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Some Points on Love Languages & Physical Touch

Monday December 3, 2018

While I wait for Thunderbird to synchronize 250K emails (oh dear—but I got so sick of the new GMail interface), I’ll be addressing some questions from a reader in the next few blog posts. The first question goes like this:

“Love languages. My primary love language is physical touch. Have you observed that being common among INTJs? Have you observed that INTJs stumble on it, thinking of themselves as solitary, not taking steps to get some touch in their lives?”

Yes, physical touch is a common one for INTJs due to inferior Se (extraverted sensing, the psychological function that balances out our heavy use of introverted intuition on the opposite side of things).

We’re in our heads, receiving intuition, really out of touch and not “present” and all of a sudden there’s this feeling of “I just want to hook up with everyone I see”—that’s one way an INTJ explained it to me once. And there are many ways to experience this, but overall the preference for physical touch in a romance is common for INTJs as far as I can tell.

However #1, I’ve also seen this change. Inferior Se and its needs tend to be most intense when we aren’t getting where we need to go in life, when we are really spinning our wheels. I’ve seen INTJs switch into a more capable problem-solving situation (ahem: Get coaching, it helps) and suddenly quality time is more important to them. Long walks to talk about things, one-on-one dates to go explore the community; that sort of stuff.

However #2, this can also change based on the context. Sure, maybe the INTJ wanted cuddle time before they got out of bed in the morning, but right now, right when they’re about to finish the last function on the spreadsheet, or hit Publish on the latest edition of their web comic? Ewwww, don’t touch me, it feels like I’m being assaulted!

So there’s more than enough room for nuance in this, and I think that nuance is super-important to explore. If your partner says they don’t like your preferred love language, watch for times when they actually do. Ask: Why? What’s different? Don’t force it, just observe. This can lead to relationship breakthroughs.

Good question. Next!

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