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INFPs are the classic idealists. They have great ideals about their relationship may tend to fantasise or idealise their partners. They have high expectations of themselves and their partners and often will feel disappointed if they feel that their partners do not match up to this ideal. For this reason, some INFPs choose to be single, waiting and hoping that the ‘one’ will finally come along. When asked, most INFPs will tell you that they’re still searching for the right one even though many good candidates might have come by already.
As partners, INFPs are supportive and encouraging, believing in the best in their partners. They are great listeners and give insightful thoughts about the situation that often help their partner to gain a new perspective on the existing issue. Often, they help their partners ‘see through’ the problem, aiding them to see that maybe there is no problem in the first place. They believe there is greatness in each person, including their partners and will encourage their partners to find this greatness within themselves.
INFPs want to preserve harmony in their relationships. As much as possible, they will avoid disagreement and conflict by putting the needs and desires of their partners above their own. Even though they may feel slighted or offended by something their partner says, they tend to keep it to avoid conflict. However, when this point of disagreement concerns their personal beliefs and values, INFPs can become stubborn and unyielding. This may surprise their partners who mistakenly think that the INFP is flexible about everything.
INFPs live for a future vision and often neglect present needs or comforts. They can put aside present discomforts like living a good life, having a healthy lifestyle or having a good network of friends for the sake of building that ideal future. In the same way, they also can turn a blind eye to their partner’s faults’ or forgive their misdeeds in the hope that things will be better in the future. This can work for the INFP or work against them, depending what they’re putting their hope on. When it’s placed on the wrong thing, this hope can be construed as disillusion by others.
INFPs have a complex inner world, and they feel most loved when their partner takes time to understand, support and be sensitive to that inner world. For many INFPs, they choose to keep this inner world even from their partners because they believe that their partners cannot understand their deep and intense emotions they feel at times. One of the greatest gifts to an INFP partner is to enter their inner world and to understand and be sensitive to their desires, longings, hopes, and beliefs. Thinking partners may try to ‘solve’ the problem, but they’ll be disappointed to see that the INFP does not appreciate it. INFPs don’t think that this longing and hope is a problem; in fact, it is very much a part of who they are.
According to Keirsey’s Temperament Theory, the ideal partner for the INFP is the ENTJ, whose energetic, tough-minded and stable nature complement the INFP well in a relationship.