Dating and relationships are all about making connections, getting to know another person, and moving forward through life. If at some point you no longer wish to do those things with your partner, your compatibility journey may end with them. Some Myers-Briggs personality types are easier to make connections with and to get to know. Some are a little more private and reserved. ISTP people are sort of in the middle. They are introverted, quiet, and private, but they are also energetic, creative, and spontaneous.
They may not be the kind of people that everyone will have an easy time building a compatible relationship with. However, they are precisely what some people are looking for. Let’s uncover 9 compatibility insights for relationships and dating an ISTP.
9 ISTP Compatibility Insights for Relationships and Dating
#1 ISTPs as individuals
Finding out whether you might be compatible in a relationship with an ISTP first requires understanding what they are like as individuals first.
ISTPs are always doing something. They constantly have a home renovation on the go or a project car to work on. They have a tremendous amount of energy, and they do not like to be bored. They apply their energy to fixing things. They are also curious by nature, which means sometimes they have to fix something because they took it apart to learn how it worked in the first place. They love to learn by experience and are very hands-on.
#2 ISTPs in social settings
While they enjoy being in their own company, ISTPs don’t mind spending time with other people. They don’t mind others taking an interest in their work or latest project. They like to volunteer to help out with their friend’s and loved ones’ projects and share their knowledge and experiences. Acts of service are definitely the ISTPs love language.
ISTPs are practical and realistic. They follow a logical train of thought, and although they are very thoughtful, they have bursts of spontaneity and energy. Their biggest challenge is that they have a hard time recognizing boundaries in others if they don’t feel the same way. For example, they are likely to tell an off-color joke, insert themselves into a situation they are not welcome into, or renege on social plans because something better came up. Although they are logical, they have a hard time understanding feelings and emotions, leading to their somewhat blunt, overstepping, awkward behavior.
#3 ISTPs as romantic partners
Early in relationships, ISTPs seek novelty and newness. They are action-focused and looking for the next activity or experience to share with their partner. On the other hand, they are also introverted and won’t want to be with their new love interest every day. Their partners need to understand that this isn’t a reflection of incompatibility but instead is what ISTP personalities need for themselves. They will not tolerate “clinginess” for long in a new relationship. They won’t enjoy being forced into doing something they don’t want to do. If something isn’t working for them, they will not drag it out. They will simply walk away.
The complex, dynamic nature of ISTPs translates into relationships and can manifest as chaotic, hot/cold behavior. They can be emotionally detached and then flip flop to being passionate and living for the moment.
#4 ISTPs and intimacy
ISTPs don’t tend to adhere to strict traditions and are open to exploring the physical side of a relationship early on. They are very sensual and enjoy intimacy as an expression of creativity and pleasure. For many ISTPs, physical intimacy will be how they are closest to expressing feelings and emotions. They struggle with expressing emotions in other situations. However, they will most definitely express how they are feeling physically with their partners.
#5 ISTPs and committment
As things progress with ISTPs, they might be hesitant to put labels on their relationships. However, they can be committed, loving, loyal life partners. As long as their partner doesn’t push them to take steps they are not ready to take and are given space to be themselves, ISTPs make excellent partners.
#6 Strengths in a relationship
ISTPs bring a lot to relationships. They are exciting, passionate, and spontaneous. They will encourage independence and be incredibly supportive of their partners. ISTPs will be available to assist with anything needed to help their partners achieve their goals. They will also be inclined to take on their share of chores and responsibilities of day-to-day life. They are also logical thinkers, and if something isn’t working for them, they will work it out (or move on) rather than let it build up and cause resentment. No time with an ISTP is wasted time.
#7 Weaknesses in a relationship
ISTPs will face challenges when it comes to dealing with feelings and emotions. They will have difficulty understanding their partner’s emotional needs or how they are not being met. They will think that based on the outside situation, their partner “should” be happy. They will make attempts to fix their physical wellbeing rather than work on meeting emotional needs. Not because they don’t care or don’t love their partner, but because they don’t understand. They also don’t handle their own emotions and feelings well either. They will bottle them up and find an outlet like taking something apart and putting it back together. In long-term relationships, they can learn how to tune in and take the proper steps, but it is a learned skill they will have to work at.
#8 Most compatible relationships
So, knowing what you know about ISTPs, let’s explore some of the personality types that will be most likely to be compatible with them.
ESTP and ISTP compatibility in relationships:
ESTPs are very similar to ISTPs. They both struggle to understand and handle emotions and feelings, and they both have strong drives to express themselves physically early on. Neither is particularly focused on immediate commitment. And, they can both understand the needs of the other when it comes to staying in or going out with friends.
ISTJ and ISTP compatibility in relationships:
While ISTPs aren’t particularly traditional like ISTJs can be, they can respect and understand any traditions an ISTJ holds. Where these two find compatibility is that they are similar in their logical, hands-on approach to life. They both enjoy expressing their love through actions and service, and neither is focused on emotions or feelings.
INTP and ISTP compatibility in relationships:
INTPs make an excellent match for ISTPs for their shared interest in adventure and newness. They both value their independence and think rationally and logically. Neither is too concerned with emotions and feelings as a priority in relationships.
#9 Least compatible relationships
Everyone is different. While the following matches are less compatible on paper, it does not mean that a real-life match can’t work out. Each relationship is unique, and adjustments and learning about the other’s needs can certainly help an “incompatible” relationship succeed.
ENFJ and ISTP compatibility in relationships:
ENFJs are charismatic social butterflies that exude confidence and support. However, these are the type of people who are likely to push an ISTP to do things they are not ready for. ENFJs are always looking for improvement and forward momentum, and that might not work for an ISTP. They are also incredibly emotional and can struggle with criticism, which an ISTP will have challenges dealing with.
ENFP and ISTP compatibility in relationships:
ENFPs are free-spirited, social, and wholly focused on building emotional connections. They have a fantastic ability to get to a deeper level with people very quickly. While this is great for “feeling” personalities, ISTPs won’t enjoy it. They are quiet and private, and ENFPs are likely to invade that sense of privacy when getting to know them.
ISTPs are the people in our lives who will always lend a helping hand and whom you can turn to for advice. They aren’t warm and fuzzy, but they care deeply and will show it through acts of service and physical intimacy. They will walk away from something that isn’t working but will stick it out and work on solutions for conflicts worth working out. They are adventurous and love new experiences. Relationships with ISTPs can have their ups and downs, but they are worth getting to know to see if they make a compatible match for you.