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Definition of friendship?
#1
First, thanks to all who read this and an even bigger "thanks" to those that respond.

I'm curious to know what it means to be friends with an INTP male post-breakup. We weren't friends prior to the relationship so I just don't know what this will entail. For reference sake, I'm an introvert and a rational too.

To give a little background, we were in what I think was a very good relationship. We were (and I think still are) mind-mates but I think the expectations if what should go into a traditional relationship caused this huge rift and now we are broken up. I know I was wrong to pressure him and I've apologized. He told me that he wants to be friends. Best friends even. I just have a little trouble understanding what this means. For me, I hold friendship very sacred and as ashamed as I am to admit it, I hold my friends to an even higher standard than I do my SO. It's confusing to me. In addition, I've also read on other forums that typical INTP behavior is to shut you out after they've dumped you. Is he saying these things to "soften the blow"?

I know that all INTPs are different and unique. However, he reads a lot of blogs and forums about typical INTP behavior to kind of justify/gauge his own insights. I realize that no one can specifically tell me what THIS person is thinking but it would help to just get some perspective from a similar mind. Thanks again.
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#2
Hi!
I'm not a male, but...

I have never been successfully able to remain friends with someone I've broken up with (or have been broken up with). This is, I think, due to the loss of respect for that person as a "mind-mate," which usually lead to the split in the first place. If I were to break up with my current spouse, an INFJ who I do consider to be a "mind-mate," I'd like to think that our subsequent friendship would look much like our current relationship, only without the physical aspect, integrated financials, and community property type aspects (we have only one car, we share clothes, etc). But that's just me, and just this one relationship. If we did split up, it'd be over something like, "I have come to realize that at some point in my life I would like to experience the profound commitment and investment that is child-rearing, and while she does not share this desire she maintains that this is no reason to deprive me of the experience." Which would increase my level of respect for her, not lessen it.

The other thing to note is that I am in no way in what you would consider a "traditional relationship," and this suits me just fine. I don't expect a picket fence and tenure on a strict schedule of X years to marry Y years to kids Z years to retirement; I'm not even fully convinced that a relationship has to be restricted to only 2 members (because what two sane sentient individuals are going to be exactly what each other needs for the rest of their 80-year lifespans??). But I DO believe that whoever is in the relationship has to have their needs/desires respected, and my INFJ is diametrically opposed to 3rd parties in any form, and so I have made the commitment to her that it doesn't happen. I don't believe it, but I respect the fact that she needs it to feel secure.

I do think it is possible to stay very close friends with an INTP who respects you after a relationship has ended, but I also think that whether or not you are going to have this kind of interaction with him is going to begin to be very obvious to you over the next few weeks to a month or so. If he does want to remain friends, he will continue to be friendly and involved in your life (especially in whatever emotionality or rational-introvert hobbies you guys share). Precision of language will be a good indicator as well. Your own question involves the phrase "shut you out after they've dumped you".... Well, yes. Logically, if this person feels like they have unburdened themself from you, you're not going to be in each other's pockets anymore (and he probably wouldn't bother to "soften the blow"). But does HE consider this to be a "dumping"?? Or...? It's very possible that he really does want to remain close friends with you. A mind-mate is a rare thing.

If you feel like the two of you have unresolved misunderstandings, you should try talking to him about them. If you find him less receptive than in the past, just be patient. Again, time will reveal a pattern. I know if it were me and my INFJ I'd be sorting myself out, but also electing to create distance just for the sake of the new "boundaries" that come with the definition of the new interaction.
"Well if I were You-Know-Who, I'd want you to feel cut off from everyone else. Because if it's just you alone you're not as much of a threat." -Luna Lovegood
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#3
Thank you @Moon Moon for the helpful insights,

To clarify:
I would say that we didn't have the traditional relationship either, or rather it didn't start out that way. Even though we met for the purpose of dating, we had a very long initial "talking" period where a lot of the normal dating stuff (kissing, holding hands, and hugging) didn't happen until months down the road. I'm a very guarded person. I have never believed that a spouse could be that one person who fulfills ALL of the requirements that emotional, mental, and spiritual needs and wants of the other. Rather, I think that 2 out of the 4 would suffice, if I was ever that lucky (mind-mate and help-mate). However, he told me that he believes in achieving the perfect relationship by being all 4 for me, so I tried to do the same for him and Voila! Disaster due to trying to be a traditional couple.

