We INTJs don’ use love very often. When we do, we mean it. Why? Because we have analyzed the crap out of our feelings and got to the conclusion that we indeed do love someone. Now I’m not restricting myself to loving a potential or an actual partner, I am referring to love in any type of human dynamic.
More often than not whoever the other person is will say that they love us before we INTJs do. When this happens, us INTJs get freaked out because we think that the other person is crazy for saying that. We question if there is enough basis for that to be true.
One guy who is an ESFJ has said that he loves me and appreciates our friendship… and I freak out. Then I remind myself that he’s a feeler and I calm down because he is more in touch with his feelings than I am and that’s his vocabulary. As for the friendship, I feel that I give more in the human dynamic than he does. But my understanding of how God works is that this dynamic is in the right balance. Add to that the fact that I can’t expect for him to be that person that I can lean on for emotional support when I have a problem and/or have a need for advice on something, and I see why this dynamic will never feel like it’s on an even playing field. I can’t say I love the guy. I’d be lying. Love to me is so powerful and all encompassing that I reserve it for a select few.
I have a friend with whom I have had a dynamic since 2012 who has told me that has used the same words as the ESFJ (not in the same sentence, of course). I don’t freak out as much because I did sow the dynamic and I did earn the statement. I used to not say it back because it’s not my style and I didn’t know if what I felt toward him was to that extent. I knew that his well-being mattered to me and that we had a good friendship going on (I didn’t call it a friendship until much later), otherwise I wouldn’t willingly hang out with him.
This guy has a chronic heart condition that got worse in the 2014 holiday season. His recovery from that was slow and not always steady. One Tuesday night the co-pastor asked for someone who was healthy and who loved the guy to come forth to represent him in a prayer that the congregation was going to do for his health. In my mind I said: “I love _______… and I’m healthy.” That to me was key, because I didn’t question the validity of the statement. That’s when I knew that I did love the guy.
INTJs concrete feelings of love takes time to develop. Persistence is required. The indicators of love might be seen by other more feeling based people but we sure don’t see it, much less admit it. Don’t pressure us to admit it either, because we will either take a stand against it or lie to you so you can shut up. If taking a human dynamic seriously can take a minimum of 11 months (in my case), you should expect the development of INTJ love to take more than that… way more than that.
We know that we love someone after this process ends:
- We can no longer deny that our thoughts are going in that direction.
- We start to play around with the idea, testing it to see if it still holds true.
- We finally are able to say the phrase without questioning it as false.
- We accept the results obtained and embrace this new status.
- We make the other person know eventually.