ISFPs are quiet, supportive and encouraging partners who prefer to stay out of the spotlight. Often unassuming, ISFPs appear to be highly private people, and they only share their emotions and thoughts to a small group of close friends. For those close to them, ISFPs will strive to meet those needs, especially their partner’s, even above their personal needs.
ISFPs, although appearing unemotional, are people of intense emotion. However, they only show this side of them to people whom they really trust. While most friends may look at the ISFP and wonder if the ISFP ever feel happy or angry because of the lack of show of emotion, their partners will know that ISFP keeps it all inside and will only share it with people they trust and love.
They are very giving people, deferring their needs in order to meet the needs of their friends and partners. ISFPs are conflict avoidant and tend to give in to their partners’ wishes rather than to state their personal needs and expect their partners to accommodate. In this aspect, partners of ISFPs need to be more sensitive to the often hidden needs and desires of the ISFPs. ISFPs, on the other hand, need to learn to speak up and assert themselves when it comes to their needs.
ISFPs will encourage and support their partners to be the best they know how. They are not vocal supporters; they are the ones who will always quietly be there for their partners, giving that gentle word of encouragement and love behind the scenes. Likewise, they need that affirmation and praise from their partner. However, they do not like praise that calls attention to themselves; just simple gestures of affection and love often do it for them.
ISFPs live in the moment and are more concerned about living life fully and enjoying every moment of it. They tend to be more resistant to any external obligations and commitments from work or acquaintances, often choosing to put their families first before all else. When given a choice between career success or family success, most ISFPs will put family first.
ISFPs will need a lot of alone time and space, and will allow their partners that same alone time and space as well. They do not like privacy invaded when they are recharging, even if it is their partners. The ISFP’s desire to be alone does not equate to abandonment of their partners, but rather it is a time that the ISFP needs to recharge so that they can continue to engage the world.
ISFPs often lack planning and preparation. They can trust their ability to ‘wing it’ so much that they may forgo needed preparation time for things like planning for a child’s education or preparing for a vacation. This may land them in some trouble and may become a source of conflict or frustration with their partners. ISFPs may also find themselves in situations where they lack finances for particular purposes like purchasing a house, a car or paying off their kids’ university fees due to lack of forward planning. However, because ISFPs lead largely simple and uncomplicated lives, they do not spend much of their finances on things they deem unnecessary like luxury goods or expensive dinners.
ISFPs feel most loved when they are appreciated for their patience, thoughtfulness and kindness toward their loved ones and friends. Their partners can show that love through simple and thoughtful acts like bringing the ISFP to their favorite restaurant or purchasing a bouquet of flowers for them.
According to Keirsey’s Temperament Theory, the ideal partner for the ISFP is the ESTJ, whose energetic, tough-minded and stable nature complement the ISFP well in a relationship.