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16 Types

ESTJ Relationships

How ESTJ types approach relationships

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A relationship with an ESTJ is likely to be a stable and secure one. Traditional ideals of loyalty and commitment will be important to an ESTJ, and they will make sure that their partner feels special and taken care of.

ESTJ's Attitude to Relationships

How do ESTJ types approach relationships?

ESTJs tend to be traditionalists. They will show unyielding loyalty and will demand the same of their partner. They will be clear and concise in their communication - sometimes even stoic - and will rarely sugarcoat the truth or even tell a benevolent lie. ESTJs tend to be very protective of what is theirs and upfront about their intent to keep the relationship exclusive. They will take exceptional care of their partners and will make them feel safe.

An ESTJ type is likely to:

  • Value stability over spontaneity and novelty
  • Communicate boundaries and expectations clearly
  • Struggle to ‘read between the lines’ i.e. intuit an emotion or attitude
  • Base their romantic behavior on principles rather than feelings
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The ESTJ may not be willing to reveal the extent of their feelings until they feel completely safe with their partner.

ESTJs and Dating

How do ESTJ types fare in the dating world?

ESTJs will have well-thought-out ideas of what relationships ought to look like. They will value a clear division of roles which will often, but not always, be built on societal ideals of masculinity and femininity. These roles will rarely serve as a veneer covering hidden insecurities; on the contrary, ESTJs will be at ease with who they are and will exude confidence and comfort.

ESTJs will place a lot of importance on the long-term stability of relationships. They will think highly of partners who are not afraid to label a relationship and communicate their boundaries. One might mistake their dedication to stability for dullness or aversion towards fun, but that just isn't an ESTJ's perspective. ESTJs love being around people and will find ways to be spontaneous within the parameters of their world view.

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When an ESTJ is certain in their judgment, there is little that one can do to convince them otherwise

Just like other sensing types, ESTJs will be observant of non-verbal cues. However, unlike feeling and perceiving types, they will tend to trust their own judgment more than that of their partner, and they will defend it vehemently. This, of course, does not mean that they will perceive themselves as infallible superhumans; remember that ESTJs are famously self-critical.

Info Table
Beneficial dating traits Negative dating traits
ESTJs will plan and organize dates with confidence and ease. ESTJs will likely avoid unconventional sexual experiences or relationship dynamics (for ex. an open relationship).
ESTJs will be proud of their partner and will likely want to showcase them to their friends and family. They might struggle with understanding inner states that drive behavior and are not directly observable.
They will handle criticism well and will strive to improve if their partner requests it. They may come off as judgmental and too demanding of their partner.
ESTJs tend to be loyal and principally oppose promiscuity and infidelity. ESTJs may struggle with showing non-verbal affection i.e. gestures and gifts.

ESTJ Partner Compatibility

Analysis of personality compatibility for ESTJ types

A certain subsection of people will find the presence of ESTJs intimidating. They will mistake their self-confidence for blatant arrogance and a lack of humility. This is especially likely to be the case with more feeling- and perceiving-dominant partners who strive to understand people's behavior without necessarily imposing a value judgment. Therefore, an ESTJ would be best paired with another judging-dominant personality type.

Intuition is often contrasted with unimaginative sensing. However, if all other traits are kept the same, an ESTJ and an intuitionist can complement each other. Being around an intuitive person that they care about may help an ESTJ become more tolerant, allow them to ‘let loose’, and teach them practical cognitive shortcuts. Since ESTJs are practical by nature, they will be sure to appreciate such a skill.

Figure 1: ESTJ partner compatibility

Percentage compatibility between ESTJ and other types

estj compatibility

What this chart shows

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

  • 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.

  • 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 ESTJ

How to have successful ESTJ relationships

ESTJs can be committed, selfless, and caring. They have the skills to maintain a long-term relationship and the drive to showcase the best parts of their personality. This, coupled with a healthy amount of self-awareness, can make ESTJs model partners.

As an ESTJ

  • green tick Make your partner feel like they have a cherished place in your life by being protective of them and your relationship with them.
  • green tick Do communicate your expectations clearly and encourage your partner to follow suit. Too much planning can kill romance, but too little planning is a one-way ticket to confusion and disappointment.
  • green tick Do show your affection towards your partner, even and especially with non-verbal gestures, such as the occasional unsolicited kiss or hug.
  • green tick Do allow yourself to be spontaneous from time to time. A healthy amount of impulsivity can bring a breath of freshness into the relationship and ensure that neither you nor your partner get bored of each other.
  • red cross Don't be too intimidated by your partner's unconventional requests. Even if you don't feel like experimenting, try not to come off as too judgmental of their preferences.
  • red cross Don't overthink your partner's actions. Instead, whenever faced with a dead end, try to imagine what they must be feeling like and whether those feelings are a plausible explanation for their behavior.
  • red cross Try not to come off as overly scrupulous. Although in your mind there are rules and procedures for a reason, other people may prefer a more free-form existence. This is especially important for romantic relationships where, oftentimes, there are simply no binders to follow.
  • red cross Don't always blurt out your thoughts, lest you come across as callous. Honesty is important but so is care for other people's feelings.

