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More love advice sought by an infatuated INFJ.

antigone

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I'll sheepishly admit I haven't even introduced myself to the forums yet. Sorry, I guess I'm pretty eager to get some answers on this matter! Yes, it's all about luuurve ...

First, a lot of (maybe unnecessary) information:
I am an INFJ, 21 years old. To give some perspective here, this INTP guy I'm pretty infatuated with is ... Much older. He was my history teacher in fact as a senior. During high school he was a significant mentor to me, really one of the only teachers I'd ever had who cared about expanding my gifts personally. He's very successful at what he does, and extremely humble about that fact, but geniunely so. When I first stepped into his classroom at 17 years old, he was like this ... omnipotent being! I mean, oh my God (... he kind of is), what person knows so damn much?! He is brilliant and before then I had never been exposed to anything like the INTP brain before. He is excited to teach, and to learn. He has such a respect for knowledge. Never is he right for the sake of being right ...

So, to give you other awesome INTPs some deeper insight on him, which may or may not help you to grasp a better perspective on him as a likeminded person ... He lost his first wife to cancer after only a few years of being married, and he still refers to her in this misty-eyed way, and loved her very much. After she passed away, he looked to history to cope, and this inspired his love for the subject. He remarried a woman he has a 10-year-old son with, and was going through the divorce when I was in his class. So he's a widower, a divorcee, and a father.

He is incredibly kind and he respects his students immensely, he has the sort of tender love for the minds of his pupils as an INFJ has for a wounded animal. Of course, I am not too naive, and I do realize that he is a T type ... An introverted thinker, in fact, which evades a lot of his students. When I first discussed the mbti with him, I suggested he was an ENFP. This is a misconception a lot of his students make because he dutifully remains very upbeat in the classroom. And even outside of it, really, he's very careful of never being cynical.

I know that this isn't who he is completely. Sure, I give him an immense amount of credit for it, but I have always been very careful to disclaimer any suggestion we meet with "now, if you're busy, and want to do this another time I totally understand" because he gets caught up in the moment usually and says yes. He needs time for himself. As an introvert myself- so far I on the spectrum it's probably a personality disorder of some kind - I get it completely.

We have always had a pretty deep connection, he said multiple times, (though the romantic, starry eyed school girl I was, I admit what I envisioned - confessing my adoration, followed of course by a fairy tale ending - likely wasn't what he had in mind at all!) and even the mere suggestion that he found something like him in me at all had my heart pounding for days.

Alright, so I pretty much adore this guy.

I graduated in 2007, and contacted him several times since. Once I met him at his apartment the following autumn, and then a year passed before I e-mailed him to try to arrange another meeting date. Little did I know, he was driving hours away and back again to care for his dying mother at the time, so he understandably stopped replying.

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I had to go to the high school to collect a letter of recommendation for an art school I'm transferring to, so I decided I'd go check out his classroom. He walked in as I was inquiring his M&M jar (empty in case you're curious) and we spoke again! I told him he had to see me on my 21st birthday now, and we exchanged numbers and made it happen.

On my birthday, we stayed up in his apartment until 4 AM talking about various abstract concepts. Whenever I'm alone with him, he talks endlessly and excitedly with adorable hand gestures and everything, and he apologizes for talking so much and continues on, and promises he's almost done and branches off again, and then I try to keep a straight face. I listen and absorb and when it's not rude to do it, finish his sentences when he gets stuck for a second, proud because I can somehow always follow what he's saying! He fascinates me. And he says that I'm very inspiring to him, which as you'd imagine makes my heart pound in a really feirce way. He tells me things he's told "only a couple of people" pretty often, which again, sort of makes me feel a bit like a chosen one of God.

But now as I'm older, and I've had a few other professors since, and I realize that intellect isn't quite extinct, I am a bit more confident. I don't idolize him any less at all, but I am not quite so shy around him anymore.

... So I worked up the courage to tell him I liked him. I told him I had no expectations or anything, that it was alright whatever his reaction was, and I said I liked him. He paused and said "... okay? Well, I mean, I like you too." And I averted my eyes and played with my fingertips and said, "... I mean I like. Like, you know ... I like you." "... Oh ... OH!" He's a little outdated I think, they started using the term "like" when I was in middle school I think.

He said he had absolutely no idea I felt that way at all, but that he was extremely flattered and that he had no issue at all with the age difference, and then he kissed me. And suddenly this ... This man came out, you know? It was more than a little shocking at first, and I was pretty quiet, and overwhelmed and I dunno if an INTP quite understands how good a thing it is for an INFJ to feel quite that much at once, so much they're momentarily in a numb shock, and for the next week, as he informed me more recently, he was afraid he'd upset me.

