Want to Woo an ENTP? Here's How to Get (and Keep) Their Attention

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on November 12, 2020

As quintessential jacks-of-all-trades, ENTP personalities like me rely on our sharp perception to move through life with ease. Our ability to read others on the fly empowers us to dive into new situations, roles, and communities with fearless enthusiasm—where others may be cautious by default. With our trademark vision and spontaneity, who knows how high our tolerance for unpredictability might be? 

Given that our people-reading skills are such a defining characteristic of the ENTP type, you might assume us to have no problem reading romantic signals with finesse, right? Not so fast. When it comes to matters of the heart, ENTPs can be a bit lost. Just because we are good at reading people and strategically adapting does not make us good at applying these skills socially. For us, situations involving any degree of emotional intimacy are a whole different ball game—to the point where we might not figure out that you’re trying to woo us at all. 

So before you start flirting and seducing your ENTP crush, check out these tips. 

Send undeniable signals

The first (and arguably the biggest) obstacle anyone hoping to catch an ENTP’s eye must overcome is our interpersonal obliviousness. Clever as we may be, we are not known for being the most emotionally present types. Providing your ENTP crush with ample evidence of your interest can go a long way in terms of closing this gap. 

You might wonder why it’s necessary to be so explicit with a personality type that can usually deduce whole narratives from the subtlest of body language. But it’s not that we don’t notice when someone may be harboring feelings for us. Rather, we’re not so confident in the meaning of these signals. We often don’t know how to respond to the ambiguity of other people’s fluttering eyelashes and body language, even when we detect that they exist. 

The fact is, ENTPs like evidence. We don’t like buying into ideas on blind faith alone. Without some proper evidence to validate our gut instinct that you’re flirting, we won’t act. This is why an ENTP stays quiet and pretty clueless until we receive much clearer signs of interest from an admirer.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to get on an ENTP’s radar. Just seek us out for one-on-one conversations that go beyond small talk. These efforts don’t need to be particularly subtle, smooth, or romantic. ENTPs will happily dive into conversations that genuinely spark our curiosity. By showing your interest proactively and continuously, you can give us plenty of opportunities to get the hint without putting us on the spot. Keep offering yourself as an outlet to geek out and you’re sure to get a response eventually.

Keep the momentum up

Few things will kill a flirtation with an ENTP faster than boredom. As chronic novelty junkies, we are quick to turn our attention to something new as soon as the momentum starts to slow. We don’t weather lulls. So, you’re going to have to work really hard to keep us engaged and interested. 

One sure-fire way to draw an ENTP back into conversation is by calling upon their inner scholar. Our type loves to play the role of expert, so quizzing them on a subject can help you make a swift conversational recovery. A bonus benefit of this approach is that it provides the ENTP with a strong incentive to ask questions as well, thus ensuring that it’s not a one-sided exchange. 

The boredom problem is to some degree inevitable in every relationship featuring an ENTP. With our type, it’s not a matter of if we will get distracted, but when. You’re more likely to step foot on Mars than to get and keep our undivided attention 100 percent of the time. 

So keep reminding yourself that, while you can influence the liveliness of the conversation, your ENTP’s fleeting focus is not a reflection of your appeal, or the strength of your relationship, overall. ENTPs will always have a mercilessly flighty attention span. The best you can do is prepare yourself for whiplash and learn to roll with the punches. 

Lead by example

When it comes to more personal conversations, you may find that your ENTP is deliberately withholding. They may dance around these subjects or speak about them strictly in abstract terms. Worry not! Chances are, your ENTP is feeling out of their emotional depth and unsure of how to proceed. New relationships are unpredictable things, based on whims and values. There is no set system for us to game, and that can throw us off balance.  

Complicating this further is our personality type’s obsession with taking calculated risks. The odds of us voluntarily putting ourselves in a position of vulnerability without having some frame of reference for the probable outcome are incredibly low. So we stay distant until we feel more secure about laying our deepest feelings on the line. 

For romantic partners, the guarded vibe an ENTP gives off can be misleading. In actuality, ENTPs are open-minded and eager to engage with others given the chance. We just don’t always know how to build the necessary intimacy first. These kinds of talks, about feelings,  constitute some of the only scenarios where we would prefer to follow someone else’s lead. So the burden of initiating more sensitive conversations will fall disproportionately on you when you’re getting to know someone of our type.

The best approach here is to lead by example. Model the level of personal disclosure you want from us  and be willing to put yourself out there. This sets up a welcoming environment and a template that your ENTP crush can happily follow for that sort of talk. 

Final words

Overall, it can be easy to get on an ENTP’s good side. We are friendly, non-judgmental, and always enthusiastic about learning about something (or someone) new. Sure, prying our attention away from our other interests may feel like pulling teeth at first. But we always come back around to someone who is willing to have a good conversation. Anyone who consistently shows up in an ENTP’s periphery with a curious mind and a low-maintenance disposition is sure to make a strong impression. 

Jesse Carson

Jesse is a psych student, writer, and full-time ENTP from Cincinnati. She enjoys traveling, late night comedy shows, garage rock revival bands, and any restaurant that serves breakfast food in the middle of the night. Find her on Twitter @yungbillnye

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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.


Hopeless ENTP (not verified) says...

Biggest mood ever. I'm constantly feeling like the engager in any platonic situation, that is until it goes into the nonplatonic territory. I get called bossy (man, have I learned to painstakingly tamp that down), yet called a "bottom" by friends anytime romance is thrown into the mix (really the only thing they know that makes my insides squirm like eels in jelly). And much like your article mentions, I speak in analogies and abstract concepts, doing my utmost to avoid having to take any emotional plundges in the romance department, contrasting harshly against my normally honest and open booked approach to life (... Even as a total hopeless romantic secretly binging Bronte and trashy Austen adaptions)! I like my relationship balance to be easygoing and spontaneous (obviously), except in the romance division. I 100% need and want them to take the reigns. However, once I have assurances of both theirs and my own feelings, place, and the general vibe- I'm back in the engagement seat. This is an article I wish all my failed crushes read when they thought their feelings weren't reciprocated because I hide behind the biggest conversational bushes. Big oof! 

Desertcrypto says...

100% with you on every word.

Young INTJ (not verified) says...

Now I know things about ENTPs (who I crush on often.) Thanks.

ENTP BookCat (not verified) says...

You have NO idea how accurate this is...

EmENFJ-T (not verified) says...

I recently discovered my partner is a debater type personality. He requires constant affirmation and praise and expects me to lead all affection, it's exhausting. We discuss it on occasion and he says he'll make more effort to meet me half way- thing is within a handful of days he's back to basically being a flat mate. Any tips? (Btw were married - 8 years together now)

Desertcrypto says...

Unbelievable how spot on this is...get outta my head!

INFPgirl (not verified) says...

Help. I am in love with my ENTP friend and I'm confused. He's sweet and loving to everyone but with me he initiates calls and would play his guitar and sing for me. He also tells me about his day and calls me his cheerleader. We're both good listeners to each other. And i admire him a lot but idk if everything he does doesn't mean anything romantic. ? And i don't wanna be the one to discuss this topic first. I wanna wait on him. 

ENTPJae (not verified) says...

In my expierience you gotta make the first move or at least move the conversation to that topic and let them talk.

entPJ PARTY! (not verified) says...

me reading this: oh yes, oh yes 

oh no 

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