January 4, 2016 by philipbullitthughes
For the ISFJ—the quiet, devoted, caring, unobtrusive Guardian—dating has always presented its own set of challenges. For them, tradition is highly valued. Thus, the end goal of a romance should almost always be marriage. Casual dating is fine. But only because it’s practice for the future. Females expect their date to be on time, to be gentlemanly—holding doors, helping with their coats, and so on—and to not push them too far too fast. Males, especially when asking a girl out, like to be formal and courteous, doing their best to put their love-interest at ease. Once a date has been secured, they tend to plan every part of a date down to the minutest detail, leaving nothing up to chance.
Now, it must be said that ISFJs absolutely abhor putting on airs and self-promotion. Thus, even though they might be the kindest soul in existence, they often wait for others to take notice of them rather than speaking up for fear of showing off or seeming braggadocios. Someone might catch their eye, but instead of approaching them and strutting their stuff as some types might, they will often stand back and hope the other person might take notice on their own. Unfortunately, this can often leave them feeling disappointed and overlooked, especially in a crowd.
Fortunately for them, there are many types that see the ISFJs gentle reserve as a challenge. Others enjoy the act of getting the ISFJ to open up and let loose; teasing and flirting until they win them over. And, while the ISFJ might pretend to find all of the coquetting immature and silly, they secretly enjoy the attention, often unable to hide a blush or smile, especially when a flattering word or gesture should enter the mix.
That being said, the ISFJ still takes quite some time before they are fully comfortable diving into a dating relationship. They want the person to meet and be approved by their parents, to be absolutely sure the person is of good moral character (though sometimes, if the person they are dating is a bad-boy or girl, they can believe they can fix them,) and to be sure that they have similar belief systems.
And once they decide a person is marriage-worthy, they become utterly committed. This can cause
the ISFJ a great deal of heartache, as they often attract a more restless and free-spirited person. They might be completely dedicated, ready for their partner to settle down and start a family; their partner, on the other hand, might buck and snort, avoiding the concept of commitment altogether. Thus, many ISFJs can feel stuck in a relationship that feels like it’s going nowhere, or be in an engagement that seems to last for an eternity.
If an ISFJ does finally realize that a relationship has no hope of going to the next level, then they will usually try to break things off. However, due to their kind-hearted natures, breaking up can be extraordinarily difficult for them to verbalize. If they aren’t careful, the other person might even be left thinking the relationship is not over. And thus, many relationships can be strung along unintentionally with the ISFJ trying to let the other person down easy.
Of course, despite the challenges the ISFJ faces, they are highly marriageable types. They care about the safety of their families and mates, and are typically earthy and stable. A more flighty or free-spirited type might need them in order to feel some sense of security. So, usually after a bit of trial and error, the ISFJ will find someone who sees them for who they truly are: a Protector, a Refuge, a Pillar of Compassion.
When ISFJs do finally enter marriage, females enjoy providing a safe, beautiful haven for their families. They find immense satisfaction in taking care of each member living in their nest—including their husbands, often lovingly reporting them to be ‘Just another one of their boys.’ Male ISFJs take a great deal of pride in being seen as the foundation of strength for their family. They pay the bills on time, work diligently, and make sure to keep the home and yard in tip-top shape.
While definitely not prudes, ISFJs tend to have limited sexual encounters before marriage. They typically see promiscuity as something that is off-limits; something that they are duty-bound to reserve for a committed relationship. Once they have secured said commitment, they make very warm partners, often seeing the meeting of their partner’s physical needs as a responsibility, of course, which they are happy to engage in.
If you are interested in an ISFJ, keep in mind that they value tradition. They love social etiquette—bringing a gift on a first date, remembering anniversaries and the like. Also, they value commitment. If you feel you are not ready to give them what they need, perhaps it is best to hold off until you yourself are ready to settle down, thus limiting the chance of injuring their kind hearts.
If you happen to be an ISFJ, remember to be careful not to let others take advantage of you. If someone is constantly taking and you’re getting nothing in return, it might be an unhealthy relationship. Remember to stretch yourself. It might be uncomfortable, or even seem boastful, but talking about yourself—your likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests—is perfectly okay. Especially because many people actually want to hear about who you are. And when you do feel overshadowed, remember to focus on your strengths. Embrace your quiet, caring, dependable, loyal, and trustworthy personality. These qualities are your greatest assets.