Perfect partner for an INTP

January 27, 2009 · 32 comments

I found this, and I thought it was an excellent guide for any potential and future partner(s) of me.  Here it is for your reading pleasure…

This is one INTP’s definition of the needs of an INTP as a spouse or mate. The original author’s version was written for the INTP Husband. However, it appears from later discussion that INTP Women want the same things. So, with a bit of editorial license this is the guide to the INTP mate.

1. Lots of sex
I dont think it is just me as an INTP who finds this a very important part of a relationship and the most important physical expression of love in a relationship – it is NOT a selfish act for selfish physical satisfaction. But hell, it is damn pleasing, too

2. Moral support
It is a tough world out there for INTPs

3. An equal
INTPs have no wish to dominate, and are crushed by domination

4. Someone who is next to unoffendable.
INTPs tend to lack tact, but also want and need to be brutally honest with thier intimate partners – they want someone who they can playfully insult, who will then either laugh in their face or give it right back.

5. Someone who can accept them for who they are and not try to change them.
INTPs appear erratic to the casual observer in a relationship, for example – they appear to demand solitude one moment, sex the next. Non-INTPs find this VERY hard to reconcile with their typical conception of “love”

6. Someone who accepts the peculiar WAYS they show thier love.
Be it really, really sappy hopless-romantic type drivel or passionate physical expression, or just a touch or a simple look. The INTP way is very hard to catch, if you blink, you miss it. Non-INTPs tend to want tokens and words, not a slow dance in a room with no radio, not a quiet cuddle in front of the TV at the end of the day, or the other strange and random expressions that INTPs tend to give. [This ties in with #5.]

7. SPACE [as in both physical and emotional space]
In case it was missed, I’ll mention it again: SPACE!! INTP men need their free time to pursue intellectual pursuits, and CAN NOT be:

  • disturbed
  • told they dont love thier partner because they spend too much time “alone”, etc.

INTP men disappear for a while, then come out swinging. This FORCES most non-INTPs to think that the INTP partner only wants them for sex. This is wrong, but if the non-INTP is not capable of #5 and #6, they are forced to believe it.

8. Comforting [this goes along with #2.]
The world sucks, particularly for INTPs. They are capable of an utterly staggering amount of patience and responsibility, but in the long run, without #2 and #8, the relationship will ultimately die, or the INTP will DIE a very real death. With #2 and #8, an INTP can take a spectacular amount of abuse, responsibility, and patience in life, as long as his partner supplies #2 and #8 in sufficient quantities.

9. An intellect, a person who can hold their own in a debate.
The words “you always think you are right!!” are the LAST words an INTP wants to hear from their mate. The INTP wants debate! Wants intellectual stimulation! If they dont get it at home, #7 becomes very very very important. If their mate can not handle #7, there will be PROBLEMS. If the mate can supply #9, the INTP will be very happily occupied with their mate for a long, long time.

10. Someone to learn with [this goes with #9]
Someone who is interested in learning and intellectual stimulation. The INTP needs someone who they can learn with and enjoy the mysteries and adventures of life with. Someone who can understand their interest in the esoteric, show appreciation for their interests, and even join them in these interests, or introduce them to new ones.

11. Someone capable of self reflection and self analysis.
Often the INTP finds that they are the only one “growing” in a relationship, the only one who can see the problems in the relationship. This usually forces the INTP to be the one to change, to be the one to compromise for their partner. Because many non-INTPs have no true ability to self reflect, the non-INTP thinks they are ALWAYS right. The INTP spends their life examining themselves and their relationship to see what they need to do to make it work. So they spend all their time critically analyzing it, and the mate does nothing but demand that they change. This will eventually lead to the spiritual DEATH of the INTP, if not the actual PHYSICAL death of the INTP. To avoid this, the INTP person NEEDS a mate who can examine the relationship WITH them, so they can grow TOGETHER.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Flower Child January 28, 2009 at 11:51 am

Hi Alan… I found a link to your Polyamory blog today through Google Alerts (search=INTP). I kept your page up, lingering and skipping around at different times throughout the day and the last place I settled was this entry. I’d read this piece before at the original source but seemed to get more out of it within the context of your own writings.

I’m a female (tested as an ENTP, INTP and INFP at various times) who finds myself in the process of getting involved with a strongly typed INTP male. He’s very private and slow to share information about himself. He also has a tendency to push away relationships so it has been challenging thus far. I find myself learning and growing a great deal, so I’m staying put for now. ; )

I felt very comfortable and at home reading your blog… I enjoy your writing style. There’s also lot here that I can relate to as we have many interests in common. I think I’ll subscribe and visit often. = )


2 Alan Howard January 28, 2009 at 11:56 am

Hi flower child. Thank you for your lovely comments, I really appreciate you taking the time to say hello. I’d be very happy for you to hang around for a while, and would love to know your thoughts on any of the other topics you might stumble upon in this blog – if they inspire you to comment, of course. 🙂


3 genderkid February 1, 2009 at 3:13 am

When I did a test two years ago, I was INTJ. I just found out that my ex-partner –now a good friend– is ESFP, which is the exact opposite!