Of course, every time I thought back on it, it grew less and less confusing, and I'd smile wider and wider, until I was covering my whole face and making sounds that could only be described as rodent-like whenever I thought of the kiss in private, and I was losing my composure all over the place!

So the next time I saw him, it was awkward for him, and it wasn't until several hours later that he brought the kiss up again. I assured him that it was beyond alright, that he made my birthday, and that none will ever live up to it probably, and then I hugged him and asked if I could get another chance to kiss him. And he agreed, and so I was way more confident about it this time around ... And in the process of trying to leave he asked for two more long kisses, haha. He walked me to my car, said goodnight, and for the first time I didn't call him by his teacher-name, but said, bye Michael!

And now to the point:
Of course, now afterward it's gotten a bit confusing. He said he'd text to figure out a time for Saturday we could hang out. Of course, I understand completely that he had to spend all of Saturday with his son and wound up cancelling. We texted a bit after he cancelled, and that definitely went well, he flirted with me more! Now ... INTPs, I ask you to consider what F can do to an infatuated woman's logic as I continue, but ...

This may be the J/P barrier too, but he said he would text me on Friday to let me know what time we'd next get together, but he never did. So I texted him the next day to inquire then, about an hour before we were going to meet, and had I not I don't know that he ever would have let me know. That didn't concern me too much at all, however ... He said he would text me the next day to arrange when we could meet then, but never did. I still haven't heard from him at all and it's been two days.

I haven't texted him at all because I don't want to disturb his privacy but I can't help but to be a bit hurt and confused by it. Part of me just wants to totally leave it up to him to contact me again, but he's never really ... reached out before, it's always been me reaching out, and he's recoiled once before (under way different circumstances) but I feel like we're at this place now where a relationship is very possible, but hasn't even developed enough yet for me to even mean anything at all to him.

And I can survive unrequited love to an extent, I just need to know it's unrequited. And I need to know if he's just busy, or even if he doesn't want to see me, if this is going too fast, if it's annoying him, if I'm annoying, all those other really girly concerns. In his defense he's probably busy from all the snow day cancellations and stuff but I just, as a J, have a really hard time understanding how a simple text to give someone else the peace of mind not to make plans that aren't going to happen anyway is impossible. I am understanding, I realize work and his son and a whole load of things at this early point come first, but I do hold him responsible for being thoughtless about it. The way I see it, and it's probably irrational of me but ... If he can't consider me enough to just let me know, I'm probably not even in his thoughts at all, am I?

Any insight here would be appreciated!
 

EditorOne

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Any teacher with a successful career has got to feel some unease at any serious relationship with even a former student. That you only now stopped calling him "Mr. Carmody" or whatever means that to some extent the old student-teacher relationship and its associated taboos was probably still the context for him.

Not to say it can't work out.

However, the one teacher I knew who recklessly pursued a relationship with a student paid for it the rest of his life. Even though the young lady in question was mature for her age, determined in her ways, and not a naif by any means, that this 40-something man would be carrying on with a high school senior who was one of his students was hugely scandalous. Today he'd have been sued or arrested or disbarred or something; back then he was shunned.

It's a pretty big taboo. It's one of those things where you probably need to think about not just how you feel, and how he thinks, but how the rest of his world is going to regard this.

Obviously I'm not being judgmental, merely pointing stuff out you probably already feel but need to hear someone else say.
 

antigone

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That's a very good point, definitely something I was concerned about for a pretty long time. He's very eccentric, and he justified the possibility of us going out together by giving off examples of co-workers of his who were involved in successful age gap relationships, so he really never mentioned much concern at all about it. He definitely never pursued me and I respected that a lot, in fact if he had done so in high school I likely would've had less respect for him. Not that that's saying much since I'd be surprised if he can't walk on water!

I even considered maybe he was spending time with his son thinking god, she could be my daughter, but then as I said, he was flirtatious through texts while with his son so that'd be ... odd!
 

fullerene

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couldn't tell ya. I'm extremely poor at getting back to people, even if I think about them often. Just ask some of the people I get into PM-chains with on here. I do try to make it a habit in my real life, though, to follow up with anyone who's interested... so I dunno what he could be doing. Usually when I start doing really flaky stuff like that, it's because I'm embarrassed but refuse to admit (even to myself) that I'm embarrassed. That cursed inferior Fe that I often wish I could ignore.

