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16 Types

ISTJ Relationships

How ISTJ types approach relationships

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ISTJs see their relationships as serious commitments in which each partner has clearly defined roles and responsibilities. An ISTJ will rarely verbalize their feelings, and they don't show physical affection as often as other types do. Instead, they perform practical and concrete acts of support and service to demonstrate their loyalty.

ISTJs Attitude to Relationships

How do ISTJ types approach relationships?

ISTJs are cautious about who they allow into their private lives. They are drawn to people with whom they share common interests, activities, and values. They usually date within their established social sphere rather than crossing cultural or socio-economic lines. The dating phase of a relationship is not to be rushed. Once a commitment is finally made, ISTJ's will honour their relationships with significant others for the rest of their lives, whatever forms the relationships may take.

An ISTJ type in dating is likely to:

  • Assess potential partners for compatibility based on shared interests and values, with less emphasis on physical attraction than other types.
  • Take their time getting to know a person before committing to a relationship.
  • Politely disengage from a dating relationship if they don't perceive long-term potential.
  • Remain faithfully committed to a life-partner or spouse through thick and thin.
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Taking time to learn each other's communication styles, perspectives, and preferences will give any relationship a better chance at success, whatever the type of each partner.

ISTJs and Dating

How do ISTJ types fare in the dating world?

ISTJs are introverts who master the art of socializing more out of a sense of duty than for the joy of it. Your ISTJ date will keep a pleasant and light-hearted conversation going. They will be curious to find out what you have in common, from world views to hobbies and past times as having similar values is regarded as a strong compatibility sign for an ISTJ. The desire for compatibility and similarity will have the ISTJ date heavily before making a very committed decision to be with someone.

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ISTJs generally don't bother dating at all unless they feel that the relationship has long-term potential.

Getting to know an ISTJ on a personal level usually takes time as they have to warm up to a person before becoming very personal, so don't be discouraged if sparks don't fly immediately.

Info Table
Beneficial dating traits Negative dating traits
Take time to get to know potential partners rather than judging a book by its cover. It can be difficult for Feeling types to establish a sense of personal connection quickly with ISTJs.
They keep things pleasant and do not instigate drama. They take dating quite seriously and so outings may feel tedious for Perceiving and Intuitive types.
They are realistic about their expectations. They don't easily make the romantic gestures that many other types seek for reassurance.
They will not rush into committed relationships. They may not see the need to consider a partner's feelings on an issue if they've already made up their mind based on facts.

ISTJ Partner Compatibility

Analysis of personality compatibility for ISTJ types

ISTJs are best matched with people who share their preference for Sensing and take a Perceiving approach as a complement to the ISTJs Judging approach. As socially oriented introverts, they find both extraverts and introverts easy to connect with, so they don't need to rely on extraverts to draw them out of their shell as other introverts often do. They may initially clash with Feeling types, but any issues can usually be worked out.

Figure 1: ISTJ partner compatibility

Percentage compatibility between ISTJ and other types

istj compatibility

What this chart shows

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

How to have successful ISTJ relationships

ISTJs have a lot to offer in a relationship. They also have some traits that are best suppressed during first dates. As an ISTJ you could play to your strengths and be aware of your less desirable tendencies.

As an ISTJ

  • green tick Do remember to have fun dating. It does not always have to be a serious endeavour.
  • green tick Do express interest in what your date feels as well as what they know.
  • green tick Do make an effort to share your own feelings.
  • green tick Do try to remain open-minded to your date's unique perspectives.
  • red cross Don't compare your date to a checklist of desirable/undesirable traits.
  • red cross Don't take it too hard if plans change or if things don't go as planned.
  • red cross Don't make observations aloud that your date may take as hurtful criticisms. Get to know them a little bit more before raising these comments.

Advice for Partners of ISTJs

How to date an ISTJ

ISTJs have certain personality traits which partners should bear in mind for a successful and happy relationship. Cherish their positives, and decide if you can learn to live with their special ways.

Being with an ISTJ

  • green tick Do allow your ISTJ date to take their time opening up to you.
  • green tick Do be forthright with your feelings and expectations.
  • green tick Try to keep your word regarding plans you've made and always be punctual. ISTJs dislike plans changing and falling apart.
  • green tick Do let your date know you are interested in getting to know them beyond exchanging not very personal information about your backgrounds, hobbies, etc.
  • red cross Don't try to rush your date into a commitment or declaration of affection – this will take time.
  • red cross Don't pressure your date to make plans on short notice.
  • red cross Don't expect them to go along with all of your spontaneous activities.
  • red cross Don't cancel plans or arrive late without good reason

ISTJ Friendships

Principles of how ISTJ types behave in a friendship

ISTJs may have numerous acquaintances with whom they get along well, but there are usually only a few people they count as close friends. They place their trust carefully, believing that the people they associate with reflect who they are themselves.

blue star

Taking time to learn each other's communication styles, perspectives, and preferences will give any relationship a better chance at success, whatever the type of each partner.

Like any other relationship, friendship is a serious responsibility for an ISTJ. They will always make themselves available to a friend in need. They listen closely to what their friends tell them and can be counted upon to offer sound advice.

face reading open book

Due to how much time it takes to create a personal connection with an ISTJ, an ISTJ is a friend to rely on.

ISTJ friends don't ask for much and they aren't very demonstrative with their feelings. They bond over shared activities such as work and hobbies and over shared information rather than feelings and experiences. Intuitive and Feeling types, with such different ways of communicating and perceiving, may not even notice that the ISTJs in their lives are deeply loyal to them.

quotation marks One of the best ways to click with an ISTJ type is through the same activity, this could be anything from board games to hiking, whatever keeps the ISTJ entertained and relaxed which will help them feel comfortable and more likely to warm up to someone new quickly.
Ellie Simmonds, MSc

Friendships with ISTJs are enduring and require very little maintenance. You may not hear from an old ISTJ friend for years, and then suddenly they’re back in your life ready to pick up where the friendship left off.

One appeal of ISTJ friendships is how long they last with how little is required to keep them going.

How ISTJs can Improve their Relationships with others

ISTJs becoming a better partner and friend

ISTJs are very respectful, loyal, and observant. They value relationships that strengthen and maintain the institutions and organizations that give their lives structure and meaning. They think of people, themselves as well as others, in terms of what they do and what they know rather than what they feel.

To improve their relationships with other people, an ISTJ could:

  • Learn to recognize and respond to friends and partners when they need emotional support.
  • Open up to others when they need emotional support.
  • Allow for the people in their lives to have different perspectives and priorities.
  • Be flexible when partners and friends need a release from schedules and routines.


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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.