My personality changed radically lately, though, so I might not be INTJ anymore. Maybe I’m an INTP 🙂


4 Damian February 2, 2009 at 1:56 am

Tests seem to portray me as INTJ however I think there is a methodological flaw in the tests in that it doesn’t really distinguish between introversion and shyness, which are most definitely not the same thing… (if not for my shyness preventing me, i would love to be constantly surrounded by people and the centre of attention)

I am, unfortunately it would appear, both extroverted and shy 🙂


5 Alan Howard February 2, 2009 at 10:22 am

the tests show you as introverted, and your personality is introverted. The only thing that’s extroverted about you is your DESIRE to be extroverted, but that’s challenged by your actual personality.

the real test to determine if you are introverted or extroverted is how you regain your energy. Do you regain it by being around people, or when you’re by yourself? That is the determining factor.

I know someone who was introverted and mixed with extroverts, who eventually convinced him that introversion was an illness, and that in order to be ‘normal’ he had to be extroverted. He spends a great deal of time in depression now, believing he’s an extrovert trying to break out of his introverted ‘illness’.

I think a lot of people go through something like that. In this extroverted world, they’re made to think that there’s something wrong with them because they prefer being with themselves, and so they end up confused, thinking they’re supposed to be extroverted, but unable to understand why they’re not, no matter how hard they try.


6 Damian February 3, 2009 at 7:39 pm

“the tests show you as introverted, and your personality is introverted.” But Myers briggs tends to state that introverts like time alone, where I hate being alone. I definately feel my energy levels lifting whenever i’m talking to others where a weekend by myself saps me to the point where I can’t get out of bed. (even reading a book, I’d rather have somebody sitting next to me) I just often don’t know what to say, but even then, I’d rather be with people. If i’m going home alone, I’m always the last person to leave a party.

As you say, I appear _very_ introverted and reticent on first, (or 10th) meeting, but ‘people’ are the only thing that make the world work for me. (I started doing a tramp alone recently, running into people to talk to right at the start saved me from going insane). (and taught me i’ll never plan on spending 4 days alone again!)

I really am one of these people who’s ‘inner extrovert’ is restricted purely by shyness.. perhaps i need to convince the doctor I need Beta blockers for my blood pressure 🙂

Anyway, I must be off to my salsa class (to be around people 🙂


7 INTPLibrarian April 22, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Just found this post while looking for some advice on relationships and INTPs.

Wow. This really is brilliant, IMO, because you described what would be my ideal mate perfectly. FWIW, I’m an INTP woman.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for writing this!


8 INTPLibrarian April 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Oops. Just realized you posted it, but someone else wrote it. Oh well, still thanks for posting it since this is where I found it.


9 Alan Howard April 22, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Hehehe. No worries INTPLibrarian. Thanks for your comments, and I’m glad you liked it. You and I are looking for the same things in someone. 🙂


10 Mike May 15, 2009 at 3:04 am

Very accurate in my opinion, and I got the INTP on the MBTI test. I laughed my ass off when I read #4! I love when people dare to argue with me and I have a chance to fight a little bit for fun.


11 Barbara Saunders July 6, 2009 at 2:28 am

I enjoyed this post, too. Count me as another woman left cold by the romantic norms.


12 Alan Howard July 6, 2009 at 8:36 am

Welcome to the ‘club’ Barbara 😉


13 Mon_Anaphora November 4, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Hi there! 😀 I’ve been looking all over the space of the internet to try and find some kind of needs/wants that an INTP needs from another personality/partner.
I’m so glad that I found this because it’s very precise to what I am looking for.
Although, I would have to say that my personality does have some differences as of lately since I have taken the MBTI test two years ago, I am still similar in some aspects.
I defintely have enjoyed this :D!!
And appreciation for it in this light as well.. I’ve read a couple compatibilty and proflies of romance for INTP and it all seemed to make us seem.. cold, and hopeless?? If that makes anysense. I find INTP women like us to be fantastic intellectuals and Mysterious but deeply passionate lovers. Hahah! But all we need is a patient but affectionate and adventurous lover. 😛


14 Mon_Anaphora November 4, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Ah!! Lolz and I’d have to agree with Damian!!
I hate being alone as well! And indeed, if only there was something to cure shyness.. I have it bad! hahah.. if only my idealistic nature to be adventurous and take a leap to ask someone just even to lunch was more.. to “take action” of of ideals. Hmm…


15 Alan Howard November 5, 2009 at 10:45 am

Hey, thanks for commenting, Mon. I’m happy you found something that helps defines what you’re looking for. 🙂

Shyness is mainly based on fears that our flaws will be recognised by others, and so we try not to bring attention to ourselves. A fear of rejection. Learn to be happy with who you are, and your shyness will start to disappear.

I hope you hang around and comment more. Always nice to have new friends on this blog. 😀


16 nicole November 26, 2009 at 7:43 am

wow! so accurate. I’m an INTP woman, 39 years old and still looking for that one who gets me and lets me be me.

