The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator — commonly abbreviated as MBTI — is a psychological tool used to understand how one’s mind and personality operate. Everybody perceives the world a little differently. The Myers-Briggs test breaks personality down along four dimensions: extroversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. A person’s orientation along these four dimensions places them into one of 16 different Myers-Briggs personality types. The science behind this technique helps us understand ourselves, and our partners, in new and interesting ways that can enhance our relationships. Two of the rarest MBTI types are INFJ and INTJ. INFJ relationships and INTJ relationships can both be complicated by the unique needs of these rare breeds.
The INFJ personality type is often known as The Advocate. This nickname reflects the characteristics of INFJ relationships. INFJ’s will advocate for their partners in every way. INFJ’s may be introverted, but they are also very warm, caring people who value fairness and justice in the world and want their partners to succeed.
The INTJ personality type, sometimes called The Architect or The Mastermind, is also introverted but can sometimes seem aloof or cold. INTJ relationships sometimes suffer for this reason, but Architects make competent and loyal partners. While they differ in some ways, the INFJ and INTJ make a fine couple on rare occasions when they happen to connect.
INFJ: The Advocate
The Advocate earned its nickname because of the powerful emotions that often drive this personality type. While they may be introverted, INFJs have a deep sense of humanity and strongly prefer to see a just and fair world. They may be passionate orators or fierce defenders of a principle, sometimes to the point of seeming fixated or stubborn. Advocates often feel drawn to situations where they can be helpers or where they can fix problems that impact people’s lives. Sometimes, this external focus can lead them to neglect their own needs. As such, INFJ relationships can be prone to burnout. They also tend to be idealistic, which leaves them vulnerable to a sense of global disappointment. Despite these possible shortcomings, INFJ relationships are often described as loving, loyal, and supportive.
In MBTI language, the INFJ personality type is described as introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging. Only about 2% of the population is categorized as INFJ’s. INFJ’s tend to be very introverted. In other words, they are energized by their inner world. They prefer to operate in small groups alongside a few people with whom they feel comfortable. They spend time thinking and can sometimes be perceived as reserved. While they may be reserved and introverted, INFJ relationships run deep. INFJ’s place a very high value on authenticity. INFJ relationships must include high-quality, stimulating conversations with their partners to succeed; paradoxically, INFJ relationships must also have space for the INFJ to think and spend time alone. If you’re dating an INFJ, give them some books and a day off to read. Validate their desire to decompress and enjoy something intellectually stimulating. They’ll be absolutely delighted!
The next part of the MBTI is the sensing/intuition axis. This axis describes how we process information. People strong in sensing dedicate their brainpower and attention to information from the five senses, while people who are strong in intuition prefer to pay attention to patterns and possibilities in the information. Along the sensing/intuition axis, INFJ’s are considered intuitive. INFJ’s see the big picture but don’t fixate on specific data points. INFJ relationships rely on the general vibe rather than a specific event. If your INFJ intuits that your vibes are off, they’ll want to do something to fix it; they value your comfort and your feelings.
The thinking/feeling axis defines how a person likes to make decisions. Those on the thinking end of the spectrum focus mostly on facts and principles. Those on the feeling end place more value on the personal concerns of people involved in a decision. INFJs are on the feeling end of the axis. While they may seem very cerebral and reserved, INFJ’s are quite in touch with the feelings of those around them. INFJ relationships are often deeply supportive: the INFJ values the emotions, feelings, and needs of their partner and wants to help them develop their inner potential.
The final axis of the MBTI is judging/perceiving. This axis describes how a person lives their outer life. Judging people prefer a structured lifestyle, where perceiving people prefer a more adaptable lifestyle. Judging people are likely very organized and have as much of their life as possible under control. They may seem task-oriented and probably like lists. They don’t like leaving work undone and will plan accordingly, often building in time to prevent themselves from having to be rushed. INFJ relationships often thrive on structure and planning, although Advocates sometimes struggle with details; they might have a great idea for a couple’s vacation but struggle to assemble a complete itinerary.
INFJ relationships come in many shapes and sizes, but all have common traits. INFJ’s prefer to maintain a few deep relationships. While they can have many social contacts and function in social situations, they only share their true self with a few select individuals. INFJ relationships are often marked by the INFJ’s warm, caring, and honest nature. This MBTI type is highly perceptive of the emotional needs of others, and the INFJ genuinely wants to encourage others to be the best version of themselves. These traits make INFJ relationships a treasure to be cherished.
