The Curious Dating Obstacles of an ENFP

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on September 09, 2018

Alright everyone, meet Jenny, our theoretical ENFP for the day. Jenny is vivacious and passionate, able to somehow be up in the clouds and grounded at the same time. She is also single and in the wonderful world of dating. When your personality type is ENFP, there are fewer things that are more exciting than a world full of possibilities!

However, as you may well know, dear reader, dating is not always all it’s cracked up to be. Here are a few snags an ENFP like Jenny can expect to experience on her love-bound journey.

You’re Such A Flirt!

Jenny gains energy by interacting with others, plain and simple. She can be seen animatedly holding a conversation as she inevitably finds some common ground with her correspondent. Unfortunately, this can be misconstrued as romantic interest. Where other personality types may not engage so deeply unless there is an attraction on their part, an ENFP is warm and friendly to just about everyone and often seen as the perpetual flirt.

Do you know Jenny? If the perceived flirting is bothersome to you, tell her. She values her relationships, and that means she values you! Be aware that you likely cannot change this aspect of who she is. While she can be more conscientious of her interactions with others, she’ll always be fueled by her knack for creating connection.

Are you Jenny? Not everyone understands the liveliness of your personality. Some may misunderstand your interactions. You know where you’re coming from and what you feel. Stick to it. Everything else will fall into place.

A Personal Touch. I remember an evening in my early twenties. I was in my apartment that I shared with five roommates. (Yes, you read that right. Five. And I loved it!) We had some friends from our apartment complex over, and being a Jenny-like ENFP, I got into a deep conversation with a lanky physics major. When everyone else left, my roommates all gathered around excitedly, “Oh my goodness, girl! I saw sparks!”

I was confused. Sparks? With Mr. Physics Man? He was nice, sure. But there was nothing resembling sparks on my part.

“Ah, Kim, you’re such a flirt!”

All five of my roommates were flabbergasted by my indifference. Surely, such an exuberant display meant instant attraction. And they weren’t the only ones to think so. Mr. Physics Man came around a few times after that. I always enjoyed my conversations with him, but never felt anything more. Thankfully, I had a good opportunity to explain my feelings to him and he seemed a good sport, though I never saw him again.

And You’ve Known Him For How Long?

While not solely an ENFP experience, falling fast and hard for someone is definitely a marker of Jenny’s personality. It can seemingly come out of nowhere. Given that most ENFPs love the romantic notion of living life by your heart rather than your logic, this sensation is not totally unwelcome. But it can lead to misunderstanding and the dashing of Jenny’s lofty relationship expectations.

Do you know Jenny? Caution from friends and family may fall on what seems like deaf ears. Jenny wants to listen to you, but she also is strongly guided by her heart. You can’t force her out of a feeling, no matter how much sense you are making. If you’re on the receiving end of an ENFP falling madly for you, my best advice is to be honest about how you feel in return.

Are you Jenny? You can’t change how you feel, but you decide how to act on your feelings. Practice some restraint and allow a relationship to grow piece by piece. With some practice, this can become a great way to build a healthy relationship with more memories to cherish. Falling fast is not a bad thing! Just make sure you give the other person time and space to figure it all out.

A Personal Touch. Yes, I have experienced that head-over-heels feeling at first glance. A few times, actually. The first time I flew into a lovestruck frenzy. I spent every moment I could with the guy and totally blended my identity into the new relationship. I did cringe-worthy things that are normal for longer relationships, but not three weeks in. The thing is, I still have no idea how compatible we were because I never took the time to see how he felt about anything. Not until a clear message was sent via breaking up. Message received.

A future instance of falling instantly seemed to happen against my will. He was charming, endearing, and down to earth. A real catch. I challenged myself to reign in my feelings and not spout off every thought that came to mind. I focused on building a relationship step by step. It was less grueling than I thought it would be and actually provided something I had always wanted: a warm, cozy safe place. Not surprisingly, he’s still here after enduring multiple moves, kids, hardships, and sunshine. A relationship can move slowly or quickly, the health factor depends on whether or not you two are anchored on the same page.

Are You Tying a Knot or a Noose?

Jenny is constantly looking to keep her options open. She hates feeling tied down or caged in. A world that is full of possibilities resonates more deeply than a life behind one door. How then, would Jenny ever decide to settle down with one person? Can you ever trust an ENFP to be faithful “‘till death do us part?” The answer is yes, though it is a challenge for Jenny.