Like your partner, I also have some of those same needs to feel secure. We've discussed this and it seems that he has more of what he terms the "novelty-seeking" traits of the INTP personality, as long as we had discussed this upfront at the beginning of the relationship. I had voiced my needs and boundaries very early on and for the most part, he has never argued against them. Now, I think he was just passive-aggressive the whole time. And I agree that the he might not see breaking off the romantic relationship to try to transition to a friendship as a "dumping" but then again, isn't that pretty much the definition of the one-sided unburdening of a romantic relationship if he decided without discussing it with me during his compiling process?

My ultimate confusion is in him saying that he still loves me, that he will never be in another committed romantic relationship, never get married, and never have children. Why vow these things now? Isn't it more logical to say "never say never"? I would, if I were in his shoes. And no, I don't expect him to carry through with it. I wouldn't want him to. It seems to me, he is saying these things to "soften the blow". Or it's an attempt to guilt me because I do want kids and I'm determined to have them, with or without marriage, at this point. He also says that it will make him sad if down the road, I found someone because husbands don't take kindly to their spouses being friends with an ex. Then, in the next sentence, he says "but I want you to be happy and find someone and maybe I'll even come to your wedding."

Stuff like this makes me confused and I don't like being confused is all
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#4
(02-06-2016, 09:27 AM)AcuteCare Wrote: Thank you @Moon Moon for the helpful insights,

To clarify:
I would say that we didn't have the traditional relationship either, or rather it didn't start out that way. Even though we met for the purpose of dating, we had a very long initial "talking" period where a lot of the normal dating stuff (kissing, holding hands, and hugging) didn't happen until months down the road. I'm a very guarded person. I have never believed that a spouse could be that one person who fulfills ALL of the requirements that emotional, mental, and spiritual needs and wants of the other. Rather, I think that 2 out of the 4 would suffice, if I was ever that lucky (mind-mate and help-mate). However, he told me that he believes in achieving the perfect relationship by being all 4 for me, so I tried to do the same for him and Voila! Disaster due to trying to be a traditional couple.

Like your partner, I also have some of those same needs to feel secure. We've discussed this and it seems that he has more of what he terms the "novelty-seeking" traits of the INTP personality, as long as we had discussed this upfront at the beginning of the relationship. I had voiced my needs and boundaries very early on and for the most part, he has never argued against them. Now, I think he was just passive-aggressive the whole time. And I agree that the he might not see breaking off the romantic relationship to try to transition to a friendship as a "dumping" but then again, isn't that pretty much the definition of the one-sided unburdening of a romantic relationship if he decided without discussing it with me during his compiling process?

My ultimate confusion is in him saying that he still loves me, that he will never be in another committed romantic relationship, never get married, and never have children. Why vow these things now? Isn't it more logical to say "never say never"? I would, if I were in his shoes. And no, I don't expect him to carry through with it. I wouldn't want him to. It seems to me, he is saying these things to "soften the blow". Or it's an attempt to guilt me because I do want kids and I'm determined to have them, with or without marriage, at this point. He also says that it will make him sad if down the road, I found someone because husbands don't take kindly to their spouses being friends with an ex. Then, in the next sentence, he says "but I want you to be happy and find someone and maybe I'll even come to your wedding."

Stuff like this makes me confused and I don't like being confused is all

I think you should read this page:

http://personalityjunkie.com/08/intp-ent...oadblocks/

We are not passive aggressive, but it's hard for us to talk about anything negative. Conflict is difficult and emotionally exhausting; it's like walking on a mine field and not knowing what is going to explode.

I think you two shouldn't talk about your respective futures and whether they should or should not include marriage, kids, etc. If you are truly broken up your two futures do not concern each other: you are not dating, after all.

If you want to get back together, then you should address the problem, but it sounds like you have some conflict between you two and that might not be the best option, so I'd just leave it be and literally just be friends. These conversations about never marrying etc are counter productive in that case.
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#5
(02-07-2016, 02:38 AM)IWasAHighwayman Wrote: I think you should read this page:

http://personalityjunkie.com/08/intp-ent...oadblocks/

We are not passive aggressive, but it's hard for us to talk about anything negative. Conflict is difficult and emotionally exhausting; it's like walking on a mine field and not knowing what is going to explode.

I think you two shouldn't talk about your respective futures and whether they should or should not include marriage, kids, etc. If you are truly broken up your two futures do not concern each other: you are not dating, after all.