Comfortable with their own company, Advocates need time alone to decompress and recharge. INFJ relationships are often characterized by the INFJ wanting to appease all of their partner’s emotional needs. They also dislike the emotional discomfort of telling people no, which can lead them to struggle with self-care. In INFJ relationships, make sure you provide them with the physical and emotional space for them to enjoy some time alone and regain their verve.
INFJ relationships require authenticity. People with this personality type don’t like canned, traditional, or forced gestures. If your man is an INFJ, skip the traditional and go for something that shows a deeper sense of connection. Rather than a new necktie or a hammer, get your INFJ something that speaks to the depth of your relationship. Give them an excuse to indulge one of their many interests: take them to a museum, or get them that controversial book they’ve been talking about. INFJ relationships thrive on depth and respond well to this kind of authentic romance.
The biggest issues in INFJ relationships are two of the classics: money and sex. INFJs often have a hard time with money. It’s not that they can’t understand how money works; it’s that they have little interest in it. Money is a means to an end, but not an end in itself to the INFJ. INFJ relationships sometimes experience trouble with sex. INFJ’s are very intuitive and spend a lot of time in their head but are less in touch with their body, which can affect their sex drive in unpredictable ways.
INFJ relationships are also future-oriented. The INFJ is often a dreamer, one who has big ideas about where they want to go even if they don’t exactly know how they’re going to get there. INFJ relationships are also marked by an emphasis on psychological comfort. INFJ personalities are highly attuned to the emotional needs of their partners and strive to lift them up and make them happy.
INTJ: The Architect
Much like the INFJ, the INTJ personality is quite rare: about 2% of the population have this unique personality type. The Architect is introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging; this combination of cognitive traits makes INTJ’s very good at strategic thinking. INTJ’s are almost relentlessly analytical: these chronic over-thinkers are constantly learning something new, and they take pride in being able to teach themselves almost anything. INTJ relationships thrive when there are things to discuss, analyze, or learn.
The Architect has very little patience for trivialities and is unlikely to participate in office gossip or other distractions. This can pose challenges in INTJ relationships as they are not especially chatty. However, despite their disinterest in silly distractions, INTJ’s often possess a very sharp wit and are often known for being delightfully irreverent.
INTJ relationships do not rely on fluff, declarations of love, white lies, or other niceties. INTJ relationships function best in an environment where the Architect can express themselves as bluntly as possible without getting in trouble. The Architect would much rather be right than popular and can sometimes be seen as cold or calculating for this reason. Despite this perception, INTJ’s do enjoy a rich inner life and experience emotion; they just process and express it differently than other personality types. Understanding this is critical to the success of INTJ relationships.
INTJ’s are just as introverted as INFJ’s. They prefer to work alone and often maintain small social circles. They sometimes struggle with relationships, but value finding people with whom they connect. INTJ relationships must be introvert-friendly, providing ample space to explore independent projects and interests.
INTJ’s are also far more intuitive than sensing. INTJ’s are big-picture thinkers who spend a great deal of mental energy analyzing things, often to the point of relentlessness. Their desire to understand an issue, problem, or idea can lead them to completely take it apart. They are deliberate, methodical, and logical, which helps them understand complicated issues or complicated situations. INTJ relationships will be analyzed, prodded, considered, and discussed in rational terms.
This brings us to the core difference between INFJ and INTJ personalities: the thinking/feeling axis. INTJ personalities score higher on the thinking side of this axis. This doesn’t mean that INTJ’s can’t be emotional, it just means that they make decisions with logic, not feelings. INTJ’s value facts, rationale, and efficiency in decision making. INTJ relationships sometimes suffer because the Architect’s preferences for rational, logical decisions don’t always gel with the human needs of a relationship.
Finally, the INTJ scores higher on judging versus perceiving. In MBTI terminology, this means that the INTJ prefers a more structured lifestyle. They prefer to work on a schedule and keep life under as much control as possible. They work best on a task-oriented system. INTJ relationships may not contain as much spontaneity as some, since INTJ likes to have things planned out ahead when they can.
INTJ relationships might seem intimidating. After all, being very analytical, strategic, and task-oriented doesn’t sound like a traditional romance so much as it sounds like a business strategy. However, INTJ relationships can be surprisingly strong. INTJ’s like to see their partners grow and will do their best to find ways to work with their partners for the sake of mutual growth and improvement. They also tend to value creative partners, who may help them think outside of the box or approach problems in a novel way. Since the Architect values clear, direct communication, INTJ relationships function best with a partner who can respond positively to the INTJ’s rather direct manners.
