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A Guide To INTP Compatibility In Relationships, From Myers-Briggs Experts

Sarah Regan
Author:
January 26, 2024
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
Image by Leah Flores / Stocksy
January 26, 2024
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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) splits us into 16 unique personality types, and those types can give us clues into who we're most compatible with—and who we're not.

One of the rarest of the 16 personalities, the INTP personality (which stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving) is known to be independent and logical, which doesn't always make relationships easy.

Here's what to know about INTP compatibility with the other MBTI types.

An infographic of the 16 MBTI types and their associated personality traits.
Image by Danielle Vogl / mbg Creative

The most compatible matches for INTP

Compatibility in the Myers-Briggs system comes down to way more than having the same type as someone, and in fact, having a few differences can help you both learn from each other and grow.

That said, you'll likely want to be on the same page about the important things, like how you view life and approach your emotions.

As such, according to board-certified clinical psychologist Kristina Hallett, Ph.D., ABPP, the way your potential partner approaches the world and communicates (aka both having N's for intuition) is a good indicator of initial attraction.

Further, explains personality expert and author of Neuroscience of Personality Dario Nardi, Ph.D., "INTPs love intellectual connection and sharing their ideas, theories, passions, questions, jokes, etc., with their partners."

So, because this personality type loves to ponder, think abstractly, and problem-solve, they appreciate a partner who can keep up with their mind and intellectually stimulate them. For that reason, when it comes to compatibility, they would likely do well with another INTP, as well as INFPs, ENTPs, or INTJs.

The least compatible matches for INTP

According to Nardi, MBTI type combinations in which the first three letters are different and the last letter the same are the least compatible. So in this case, an INTP would be least compatible with an ESFP. Other Sensing-Feeling types (ESFP, ESFJ, and ISFJ) also may not mesh with the INTP's personality.

Why, you might ask? According to Nardi, despite having perceiving (P) in common, if all the other letters are different, their other personality functions are always competing with each other. How you approach your world (perceiving) may be the same, but how you get your energy (introvert vs. extrovert), gather information (sensing vs. intuition), and make decisions (thinking vs. feeling) are all different.

"It's like every time one person wants to go left, the other wants to go right, in the most confusing or annoying way," he explains.

In addition to that, Nardi notes that a couple with one SP (Sensing/Perceiving) and one NT (Intuitive/Thinking) typically won't last as long as an SJ-NF pair (Sensing/Judging and Intuitive/Feeling).

"This does not mean less rewarding, just not as long, [because] both SP and NT types are pragmatic, while SJ and NF are affiliative," Nardi explains, noting that affiliative types "tend to be more focused on or invested in sustaining relationships."

Potentially compatible matches for INTP

These folks could go either way with an ISTP. Again, Nardi says, compatibility comes down to more than just your MBTI type, and if two emotionally immature people get together, "they will have an unsatisfying relationship, regardless of type."

And oppositely, just because two people may be statistically less likely to last based on their Myers-Briggs type, that doesn't mean it's impossible.

As far as these seven MBTI types, they may not have the same spark with an INTP as the most compatible types will feel, but they would likely still have better luck than the least compatible types.

Having some differences, as aforementioned, is a good thing for encouraging growth, challenging each other, learning something new, and/or getting outside your comfort zone, which is a great thing when you're playing the dating field. Plus, those differences may even be what attracts you to each other in the first place—though it might not be enough to sustain a relationship for the long term.

Nevertheless, just because these types aren't thought of as the most compatible with an INTP does not mean they can't have a fulfilling relationship, even if it doesn't last forever.

INTPs in love & relationships

Now that you've got a sense of who INTPs are most compatible with, you might be wondering what they're like in a relationship.

According to Nardi, INTPs are among the rarest types, especially among women. "They highly value independence and personal space and most of all intellectual autonomy," he says. "No one is going to think for them."

Licensed therapist De-Andrea Blaylock-Solar, LCSW, CST, previously echoed this point to mindbodygreen, noting that INTPs may be slow to open up, but once they do, "they can be incredibly loyal and affectionate."

However, that independent streak "can contribute to some difficulty with building trust and being vulnerable," she adds.

To that end, if you're dating an INTP, Nardi says it's important to remind them of their value and potential but to avoid smothering them. "Do not press them for constant or even regular interaction or expect a lot of emotional expression. They can easily miss social and relationship cues but do show care in other ways," he explains.

INTPs also tend to use humor, albeit it is a bit cynical, so don't be surprised if they're cracking dry jokes as a defense mechanism—and try to retain your humor right along with them. "It's an important way they deal with their emotions, especially painful ones," Nardi adds.

And speaking of defense mechanisms, when it comes to conflict, keep your language direct with an INTP. Blaylock-Solar and Nardi both note this type needs unambiguous language, so be straightforward with your communication and try to create a safe and open environment for them. This personality type can have a hard time expressing their emotions, and they are definitely not mind readers.

In fact, even understanding the emotional needs of their partner can be a challenge for INTPs, with Nardi telling mindbodygreen that they really do need expectations clearly expressed, or they just won't get it.

All in all, Nardi says, "INTPs like a partner who challenges their intellect in a fun way—like a brainstorming peer, not super aggressively," adding that they strive to answer life's really big questions thoughtfully and with integrity. Once they do commit, they will be steadfast and take your relationship seriously.

FAQs:

Who is an INTP most compatible with?

INTPs are most compatible with another INTP, as well as INFPs, ENTPs, or INTJs.

What type is attracted to INTP?

The types most likely to be attracted to an INTP include another INTP, as well as INFPs, ENTPs, or INTJs.

What is an INTP soulmate?

An INTP can find a soulmate in any of the other types but would likely fare best with an ENTP or an INTJ.

What happens when an INTP finally falls in love?

When an INTP falls in love they are loyal, steadfast, and take the relationship seriously, although they're not the most romantic people. It takes them a while to fall in love.

The takeaway

Just because certain types are statistically and/or anecdotally thought of as being more or less compatible, any of the types can have a healthy and happy relationship when both parties are mature and willing to put in the work all relationships require.

Generally speaking, though, if an INTP commits to you, they will take the relationship seriously—just don't expect them to be super romantic. They're slow to open up, but when they do find someone they're interested in, they are loyal partners.

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