Who Needs a Relationship to be Happy? (These Personalities Might)

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on September 03, 2018

Are you good at being single? Do you feel that being in a relationship is great and all, but shock, horror! It's not the purpose of your existence. You'd much rather wait for the right person than date someone who isn't really compatible just for the built-in security of being in a couple.

Or do you find it difficult to be on your own? Are you forever lowering your expectations for what you want in a partner just so you can have a special person in your life? Do you fall hard and fast and leave a first date thinking you've met your soulmate – every single time

While it's easy to see that both types of people exist in this world, what's not so obvious is how our relationship-status preferences are intertwined with our personality preferences. For the following four types, well, it's complicated. These types are much more likely to feel "complete" in a relationship than on their own, and it's all down to their personal wiring.

ISFJ – The Serial Monogamist

Warm, practical and attentive with an urgent need to be of service to others: is it any wonder that ISFJs make such loyal and loving partners? As dominant sensors, these types focus right down on the here and now, becoming deeply committed to their current relationship. They tend to have intense feelings for their significant other and seek to make a lifelong commitment to the person who is without doubt the ISFJ's first priority in life.

People with this personality type experience genuine joy in pleasing others – even going so far as to make this their life's mission and duty. They are susceptible to moving from one monogamous relationship to the next, with little solo space between, as a means of fulfilling this mission. They have an especially tough time in letting go and may dwell on a past relationship or yearn for a former partner long after the relationship is over. This makes being alone pretty unbearable, and ISFJs are likely to latch on to the next person they meet for the next lifelong commitment, rather than spend time recognizing their own needs and waiting for the right person who might fulfill them.

Kindred spirits INFJ and ISTJ share similar traits and might also put forth tremendous effort to make their relationships work. But, unlike ISFJs, they need reciprocity. ISFJ's don't, and this puts any relationship at risk of codependency. Problems arise when the ISFJ becomes so concerned with making others happy that her own happiness depends on it, and she cannot see any alternative to the "being in a relationship" model.

INFP – The Type Most Likely to Stay in a Bad Relationship

As an INTJ, I'm puzzled by the idea that someone would rather be in a bad relationship than be in no relationship at all. But, it happens. If you're an INFP, it probably happens a lot. Those who lead with introverted feeling have the peculiar ability to empathize with people who are struggling or making mistakes. When someone is behaving badly, you are inclined not to judge them, but to help them, even if the person's poor behavior is hurting you. Underneath all the crazy lies a good person, right? You genuinely believe that, so you take it upon yourself to help that person turn things around. After all, you'd want them to stick with you if you were struggling like that. 

Combine your deep empathy with your NF idealism – the desire to make the world a better place – and you get a personality that is inclined to allow bad situations more time than they are worth in the optimistic hope that they will get better. INFPs have a tendency to fantasize about the "perfect" relationship and romanticize the (imperfect) relationship they have to fit this idealized mold, often putting their mates on a pedestal and seeing qualities that are simply not there.

Am I saying that INFPs will be happy in this type of relationship? Of course not! Logically, you know that a healthier outlook would be to stay single and happy until the right person comes along. But logic can sometimes evade you. The problem here is that you are so happy striving to meet your partner's needs that it tends to skew your decision making. Throw in some extreme conflict aversion, and you get a personality who struggles to see the negative in a situation and has difficulty calling out the poor behavior of others. The upshot is a tendency to attract the "takers" who need your special brand of mothering, and to hang onto bad relationships for far longer than you should – even when it's toxic for both of you.

ENFP – The Straight-up Love Addict

Yes, love addiction is a thing. It's characterized by a tendency to fall in love easily and very quickly, based on a heart-racing, pulse-fluttering initial attraction to someone. Once that attraction is established, you'll brush aside the signs of major incompatibilities because love itself is so seductive! In fact, you'll probably fantasize about it – even when you're not in love. Love addicts tend to carry an image of the ideal partner they hope to meet, and have a genuine excitement for the experience of high passion that's coming their way. The thought of never finding that special someone terrifies them.