Advice for Partners of ESTJs

How to make an ESTJ fall in love with you

Learning how to recognize and be tolerant of an ESTJ's pernicious personality aspects can improve and sustain your relationship. Here are a couple of tips on dating an ESTJ:

Being with an ESTJ

  • green tick Do talk to an ESTJ about the norms and principles around which you organize your life. It tends to be important to ESTJs that their partner's behavior is always somewhat predictable and never so out of character that they can no longer make sense of it.
  • green tick Be upfront about your feelings, even if you feel like it may hurt your partner. Very few topics are taboo to an ESTJ, and besides, one of the things they value most in their partner is honesty; similarly, one of the things they dislike most is passive-aggression or an expectation to ‘read between the lines’.
  • green tick Do appeal to your ESTJ's principles when you’d like to see certain habits and behaviors changed. Principles don't mean much unless they are adhered to consistently - or so an ESTJ believes.
  • green tick Do compliment your ESTJ on their protectiveness and their commitment to your security. The phrase ‘I feel safe around you’ is music to an ESTJ's ears.
  • green tick Try not to be excessively late to your dates. ESTJs are notoriously punctual, and may even interpret chronic lateness as a lack of commitment.
  • red cross Don't mistake an ESTJ's straightforwardness for deliberate malice. ESTJs understand that the truth isn't always easy to hear, but they nonetheless believe that it is imperative to always be honest. If you think they could use a dash of sensitivity, tell them openly.
  • red cross Don't be discouraged if your partner doesn't show you affection beyond the occasional compliment. ESTJs communicate with words and may struggle to show their feelings in other ways. This doesn't mean that they don't care about you or are losing interest in you.

ESTJ Friendships

Principles of how ESTJ types behave in a friendship

ESTJs love being around people. They tend to be prideful and always in search for an audience. Most people will find ESTJs enticing, but some may be intimidated by them, especially people who think highly of emotional expressiveness and vulnerability. After all, our culture makes self-confidence an aesthetic imperative; everyone wants to be at ease with themselves, but rarely anyone can succeed in being as effortlessly self-confident as ESTJs.

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Often ESTJs will seek out friendships with people very similar to themselves.

ESTJs feel most at home around friends who are not afraid of ambition. They have little fear of envy and will have no reservations about flaunting their success. In potential friends, they will tend to look for the ability to handle criticism well and will avoid people who they see as jealous and insecure. Some of the biggest pet peeves of an ESTJ are pretense, conceit, and manipulative behavior.

quotation marks ESTJs are likely to look down on people who they see as frivolous and over-indulgent.
Ellie Simmonds, MSc

Since ESTJs are extraverted, they will of course enjoy the company of others, but they might have a more reserved conception of fun than the most hardline extraverts. They will enjoy familiar, homey spaces, such as a local country club, a bar they frequent, or a park with which they have familiarized themselves to the point where they can easily navigate it. ESTJs tend to see more extravagant parties as a waste of time and resources; however, with the right - that is, familiar - people by their side, they can enjoy any social setting, however bizarre.

face reading open book

ESTJs might surprise their close friends with their vulnerability.

ESTJs, of course, have an emotional side to them, but they tend to conceal it from large crowds or unfamiliar people. If they feel secure enough in their relationship with a particular person, they may open up and pour out all the hidden contents of their internal emotional world. It is important to be persistent around an ESTJ and to never essentialize them as being inexpressive or ‘lacking emotion’, as this will only harden the shell around their feelings.

How ESTJs can Improve their Relationships with others

ESTJs becoming a better partner and friend

ESTJs might be quick to judge their partner and protest at their differing lifestyles, but they undoubtedly possess the capacity to change. All they need is guidance on how best to align their principles with what the world and their partners expect of them.

As an ESTJ, this is what you could do to improve relationships with other people:

  • Keep an open mind and try to be forgiving. A single mishap is rarely evidence for a complete lack of guiding norms and principles. People are naturally inclined to change, but they need time and space to do so.
  • Seek out new friends and avoid settling on one clique or group of familiar people. Change is always good; you might not find your platonic soulmates immediately, but you might end up making friends who are both more aligned with your world view and more tolerant of your personality.
  • Allow yourself to ‘let loose’ from time to time. Maintenance becomes important only later in a relationship. During the initial stages, try to focus on building a fresh and bubbly dynamic and surprising your partner with off-character behavior.
  • Practice being mindful and exploring your inner world. The more accustomed you become to your own emotions the more tolerant you will be of the emotions of people around you.


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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.