Do you know Jenny? As difficult as this answer is, you have to let her decide. You can’t force anyone into anything, let alone an ENFP like Jenny. The best you can do is communicate how you feel, what you expect, and allow her the space and freedom she needs to come to her own decision.

Are you Jenny? This is a question you will face when your relationship comes to a crossroads. What are your expectations from your relationship? Do you know your partner’s expectations? Once you establish that take a deep, introspective look at your situation. Will you more greatly regret losing this special person or cutting off future possibilities?

A Personal Touch. For me, this process wasn’t as intense as it is for some other ENFPs out there. I always enjoyed relationships, but never saw myself as the marrying kind. Bouncing back from breakups wasn’t ever too difficult because - at the risk of sounding harsh - I never felt like too much was lost. There was always someone else around the corner! As I grew my relationship with a quiet ISFJ, it hit me how much I wanted him to be there everyday. I paid attention to this new feeling and let it sink in. Honestly, it was a little uncomfortable to initially acknowledge how much it would hurt if things didn’t work out. It takes courage to be vulnerable. Thankfully, he felt the same way. I agreed to do something on my “never” list and tied the knot. Happiness ensued.

Of course, Jenny may not walk the same path! As an ENFP, blazing your own trail is more appealing than following a well-worn instruction manual. These dating obstacles were found from my own experiences in living life as an ENFP. Have you found these to be true? What obstacles do you face in your romantic ventures?

Kim Jacobson

Kim spends her time as a freelance content marketing writer and indie author. Her focus is on empowering others to make healthy choices, and personality theory plays a large role in that calling. What else would you expect from an ENFP? She lives in the mountains with her ISFJ husband and two incredible kiddos.

More from this author...
About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


kayleigh (not verified) says...


Chloe S (not verified) says...

Oh my goodness! This is so true for me! I always thought it was just a weird problem I had, and I was kinda scared to put myself in a relationship because of how I acted around boys. This helped me see that I'm not alone! Yay! :D

Karley (not verified) says...

I read this and thought the same thing like woahhhh this is me all over the place!!

MrSatoV (not verified) says...

Yeah, the more I research the more I see that I really fit the ENFP mold - and I hate fitting in any mold.  LOL
I think most ENFPs do.
I also think most ENFPs will identify with this blog post.  One thing I really want to point out is this part:

"What are your expectations from your relationship? Do you know your partner’s expectations? Once you establish that take a deep, introspective look at your situation."

Before the relationship I'm in now, I always thought I really wanted a life-long relationship.  I also thought I knew what I wanted in relationships.  After all, I'm now 52, and have been through many, many relationships, including a failed marriage of 15 years.  One major issue in my current relationship was that since my girlfriend is an empath (please google it) she can't spend as much time with me as I thought I wanted.  But when I took a hard look at the reality of things, I realized that in previous relationships I was giving up a lot of things I need, in order to get what I thought I wanted out the relationship.  Things like going on and being social, meeting new people (not cheating), etc.  Turns out the balance that this relationship provides, I was almost ready to break up over.  But because I love her so much, it caused me to really open my mind and heart and see the truth about what I wanted.  Only after did I take the test and find out I'm ENFP-A, and now have a much better understanding of my habits and tendancies.  Really, understanding yourself truly is the key to finding a healthy, long lasting relationship.  I wonder how many I threw away for the wrong reasons!  LOL

Precious Dagoc (not verified) says...

This is totally true. I have so many guyfriends and I have been shipped with almost all of them when in fact I was just being friendly.

srd (not verified) says...

So how do ENFPs actually act when they are interested in someone? And please don't say "it'll be obvious." ENFPs are probably one of the most confusing MB types to tell because of stuff like the Physics Man situation/description.

For example, how should I take it if an ENFP work colleague kept trying to get me (INTJ) to attend a work-related social event, I declined every time and did not attend, and she whined about my not attending for hours the next day and kept staring at me without breaking eye contact? It was her event, i.e. she arranged it.

