Contrary to popular belief, ISTJs are deeply emotional creatures. We’re just super selective about who and what we choose to care about. We’re practical, fact-driven Deciders of Things, and that makes us emotionally conservative.(What’s your personality type? Take a free personality assessment.)
Eventually, we may become invested enough in not being alone forever to learn new ways of doing things. Until then, we’ll continue to approach relationships with the same practicality we bring to any other project. This gives insight into our ISTJ brains: Until you are our person, you’re our project.
From the goodness of my heart (and in the hopes that my current crush will somehow stumble upon this article), I’ve compiled a list of six things that happen when an ISTJ falls for you.
What Happens When an ISTJ Likes You
1. We obsessively hunt for details about you.
In the preliminary stages, ISTJs take comfort in amassing information. It makes us feel like we’re in control of the situation.
If we’ve started to fall for someone we know, it’s usually at least in part due to the information we’ve organically come across.
If you are a new stimulus in our existing environment, we will prioritize evaluating your behaviors from afar and craftily devise ways to interact with you directly — but probably for no longer than five minutes at a time. There is likely a checklist of things we feel the need to find out. These bits of information may include employment status and earning potential, special talents or common interests, alma mater, birth order, the make and model of your car, etc. If we’re into Myers-Briggs personality types, we will type you and scour personality forums. If we’re into astrology, we will find out your birthday and devour questionable information.
The challenge here is our aversion to social media. I personally have not had a voluntary Facebook profile since my sophomore year of college, and I deleted the account my previous employer forced upon me before I received my final paycheck.
Nonetheless, ISTJs are experts at discovering the goods from the not-so-hidden crannies of the World Wide Web. If nothing else, we will kick it old-school and anxiously wait for you to casually come up in conversation with common acquaintances. We’re also not above bogus online profiles. Just sayin’.
2. We evaluate whether or not you fit with our long-established values.
We have to be able to see ourselves introducing you to our friends and family with as little awkwardness as possible, posing together in holiday photos that don’t make other people scratch their heads, and interacting with you comfortably in public.
The reason for this is our pragmatic loyalty and need for longevity. We’re not here for short-term experiences or seasonal relationships. We just want the one person whose shenanigans we can tolerate, and whose company we prefer to our own.
But you have to fit in with our well-established norms. Our lives are likely built on a few solid pillars of die-hard values and commitments, and we’ve probably long determined our vibe. We’ll ask ourselves if we’re the kind of person who would be with a person like you. Too much incongruence between lifestyles or morality will render you disqualified and cause us to move on.
Okay, so it’s not all logic. You have to be attractive from at least six different angles. We are sensors, after all.
3. We decide to be in love with you.
If our interest in you survives our intense internal analysis, we’ve probably already determined to marry you, should the opportunity present itself. Any other outcome wouldn’t really be worth the effort.
Like our other judging brethren, ISTJs are fiercely loyal. Deciding to be interested in you feels like a commitment to us, and may even mean that someone else got vetoed. So we basically have to believe that there is at least a 63 percent chance that this relationship will only end in death. Logic prevails over feelings of love with very few exceptions.
4. We send mixed signals.
During the time of our deliberation, we may or may not exhibit the following behaviors:
- Avoiding you. This could range from full-on panic and running in the opposite direction to seeming overly busy or preoccupied when you try to talk to us.
- Prolonged eye contact to suss out the vibes (and because we probably read somewhere that we’re supposed to).
- Saying hi to a mutual acquaintance you’re talking to while just barely acknowledging your presence.
- Cornering you for slightly scripted conversation.
- Making light jokes at your expense.
- Complimenting you to other people (in your absence) to see if they offer any additional information.
Generally speaking, I will dismiss any signs of interest (which I have researched on the internet) as you just being friendly and polite. I tend to be attracted to people who are friendlier than me, so this is often a logical conclusion.
5. We hide our interest until we have a solid plan.
Once an ISTJ decides to be in love with you, we will begin to endure the introverted agony of longing for a relationship without the awkwardness of transitions. This usually results in one of two possible outcomes:
- If you catch us in a feisty mood, we will straight up tell you how we feel… if only to alleviate the chaos of secret infatuation.
- Our procrastination kicks in and we suffer the paralysis of analysis while hoping that you pick up on our extremely subtle cues. Cues include intentional eye contact and/or initiating small talk.
When it comes to romantic interests, I am typically in love or indifferent. Aside from you discovering my interest before I develop a game plan, the biggest threat of mortification is someone else noticing my prolonged eye contact or the fact that I found seventeen reasons to walk past you in a span of ten minutes. I become hyper-aware of who else is around and often end up sabotaging myself (see #4).
6. We may be overly direct.
Subtleties are not our strong suit. Given enough time, our own inability to function in the face of such pressing emotional ambiguity may cause regrettable effusions. In other words, we might come on strong with a passionate confession of our feelings for you, and it will probably seem out of the blue.
If an ISTJ finds herself or himself at the mercy of your reaction, please be casual and direct. Either way, we’ll pretend that the conversation never happened (see #4). Emails and text messages are accepted.