that lean meat does, and at much higher calorie levels and in larger servings. So, lean meat is the decided victor in this fight.)

4. Doesn't Use "Like" So Much

Now, this is one of those qualities that is almost certainly not an ISFJ trait. Anyway, during dinner, I noticed that my friend used "like", like a lot. Like, a lot-lot. Like, a valley-girl a lot. I swear she once used "like" about 20 times in a span of two minutes, and it wasn't when she was stalling for time to put her thoughts together. What really burned me was when I started doing it the longer our conversation went on.

Admittedly, this isn't the worst character trait in the world, and it would certainly not be a deal breaker for me, however it is sort of annoying and it's a trait I could do without.

5. Uses "I feel" When Appropriate

There are plenty of articles out there that discuss at length how INTJs don't use their emotions and typically tend to think their feelings. Now, seeing as how I was dealing with a Feeling type, I really should've expected this sort of communication behavior. I say "communication" because it isn't simply a speaking behavior, but is inherent in how my friend, and probably Feeling types in general, communicate. They feel their thoughts and then express them in sentences that start with "I feel".

Now, to be fair, I did use "I feel" a number of times, too. However, this could have either been because her speech patterns were wearing off on me, or it had to do with the fact that the things that I felt, I legitimately felt, but not in the way you may be thinking.

Whenever I started a phrase with "I feel", I wasn't speaking about an emotion, but rather a feeling I had about some great, somewhat still hidden truth. The best way I can describe it is as a psychic feeling, and in the world of the paranormal, there is a psychic ability where a person knows a fact about something without any rational or logical evidence: claircognizance. However, there is another term for it that my INTJ brethren will immediately recognize--intuition. That's right, intuition is the ability to know something without really knowing it.

Getting back to my point, whenever I used "I feel" at the start of a sentence, this was the sort of feeling I was talking about. Now, it's possible my friend also meant it this way, but I wouldn't feel comfortable gambling on that when it comes to Feeling types. So, for my ideal match, I would like a girl who knows when to use "I feel" and when to use "I think."

6. Timely

When it comes to the time of meetings, I am a stickler. I'm nearly almost early for everything. A part of it is I like being on time, but another part is that it shows the other person that you respect and value their time. By not showing up on time, you're basically saying that your time and yourself are more important than the other person's. Now, my friend wasn't extraordinarily late by any measure, but 6 PM is 6 PM. It is not 6:03. I know my friend is busy and that she had asked if we could push the time back by a half hour, but having honored these allowances, she really should have been there on time, or even five to ten minutes early... like I was. Seriously, I got there at ten to.

Now, I don't wish to make this sound like I'm railing against my friend. After all, three minutes is only three minutes, but timeliness is a quality I look for in all people, and especially those closest to me, and especially-especially those I may end up romantically involved with. Again, being on time or even early shows respect for the other person and their time.

7. Maturity of Thought

So during dinner, I noticed some glaring immaturities in the thought processes of my friend. The biggest example of the night came when she told me that she thinks she could make it as a solo, female traveler but then admitted she's usually far too trusting. Now, for my fellow INTJs I don't need to point out what's wrong with this statement, but for everyone else...

My problem here is that my friend is aware of her habit of trusting too easily, and it must be a problem for her otherwise she wouldn't have mentioned it or mentioned it the way she did, and then to admit that she wishes to embark on an adventure where she may find herself at the mercy of strangers--including strangers who don't speak English and who love naïve, trusting American girls for all the wrong reasons--I sort of wanted to slap her upside the head and shout "THINK!" at her.

If you have a desire to do something, but you know you have a weakness that may endanger yourself in the adventure of that something, then you really shouldn't embark on that adventure until after you have resolved your weakness. To not do so--to just shrug and think "Enh, good enough"--well, that's really immature. Sort of like a person who knows they have to get up early for work the next morning, but instead spends the night drinking.

As a result, I now know definitively that I like a girl who is aware of her weaknesses and isn't willing to take stupid risks with them.

8. A Little Distrusting of the World

Thanks to number 7, I don't need to go into too much detail here, but basically, I appreciate a girl who knows what's going on in the world and takes steps to avoid trouble. When my friend told me she wanted to travel the world alone in van and "couch-surf", something within me became very agitated. I don't know if it's my natural tendency to distrust the world or my natural masculine desire to protect cute, vulnerable girls with more ambition than sense--maybe it's both--but this wouldn't fly with me, especially not within the confines of a romantic relationship. Anywhere my girlfriend/wife goes, I go as her sworn protector, even if that means going to New York, California, or Chicago, three places I have sworn off. And if I can't go with her, then guess who's going in my place? Smith and Wesson.

So, I would like a girl who is sort of wary of the world, and would be willing to allow me to accompany her on her travels.

