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INFP Relationships

What INFP personality types are like in relationships and compatibility advice.

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Enigmatic INFPs are one of the least common types, making up only 4.9% of the population. Everyone probably knows a few INFPs, but few people know them well. It may take some effort to become deeply acquainted with an INFPs because they are so different from most other people and also because they are very private. Friends and partners who do develop close relationships with INFPs find them to be caring and passionately devoted.


INFPs Attitude to Relationships

How do INFP types approach relationships?

INFPs are dreamers and they are idealists. As young adults they may create a detailed list of the traits and characteristics that their Prince or Princess Charming should possess, and they won't settle for anything less. Over time, life experiences teach them to adjust their expectations. The people INFPs idolize will eventually fall from their pedestals. These relationships have the opportunity to mature when the INFP's empathetic nature leads them to base relationships on understanding, compassion, and compromise alongside admiration and hope.

An INFP will likely:

  • Compare new romantic prospects to a set of high standards and criteria.
  • Idolize new romantic interests and partners, refusing to see imperfections in the people they place on pedestals.
  • Give mixed messages in the early stages of dating relationships, appearing interested one day and ambivalent the next.
  • Turn lovers into friends, maintaining lifelong friendships with former romantic partners.
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INFPs are often wanting to help their partner improve various aspects of their lives. This comes from a loving place, but they must be sure that it doesn't come across negatively and the partner is open to changes.


INFPs and Dating

How do INFP types fare in the dating world?

INFPs know that in a lot of ways they are very different from most people. They seek to make deep connections with people who make an effort to understand their complex feelings and passions. The bonds of friendship and love are rare and precious to INFPs, and they cherish the relatively few people to whom they open their hearts.

INFPs believe that everyone is basically good, and everyone has gifts to share. They are more likely to direct critical thoughts and feelings at themselves than at anyone else. Many are deeply committed to improving their habits, outlook, and empathetic awareness so that they can amplify their unique contributions. They are drawn to people who share this self-awareness and are also on a path of self-discovery and improvement.

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INFPs are not ones to be superficial. An INFP will want their partner to be someone who completely understands them and someone they fully connect with on all levels.

INFPs prefer to express their feelings in creative and artistic ways. They avoid confrontation and rarely speak harshly. When conflicts and misunderstandings arise, they are likely to blame themselves more than they do other party. Insults from a loved one in the heat of the moment may wound more deeply than they will ever let on, but INFPs are quick to forgive and eager to mend relationships, believing that it is possible to grow through adversity.

Info Table
Beneficial dating traits Negative dating traits
Eager to nurture positive growth in their partners and in themselves. May be shy and private, difficult to get to know.
Accepting of different points of view, needs, and interests. They may intuit a stronger connection than others do at first, and reveal an unexpected level of emotional intensity.
Dedicated to understanding partners on a deep level. Their focus on self-improvement and on an idealized future can feel to a partner like pressure to change.
Aware of their own shortcoming and willing to improve. They may withdraw into self-blame rather than patch things up after an argument.
Willing to see the best in those they love. They may withdraw into self-blame rather than patch things up after an argument.

INFP Partner Compatibility

Who are INFP compatible with?

INFPs are most compatible with other intuitive and feeling types. As they are one of the rarest types, it's not every day they meet someone who shares their emotional intensity, driving passion, and creative approach, so they may feel validated and supported just by meeting another INFP who sees things the way they do. Mutual understanding between two visionaries can be wonderful as long as they are able to compromise when conflicts between their visions arise.

An INFP's willingness to compromise is integral to the success of their relationships with other types as well. Extraverted and sensing types give them space to express themselves in the moment as a way to connect with others and let go of disappointment when things don't end up perfectly. Thinking and Judging types can help them lay out specific and actionable plans to achieve their goals.

Figure 1: INFP partner compatibility

Percentage compatibility between INFP and other types

infp compatibility

What this chart shows

This chart shows an estimate of the compatibility between INFP types and other types. We see that INFP types are most likely to be compatible with other INFPs, and least likely to be compatible with an ESTJ. 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 INFP

How to have successful INFP relationships

As people who care deeply about creating the best possible life for their partners and families, INFPs have a lot to offer. Both partners in a relationship can benefit from a stable and grounded relationships when INFPs bring their deep appreciation of beauty into each moment and love the world that exists in all its perfection as much as the one they want to create.

As an INFP

  • green tick Try to set aside your vision for a perfect partner and get to know the person in front of you as they are.
  • green tick Honestly evaluate a person's flaws as you get to know them and try to accept the idea that they may never change.
  • green tick Forgive yourself as readily as you forgive others.
  • green tick Keep in mind that your partner's actions, values, and beliefs are not your own, and allow them space to be someone different.
  • red cross Don't blame yourself entirely if there are conflicts or misunderstandings.
  • red cross Try not to take criticism or harsh words too much to heart.
  • red cross Don't get so caught up in dreams of the future that you forget to enjoy what you have in the present.

Advice for Partners of INFPs

How to make an INFP fall in love with you

INFPs are idealistic and imaginative people who would transform their partners’ lives into a fairy-tale if they could. They are passionately committed to being their best possible selves, and they often bring out the best in their partners as well.

Being with an INFP

  • green tick Allow that it can take time to get to know an INFP. They may open up to you a little at a time, or all at once after they've gotten comfortable with you.
  • green tick Ask them questions about themselves and pay attention to non-verbal communication.
  • green tick Use an abundance of tact and care when clearing up misunderstandings.
  • green tick Acknowledge your mistakes and apologize instead of getting defensive.
  • green tick Be aware that they tend to feel responsible beyond what they actually can influence, and remind them not to be too hard on themselves.
  • green tick Express support for their ideals and visions and help them develop realistic plans so that they don't feel they are carrying their burden alone.

INFP Friendships

Principles of how INFP types behave in a friendship

INFPs cherish intimate friendships with people who share their strong ethics, high standards, and commitment to a better future. These friendships develop slowly and deepen over time. INFPs tend to idealize new acquaintances with whom they feel a positive connection and their friendships often feature a honeymoon phase. Once these friendships have survived one or more disappointments, INFPs remain loyal allies who treat their friends with honesty, encouragement, and respect.


How INFPs can Improve their Relationships with others

Tips for an INFP to be a better partner and friend

INFPs tune in to the emotional states of the people around them. When someone they care about is in distress, they want to do more than bring comfort – they want to solve the problem at its root and make sure it will never happen again. They usually see two versions of each person – who they are and who they could grow to become. They are optimists who believe that in the right environment every individual has the capacity to thrive and flourish as their best self.

As an INFP, try these to improve relationships with other people:

  • Seek out people who not only understand and support your ideals but are also willing to challenge you to adapt.
  • Accept people as they are, even if they seem to resist positive changes in their lives.
  • Partner with people who have different strengths and focus areas from yours. These partnerships will be challenging but worth the effort.
  • Try not to blame yourself for hardships that others experience when it's beyond your control.
  • Bring your feelings to light when interpersonal problems arise. Open discussions often reveal that things aren't as bad as they may seem.

 


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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.