Since extraverted intuition is responsible for creating head-in-the-clouds ideas that may not be in sync with reality, and introverted feeling is responsible for romanticizing the perfect, positive human connection, it's reasonable to assume that ENFPs may fall prey to some degree of love addiction. Human intimacy is a wonderful thing for ENFPs and there's a certain pleasure-seeking quality to them that leaves them wide open to attachments of the heart and the imagination, typically for one person at a time who they will adore completely. They're not good at admitting defeat, either. Most ENFPs are extremely eager to do whatever it takes to promote their relationship in playful and flexible ways. You love the thrill of the chase!

A problem area is your lack of follow through. ENFPs have a tough time staying in a dedicated relationship when it stops being rainbows and endorphins and constant euphoria. But you never forget the thrill of love itself, and this has a tendency to keep you in relationship after relationship after relationship, with the full passion and vigor of someone who really loves to be in love.  

ENFJ – Scared of Being Alone

After ESFJs, ENFJs tend to be the most extraverted of Extraverts so it's easy to see why they have a deep-seated fear of being alone and doing things on their own. Of course, extreme extraversion does not always translate to a need for a relationship, since most Extraverts get fulfillment from their friends and social networks. For ENFJs, it's not that simple. These personalities have a special skill for getting deep with people. They have an urgent need for intimacy and never feel the same connection with friends as they would with a romantic partner who really "gets" them. In the ENFJ pursuit of happiness, romantic relationships are front and center.

Being disconnected from a significant other can literally drive the ENFJ mad, as this type tends to turn in on itself when physically or emotionally isolated. Their entire personality is geared towards loving, supporting and encouraging others, and not having a significant other to lavish affection on can make them feel completely lost. They also need approval from others to feel good about themselves. Since they are more likely to get this type of validation in a long-term relationship, ENFJs may go to great lengths to find, and keep, a special someone. They can be a bit smothering in the ways they express their love and caring.

Hopefully, the relationship they end up in is balanced and reciprocated and allows them to exercise their natural desire to look after people. But there's also the risk that an ENFJ will get so wrapped up in a significant other that she loses her own identity – seeing a relationship, rather than her own special talents, as some sort of personal salvation. ENFJs have to learn to slow down and retain a degree of independence in their relationships so they don't go too far and burn out by neglecting their own needs. Work on that, and they should be okay.

Jayne Thompson

Jayne is a B2B tech copywriter and the editorial director here at Truity. When she’s not writing to a deadline, she’s geeking out about personality psychology and conspiracy theories. Jayne is a true ambivert, barely an INTJ, and an Enneagram One. She lives with her husband and daughters in the UK. Find Jayne at White Rose Copywriting.

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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.


Kent Jerome Nauman (not verified) says...

I am a 67-year-old INFJ MGTOW who types all over the place.  I have never been married.  When I was young I could not get a date to save my life but when older women came crying for marriage.  They also consumed all my time and money and tried to control my thoughts.  I have heard that some other married men go to psychologist became they have no self but rather all is her.  He+ she= We= SHE.  I experience my life as being infused by my best friend who is the Holy Spirit.  Try praying Holy Spirit flow through me and make my life what it ought to be in the name of Jesus Christ.  Life is quite enjoyable as an out of control and untreated axis I schizophrenic (chronic).  

  God bless you in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ Kent J. Nauman ex-MD (axis I schizophrenia (chronic))

     The schizophrenic spectrum of disorders is deliberate obfuscation in psychiatric theory. SCHIZOPHRENIA is a malicious synonym for METAPHYSICS, SUPERNATURAL, and THE SPIRIT WORLD. This is directly analogous to the N-word being a malicious synonym for Blacks, Negros Afro-Americans.  “Religion” is organized schizophrenia, meaning the supernatural.   On the internet compare "open vision" with "audiovisual hallucination" to see quickly what I mean.

