If you are reading this, and you are an INTJ at the (borderline insane) level that I consider myself, the title of this post likely induces a gag reflex or some similar reaction. Seriously, love and affection?! Gross. At any rate, we all know how important this is to others in our lives, so I thought I would take a stab at an explanation by describing the ways that I show love, affection or simple regard for another human being.
In my experience, the untrained eye assumes that INTJ shows no love or affection at all. The fact is that we show it rather blatantly (in our view), however we don’t show it like the other 99% of the population, therefore it often goes without notice. The things we do to show affections are a far cry from what movies, books and general expectations of society dictate. Anything we actually do from this preconceived “list” of acceptable forms of romance, come from training and forcing ourselves to take part in these traditional acts of esteem. At times, we feel we have to in order to keep the peace, and at times, we enjoy doing this to please our partner. Regardless of the reason, it is not naturally given or received, although I can tell you that I genuinely have tried to make my acceptance of it.
To be rather blunt, I find many traditional accepted acts of romance to be fake, pre-determined and rather pointless. What does a standard box of chocolates have to do with me? Nothing. Sure, I enjoy chocolate, but what thought goes into that purchase? That is something that could be purchased for anyone. INTJs tend to put a lot of thought into gifts and acts of romance. When we genuinely enjoy the presence of someone, we get to know them at a deep level and enjoy providing them with tokens that they will truly use, enjoy or appreciate. We never want to give anything that is not of genuine use to our recipient, therefore knowing someone is extremely important to us when choosing what we want to give.
For me, choosing gifts is not a predetermined event; It is something that occurs randomly, when inspired. If I catch wind of something that my husband really needs or something that will improve his life in some way, I will pick it up and present it to him, without the need for an occasion. Because of that, I may miss a Valentine’s Day or anniversary, as there may have been nothing inspired around that particular period of time. Luckily for me, he understands this and takes no offense (and he also is the same way, so that helps). He gets a lot of “early” gifts, mainly because it is usually something he needs and will have better use of it before the intended holiday. My husband also knows that I genuinely prefer to receive items of use, such as a new dishwasher or something that will improve the value of our home. I know…so romantic.
Time is also something that is of great value. INTJs value their alone time very highly, and it is a permanent need, however if the INTJ in question is spending time with you, consider that a big checkmark in one of the main things we do to show love and affection. I understand this seems silly to most people, as most will spend time with others without any real meaning or purpose. Spending time with others is a big deal, and one that we don’t take lightly. I have said it before, if an INTJ is spending time with you, you have no question of their affections. We also show affection by giving you time. If you need it, we understand and will forgo our desire to spend time to address the needs of our partner.
This may be more personal to me, rather than relative to the general INTJ populous, however written word is one of the major ways I show affection. If I don’t have a gift to give, or I am inspired to share my thoughts, I will write it; a big gigantic thought-filled letter full of love and logic. At least with me, if my partner does not like receiving letters with my well organized thoughts, then the relationship is very likely to fail.
On that note, sitting around and talking about our thoughts and emotions is typically not a highlighted activity for the INTJ, and the number one reason I like to write letters. I prefer to organize my thoughts, assess the rationale behind my words and assure that I am communicating clearly and concisely. When we have to speak on the spot, this is more difficult. For partners who prefer to talk everything out, they may find difficulty with the INTJ, view their lack of excitement for this activity negatively, and relate it directly to the amount of love they are receiving. If you are struggling with this in your relationship with an INTJ, bear this in mind and try to look at the bigger picture. Are you receiving communication in other ways? Then we are likely showing our affections.
I personally also show what I call “affection” by taking care of the ones I love. Making sure the home is comfortable, enjoyable and has a positive affect on the psyche. I personally love to spend a lot of time at home, therefore I like everything to be orderly and accessible with all of the things I enjoy surrounding me, available to me and no chores left “undone”. I show affection by assuring that the same is provided for all of the other members of the household and create comfortable surroundings that meet all of their possible needs. Because I am so highly affected by my environment, I find that others are equally affected, yet fail to recognize it. Although I see positive results from this display of affection, it hardly, if ever gets recognized as that.
I know all of this sounds like a list of things you have to understand and deal with when you are in a relationship with an INTJ, however this is only a description of our natural state. We will adjust, compromise and change some of our behaviors to match the love languages of our partners, if it is important to us. If there is a return on our investment to make these adjustments, such as a happier partner, a mutual understanding and peace in our household, then we are certainly welcome to make the necessary changes to get these valuable returns.
Also published on Medium.