9. Aware of Herself and Habits

I guess this one is just a reiteration of numbers 7 and 8. Seriously, I can't stress it enough how important is it to me that my ideal match be aware of herself, her habits, her strengths, and her weaknesses. Some people claim INTJs don't know these things about ourselves because our heads are always in the clouds. Well, sorry to disappoint you, but we're very cognizant of our own strengths and weaknesses.

Ergo, it is important to me that my match be as well. Confidence in her abilities as well as confidence in being able to admit where she's weak are very admirable qualities because she knows where she stands and I'll know where she stands.

10. Lack of Food Objections

This one definitely can't be linked to the ISFJ personality, but it does help make an even ten.

Anyway, like I said, I don't usually care for vegans and vegetarians because they're often holier-than-thou types, but I also have a bit of an issue with lactose intolerance as well as peanut allergies. Believe it or not, I love peanut butter and milk. I also love milk chocolate--dark chocolate can burn in Hell--and I love peanut butter and chocolate. And I also really dig meat. True, some meat really doesn't have a flavor unless it's seasoned, but when it is, it is delicious! Burgers, chicken, bacon! Yum!

So, when it comes to the last quality of my ideal match, I really do prefer a girl who can eat anything and is willing to try everything at least once. True, I am a picky eater myself, but I can't imagine living with someone who is pickier than me, and can't or won't eat any of the things that I myself absolutely love. So, to keep things nice and simple, I really do want a girl who has a lack of food objections.


So, where does this all leave me other than with ten qualities I would like to see in my ideal match? Well, it's a clear indicator that my friend is not the girl for me--at least not at this stage of her life--but that doesn't mean I'm swearing off ISFJs. Personality does not affect maturity.

On the positive side, my chat with her did reinforce other qualities I knew I wanted in a girl: practicing Catholic, polite, easy on the swearing, and easy to get along with. True, I could pick apart my friend further, but I didn't write this to point out the faults in my friend--I wrote this to show which qualities I would like my ideal match to have and why the opposites of those qualities are so unattractive.


For my next post, I'm not sure what I'll do. I'm starting to have second thoughts about the Gothicism of INTJs and perhaps that's just a reflection of me, meanwhile I'd love to examine an article I saw on Medium that analyzed the ways in which creative people live differently, and I wanted to apply that theory to INTJs. Well, we'll see what happens. 

Until then...

Keep writing, my friends.

More About Bryan C. Laesch:

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Seven Tips for Dating an INTJ

Hey, everyone.

So, I know I was supposed to cover the Gothic Aesthetic of INTJs this week, but I need a little more time with that one. Plus, with Valentine's Day approaching, this one is topical.

Now, while my usual MO is to take someone else's article on a subject like this and comment on it, I decided I would write an original piece. Part of my inspiration for this one comes from my frustration with dealing with normal/regular people at work, as well as my frustration with the whole-lot-of-nothing I find on dating sites. So in the spirit of my frustrations and Valentine's Day, please allow me to give you seven tips for dating INTJs. Please note: this is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list.

1. For the Love of God--Think!

I know some personality types may struggle with this first one, but just because you're a Feeling type, that doesn't excuse or preclude you from using your brain. I'm not saying you need to be Feeling type but hold the Feeling, but you will have to put your feelings aside sometimes and think. One of the largest annoyances INTJs face living in the world is how thoughtless everyone seems to be. One of the reasons why INTJs are so good at strategy is because we find ourselves thinking about and predicting other people's thoughts--basically, we're thinking for others, and we can get really tired of it. So before you jump to a conclusion or ask what may be a stupid question, give yourself pause and ponder it for a second, especially if it's regarding your INTJ's behavior. There is a method to the madness.

2. A Little Bit of Distance Goes a Long Way

This is another one I'm sure some people will struggle with, and it isn't 100% true for INTJs. Sometimes we can be huge cuddlers--just don't draw attention to it!--but if you find your INTJ leaving the room every time you enter or is turning away from you or seems detached from the conversation you're trying to have, that is a sign your INTJ wants to be left alone. You shouldn't take it personally though as all INTJs require some time alone every day. It's quite relaxing and soothing for us. And if you really need us, we're not inflexible monsters; just explain that you need us to listen and we'll be there for you. But when this isn't the situation, remember the rule that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" because it does.

3. Hey! Listen!

Usually, INTJs are the ones that listen. Part of the reason is that we hate to interrupt, or that we think the solution to your problem is obvious so we have no need to say it, but another part of it is that one of our most important love languages is quality time. As a result, we're fine and dandy just being with you as you talk, but rest assured, you are not talking at us. We are listening, gauging, and learning.

