INTJ's are not known for placing a lot of emphasis on romance. We embody the suppression of emotion, not the expression of it. We can be so matter-of-fact and hard-headed that it's difficult to imagine us doing something as frivolous as falling in love.
At the same time, we want a relationship. We know that we're pretty darned outstanding as relationship material, just too awkward to play the dating game.
Is there a way around this conundrum? Luckily, there is. Here are some tips to help the socially-challenged INTJ navigate the turbulent waters of romance, whatever the status of their relationship.
1. Words matter
INTJs inhabit a world that resembles Downton Abbey - cold on the outside, but there's always something spicy percolating beneath. Problem is, we have not yet developed any sort of vocabulary to describe what's going on in our hearts. It's not cheap for us to love someone, and we're often fearful of attaching value to mere "feelings" in case they turn out to be fleeting. Most INTJs won't admit to caring for someone until they are completely sure it's genuine. By then our feelings are so obvious to us that we don't think they're worth mentioning.
This lack of vocabulary can make other people feel incredibly insecure. Affectionate words go a long way for many, especially Feelers, who need verbal encouragement to feel good about the relationship. So grit your teeth and whisper those sweet nothings if you want your partner to know that you care.
2. Actions speak louder than words
The old adage, "show, don't tell," is crucial to nailing romance. You might think that chivalry is demeaning, but your date or partner requires action that comes from the heart. You don't have to drape your cloak over a puddle, but a little hand-holding, cheek kissing or breakfast in bed can make all the difference.
3. Some people actually celebrate Valentine's Day
INTJs are the least likely of all the personality types to remember sentimental events such as birthdays and holidays because we don't see the point of these traditions. As we are repeatedly shot down, we come to recognize that celebrations are, in fact, relevant to the rest of the world. So for goodness sake, remember your anniversary. And book a table on Valentine's Day.
4. Game plans only work when you're playing chess
INTJs notoriously approach dating the way they approach most situations - with a game plan. Rather than falling head over heels for the nearest warm body, we construct a well-defined image of our ideal partner, break the dating process down into a series of actionable milestones, then proceed to execute the plan with laser-sharp focus. Strategy in place, we're ready to woo. Mission: find a life partner.
Shockingly, other people may not fall in line with this system. Partners and dates want to know they are attractive, respected and loved for who they are without all the wrangling, controlling and mind games. Painful as it is, you've got to play with the other person, not manipulate them like pawns on a chessboard.
5. A date is not an interview
INTJs famously require a mate of the mind - someone clever, preferably genius, and independent enough to stand up to the INTJ's formidable intellect. Most INTJs will figure out very quickly whether someone makes the grade. If not, the INTJ will waste no time on further courtship. We are through with the interloper. We will not look back.
To make a fair assessment, an INTJ typically will bombard their date with the "big" questions. And by big, I mean the sort of complex, probing, no-stone-left-unturned questions you get asked at an interview. We think we are nailing down our date's personality and suitability this way. In fact, we're killing the buzz 90 percent of the time.
How to proceed? Lighten up. Ask your date what kind of music they like (movies, books, food.) Everyone has an opinion on these subjects. Your date won't feel stressed talking about their favorite meal. If your date is a poor conversationalist or displays terribly bad taste, cut your losses. But if the conversation naturally veers off at a tangent and throws up all sorts of delicious morsels, then you've probably struck gold. And you didn't even ask your date about their life goals.
6. Sometimes, you've just got to go for it
INTJ's score high on the Judging scale, which means they like to have things decided. However, this only occurs when we've made up our minds. Until then, we are flexible and open to new information. This is a problem, because we have a tendency to spend a ridiculous amount of time studying the ins and outs of relationships - knotty issues like our feelings, whether the flames of passion are burning, and the significance of it all. Intimacy can burn rather slowly until we've sorted everything out. By then, the object of our affection will have lost interest. So hurry it up already. In a cautious world, seizing the moment is undeniably romantic and sexy.
7. No one likes haughty
If you want to destroy romance, be sure to think of yourself as smarter, more intuitive, more conscientious, more rational and more important than your date. Cross examine them and challenge their assumptions. Always strive to be right, even if it crushes your significant other. Don't worry about the personal cost of your attitude, and never give anyone a break.
8. Sometimes you have to be selectively blind
INTJs are known for plain-speaking. We say what's on our minds. We are blunt and unrelenting critics. We tell our partners where they've gone wrong and we fix false assumptions. Who cares about the touchy-feely stuff? We like the truth.
A little constructive criticism is healthy in a relationship, but too much can be very damaging. You'll upset and alienate your beloved if you consistently point out their shortcomings. If the romance is new, constant nitpicking is extremely annoying and unattractive. So curb the sarcasm and offer up compliments if you want them to fall into your arms.
9. Practicality is NOT romantic
Things that have a practical application, like toasters and screwdrivers and REASON are not romantic. Flowers, coyness, giggling, flirtation and frilly things that look pretty on the dresser are romantic. It's safe to say that an INTJ did not make this rule.
For the rest of the world, the non-practical stuff is half the fun of a relationship. Luckily, you are intuitive when it comes to the people you care about. You are skilled at designing romantic getaways and thoughtful gifts that are somehow quirky, yet exactly what the other person wants to receive. So do that. Regularly. Just don't bother with the flirting. Your partner will think that you're constipated.
10. Romance requires routine maintenance
You change the oil in your car because you don't take its smooth running for granted. Neither should you take your date or partner for granted. All relationships need regular servicing and care. Take advantage of the special position you occupy and enjoy adding pleasure to your significant other's life. Even if they don't reciprocate, your life will be so much richer with all that lovely romance swooshing round.
How has romance fuelled the flames in your relationship? Feel free to share any successes or horror stories in the comments below!