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ESFP Relationships

How ESFP types approach relationships

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Caring and sensitive, an ESFP will make every moment of a romantic relationship special. They will love unconditionally and won't have any reservations about showing their feelings to their partner.


ESFP's Attitude to Relationships

How do ESFP types approach relationships?

Similar to their general attitude towards life, ESFPs deal with romance one bit at a time. Labeling or categorizing relationships doesn't concern them, and neither does planning ahead. They evaluate potential partners by the amount of joy and novelty they bring to the here-and-now. ESFPs make for loving and empathetic partners, especially during the initial stages of a romantic endeavor. However, as the relationship progresses, this can quickly be substituted with a callous disregard for the future.

An ESFP type is likely to:

  • Fall in love hard and fast, and/or idealize a person.
  • Understand the emotions and motivations behind their partner's behavior.
  • Be promiscuous, and have a hard time settling for, and committing to, a long-term relationship.
  • Avoid facing and dealing with potential obstacles in the course of the relationship.
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The ESFP focus on the here and now in how they value relationships.


ESFPs and Dating

How do ESFP types fare in the dating world?

ESFPs are always looking for new experiences as they tend to get easily bored by old and familiar ones. Because an ESFP will try to avoid being bored - and likely assume that other people have the same avoidance attitude - they will try to think of the most engaging ways to start off a relationship, for example by organizing an eccentric first date. Depending on the partner's personality type, this can either be absolutely thrilling, or outright exhausting

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The ESFPs view emotion as a fog that clouds rational, logical judgment, and this perspective can cause friction with those that think less logically.

In principle, sensing types trust their sensory perception more than other people's spoken words. Although they will usually be genuinely interested in their partner's lived world - their experiences, emotions, and motivations - ESFPs might come off as dismissive of their partner's own interpretation of them

The ESFP's short-termist attitude might make their partner feel disposable - merely a source of fun. This often becomes apparent as the relationship matures, and the novelty of it all is no longer enough to sustain it. ESFPs are likely to avoid conflict and even ‘ghost’ a partner instead of confronting them in a healthy manner. Nevertheless, ESFPs value interpersonal connection and are generally adaptable, so they might surprise people with their ability to overcome many of their unhealthy habits.

Info Table
Beneficial dating traits Negative dating traits
ESFPs will think of ways to keep the relationship fresh. ESFPs are known to have extensive social networks so their partners might feel left out.
Their well-developed aesthetic sense will be appealing to certain people. ESFPs will avoid confronting their partner and might leave outstanding issues unresolved.
ESFPs will make compromises and concede easily to avoid ruining the energy of the party. ESFPs will avoid agreeing on a long-term course of a relationship.
They make for appreciated lovers and will tend to the partner's sexual needs. Depending on their degree of impulsivity, they might be less faithful than other personality types.
ESFPs will notice that something is wrong without having to be told; their prudence might be appealing to some. They might come across as dull and unimaginative, which might be off putting to some.

ESFP Partner Compatibility

Analysis of personality compatibility for ESFP types

Extraverts are best paired with other extraverts; introverts might find themselves quickly exhausted by the pace of the extraverted life. Two extraverted feeling types under one roof is a recipe for rhapsodic pleasure and experience.

While an ESFP will trust their senses more than another person's intuition, they may be surprisingly intuitive when it comes to their partner's internal world. They might notice a change of body language or tone of voice and from that intuit a change in the overall relationship dynamic. This may be appealing to intuitionists who value quick judgement and sharp perception in their partner.

Figure 1: ESFP partner compatibility

Percentage compatibility between ESFP and other types

esfp compatibility

What this chart shows

This chart shows an estimate of the compatibility between ESFP types and other types. We see that ESFP types are most likely to be compatible with other ESFPs, and least likely to be compatible with an ISTJ. This 'like-minds' effect is often the case (see Figure 2 below).

Notes:
  • 1. n=3297
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:
  • 4. The questionnaire asked participants to select the traits that they favor when thinking about their ideal romantic partner, and the traits were mapped to each of the 16 types.

Figure 2: 16 type model partner compatibility

Percentage compatibility between the 16 factor model (Myers Briggs®) types

mbti compatibility matrix

What this chart shows

This chart shows an estimate of the compatibility between Myers Briggs® types. Our research shows that the strongest match is usually with someone of the same type. Another general pattern we observe is extraverts are generally more compatible with other extraverts, and introverts are more compatible with other introverts. This data supports the adage "birds of a feather flock together” and discredits the often-quoted mantra "opposites attract".

Across almost all types, the most compatible combination is with someone of an identical type. Within this general trend, the degree of compatibility varies slightly. For example, the compatibility between two INFP types is very high (at 95%) whereas the compatibility between two INTJs is 86%. The only exception to the observation that the best match is with someone of the same type is for ESFP types. The researchers note that ESFP types do still strongly favor other extraverts.

Notes:
  • 1. n=3297
  • 2. Population: Global
  • 3. Live dataset last updated:
  • 4. The questionnaire asked participants to select the traits that they favor when thinking about their ideal romantic partner, and the traits were mapped to each of the 16 types.