At least, that's my best guess. Wants to hang out with you. Got interrupted by some other people. Couldn't think of a less embarrassing excuse to escape them. Didn't want to hurt your feelings by telling you he was embarrassed dating someone so young, so he didn't say anything at all.
 

Sugarpop

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I enjoyed reading that. It seems you have a good thing going.

How attached are you to the image of him as superhuman? Teachers tend to play a persona at work that is left there at the end of the day. They are, after all, social workers of sorts. If he's anything like me, he's probably awesome, but be mindful of the 'J/P barrier' and other differences for that matter.

Big decisions and changes aren't very INTP (by which I mean 'me'. I extrapolate.), and he probably lacks a strong sense of what he wants and how he should go about to get it. We'd rather wait and see than making spectacles of our own (even though we really love watching). Not to worry though.
 

antigone

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couldn't tell ya. I'm extremely poor at getting back to people, even if I think about them often. Just ask some of the people I get into PM-chains with on here. I do try to make it a habit in my real life, though, to follow up with anyone who's interested... so I dunno what he could be doing. Usually when I start doing really flaky stuff like that, it's because I'm embarrassed but refuse to admit (even to myself) that I'm embarrassed. That cursed inferior Fe that I often wish I could ignore.

At least, that's my best guess. Wants to hang out with you. Got interrupted by some other people. Couldn't think of a less embarrassing excuse to escape them. Didn't want to hurt your feelings by telling you he was embarrassed dating someone so young, so he didn't say anything at all.
Thank you, that definitely makes a lot of sense, and you offered a really comforting perspective to me. Still confusing to me and the rest of my gender, this idea that caring/thinking about a person doesn't always result in contact, but ... Men and women, or maybe TPs and FJs weren't ever meant to understand each other so much that the other lost their fascinating, somewhat ethereal qualities!

I enjoyed reading that. It seems you have a good thing going.

How attached are you to the image of him as superhuman? Teachers tend to play a persona at work that is left there at the end of the day. They are, after all, social workers of sorts. If he's anything like me, he's probably awesome, but be mindful of the 'J/P barrier' and other differences for that matter.

Big decisions and changes aren't very INTP (by which I mean 'me'. I extrapolate.), and he probably lacks a strong sense of what he wants and how he should go about to get it. We'd rather wait and see than making spectacles of our own (even though we really love watching). Not to worry though.
Thank you, I feared it was kinda one of those things I'd enjoy writing because it all means something significant to me, but that I was going on wildly as I tend to do about love interests. And that's a good point to bring up; I THOUGHT that I was capable of seeing him as "only human" before he kissed me, but then all of a sudden ... He's a man, woah. It was kind of shocking, and I did realize that before it was admiration, it wasn't really totally infatuation, not until after I learned the kiss and the exposure of his well-hidden sexual nature didn't unsettle me at all, but just thrilled me, and it was then it became a little less fairy tale/he is Jesus, but it became real and ... for an INFJ that can be a weird adjustment, but I'm adjusted and now I'm ready to see what happens, I'm ready for his shortcomings and imperfections.

The thing is though, I think I do understand him pretty well already as a human, flaws and all, and ... he's still superhuman to me, his own version of it that fits perfectly into my own world, just maybe not every other woman's. :o
 

Adymus

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Okay there is some veeeerry crucial about the INTP mind that you have to know about, and start to expect.

I don't know if you are familiar with the Cognitive processes, but I am going to talk about them anyway. I'm sure you'll follow me anyway, as I know you INFJs learn fast.

INTPs are Dominant Ti (Introverted Thinker) Types, this means that we are going to be Drawn toward using our Ti more than anything else. We can't turn it off, and we get the most stimulation out of using it. Now that puts us in a very problematic predicament when you are in the picture. Using, being in Ti puts us as far away as we can from our Fe, right now, you are a part of his Fe. For the duration of this post, think of his Fe as the contacts and connections he has with people close to him.

As an INFJ I'm sure it is really hard for you to see how it is possibly that someone could go this long and not consider the people they care about, because your Fe is much closer to you, and takes up more room in your conscious mind.
Well for an INTP, Fe is the smallest part of their conscious mind, and can easily be overlooked.

Now I imagine right now your Fe is telling you "Well if he truly cares about me, he will get over this Fe inferior nonsense and start being more considerate."

Well, it's not that simple. This guy sounds very mature, so I imagine is Fe is very well developed as it is, but that does not solve the problem. You see, his Ti, that is pretty much who he is, that is what he identifies with most, and feels most alive when he is using it on his own terms. So to have him keep it suppressed so he can be more aware of his social contacts is like telling him to be less of who he wants to be.