My intuition has always told me she's interested--there's just something about her voice sometimes when she speaks to me and the eye contact she makes...not how often she makes eye contact, but sometimes the intensity. I get a strong sexual feeling from her that I've never gotten before being around anyone, but I don't want to be like that Physics guy and some of these other "I'm not flirting/interested" stories. She kind of teases/picks on me and banters with me, but sometimes she's also really serious with me. When I read about ENFPs being interested, it always either says it's obvious or they act awkward/quiet...but, really, her behavior with me is all over the map.

Any input?

Jenny (not verified) says...

(yes, my actual name is Jenny - I am coincidentally also an ENFP, but more the awkward type when it comes to dating. The physics man situation is basically me at every party, so I get clueless and confused when others talk about flirting, I never think anyone else is flirting just by showing interest in talking either.) 

To be honest - not sure your coworker wanting you to come to events etc mean anything. I constantly try to make coworkers or others feel included in those kind of things, and therefore can also make statements about being sad/disappointed if they don’t come to make them feel good and maybe want to come the next time. I especially do this if someone seems a bit shy or socially awkward. I just don’t want anyone to feel left out and usually think my coworkers are nice, so I would like to get to know them. 

Re: the “I get the sex vibe” - in my experience a lot of people interpret stuff sexually mainly because they want to see an interest. But of course, it is possible she is interested, in that case just try smiling and showing some interest. Actually going to one of those events is a minimum when it comes to commitment :p but as I said, if she is anything like me she just wants her colleagues to have a good time and get to know each other, with particular thought for the colleague who seems shy or out of the social loop in the office. 

ENFP-girl (not verified) says...

 I am an ENFP and the behaviour you describe would be just how I approach any of my colleagues that in my opinion deserve to be treated nice. You re making me wonder how my behaviour would be different when I do like a guy. I am not sure it would be different.. especially not since all guys I ever loved where introverts and they responded well to acting the way you describe.. They made me fall in love with them listening very intently to me... maybe thats some great advice ;-) 

Dave C (not verified) says...

Not sure if this is true for male enfps tbh. We are silly, sure, but I don't think it's interpreted as flirting because I think men flirt differently to women, and male enfp have more of the female flirt sort of vibe, which isn't, in fact, flirting if you are a man... if that makes any sort of sense.

Jeff Scott (not verified) says...

Bro, my last girlfriend gave me a huge rant about how I'd treat other girls, she said that I was a huge flirt and that she didn't know how she could trust me. I eventually broke up with her because she was a crappy person/girlfriend but what she was describing was literally just me trying to be social and get my extrovert needs met while she tried to keep me in a cage

Esther Armah (not verified) says...

I'm a Xnfp-T so I'm a ambivert...but I'm ever so slightly extroverted. I've never been told I come off as a flirt so I don't think that applies to me. I don't like people who are flirts because it's misleading. But if you're come off flirty naturaly and it's not intentional that's different!  Guys sometimes think I am attracted to them because I'm so kind,  caring, and attentive. Also really sweet super introverted guys love me. I tend to fall fast and hard when I crush ect. But I also have been thinking and soul searching and realize I need to figure out the kind of guy that would be a compliment to my personality. I need a guy who is practical, loving, laid back like me, organized, has a sense of humor, financially responsible, a good caregiver. Oh and they have to pursue me, and it'd be nice to have someone to take it slow with...a guy I could get to know as a friend first.

Sav (not verified) says...

This is all me!!! And not that I know I'm anxious to take steps to access my actions!  Really want to be in a relationship but I want to do it the proper way.  I'll think through my intentions and levels of compatibility from the start!

Kate Fernandez (not verified) says...

How do you make it work with your ISFJ husband?? I'm an ENFP with an ISFJ and it keeps seeming to get harder and more intense yet easier in some ways at the same time. Our fights get worse. He has the hardest time accepting my behaviors and sees me as being flaky and fake. He knows the love is real and we're hooked on each other. It's so hard but we don't want to be apart. He doesn't believe I want what he wants. He doesn't trust me. How do I change that? I'm trying to follow through with things and it's SO HARD!!

Share your thoughts


Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., which has no affiliation with this site. Truity offers a free personality test based on Myers and Briggs' types, but does not offer the official MBTI® assessment. For more information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment, please go here.

The Five Love Languages® is a registered trademark of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, which has no affiliation with this site. You can find more information about the five love languages here.

Latest Tweets

Get Our Newsletter