INTJ relationships sometimes struggle with emotional intimacy. INTJ’s have a hard time sharing their emotions and sometimes have a hard time listening attentively to others. They do not like to feel vulnerable and can sometimes be perceived as inexpressive, hard-to-read, stoic, or unemotional. One of the best ways to overcome this obstacle in INTJ relationships is to be direct when you communicate; ask directly for what you need, and the INTJ will give it to you.
INTJ relationships can face stress from the INTJ’s relentless pursuit of optimization. The Architect places a premium on efficiency and may seek to optimize their relationships or their partner’s behaviors. This can lead to conflict if the INTJ’s partner is not feeling receptive to suggestions.
So are INFJ and INTJ compatible in a relationship? The Advocate and the Architect function surprisingly well together in a relationship. While some areas might cause conflict or misunderstanding, there are many more areas in which these types thrive together.
Let’s talk conflict first. INFJ relationships are built on a deep emotional connection, and INFJ’s can be very sensitive. INTJ relationships, on the other hand, place a secondary value on many things that an INFJ might find important. The INTJ’s blunt nature could be upsetting to the INFJ. Furthermore, INFJ relationships need reassurance and emotional validation, which INTJ’s struggle to provide.
On the other hand, INTJ relationships and INFJ relationships both tend to thrive under similar circumstances. Both the INTJ and INFJ require alone time to pursue their interests and recharge their batteries. And both of these MBTI types are very cerebral, which often leads to hours of interesting conversations between INFJ and INTJ. The Advocate and the Architect will discuss science, philosophy, or current events, often focusing on how to solve the world’s problems. This is often how INTJ and INFJ relationships begin: the pairing meets somewhere and finds an instantaneous spark in their conversation as they explore ideas and possibilities together. INFJ and INTJ relationships also thrive because both members of the couple have similar dislikes; both dislike noise and chaos and struggle with details. Neither has much patience for mundane things, although INFJ’s are more likely to endure mundane chats to avoid hurting feelings.
INFJ and INTJ balance one another’s weaknesses. The INFJ’s humanistic approach balances out the INTJ’s logical approach and vice-versa, making this pairing very well-balanced, indeed. As successful and well-balanced as INFJ INTJ relationships are, they are also very rare: INFJ and INTJ each make up about 2% of the population, so these dynamic MBTI types only rarely meet.
Tips for the INTJ in INFJ Relationships
If you’re an INTJ in a relationship with an INFJ, there are several things you must do to make your relationship sing. First, learn about the INFJ personality type. Learning how they think and operate will help you understand their perspective in your relationship. As an INTJ, you may struggle to listen when INFJ is expressing an emotional need to you. This is essential as INFJ relationships are built on a deep emotional bond. Learning how to actively listen and engage with your partner will help INFJ relationships grow and succeed.
Another way to help your INFJ relationships thrive is to ask for advice. INFJ’s love to help people grow, and they will be excited to help you in any way they can when it comes to reaching a personal goal. Your INFJ partner will be flattered that you’re asking for their help. That said, when accepting help or advice from your INFJ, don’t mistake their humanistic tendencies for lack of logic and reason; remember, they value emotional connection and the feelings of others in a different way from you.
Tips for the INFJ in INTJ Relationships
As an INFJ paired with an INTJ, the secret to success in your relationship is learning how to communicate with your Architect. While you are likely good at reading emotional cues and interpreting what people mean, your INTJ requires direct communication. Subtle hints don’t work. INTJ relationships thrive on open, direct messaging. “It would be nice if the kitchen is clean,” is subtle and vague and your INTJ might miss the point. “Please remember to put your coffee cup in the sink when you’re done,” is more direct and likely to succeed.
INTJ relationships can also be threatened by their logical, even calculated, mannerisms. Your INTJ may sometimes seem cold; as an INFJ, you value humanism and place a strong emphasis on fairness and justice. INTJ’s may share the same ideals, but when it comes to practical problem-solving, they are far more pragmatic and likely to emphasize the facts or logic underlying a system or an issue. Don’t mistake their logical analysis for lack of feelings. Your INTJ enjoys a rich emotional life – they just experience it differently from you!
INFJ-INTJ Relationships: Rare and Beautiful
A relationship between an INFJ and an INTJ is a very rare occurrence. However, when they do connect, these reserved and cerebral personalities often find one another to be kindred spirits. Both are interested in solving problems, understanding systems, and learning about the world around them. While there are certainly moments of conflict in INFJ – INTJ relationships, there are many more moments of love, admiration, and connection. The Architect and the Advocate, while different in some ways, are very well suited for one another and can enjoy long and successful relationships together.