Being an INFJ or an INFP can be difficult anyway, but falling in love as an INFJ or an INFP can be downright torturous. The falling in love experience is NOT the same for INFJs and INFPs as it is for most of the rest of the population, and there is very little information out there on this subject, so most INFJs and INFPs end up feeling like they’re weird or crazy when it happens to them.
When an INFJ or INFP personality type falls in love, we fall in love fast, and so hard that it feels like we can barely breathe when we’re around the person, or even think about the person. We feel drawn to the other person like they are a giant human-sized magnet sucking us into their orbit. We think about them night and day, and our thoughts turn into obsessive loops where we meticulously analyze every single interaction we’ve had with them. We also need to know everything we can about the person, and that means EVERYTHING. Our curiosity and investigation skills know no bounds.
Now, some of these intense feelings and behaviors can be attributed to the fact that most INFJs and INFPs have trust issues, that’s no secret. So the more we feel we know about the person we’re in love with, the less likely we feel that we will be unpleasantly surprised by some hidden facet of their character down the road. But that’s not all of it. There’s another, deeper reason that INFJs and INFPs experience this deep, instant, and usually unexplainable, attraction to someone else.
For INFJs and INFPs, it all comes back to the fact that we are natural healers. Even if we have not yet stepped into our power around our healing skills, or we’re still playing out the archetype of the wounded healer, all of us still carry great healing gifts. Our mission as healers—even if still unconscious—is one of the core elements of our life purpose on this planet. As healers, we are extremely attuned to the wounds in others. And when we meet someone who is struggling with a wound that exactly matches the unique design of our gifts as a healer, we experience the catalyst of those two intense energies coming together.
That catalyst manifests, a lot of the time, as falling in love for INFJs and INFPs. Now, this doesn’t mean that you play out this particular dynamic with every romantic partner, or that it’s always one-sided either. Much of the time, the healing relationship that blossoms between an INFJ and INFP and the person they’ve fallen in love with is reciprocal, which means, we heal each other’s wounds through the romantic/erotic relationship with the other person.
The pitfall I see most INFJs and INFPs fall into is judging themselves harshly, and repeatedly, for even having this experience in the first place. Sometimes the INFJ or INFP judges themselves for the obsessive nature of the feelings they’re experiencing and labels themselves as “crazy” or a “stalker.” Sometimes the INFJ or INFP is already in a committed relationship with someone else, and so they judge themselves for “straying,” even if only in their own mind. Whatever form it takes, the root of it is the same. The INFJ or the INFP who is going through this experience doesn’t have any frame of reference for it, because it seems like “normal people” don’t fall in love this way, so they feel very alone. And they almost always come to the conclusion that something is wrong with them.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, erotic/romantic attraction that manifests around the healer-and-wounded roles in a relationship is very normal for us. Yes, it can get sticky, and no, most other people are not going to understand it. It’s not an easy thing to navigate and there are no quick fixes to make it go away or avoid it altogether. It is what it is. For INFJs and INFPs, it’s another facet of life that we experience differently, and much more vividly, that most of the rest of the population.
Once you have the self-judgement piece of it under control, it becomes easier to be present with the experience and understand what’s actually going on between you and the other person a bit better. When you meet someone who is carrying a wound, and that wound exactly matches your abilities as a healer, you immediately start working with them on many different levels. Of course, you’ll be interacting with them on the level of this concrete reality, where you’re talking and laughing and connecting in real time, but you’ll also be working with them on higher levels. According to your belief systems, you may see these higher levels as the astral plane, the soul plane, or even just the subconscious/psychological plane. But no matter how you label it or what you’re comfortable with, the basic idea remains the same. You are doing healing work with the beloved on multiple levels—not just within the reality you navigate with your five senses.
That last part is also key. There’s a reason you fell in love with this person because when you see someone as your beloved, you are willing to go into deep emotional waters with them. You are willing to let down your guard, take risks, and give them the unconditional love they need as a support for the growth they need to do to move forward.
Falling in love for an INFJ or an INFP is not an easy experience, and of course you can make mistakes all along the way. It’s impossible to go through life as an INFJ or an INFP and never get codependent with someone, or be taken advantage of, or hurt or deceived. Those things happen, and as you grow and evolve, you’ll get better at shedding those types of experiences so that you don’t need to go through them on a repeating cycle. The important thing though, is that you realize that there is nothing wrong with you for falling in love with people so fast and so hard and having such an intense relationship with them that spans multiple planes.
In fact, if you’re an INFJ or an INFP, it’s pretty par for the course.
Cut yourself some slack and know that there are a thousand different ways to do this thing we humans call “relationship,” romantic or otherwise. Just because you fall fast and hard doesn’t mean you’re flawed. It means that you’re being perfectly you.
If you’re interested in learning more, I talk about this phenomenon more in-depth, as well as my own personal experiences with it, in my book The INFJ Revolution. I also discuss it with the founder of INF Club, Jas Hothi, in this month’s video conversation on topics all about INFJs and INFPs (it’s at the 1:05:49 mark).
Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ Writer, The INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Intuitive Writing, a six-step online video course for INFJ and INFP writers who struggle with writing. She is also currently offering a free copy of her book on creative marketing for INFJ and INFP writers to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. SIGN UP HERE to get your free copy of Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers.