7 Essential INFJ Male Relationship Needs
From loyalty to passion and romance in relationships. The INFJ male needs it all. INFJs are one of the eight introverted Myers-Briggs personality types. They’re known for their loving nature and enigmatic presence. Due to their function combination (Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F) and Judging (J)), is only seen in 1-2 percent of the population, they’re the rarest personality type.
Because they’re rare, they might have their own particular needs in relationships. As idealists they strive for the highest ideal, which in relationships looks like something spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle would describe as an Enlightened Relationship. A well-known challenge for INFJ men is finding a fulfilling romantic relationship. Are the needs of INFJ men in relationships realistic? Or are they just too picky? Let’s explore 7 Essential INFJ Male Relationship Needs.
7 Essential INFJ Male Relationship Needs
1. INFJ Males Need Loyalty in a Relationship
As we INFJ men are people-oriented introverts with high moral standards and ideals, we value loyalty greatly in ourselves. We are in most cases very loyal to family, friends and romantic partners, because loyalty is one of the safeguards of relationship quality.
For example, when a family member has money problems, we feel inclined to help out. Or when a friend has an argument with someone, we stay by our friend’s side no matter what. Loyalty fosters the feeling in others that they can depend upon us during those crucial moments.
Loyalty also manifests in INFJ males as a sign of respect for the person this cherished relationship is with. Our loyalty is the product of a strong attachment built over the years due to valuable shared experiences and a grown understanding of each other. Loyalty is a visceral feeling rather than an intellectual matter.
When INFJ men are in a romantic relationship, this sense of loyalty can be amplified even more by the intense feelings of romantic love and attraction we feel towards our partner. However, this can push us towards a dangerous place which is blind loyalty.
I would say that what type of loyalty an INFJ man displays and the amount of loyalty he needs (or asks) in return in his relationships depends upon his stage of INFJ maturity.
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Pain makes us aware of our needs
Often young INFJ males (age 25 or younger) go through life with their hearts wide open. They are generous with their time, love and affection by default, not asking any loyalty in return. They persist until they get hurt by someone who isn’t careful with their natural INFJ hearts.
Most likely they got hurt in their first real romantic encounter/relationship where they were truly in love. INFJ males are often also highly sensitive. Being in love can generate such intense feelings that it can be overwhelming. When we get hurt by our love being unanswered, getting dumped or being taken advantage of we hurt deeply..
Often we INFJ males go to the other extreme by closing our hearts completely when that happens. This may sound harsh, but it is actually a good thing. After being hurt, we learn that we should be careful who we are loyal to. We start to discern which people in our lives deserve our loyalty based on their behavior, reciprocation and integrity.
In addition, we start to be aware of our own needs for loyalty in relationships. It is very important, because if that loyalty were to be broken we can really get distraught. We would like to know that we can depend on our friends and family whenever we need them the most.
In a sense, INFJ men are still more likely to practice loyalty than they get in return, just because of their innate generosity. It is really important for us to make the ones we love feel that we support them. This whole awareness process can be slow and painful, but eventually we get to our own personal balance which signals our maturity.
2. INFJ Males Need Harmony in a Relationship
INFJ males and INFJs in general strive for harmony in all of their relationships. Our Extraverted Feeling function. which is represented by the third letter — F (Feeling) in INFJ — gifts us a keen sense of awareness of the feelings and needs of others in any given situation.
Whenever we sense a disturbance in this harmony, we get an unpleasant feeling and try to restore the harmonious atmosphere right away. For example, at a birthday party (pre pandemic of course) we might sense a little awkwardness in the air when the group is quiet, but is desperately looking for a way to circumvent the awkward silence.
To help them talk, we then jump in by starting to ask the group a few open-ended questions about a present time topic, like: what do you guys think about the opportunities the internet brings? Mind you, that the type of questions will be tailored to the group’s interests and amount of openness.
Most likely these questions wouldn’t be about a heavy topic we ourselves like to think about. We strive for harmony in our external relationships, but also for an internal harmony.
Harmony without, harmony within
INFJ men are often also highly sensitive, which means we pick up a lot of stimuli in our environments which can have a huge impact on our sense of internal peace. Often our internal world is filled with racing creative thoughts and emotions. We need peace and harmony to be able to process all these impressions we gather throughout our day to restore our equilibrium.
Our heightened sensitivity for the intricacies in interpersonal relationships is a gift, since it enables us to really tune in to others’ needs and fulfil them. However, this same sensitivity sets us up for easily being overwhelmed and distraught when this harmony is disrupted. Examples of things that hinder harmony are volatile negative emotions in arguments.
People who are selfish, combative, sensation seeking, status-driven at the cost of others or unconsciously acting out their past pain are heavily avoided by INFJs. Those kinds of people play a zero-sum game, which is a game where only one can win. INFJ men play a positive-sum game where everybody wins.
A friend or romantic partner has a huge impact on our lives by their presence. To remain sane, it is vital that our relationships with them are conducive to peace and harmony. Save the drama for ya momma. Don’t worry though. We already know who you are (read more in 5 Ways the INFJ Male Can Heal From Heartbreak).
3. INFJ Males Need Authenticity in a Relationship
Authenticity is something INFJ males deeply yearn for. We regularly suppress our true Self, since sensitivity or creative interests aren’t part of the stereotypical male image in society (read more about this in 5 Common INFJ Male Problems).
Due to this impending prejudice and criticism of who we are as INFJ men by society at large, it is important to at least be authentic in our close relationships. We are born lovers of beauty. Art, literature, nature.. there’s immense beauty to be found in all these things. A life lived authentically and filled with nurturing relationships? That’s perhaps the greatest art of them all.
Deep down we understand that how our life manifests externally is merely a surface level reflection of our inner state. To have a truly beautiful life means much more than just staring at a few paintings. Our life has to become one, and we do this by the way we decide to live it. A painted life.
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Authentic relationships foster freedom
Romantic relationships need to be based on authentic love. That deep and intense feeling of being in love, which is rare. Some people might approach love more pragmatically by just mentally deciding to get in a relationship, because of A, B, C and D.
However this reasoning doesn’t work for INFJ men. We make decisions predominantly based on feelings. Only when we feel something strongly is when we come alive. Then we are at our best. The more authentic our friends, family and romantic partners are, the more it helps us shake off our conditioned defences against societal judgement.
Authenticity is our North star, our beacon for self-acceptance. We travel towards it always, no matter how far away it might be, as it eventually will set us free.
4. INFJ Males Need Freedom in a Relationship
The ultimate goal of many INFJ men is achieving freedom in their life. For instance, financial freedom which frees us from having to go to work somewhere at a hostage taking 9 to 5 desk job. Being introverted, creative and often highly sensitive, we absolutely need to be alone to recharge from the demanding outer world and have the freedom to choose when to do so.
To truly express ourselves creatively we need to nourish ourselves with solitude to be able to think and feel deeply for inspiration. On some level every INFJ man understands that they (and humanity at large) are sovereign beings. Due to INFJs being an idealistic, analytical yet creative personality, their highest calling is dedicating one’s life to some kind of transcendental work.
Great examples are, arts, philosophy, psychology, spirituality, sciences or other philanthropic pursuits. We tinker with our cosmic mission in any way we can, especially when we are aware of what it could be. But to discover our life goals, let alone to achieve them, there needs to be intense solitary soul searching and action taking.
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Needing freedom to be who we are
In friendships and romantic relationships, INFJ men are very much devoted to friends and lovers. We enjoy giving our time and attention by visits, planning original romantic dates or curious quality time conversations in which we explore their innermost worlds. But there comes a time when we have to get back to our mission.. and we need the freedom to do so.
The matured INFJ male realizes that friendships and romantic relationships are about giving. We might have some past experiences (as immature INFJs) in relationships where we were there to get something from the other. Our past partner might have been in the relationship with us also to get something.
We might have been after validation, solace or some other fleeting substitute for our self-esteem. However, we’ve come to the painful yet liberating conclusion that those pacifying relationships become tainted sooner or later. Love means letting each other free to be our own person next to the relationship.
We need freedom and someone who operates on that same level. If we observe that our friends or partners don’t understand this or are solely there to soothe themselves via us, then the relationship is already coming to its end.
5. INFJ Males Need themselves and their partners to take Responsibility in a Relationship
When it comes to relationships there’s the saying: You take care of yourself for me and I will take care of myself for you. At first glance, it seems the complete opposite of what’s normal in present time romantic relationships. For most INFJ (males) however, this saying rings true based upon their past experiences in love.
Many of us INFJ males have found early on in life that our kind-hearted, generous and empathic nature often draws in emotionally wounded people. Often these vulnerable people carry around trauma, depression, or they may have a more selfish personality reminiscent of narcissism or dependency.
INFJ men may have been wounded by past experiences of judgement, bullying (because of our gentle nature) or loneliness. Together with their empathy and their own past pain, they can strongly relate to the troubles of these emotionally wounded people.
An INFJ male that is in the beginning stages of maturity, might be drawn to those people and very eager to try to fix them or help out. These wounded individuals might eagerly accept the benefits of this INFJ therapist role as they’re in need to alleviate their own suffering.
This toxic dynamic plays itself out by the INFJ who’s increasingly giving more of its time, attention and help, while the other just conveniently takes. Young INFJ men might be especially vulnerable to this suffocating dynamic, since men like to take credit for making their partners happy. Our perfectionistic tendencies might also keep us way too long in such a parasitic bind leaving us distraught and depleted.
Responsible for your own feelings and needs
We learn the hard way that we can’t make others happy and that we aren’t responsible for other people’s feelings. In such emotionally draining relationships our often young and naive hearts might have been manipulated in believing we were responsible for the happiness of others. After we awaken from this illusion, we develop this strong need for our future partners to be responsible for their own feelings.
This is not to say that you can’t help someone out who’s in need or that our partners must have everything figured out. Absolutely not. But as INFJ men we need our partners to be at least consciously on the path of self-development and spiritual growth.
Through the pain of failing to fix someone, we’ve learnt that we can’t make anyone happy. We might be icing on the cake to someone’s happiness at best, but there needs to be a cake in the first place! That cake is the contentment of our partners found by them taking care of their own needs. And we must do the same.
Only then can we create a beautiful relationship in which we both share our completeness. That replaces the common tendency in relationships of partners demanding from each other the impossible task of providing happiness, because if it were that easy, why haven’t we found our own happiness yet?
The matured INFJ male sees this clearly and protects himself by avoiding a relationship with those who don’t take responsibility for their own inner state.
6. INFJ Males Need Trust in a Relationship
Trust is a need we can agree upon that everyone has. It is a beautiful but fragile quality of a relationship. INFJ men who may have been emasculated, ridiculed or judged harshly by significant others, because of their sensitive side, may have a particularly strong need to be able to trust others in relationships.
As it is highly plausible we have endured some form of trauma growing up, it is hard to distinguish if we have a hard time trusting others due to our need for solitude or our past pain. What is obvious is that we are the uttermost careful with who we let into our secret garden.
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The Secret garden of the INFJ male
Our secret garden is where our innermost thoughts, dreams, visions, devotion, joy and empathy reside. When a loved one is allowed to enter, that garden could be described as a warmth or energy that helps plants grow (this was actually how an ex-girlfriend described how she felt in my presence).
INFJ men are idealists who devote themselves to the grand visions and dreams they have. We devote ourselves to the ones we hold dear with that same passion. Meaning, it is meant for life. We nourish the plants of our secret garden by watering them.
That is the inner work that we do. For instance, introspecting, contemplating life, staying aligned with our values and the absorption of creative works and inspired knowledge. If we let the wrong people in, they could stomp all over our carefully tended plants in the secret garden.
Recovering the damage that’s done by betrayal, hatred or malevolence could take a lifetime. That’s why we judiciously permit or deny entrance to our inner garden. It is actually a wonderful thing for us to be able to allow someone in for a change. We deeply yearn for sharing it with those we find deserving. But beware. By the slightest hint of distrust, you are banished for life in a blink of an eye.
7. INFJ Males Need Passion & Romance in a Relationship
The need for passion and romance is closely related to the need for authenticity in relationships. Meaning that passion and romance can’t be faked. You feel them or you don’t. They can’t be reversed engineered, nor forced nor demanded. We need passion and romance in our romantic relationships, because it is the way we INFJ males tend to live our lives.
We are lovers of beauty and treasure hunters at heart. In our lives we need something that is greater than us to devote ourselves to. We need to be caught up and swept up by something awe-inspiring, something transcendental. We INFJ men often find that transcendental quality in our compelling idealistic dreams, visions and creative passions.
Those dreams might be completely out of this world or incomprehensible to others, but to us they are fuel for our passion. We might not be consciously aware of the fact that we actually are seeking these things, but throughout our developing years it slowly dawns on us that we actually seek beauty in all of its forms.
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Our INFJ male hearts seek undeniable beauty
True beauty is undeniable and we seek to find something real in life, something undeniable. Often the gradually awakening INFJ male wants to increasingly manifest that beauty in every aspect of his life and starts to renounce everything that isn’t. That includes romantic relationships.
A romantic relationship needs to be something that we create with our partners and is greater than the both of us. We need to be swept up by it in a breathtaking way. In a way that we want to run you a warm bath and read to you. An effortless attraction and chemistry. It needs to invoke a curiosity that makes us want to explore the relationship on a deeper level, in the same way we explore the meaning of life.
When we encounter it, our devotion to our partners may be until the end of our days. On the contrary, on average it’s common in dating nowadays to adhere to some kind of time schedule or to feel entitled to that kind of devotion. The time to get a relationship is planned out and systematic progression happens to the different phases.
For instance, on average someone might say: Well, I’m 30 years old now, so it’s time to find someone to be in a relationship with, get married in a year or two, move in together and then a year after that start to work on the three kids I want to have, before I turn 35. This line of thinking is totally fine if it works for you, but often it wouldn’t work for the INFJ male.
We live through our hearts and it beats for beauty. It’s not a choice, it’s just the way it works. When the INFJ male observes that a relationship, job or his way of life is no longer beautiful according to his standards, he tries hard to fix it. If that doesn’t work he moves on.
We might be able to conclude that the INFJ male needs in relationships go beyond being just mere preferences. However, I drew a lot on my own intuition and experiences on the subject. The essential needs we’ve discussed may also be important needs to other personality types. Perhaps, the biggest difference is how many of those need to be met before one enters into a relationship.
Looking at the perfectionistic and idealistic tendencies of the INFJ, this minimal requirement is perhaps higher for them than for the rest of the personality types. But, in the end this list is not all inclusive or absolute truth of course. You might find other relationship needs to be more important. What are they? To be aware of them helps you to make better decisions on your relationship journey. Because what does a relationship mean if you’re not true to yourself?
Food For Thought
1. Which relationship needs do you consider the most important (for) INFJ (males)?
2. Is it a good thing to stick to your important needs in relationship or does it set you up for perfectionism?
What is your personality type? Take the MBTI test!
You Might Also Like:
- 5 Ways the INFJ Male Can Heal from Heartbreak
- 5 Common INFJ Male Problems
- Another 5 Common INFJ Male Problems
- 5 Things the INFJ Male Really Dislikes
For the total list of recommended reading, please go to the Wisdom page.
* INFJ Male Psychology is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, and as such earns from qualifying purchases for some of the links.