  I was certified as a back of the insane asylum psychotic by the Florida Board of Medicine which is the highest medical authority in Florida. Stanford University has YouTube videos by Professor of Neurobiology Robert Sapolsky who fills his classes full. His schizophrenia video says that the leading cause of homelessness is not drugs but schizophrenia. The most common symptom of schizophrenia is hearing a voice and the most common voice is Jesus Christ.  Other symptoms include talking to inanimate objects and/or dead people. The Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus fits Dr. Sapolsky's description perfectly.  Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:  Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  Gresham College in London England has a YouTube video on personality disorders where the speaker sudden stops and says "we cannot have all religious people on antipsychotic drugs." Under DSM IIIr all religious beliefs were symptoms of schizophrenia however under DSM 5.1 some religious beliefs are allowed so just pew sitting is not enough to make a diagnosis of schizophrenia under DSM 5.1. God bless you in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, Kent J. Nauman ex-MD (axis I schizophrenia (chronic))

     Warning psychiatric theory (PSYCHO the RAPIST) is fraudulent and injurious. Their optimal human being has been found. He is a psychopath who infiltrated the fertility clinics and had ~150 offspring.  When I was in medical school psychiatric class learning about schizophrenia having its onset between 18-25 years, I said what about Moses talking to a burning bush? The psychiatric resident was stunned speechless. When I had just turned 40 years old, the Florida board of medicine revoked my medical license for Axis I schizophrenia (chronic) with the symptoms including believing in the blood of Jesus Christ, smiling and believing in God's Word instead of DSM IIIr. Years later I was in my favorite coffee house when a man came up to me and said that he and his wife both majored in psychology so I said what about Moses talking to a burning bush? He said "Moses? Oh Yes, a mega-schizophrenic!" So I went to the public library looked up a book on psychoanalytic theory then looked in the index under God and religion where I found that both were treated as problems in castration. Therefore psychiatric theory has God in a sandwich which I call the SCHIZOPHRENIA-god-CASTRATION COMPLEX.  Do an internet search on "religion is organized schizophrenia", "DSM religion delusions" and “psychotic religious delusions” to see that I am correctly diagnosed.  Therefore please do not call me an ignorant moron.  God bless you in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, Kent J. Nauman ex-MD (axis I schizophrenia (chronic))

Some Anti-psychiatry YouTube Videos:

https://youtu.be/hsAGBi1fLoA which is Psychiatry causes harm and it's widely denied psychiatrist shares her sadness about her profession

https://youtu.be/luKsQaj0hzs which is Psychiatric Drugs Are More Dangerous than You Ever Imagined

and then

https://youtu.be/YA_MwaRLzm8 which is Age of Fear: Psychiatry's Reign of Terror

https://youtu.be/PcuhhJ1BaMk which is The DSM: Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam

https://youtu.be/gvdBSSUviys which is Psychiatry: An Industry of Death (FULL VERSION)

https://youtu.be/WbhF4UhEeF8 which is Demons are Real Robert Stanley Dr. "J" MUST WATCH!

https://youtu.be/esfwU1d2-Yg which is Part 5: Q & A - Gøtzsche & Whitaker - Psychiatric Epidemic – May 14, 2014

Lucinda Essin (not verified) says...

