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How to tell when your partner is falling in love, according to their Myers-Briggs personality type

Jenna Birch
Contributing Writer
A couple in love. (Photo: Getty Images)

No two people fall in love the same way. Some are guarded and make quiet gestures, while others see no reason to hide their feelings and would rather wear their heart on their sleeve; some convey love through action, while others choose words; still others choose traditional gestures of courtship or value consistency above all else.

If you want to know whether or not your significant other has fallen in love with you, look for these signs they’ve been bit by the love bug. Sometimes all it takes to know if they’re holding back on those three little words is knowing your partner’s (or potential partner’s) personality type.

Note: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test that helps us to better understand ourselves and the people who surround us in our day-to-day lives. It tells us what we do with incoming information — how we process it and use it to make decisions. If you don’t know your type, a quick online quiz can help you find out. (Or, of course, the official assessment.)

E: Extroversion vs. I: Introversion
S: Sensing vs. N: Intuition
T: Thinking vs. F: Feeling
J: Judging vs. P: Perceiving

ENTP: Love comes via enthusiastic, soft-hearted gestures toward their new partner.

You will never have to text or call your ENTP first if they’re falling for you because you will always be at the top of their mind. They’ll constantly be coming up with new ideas and adventures to thrill you and will make sure to explain all their thoughts to you clearly and patiently — the good and the bad. They’ll be openly affectionate and complimentary and work hard to be specific and sincere. In instances where they’re wrong, ENTPs will apologize. Above all else, they’ll be consistent with you, even if they’re scattered with everyone else.

ISTP: They will give consistent and steady clues that they’re falling in love.

Your typically mysterious ISTP will start slipping into your DMs more often. They’ll be intentional with you and likely accept absolutely every invitation you throw at them, whether it’s a party plus-one or washing your car together. ISTPs will step up to help you, even if you don’t ask for it. And they will have a natural eye for making your life easier. They likely won’t say many emotional words, but they’ll be the first to support you when you need it.

ENFP: They will make big, passionate signs if they’re head over heels.

Your ENFP will be enthralled with you; to them, it’s totally natural to make the person they’re falling for the center of their universe. They will want to spend all their free time building your relationship and will likely cut back on other parts of their life to do so. Likewise, they’ll be excited to introduce you to their friends and family and will be eager to travel and create new memories. When they fall, an ENFP falls with intensity — and they love big. Expect vulnerability on their side when they tell you how they feel, with details including the future they hope to have with you and why they chose you.  They will articulate appreciation for your smallest details and want you to feel safe in the relationship.

ISFJ: They will make sentimental, proper movements toward commitment.

An ISFJ falling in love will want to do things properly. They’ll take you out on dates, be slightly reserved with physical affection, and want to have the exclusivity talk early on. They’ll make small, sweet gestures to let you know they’re thinking about you, like having your favorite beer in their fridge or picking up a funny card that reminds them of an inside joke you share. They are romantic and sentimental; if they start sharing their past with you, as well as their hopes for the future, they’re definitely trying to see if you fit into their world. 

ESTP: Consistent, focused, open gestures of affection are what to look for. 

It’s often hard to tell if an ESTP is looking at a relationship as a fling or a long-term love interest, but you’ll see action and consistency if it’s truly real. They will pencil you in for dates regularly, and actually follow through with them. They’ll introduce you to friends instead of keeping your relationship separate. They’ll also allot specific quality time for you and forgo time with their circle (a big deal for these social butterflies!). They’ll also focus on you in bed, making sure you’re fully satisfied every time.

INTP: Expect obvious, hard-working efforts to establish a meaningful bond.

Your INTP is a workaholic, prone to focusing on their education and career track above relationships. So, when they pause things to actually date, it means they’re thinking seriously about you. They will go to great lengths to understand you, asking probing questions you’ve never thought to ask yourself. They will push you to be your best self while also trying to improve their own partner skills, like communication and emotionality. Finally, they’ll seal it with some form of commitment talk — whether they ask about exclusivity, labels, or your future together. To them, it doesn’t make sense to keep dating without moving forward.

INFP: Upbeat, earnest emotions are the telltale signs.

Your INFP will be shy about their emotions, but boy do they have them! The proof? They will be willing to do just about anything for you if you ask (so don’t abuse their kindness). They’ll cut plans short to see you for just a few hours. They are always game to sit patiently and just listen to you talk, vent, or theorize, serving as a sounding board for your wildest ideas. They’ll often make big, inconvenient gestures too — like moving to a new place, taking care of you while sick, or focusing less on their careers in the name of love. Usually a long-term relationship is a big life goal for an INFP, so they’ll gladly adapt to their partner if they feel genuine hope for the future.

ENTJ: Direct, honest actions will be taken to establish a relationship.

An ENTJ will approach potential love the same way they approach potential opportunities at work and in life: full force. They will romance you, be openly affectionate, and make sure you’re written all over their calendar. They are master executors, and they have a plan for everything important; they’re definitely falling in love if you notice they’re calculating how you’ll fit into their future. They’ll also want to make sure their feelings are reciprocated. They’ll usually initiate a talk about labels or ask how you feel about them directly.

