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The INFP-INFP Relationship: Disaster or Pure Bliss?

Most people (on the personality forums I frequent) who wonder about INFP-INFP relationships seem to begin with the assumption that the match would either have a terrible outcome, or be, as one person put it: “almost too delightful, so much so that my heart will begin to barf out colorful rainbows of unbridled aneurisms”. (INFPs are also known for being fantastic wordsmiths and for ranging anywhere from slightly strange to jaw-droppingly eccentric, but I digress…)

So why is it that many insist upon such a black-and-white view of two INFPs together?  I think the answer lies within some of the inherent traits of the INFP, along with rampant misinformation and unfounded theories about what an INFP + INFP relationship would look like.

Since Chris and I are (obviously) both INFPs, I’ll attempt to answer the questions surrounding INFP-INFP relationship compatibility, based on our experiences :D

Can an INFP+INFP relationship work?

The short answer is yes; Chris and I are very happy together, and we’ve made a handful of INFP friends online who are also in working relationships with other INFPs.  And, I’ve even seen an INFP here and there mention that they’d been happily married to another INFP for upwards of a decade or two!

On the flipside, I’ve also read testaments about INFP/INFP relationships that didn’t turn out well.  But matching based upon personality type alone doesn’t guarantee that the relationship will work; each person is supremely different than the next, including people that share the same personality type.

The only way to tell whether two particular INFPs will work together is to just try it out – and trust me, even if it doesn’t work in the long-run, some of the experiences will probably be well worth it.  INFPs really are “different” :D

Would anything get done in an INFP-INFP relationship?

This also depends.  On one forum, an INFP mentioned that they and their INFP spouse pretty much always had a messy house, unless someone was about to come over.  Most others mention some level of “things not getting done”, but do regularly ensure that the important stuff is covered – like paying the bills on time.

For me and Chris, we have all the important bases covered (mostly thanks to Chris ;)).  He set up all the bills on autopay and built an extremely comprehensive budget to track spending.  Some of the household chores are put off until (for example) every last fork has been used, but our house normally varies from minimally cluttered to impressively tidy, because too messy of an environment stresses us both out.

We do struggle with saving money, so we recently enlisted the help of a friend who works as an investor to whip our budget into shape.  We’re currently learning a lot of new financial skills and have actually come a long way in a short amount of time.

In fact, this description fits Chris and me quite well: “INFPs are not naturally interested in administrative matters such as bill-paying and house-cleaning, but they can be very good at performing these tasks when they must.  They can be really good money managers when they apply themselves.”  (Here’s the rest of the article – it’s a good one.)

The main thing Chris and I seem to struggle with despite how many books and articles we’ve read on the topic is time management.  We’ve implemented a slew of different systems, and none have worked well for us as long-term strategies.  But because we want to be good at getting things done, we haven’t given up looking.  We’re pretty sure we’ll eventually stumble upon something that will resonate with us.

Would fear of conflict cause problems for two INFPs in a relationship?

It can.  I ruined a couple of past relationships by keeping my mouth shut and letting others walk all over me, but after a few of those experiences, I learned from this mistake and developed a method of sorts to help me figure out whether to bring an issue up or not.  You can check it out in this post if you’d like.

As for Chris, he’s older than I am and has several years of experience on me, during which he learned what he needed to know about conflict resolution.  So, neither of us have a problem with addressing conflict.

In fact, the way we handle issues is pretty admirable; if something needs to be brought up, it is.  Then we discuss it respectfully: one of us brings up our side, and the other brings up theirs.

Because one of our greatest gifts as INFPs is empathy, we’re good at seeing where the other person is coming from and why they feel a certain way, and this helps us reach an outcome that’s desirable for both of us.

Not every INFP has learned how to deal with conflict in a healthy manner, however.  But the same goes for people of any type!

What happens when one/both of the INFPs are overly stressed or moody?

INFPs are well-known for seeming to live on a constant emotional rollercoaster.  I’ve seen many people theorize that because of this, an INFP+INFP relationship would be hell.  This might sound like a valid theory, but the interaction of two emotionally in-tune people is more complex than the stereotype would suggest.

Personally, I think the answer to this question mostly depends on whether the INFPs are generally healthy individuals.  I’m going to go on a limb here and suggest that an INFP who: a) feels they’re in a good to neutral mood most of the time and b) likes their life overall, is healthy.

For INFPs who aren’t in a particularly healthy place and a) usually don’t like their life and b) feel like crap (emotionally) more often than not, it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect a relationship with anyone to work.  That is, unless they’re taking the healthy approach and are working toward becoming a happier person with greater life satisfaction.