Don't get me wrong, that does not mean that being 100% neglectful of you and his social contacts is excusable. But I am sure that is not the case, I'm sure he probably is going to be trying as hard as he can not to screw this up. All I am saying is that when he does slip up on it, for things like that text, you need to give him a little wiggle room, because it is soooo not you that is the problem. We just can't help that part of ourselves... Well, okay we can help reduce it, but not all of the time.

This may not be comfortable for you as an Introvert, but as a J, I think you should start to consider that you might just have to be the one that approaches him, and the one that is setting the dates, and putting direction into the relationship. I'm sure he is a mature person and will be able to do some of this himself in the future, but be prepared to prod him every now and then. And please, don't think it is because he doesn't care, he does, but his feelings for you are in a part of his mind that is difficult for us to keep accessing all of the time...


PS: Btw I though your story was super sexy.
 

snowqueen

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I'm not the best person to be giving relationship advice given my hopeless track record. But I am INFJ and have gone out with an INTP (at the time I thought it was the other way round but that's another story). I am also a woman, and I'm middle aged so have my share of experience.

So here goes: you have been thinking about this for a while - he has had an interesting new situation sprung on him out of nowhere. INFJs will have thought about it in the biggest and hugest depth so it will 'feel' real to you. The INTP will not be 'feeling' it as something real, perhaps ever even if he is deeply committed to you. I think for the INTP it will always to some extent be a logical choice to be with a person. So give him space to think about what's happened, don't make contact. Either he will make contact, or he won't. If after a week he hasn't made contact, then if you still want to pursue it, I would contact him with a particularly proposal - say, 'would you like to come to this movie with me?' or 'there is an exhibition of xxx would you like to come with me?'.

Secondly he is a man. In general men are pretty excited by an attractive young woman offering herself. Do not for a second imagine this means that they are interested in converting this in a relationship, certainly not after a couple of kisses. Of course for the INFJ this is tantamount to a marriage proposal - you will have to resist this impulse! Even if you have sex this doesn't necessarily mean he loves you or wants to have a relationship. Trust me on this one!!! A very wise friend told me - 'it is the man who determines what the relationship is'. While this may grate with our desire for gender equality etc. I think it is absolutely true. The INTP I went out with was absolutely lovely, kind, considerate, great company, fantastic lover etc. but he wanted only a fairly structured, limited relationship where we saw each other every fortnight for the weekend (it was a 2+ hour drive to his so this was fairly sensible) and it worked well as long as I didn't stray outside these boundaries. He never called me his girlfriend though and after three years nothing much had changed (although it remained as delightful as at the beginning) and I asked him if he thought it would develop into something more committed. He said no, he liked it as it was. So we stopped and have remained good friends. My point is that even after 3 years, within a relationship which was very very pleasant, he still didn't 'fall in love' with me or want to commit. There was NOTHING I could have done to change this.

The issue of his not phoning you is an interesting one. I don't think you should read anything into it or try to make up possible reasons. Basically you don't like to be treated like this so he needs to know this. If he likes you it will be helpful to him to know what works for you. If he isn't interested and suggests you are being difficult then he is not the one for you. I suggest that when you make contact with him you tell him directly (and gently): 'you said you would phone and you didn't. That doesn't work for me because I need someone to keep their word and also I have a life and if you don't want to see me, that's fine, but I would like to know so I can arrange to do something else'. Do not be afraid of putting your foot down. If you are worried that this will 'put him off' then he is not interested in you other than a passing interest.
 

Sparrow

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Snowqueen is INFJ??!! :confused:

I thought Adymus stated that she is INTP :confused:
 

snowqueen

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lol Adymus is wrong on this one - and through the brilliant cognitive functions 100 has provided me with the information I needed to confirm this for myself. We have agreed to disagree ;)
 

Cogito

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Your fairty tale-esque story made me :eek: and :D at the same time. Sigh. . .

*begins to reminisce about all of her godly, untouchable teachers in the past*

Don't really have anything of significance to add besides the fact that he appears to be really into you (if he is, in fact, an INTP). It seems like your attraction to him came as a bit of a surprise, so he's probably clarifying how he feels about the situation. . . regaining a sense of 'independence,' more or less. I'm sure it'll go well. :)
 

Sparrow

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lol Adymus is wrong on this one - and through the brilliant cognitive functions 100 has provided me with the information I needed to confirm this for myself. We have agreed to disagree ;)
Where is this cognitive functions 100? I'd like to type myself ;)
 

BigApplePi

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antigone.

Does he have any brothers or sisters? What about tyou?
 
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