ESFJ: Expect excited, obvious sentiments expressed toward the object of their affection.

Your ESFJ love interest will not be coy about it. They’ll want to be in touch constantly, and they will tell you how they feel often. They’ll remember all the details about you early on, like how you like your coffee and eggs, as well as your favorite TV shows or sports teams. And they’ll tell you they’re falling for you when they feel it in their hearts, but they won’t pressure you to feel the exact same way. To an ESFJ, romantic love is the best emotion there is. Why not celebrate it and share it when it’s real?

ESFP: Passionate, playful movements will be taken toward a relationship.

An ESFP is always on the move, looking for their next big adventure. When in love, they will slow down and start asking you to join their life a lot more. Although they are not always the first to share their love verbally, they will flirt with you a lot and be physically affectionate in obvious ways. They’ll always cheer you up when you’re down and encourage you to be your best self. Since your ESFP is known to embrace every opportunity and stay totally true to themselves, they’ll want to encourage that in you too. They will take every chance to get to know you while also supporting you fully in the process.

ESTJ: Look for supportive and compassionate actions.

An ESTJ thinks of love as both a feeling and an action, but they’ll probably start showing signs of love before they express it out loud. They will want to take care of you, offering to help with a stressful move, advise on a work project, or comfort you when you’re down. They’ll also follow a somewhat traditional timeline: You’ll meet their friends and family, define the relationship clearly, and know exactly where you’re both headed into the future. They are looking for a true partner and best friend as much as a lover, so they’ll be sure to nurture all aspects of the relationship, talk often, try new things with you, and see you as much as possible.

INTJ: They’ll find steady and supportive ways to show they’re in it for the long haul.

An INTJ doesn’t fall in love often, but they do fall hard when they meet someone with partner potential. They will ask a lot of questions in getting to know you, even before it becomes romantic. They will show consistent signs of affection and commitment, even if they seem to hesitate before they do. Keep in mind, it’s difficult for INTJs to show their feelings and be vulnerable, so any flirtatious action or romantic gesture is meaningful. They will show up for you always, offer advice when you’re in a bind, hold your hand when needed, and tell you directly how they feel from time to time. Finally, they will show clear signs of wanting you in their future — which is the most important sign an INTJ is in love.

ISTJ: They will show traditional, steadfast devotion to someone they love.

Your ISTJ is a preserver of tradition, and will be a rock for a partner, or potential partner, in the process of dating. They will make opportunities to get to know you in thoughtful ways, like phone calls versus texting or dates that allow for genuine conversation. They will be consistent in their efforts and supportive of your goals from day one. ITSJs will likely want to establish intimacy through honesty and trust-building, contacting you at regular times, taking care of practical needs, and doing what they say they will do every time. They may not be verbally affectionate often, but they’ll be clear about their feelings when asked — and become the biggest constant in your life.

INFJ: Thoughtful, understated gestures of love are to be expected.

An INFJ is the a type that loves sparingly, but deeply when they do; they are looking for a soulmate and potential long-term partner. They typically size someone up before they make their romantic feelings known, so any signs they’d like to keep seeing you — suggesting lunch, sending a sweet text — are major gestures for an INFJ. They’ll want to connect with you in meaningful ways, like meeting your friends, talking about your dreams, or trying a new hobby together. They will talk a lot about the future and be physically affectionate, even when they’re normally reserved. Lastly, they will indicate they feel safe with you if they’re in love, opening up about themselves — the hardest thing for them to do.

ENFJ: Look for affectionate, romantic signs that they’re falling in love.

Of all the Myers-Briggs types, the ENFJ does everything BIG; they are always actively looking for the big love of their life rather than a short-term fling. If they feel the potential for love, they’ll dive right into a full-fledged relationship without thinking twice. They’ll plan interesting dates and work hard to make you feel comfortable about opening up and trusting them. They’ll find out what matters most to you and will send cards and bring you small gifts, as well as checking in regularly with texts and phone calls. An ENFJ will also tell you directly how they feel and what they envision for your future together. The moment they know they love you? They’ll tell you. (How nice is that!)

ISFP: Quiet, heartfelt gestures are the giveaway. 

An ISFP is used to living life on their own terms, following their passions and causes wherever they lead. However, although they’d never admit it, they’re also secretly waiting for “the one” to knock them off their feet. If an ISFP feels that potential with you, they’ll quietly and easily settle into the relationship. They’ll be affectionate in private and always listen to your concerns, dreams, setbacks, and stories about the past. They’ll establish intimacy and won’t hesitate to see you multiple times a week. The most important sign an ISFP is falling in love is that they’ll stay. When you’re as independent and mysterious as they are, showing up and opening up is a huge mark of vulnerability — but one they’ll gladly take if you touch their heart.

Jenna Birch is author of  The Love Gap: A Radical Plan to Win in Life and Love (Grand Central Life & Style, out now). Her relationship column appears on Yahoo every Monday. To ask her a question, which may appear in an upcoming post, send an email to jen.birch@sbcglobal.net with “YAHOO QUESTION” in the subject line.

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