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. As an 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?