My most significant relationship ended cause of #11: This will eventually lead to the spiritual DEATH of the INTP.

I like this. I’ve come to terms with being an introvert. I no longer shy away from people. Here #4 comes in place 🙂

Now only to find someone to manage 1 through 11 …


17 Alan Howard November 26, 2009 at 9:58 am

Hi Nicole, thanks for commenting. I think that the best partner for an INTP is another INTP… I’m still looking. 🙂


18 EssDoubleYoo June 4, 2010 at 12:37 am

Amazing! It’s like reading an entry in the diary of my life!

It is comforting to know that there are in fact INTP women out there who are perfectly capable of understanding me…… It’s just a shame we are so few & far between :/

Our time will come 😀

Thanks for the post anyway. I was looking for clarity in myself, and I sure as hell found it here!

p.s Someone really should set up a ‘meeting site’ for people with our personality profile 🙂


19 Alan Howard June 4, 2010 at 12:47 am

hi, thanks for commenting.

I agree with you! I wish there was such a site out there too. It’d make a whole lot of INTP’s very happy. 🙂


20 Steve Thompson July 24, 2010 at 9:30 am

After taking the test thrice I still came out INTP. I was just hoping I had a mental disorder that could be remedied by being heavily medicated. I’ve had lots of failed relationships I just wish I could find that bright weird woman out there that gets me and has a place of her own.


21 Alan Howard July 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Hey Steve, thanks for commenting. I know what you mean. Keep your spirits up though, she’s out there. 🙂


22 Lara Boons December 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

Nice blog, I can laugh with it, cause it reflects me. Some years ago I did a test, confirming the first thought and suddenly I was an INTP.

SO now I know why people do not understand me, or I am not understanding them …


23 Alan Howard December 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I love seeing reflections of myself, so I can appreciate where you’re coming from. Understanding who we are is a great help to understanding how we relate to others.

I think that an intp-intp relationship could work out well, but I’m yet to try it, so I’m just guessing right now



24 tony September 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Hello Alan,

I just came across this while searching to understand myself, which seems to happen often, and this is one of the only INTP threads I can relate to and somewhat covers my needs. I have taken this test numerous times, a few i got INTJ but mostly INTP, but I honestly find the majority of the stuff I read about INTPs to be slightly different from me. I guess that maybe it could be that it covers a general personality but i just find that alot of the things don’t seem to “fit” me. Honestly don’t know why im writing this here guess i should find some other place to put this lol >.< anyway nice post read some of the other ones especially enjoyed your post on china. Take care and God Bless!


25 alanzeyes January 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Hey tony, sorry for taking so long to reply! I saw your comment but have been pretty busy since September, and only got around to replying now. Please forgive me!

Anyway, if you’re still out there looking out for a reply: I think that as we grow we change in different ways. I’ve been an INFP as well as an INTP, but that means that I’m more into Feeling than I am into Thinking – more emotional than intellectual. It changes with the weather, maybe. 🙂

Hope to see you around!


26 hasenj September 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm

This write up is absolutely fantastic!


27 FireCyclops December 27, 2012 at 6:18 am

I already found that one perfect person according to this list.but due to the broken family issue I have from my parents case,
I doubted her when she show signs of pesimistic like my mother.
I guess I learn from my father’s experience,
and I can’t decide if this is a good thing or not.


28 lbalt000 March 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Doom! I’m a very immature ENFP with an INTP boyfriend. He does push me, but I am “not” as intelligent as him. I can all ready see it crumbling… and what makes it worst is that there’s this cute INTP girl after him. I feel like he’s hungry for mind. I have a hard time conversing at his level. I made the stupid decision to move in with his friends because I lost my job, and the rent was cheaper with good location. #doom #doom #doom. Way for me to spam, right? Opinions on situation? …This is like some dramatic soap-opera… and, I’m creating it. :<


29 lbalt000 March 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Doom! I’m a very immature ENFP with an INTP boyfriend. He does push me, but I am “not” as intelligent as him. I can all ready see it crumbling… and what makes it worst is that there’s this cute INTP girl after him. I feel like he’s hungry for mind. I have a hard time conversing at his level. I made the stupid decision to move in with his friends because I lost my job, and the rent was cheaper with good location. #doom #doom #doom. Way for me to spam, right? Opinions on situation? …This is like some dramatic soap-opera… and, I’m creating it. :< I just need to vent. Kay-thanks-bye.


30 lbalt000 March 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Doom! I’m a very immature ENFP with an INTP boyfriend. He does push me, but I am “not” as intelligent as him. I can all ready see it crumbling… and what makes it worst is that there’s this cute INTP girl after him. I feel like he’s hungry for mind. I have a hard time conversing at his level. I made the stupid decision to move in with his friends because I lost my job, and the rent was cheaper with good location. #doom #doom #doom. Way for me to spam, right? Opinions on situation? …This is like some dramatic soap-opera… and, I’m creating it. :< I just need to vent.


31 jerryzhng April 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm

This is very true for me


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