Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Love, you just KNOW it

I read a question on an MBTI forum the other day.  It was from a guy and he said he was an ISTJ.  He asked how you know when you're in love.  His question was flooded with responses from all the personality types out there and the most common answer was, "When you are in love, you just KNOW it."

I listened to a radio show on a christian radio station last night, as I was driving to my small group bible study.  It was about parenting your adult daughter and how to deal with her strong feelings of love and desire to marry whomever she has these feelings for because, "When you are in love, you just KNOW it."

I remembered a day, 23 years ago, I was having a conversation with my brother.  He was about to be married and I wasn't going to be able to attend his wedding.  I was ill with Bell's Palsy and I lived 2000 miles away from where the wedding was to be held.  I told him I may be able to get myself to Chicago to attend the wedding, but I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't guarantee I would feel well enough to leave my hotel room to attend the wedding once I was there.  I told him I would have plenty of opportunities to spend time with his new bride and get to know her.  My brother was upset about this and said, "Oh HappyGirl, you just don't know what it is like to be in love."

When I read the question from the ISTJ young man questioning the status of his relationship, I understood him completely.  Not all of us just KNOW when we are in love.  Not all of us are overwhelmed by intense feelings of love.  I know when I met my husband and was involved in a relationship with him, I kept waiting for the feelings that would let me know I was in love with him.  I wondered what they would feel like.  I liked my husband, a lot.  I looked forward to his calls and talking to him on the phone about nothing, really.  I looked forward to my trips to Jacksonville, FL to visit him and I looked forward to his visits to Chicago.  I remember thinking to myself, before my husband asked me to marry him, that this guy would be a good guy to be married to.  I thought we could have a good life together.  I thought we had a lot in common, but enough differences to keep life interesting.  Is this what "being in love" feels like?  I didn't know.

I've always wondered about the feelings of love.  I love my parents.  I've listened to people who have lost their mother or father and they are devastated.  I wonder, to myself, will I be devastated at the loss of my mother?  I talk to her on the phone, every day.  Will I be grief stricken because I love them so much?  If I'm not grief stricken, will that mean I didn't love them that much?

ISTJ's as loversISTJs are committed, loyal partners, who will put forth tremendous amounts of effort into making their relationships work. Once they have made a commitment to a relationship, they will stick with it until the end. They gladly accept their duty towards fulfilling their role in the relationship. ISTJs are generally willing and able to do anything which they have defined as a goal. So, if maintaining a good relationship is important to the ISTJ, they are likely to have a good relationship. If they have not added this goal to their internal "list" of duties, they are likely to approach the relationship in their "natural" state, which is extremely practical, traditional, and structured.

This is how I love.  I have to say, on paper, this looks pretty boring.  I love in a practical, traditional, and structured way.  I wanted to answer the ISTJ guy's question and tell him he is in love if he decides he's in love.  When he decides he's in love, he will just know it, because he's made the decision.  I wanted to tell the mom that her daughter sounds like a feeler and feelers do things with no contextual basis.  They just DO stuff.  I wanted to tell my brother, 23 years ago, that I DO know what it's like to be in love.  I am in love with my husband.  I had been married to my husband for seven years and we had a two year old son.  I knew what love was.  I was living it.  I'm lucky, I'm married to an ISTJ, so neither of us expect any great outbursts of feeling, happy or sad.  We adore doing things we have asked each other to do.  We don't mind if there is no big surprise or outpouring of emotion.  In fact, that would probably make both of us pretty uncomfortable.

So, you will never see my fb status say, "I wish my husband didn't have to go to work, EVER!"  I don't get jealous and I'm not clingy.  In fact, I wonder if he wonders the same things I wonder, like, "what does he see in me?" and "what does he love about me?"  Maybe we all, secretly, wonder this sort of thing.

Counting my gratitudes every day
374.  Being accepted for who I am
375.  Being understood for how I am
376.  Being loved for just being me
377.  Knowing Jesus is the same MBTI type as me
378.  Knowing my feelings are there, I just don't have to let everyone know about them


  1. so in the end either way you will know it when you are in love...smiles...love is different for each of us...to me love makes little sense, but all the sense in the world...smiles.

  2. I was riveted, reading this. I am an ENFJ. Proud to be the same personality type as Oprah. I don't know if Jesus is an ISTJ, but I do know that 1) He's more consistent and in control than I but 2) still able to understand me, completely. It's exhausting to be a feeler. I feel generally like a bundle of exposed nerves, also like I have no control over how things affect me (how I respond, yes, but not over how I feel). I think it must be very nice to have your sense of control and even detachment, but I am convinced: a person is who (s)he is and can't choose new wiring.

  3.  Did your brother's relationship survive all these 23 years?

  4.  And we need it almost as much as we need air to breath.

  5. Yes, and they have 3 beautiful children.  He is the luckiest man in the world.

  6. Nice that you have that kind of love with your husband.

  7. very interesting post--thought provoking!

  8. I've had problems with this love thing in the past.  Apparently I'm not loving enough because I am not that romantic, I don't care about sappy feelings.  I'm sure as an ISTJ you know that loyalty and over-time proof of love is more valuable than words.  I don't care if you say it, I wanna see it.  What will you do to prove it?  I think this is why in previous relationships my partners would go crazy for me because I didn't really care all that much and men love the chase.  I cared and loved but in the most reserved fashion I guess and it drove them crazy.  I've been stalked twice.  Luckily for ISTJ's, the bible says we women are to respect our husbands.  This is perfect for us!

  9. "377. Knowing Jesus is the same MBTI type as me"
    Really? I'd love to see you prove that.


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