However, whenever we do speak, you should keep your ears open. While I did admit that some of our largest frustrations come from people not thinking, another great frustration to us is how people are the grand architects of their own demise and that if they just listened to reason, they wouldn't be in such dire straits. Not to mention, since we listen so attentively and learn every little thing we can about you, you should really do likewise as it will make us feel appreciated and heard. We're also one of the few types of people who say what we mean, but we sometimes have a bad habit of being vague about it because we think what little we say should be extrapolated into the obvious. By keeping your ears open and your brain ticking, you'll manage to avoid a lot of unnecessary friction with your INTJ.

4. The Dichotomy of Cold Rationale and Raw Passion

Trust me, INTJs hate paradoxes and logical fallacies just as much as anyone, but this is an occupational hazard of being an INTJ. When it comes to everyday life, we try not to let our feelings get involved in a situation. Faced with a particularly challenging conundrum, we'll consider everything from the smart perspective and sometimes from the safe perspective, which in our minds is the right and truthful perspective(s). Ergo, there's no need to involve feelings.

However, the flip side to that is our passion. Sure, we can do a job exactly as it is outlined, but chances are we won't continue to do said job if it's boring or meaningless from the eternal perspective. Sure, we do a lot of things "by the book," but that's because we feel that is the best course of action. And when it comes to things we don't understand, such as the poor choices made by people, we can get quite hopping mad. In our lives, factual truth and absolute correctness are everything because when you act from such a position, you're never wrong or have to worry about pain or misfortune... and this is a perspective that we'll fight for tooth and nail!

5. Why Change a Good Thing?

Predictability and surety are beautiful things. With them, you always know where you stand and what to expect. Not to mention, it's just the most efficient way of going about things. Changes often bring challenges, uncertainties, and upset the order of things. As a result, you should expect your INTJ to like to keep things a certain way all the time. This usually extends itself to the times your INTJ eats meals at, what he likes to eat, and where he likes to keep his personal effects. Some things, especially the small, mundane things, just don't need to be messed with as there's nothing to be gained in doing so.

6. Evolve, Ascend, Transcend

Oh! Psych!

Turns out, not everything in an INTJ's life is stagnant. It's absolutely true that we like to keep our spoons in one specific drawer and fold our socks a certain way, but when it comes to big things, like traditions, we have a tendency to challenge them.

Now, don't think ill of us--we don't challenge traditional beliefs to be upstarts, we usually do it because we don't understand the reason behind it. When I was younger, I would often wear my hat indoors, partly because it was an awesome hat so why would I, but also because the belief that by doing so, it implied I was in a rush to leave didn't really cut the mustard with me. If a hat or jacket is a part of my look, why can't I keep them on regardless of where I go?

But on a different level, INTJs do believe in constantly improving themselves, whether that be by gaining knowledge, expanding horizons, sharpening our brains, or even working out and strengthening our bodies. This mostly has to do with the feeling that being "ordinary" is absolutely abhorrent to us, and we want to do as much as we can to not be like everyone else. Additionally, we're obsessed with perfection and we can constantly see areas in our life that need improvement. We're not the sort of person to say come cliché bull like, "I'm perfectly imperfect"; no, we're much more likely to say "'Nobody's perfect' is just an excuse for laziness". I mean, look at it like this, even if you aim for the moon and miss, you'll still land among the stars.

7. Show Us We're Wanted and Needed

Lastly, when you're dating an INTJ, you'll have be conscious of our Outsider Complex. Truth be told, due to our conflicting thought processes and our exceptionally high standards for everything, it's very easy for us to feel out of place everywhere and as if we don't belong anywhere. Most people can't understand us or are not interested in doing so, and since we don't exactly stick out socially, we often get the feeling that a social gathering would be exactly the same way without us, so why did we bother showing up if no one cares?

This is where Feeling types can shine, especially those who have Fe as their dominant or auxiliary function. INTJs have no difficulty knowing that they're important to the world, that what they can and will do will have an impact, but we also need to know that we have an impact in the personal lives of those closest to us. In order for us to form the strongest bonds with a person, we need to feel needed, wanted, and appreciated. And not just for our mental capabilities, but for everything we bring to a relationship, even the emotional support.


Like I said above, this is by no means an exhaustive or comprehensive list, and in fact, not all INTJs will agree with everything said here. Some INTJs will never understand feelings and some understand them better than most Fe's. That's the most important thing to remember here: MBTI isn't an all-encompassing, cheat code that instantly unlocks the secrets to every person on the planet. However, this should give you a few helpful tips in navigating a relationship with an INTJ.


For my next post, I hope to finally have the Gothic Aesthetic of INTJs up. If I don't, then I'll try to get out more Quick and Dirty INTJ Thoughts as I am sitting on a mountain of those. 

Until then...

Keep writing, my friends.

More About Bryan C. Laesch:

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