I find you to be insightful but very pessimistic. I went to the information on mgtow and found it the same. I have to agree with many of those views of women, for I have seen them myself. I have also seen way to many weak men. That is why I don’t date. It is too bad that men with that idea don’t procreate, that means that eventually that thought pattern will die out  just as the quakers did.I have strong beliefs in Jesus and am an ESFJ. Just because I love people and seek to nourish them, does not mean that I don’t have strong values and don’t stand up for what I believe. It is important to stand up for and do what is right. I try very hard to not be manipulative and be forthright in who I am and what I want. I don’t believe in stringing a man along and using feminism to give myself power and control, so not all women do. I come from a family of strong women who are independent thinkers and are fully self supporting. I was trained up to not be dependent on a man. I have been a subject of quite a bit of sexual harassment by employers, but found a way to get another job and move away from that. It has always existed and so has women being manipulative. Right now I see our society has swung the pendulum back towards women in power. It has hung as men in power for a long time. The problem is that whether male dominated or female dominated, either way there are abuses to that power. That is human nature. I believe that as long as God is the one in control and we defer to him there will be a balance of power. That is the only way we can ever truly have equality. That is the only way we can think with the right head. Men and women both think with the wrong one most times. When we think analytically with compassion and balance, we can make excellent decisions for the betterment of all. But, we cannot change society overnight. As long as we try to help others and grow no matter our differences or personality, then we build a better world. I like this site because I feel that in understanding myself better and understanding where others come from that I can treat them respectfully and yet disagree with them with fundamental differences. I believe that everyone is an individual and that even within the group of ESFJ that I belong to I often find myself identifying with ESFPs and ESTJs bust am a strong sensor. Just because I am an SF does not mean that I have to have a relationship or that I need to be with someone to be complete. I used to be that way when I was young and got married very young, but found myself carrying the marriage for many years. It seems as women get stronger men get weaker. I wish that women could get strong in a way as not to emasculate men, but to uphold their masculinity and men could be strong enough to uphold women and care more about having a relationship that wasn’t just meeting their need for sex, but was a whole package that they could be strongly their true selves building each other up to both be better together than they were separately. That is the idea that I thought God had intended from the beginning. I have also seen that happen and so I  know it exists. It’s too bad that everyone isn’t willing to work hard in a relationship to make that happen. Too many are lazy and unwilling. They are cheating themselves out of getting to know how good they can be and not seeing how good the person they are with can be and how much better society can be made because of it. I am getting more cynical myself as I see the poor choices made, so I will settle myself into becoming a nurse and try to heal the world through medicine. I can only encourage others to be their better selves. I can’t force them. It’s just like encouraging others to take their medicine. Even though it can save their life if taken properly, it doesn’t mean they will.

Kyra (not verified) says...

I am an ENFP, and a real human unlike the post below mine. I would say that the article USED to be me, until I fell for too many of the wrong guys and became completely disenchanted with superficial love at first sight. Once I do fall for someone, which has to include a strong intellectual connection now, I see all of the rainbows and unicorns and become a very energetic and dedicated partner...for at least a few years. Looking at a 20 year commitment is scary as heck. What if they change, what if I change...how can two people be compatible so long?

Karra (not verified) says...

I am an ENFP too. I am in the middle of a 3 years relationship kind of falling apart. I feel like we're missing the intellectual and emotional connection but I justify it with other connections. Alas. 


Marvin Martinez (not verified) says...

This article is so true, I'm a INFP and I always look for the better relationships in the worst places, for example, actually I'm in love with a emo girl, oh, so much depresion, it hurts me, but I love her so much and my values whant me to help her more than carying for myself, sayed that, I love my relationships, even if they hurt me 

Cumulus Crown (not verified) says...

INFP here-

I feel like this description was accurate of my younger self, but as a somewhat self-aware person who is capable of self reflection, this has changed... a lot.

This article is somewhat accurate, but has an aspect of doom, as it offers no hope of fluidity and offers no advice and DOES NOT address the inherent human capability of being able to learn from mistakes. I wish it had included all the personality types.

I score as an INTP half of the time, and would have liked that information as well.

JayElle (not verified) says...

I am both an INFP/ENFJ. Thank you for writing such an informative article that deeply resonated with me. Both of the descriptions are spot-on! :)

Szurdoki Gábor (not verified) says...

You can not be two types at the same time.

Sam Wilson (not verified) says...

I need to fall in love with someone for whom I can give time, energy and space. Someone who can bring me out of my comfort zone, someone who can bring out the best in me. Someone who understands that my career and identity is as important as theirs, that I cannot sacrifice my dreams or subsume my identity to be with them. But most importantly, I cannot be happy with, love and fulfill someone unless I’m happy with, love and fulfill me. I need to fulfill certain self-goals first, establish myself, have an identity. This is very important to me. Then, and only then, will I consider getting into a relationship

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