So, if you take two INFPs who are generally in a good place in life (emotionally speaking), place them in relationship, and voodoo some stress and moodiness their way, what happens?

For Chris and me, it’s rare that both of us feel excessively stressed or moody at the same time.  In the rare occasions that this does happen, like the couple months that Chris was out of work, we would first have a frank discussion about what needs to be done to change the undesirable situation, and then we’d work our butts off for days – weeks – months…whatever it would take to get things turned around.

When stress or a bad mood takes hold of just one of us, a couple things usually happen:  First, some of the negative feelings transfer to the other person – i.e. I’ll notice that Chris is anxious and extremely worried about his work situation, and some of that worry and anxiety rubs off onto me.  (This phenomenon also happens with good moods, so it’s not always a bad thing.)

Second, the person feeling stressed or moody does something to make the situation (or their attitude about the situation) better.  Since we choose a healthy approach and address our stressful problems head-on, our bad moods don’t tend to last very long.

However, I was in a light funk for a few months once, and couldn’t figure out why I felt slightly depressed.  I kept my bad feelings mostly to myself during those few months and kept searching for answers (I read a lot of books like The Happiness Project, which I’d highly suggest to just about anyone).  Because I took that approach, and chose not to share my gloominess – or worse, lash out at him – our relationship didn’t suffer for it.

(As a side note, I came to find that I simply needed to get out of the house and exercise more…Chris and I started going on a walk together every morning, and now I feel like I’ve been taking happy pills!)

So, in a nutshell, as long as two INFPs are healthy (or working towards it) and consciously choose to handle negative emotions rationally, the relationship can actually be smooth sailing :D

Doesn’t having the same personality type mean that learning and growth is inhibited?

If you scour the internet for information on relationships between two people of the same MBTI type, you’ll discover the rampant theory that those with “identical” personalities can’t help each other.

In fact, here’s an explanation from one of the more popular sites: “Identical partners see the world with identical eyes, identically work out received information, come to identical conclusions and have identical problems.”

Since when is anyone identical to their partner??  No one’s the same; in fact, even though Chris and I are both INFP, I am more Extraverted, he has a more developed Thinking function, and I am a bit higher on the Perceiving scale than he is.  Not to mention the vast array of our individual quirks and tendencies.

We don’t see the world identically, or work out received information exactly the same way, or come to precisely the same conclusions/stumbling blocks.  Because of this, we can indeed help each other in various ways, such as pulling from our unique experiences or formulating different ideas to solve a problem.

Granted, we do experience some of the same kinds of problems, such as with money and time management.  But, as I mentioned above, we simply ask for outside help in those areas, or seek information on our own.

But growth is not inhibited because we’re the same type.  In fact, we’ve both been able to grow together at a rate we’ve never experienced with anyone else…Not even close!

Because we both know the other is incredibly open-minded, and we love each other about as near to unconditionally as you can get, we have strong trust in each other.  Enough to really, truly be ourselves together.  And for us, that means genuinely following our dreams and aspirations…which entails a whole lot of personal growth ;)

Does an INFP-INFP relationship become boring?

It can, but so can a relationship between an ESFP and an INTP.  Personality type really doesn’t have much to do with it.  If you’re concerned about losing the flame, I’d highly recommend the book Can Love Last?: The Fate of Romance Over Time, or this post.

Sometimes Chris and I struggle with being too “comfortable”, but then we’ll do something like play Scrabble half-naked with wine in hand, and things will feel plenty exciting again :D  We like a very particular balance of quietude and thrills, and we usually do a good job of keeping that balance intact.

If you’re decently compatible, it just takes effort to keep from becoming a boring couple…Effort in the form of getting up off the couch and having new experiences together.  That’s usually all it takes!

Isn’t an ENFJ my best match as an INFP?

Theoretically, that’s what “they” say.  But Chris certainly isn’t ENFJ, and I’m pretty convinced he’s my best match.  If there’s a better match out there for me, it would have to be because of something insignificant, like a better aligned condiment preference.

Essentially, I wouldn’t base matchmaking off the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, because there’s no one out there who fits the exact definitions to a T.

Personality type descriptions should only be approached as a gateway to understanding and interacting with others.

And if you’re an INFP wondering whether it’s a good idea to hop into a relationship with another INFP, I say go for it, if you’re attracted to the person and they aren’t setting off any “This is a bad idea!” gut feelings.

An INFP-INFP relationship is definitely worth experiencing :D  It’ll either be a whirlwind romance, an incredibly interesting experience, or – at the worst – a good learning experience.  So why not?


Categories: Practical Advice, Single
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