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Being an INTP part 2: When acquaintances get married and you're nowhere near it

A question has been running through my mind the last several days, or months or years: Are some people's personalities simply less likely ever to fall in love?

I wonder this because in the cursory reading I've done about those with my personality type (which I'm fairly certain is conveyed by the Myers-Briggs letters INTP) I've seen that people with these characteristics tend not to do relationships easily (or well). Friendships are hard enough, but romantic relationships tax us such that sometimes we wonder whether they're worth bothering about at all (as one website notes).

I firmly believe I have never been "in love" and I sometimes doubt if I'm even capable of that kind of love... and it's rather disheartening. Because at the same time, I feel (not think, feel) that a committed romantic relationship constitutes an emotional dimension I am completely ignorant of. And if I ever do fall in love, it'll be completely new territory... I'm slightly afraid of how I might react.

Now back to your regularly scheduled commentary on links and small-town living. Carry on. :)


Abby said…
While I agree about the ignorance of said emotional dimension, I don't know if it is actually necessary or just a mainstream American societal construct. After all, isn't "in love" just infatuation/mild obsession that eventually resolves?

Also, isn't fear of the unknown normal? Pretty sure most people's first (or first few) romantic relationships were just testing the waters on how in the world to interact with the opposite sex in a different-than-just-friends way (or at all in some cases). They just happen at different ages, the earlier they are the less meaning they have.
Wesleigh Mowry said…
I love that you're being so transparent about this! Personality types and relationships are two of my favorite things to talk about, although I had never made this particular connection.

I'm starting a new blog/writing project about single Christian women, and would love for you to give your input! If you're ever interested in writing some guest blogs, let me know :) I only have one post live so far, but you can check it out at
Sarah E said…
Abby - I think the answer to those is both yes and no. Yes, "being in love" is partly an American construct, tied to the infatuation and mild obsession (I would say unhealthy obsession in many cases!) that are, in my mind, mistaken for healthy love. On the other hand, "being in love" also, I think, includes a dimension of actual disinterested fondness for a person and caring how they end up, as well as wanting to help them out with life and generally hang out together nonstop (which would be difficult with anyone, IMO), and some of that, I think, is separate from the socially constructed aspect. At least, that's how it's looked among the dating/married couples I've observed.

Fear of the unknown? Definitely normal. But still a consideration. And to flip your statement on its head, the later different-than-just-friends relationships happen, the more meaning they have - and the less you desire to mess them up, see? :P

Wesleigh - I find it funny that relationships are among your favorite things to talk about, lol. I just checked out the blog! I see three posts and I'm pretty interested in following it. I had actually thought about putting something similar together myself but I'd much rather be a guest poster occasionally. Less work. ;) I actually already have a post or two you're welcome to cross-post if you like. I can shoot you an email or tweet or something. I have a couple of ideas for you.
Abby said…
Ah, I see. That makes some sense; I guess the line is the wanting to hang out together nonstop...

Indicating that by this time they have much more meaning than say age 22, so all I have to do is wait a few more years to figure that part out? :-)
Sarah E said…
Yeah, that could be the line; also, most people I care about even enough to really care how they end up and want to help them out with life (I mean major things, not just hey, lemme help you move from one house to another) are people I've known for years, if not relatives. Most everyone I've ever met has remained in some other level of acquaintance or friendship.

Oh, by this time I still am not entirely sure of the relative meaning a more-than-just-friendship has, but it intrigues me, of course! :P

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