Advice for dating as an ESFP

How to have successful ESFP relationships

ESFPs can be exceptional romantic partners, provided they moderate their feelings and think strategically. As an ESFP you could use your flamboyance to your advantage and keep the less appealing sides of you at bay

As an ESFP

  • green tick Be inquisitive about your partner's feelings. Except in situations where your partner is uncomfortable with sharing sensitive information, this will be appreciated.
  • green tick Use your ‘everything is going to be ok’ attitude in your favor; the more anxious types of partners will appreciate this and might find your good mood contagious.
  • green tick Be generous. Show your partner you appreciate them with small acts of kindness - like the occasional present or an impulsive vacation.
  • green tick Do confront your partner when you feel something is off; this will showcase your sensing nature and will avoid things escalating into passive-aggressiveness.
  • red cross Don't spend too much time with your partner and friends at the same time, especially at the beginning of a relationship when insecurities are rampant. Put some time aside only for your partner.
  • red cross Don't avoid labeling your relationship or committing to it. An uncertain attitude can be a real deal-breaker.
  • red cross Don't waste all your creative energy into organizing a couple of outlandish dates. Ration it and stretch it over a longer period of time so as to keep things fresh.
  • red cross Don't avoid texting back your partner or confronting them in real life when the tough gets going. It's better to endure temporary pain than to set yourself up for a situation in which you feel like your only escape is to ghost.

Advice for Partners of ESFPs

Tips for a successful relationship with an ESFP

With some flexibility and open-mindedness, any personality type can feel accomplished by a relationship with an ESFP. Just remember to play into their optimism and zest for life.

Being with an ESFP

  • green tick Try to approach an ESFP with an open mind. Their behavior might appear off-center or even bizarre to you, but remember that it comes from a place of unyielding enthusiasm for life
  • green tick Do share your big aspirations and how you plan to achieve them.
  • green tick Be assertive in your communication with an ESFP. They will often circumvent important discussions about your relationship, so it's important to make your expectations and boundaries clear; the earlier - the better!
  • green tick Even if it is not exactly true, try to acknowledge an ESFPs interpretation of your non-verbal cues. Dismissing it might make them more likely to avoid confronting you, even if they feel like your relationship is not headed in the right direction.
  • green tick Show interest for your ESFPs internal world. Although they enjoy listening and observing unconditionally, reciprocating will be much appreciated.
  • red cross Try not to come off as too calculating. The line dividing prudence from stiffness can be blurry in the mind of an ESFP.
  • red cross Don't be too critical of their impulsivity. ESFPs think of their spontaneity highly and get frustrated when someone interferes or complains.
  • red cross Don't be intimidated by an ESFPs inquisitive nature; talk about your feelings and emotions openly.
  • red cross Don't get discouraged when an ESFP cancels plans or chooses to hang out with other people instead. It has more to do with their personality than with yours.

ESFP Friendships

Principles of how ESFP types behave in a friendship

ESFPs love people, and people love them. They have no problem adhering to the social code of niceties when meeting new people. They will talk about anything with unfeigned passion. ESFPs are social chameleons; they will have a remarkable ability to ‘read the room’ and adjust their behavior accordingly. The last thing they want is to make someone feel uncomfortable.

blue star

ESFPs tend to be popular, as they deliberately make choices to make others like and feel comfortable around them.

ESFPs will often sacrifice their own convenience in the name of ‘continuing the flow’. They will have little regard for their finances and will buy everyone drinks if that's what it takes to keep the party afloat. However, they will expect the same flavor of collectivism from other people, especially in their times of need. This might be frustrating for some, as no one really consents or can object to an ESFPs generosity.

quotation marks While ESFPs are good at adapting to the cards they've been dealt, they will struggle with concealing their boredom if they are so.
Ellie Simmonds, MSc

While starting off a friendship with ESFPs is easy, sustaining it might prove more difficult. They might be hesitant to deepen their friendship with any one particular person, and will instead rely on their vast social networks for incremented but continuous support and affection. Except in rare cases in which they believe they have found their platonic soulmate, they will avoid one-on-one activities and instead opt for larger social gatherings. They function perfectly within a group and bring freshness into the dynamic of any clique they enter.

Being friends with an ESFP means always being wary of their tendency to get bored. Long intellectual discussions with the purpose of showcasing one's knowledge, or speculating about the future, are a fool-proof way to bore an ESFP. And while they are remarkably adaptable to the cards they've been dealt, they will find it hard to adjust their facial expressions and body language so as to conceal their boredom.

ESFPs particularly high on the extraversion and feeling metrics will be extremely fun and always willing to enter an unfamiliar social situation, but this will come at the cost of dependability. ESFPs will rely on other people's management skills to take care of situations in which at least some degree of planning is required - like a vacation or a surprise birthday party. The only way to avoid disappointment and frustration in these settings is to assign roles and communicate expectations well in advance.


How ESFPs can Improve their Relationships with others

ESFPs becoming a better partner and friend

As far as friends go, ESFPs come closest to a poetic ideal of friendship; but there is always space for improvement! They should balance their optimism with a little bit of healthy cynicism and contempt, and they should not be afraid to speak up when necessary.

As an ESFP, this is what can be done to improve relationships with other people:

  • Attentive listening is a skill appreciated by many. However, ESFPs shouldn't be afraid to judge a person or situation or to give concrete advice.
  • Friend cliques are fun, but they often place the emphasis on nurturing the group dynamic rather than the relationships between its members. ESFPs should deepen their individual relationships and embrace one-on-one hang outs.
  • ESFPs should develop their assertiveness and learn to be less agreeable in certain situations. Caring for the other person's comfort is noble, but it can come at the expense of one's own comfort.
  • ESFPs should try and develop a taste for long discussions centered around theories rather than feelings. This will help them expand their repertoire of personality types they get along with.

 


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Ellie Simmonds, MSc

University of Bath, Psychology

Ellie Simmonds, MSc in Psychology from University of Bath. Ellie is an associate lecturer on psychometric assessments and has extensive knowledge of the 16-type model.