If you want to get back together, then you should address the problem, but it sounds like you have some conflict between you two and that might not be the best option, so I'd just leave it be and literally just be friends. These conversations about never marrying etc are counter productive in that case.

Thanks @IwasAHighwayman

I love that handle, by the way. Very good article recommendation. I am a Rational J-type. I'm not that expressive either. Believe it or not, I had already read this towards the beginning of building a relationship with him. So going in, I already knew there are going to be a few differences between us. I'm not trying to argue nor argue that all INTPs are passive-aggressive. I actually have friends who are also INTPs and they are very honest which is why I kind of wanted this to work so much. However, this came straight from the article under "the Danger of Concealed Thoughts":

"What is most curious is the fact that this process often occurs entirely internally, in the TPs’ mind. In the meantime, TPs may outwardly feign participation in the conversation in order to avoid escalating the conflict and to preserve their “nice guy” (or girl) persona. Unfortunately, many TPs fail to realize that what they are doing is really not nice at all. Rather, they are being passive-aggressive, controlling, and cowardly."


I'm not looking to get back together with him. He's right in that we don't want the same things anyway. Besides, he was the one to bring up all the future stuff (kids and marriage on my end...and what how bleak things will be on his). And you're right. What he thinks about my future at this point is irrelevant because we aren't together. My confusion is just that I'm even questioning whether I'll run into these same problems if we are friends.
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#6
Quote: I think that's pretty much considered passive-aggressive in my book.
This is not passive-aggressive behavior, this is just dreading the answer that he perceived would be given, even if it was wrong. Passive-aggressive would be, "It's okay that you were looking at the other guy, even if you know I don't like it, because you're human too." or something bullshit like that.

I think the train of thought behind the "no-marriage/no-kids" statements on his end are just coming from the idea that it takes a lot to be a mind-mate, and he doesn't want to settle for anything that isn't "good enough" so to speak. He probably legitimately can't picture himself finding another person he'd want to settle down with. I know I was in this frame of mind before I met my INFJ.
"Well if I were You-Know-Who, I'd want you to feel cut off from everyone else. Because if it's just you alone you're not as much of a threat." -Luna Lovegood
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#7
(02-08-2016, 10:09 PM)Moon Moon Wrote:
Quote: I think that's pretty much considered passive-aggressive in my book.
This is not passive-aggressive behavior, this is just dreading the answer that he perceived would be given, even if it was wrong. Passive-aggressive would be, "It's okay that you were looking at the other guy, even if you know I don't like it, because you're human too." or something bullshit like that.

I think the train of thought behind the "no-marriage/no-kids" statements on his end are just coming from the idea that it takes a lot to be a mind-mate, and he doesn't want to settle for anything that isn't "good enough" so to speak. He probably legitimately can't picture himself finding another person he'd want to settle down with. I know I was in this frame of mind before I met my INFJ.

Thanks. This makes a lot of sense.
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#8
Based on all that never going to get married stuff, I'd guess he's overwhelmed by his emotions right now and can't think straight. Whenever I get really hurt I vow never to put myself in that kind of situation again. until the hurt wears off a little and I can be logical again. I'm still trying to be rational in those situations, but once I get some distance I can see how I was not. The act of rationalizing gives me a sort of break from the emotions so I overindulge in it and come up with pretty ridiculous conclusions as a result, that can change day to day. If that's what's going on with him, he's probably saying he wants to be friends because emotionally he can't bear losing you, even though he thinks breaking up is the right thing. I've felt that too. Maybe don't pay too much attention to what he says until he isn't quite so raw and can get a little emotional distance.
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#9
Thanks @vanillabean.

I understand what you mean. I do think that he feels things very intensely, even more so than I do and that's why our relationship had been going so well. He is just a very preceptive and sweet guy. At the moment, I have been doing exactly what you suggested, which is giving him lots of distance, not mentioning anything emotional, and allowing him to just contact me if and when he wants to talk. I am careful let to let him steer me into personal or emotional topics for now, just because I don't think that's healthy for now.

Ultimately, I just want for him to be happy. When I was with him, I tried to be supportive for a lot of the things that he wanted to accomplish and to just be a confidant for some of the thought-experiments he would always have. Now, i think the best thing for him may just be to just sort out some things on his own because I don't want him to think that I'm trying to manipulate him one way or another. I understand that not everyone wants the same things out of life and I certainly would never expect him to give up anything for me.
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