Sunday, March 07, 2010

Dangerous Women

Consider someone who has just started Internet dating. He’s been bombarded with advice: listen, don't talk at them; keep it light. Who could disagree? But an ENTP new to dating has to be careful and not just on account of his own performance - there are emotionally dangerous women out there!

The Ice Queen

It’s quite rare to meet an NT woman: most women are varying degrees of F. But sometimes you meet an extraordinarily attractive woman who’s an NT . How exhilarating is that? She’s smart, interested in ideas, intellectually honest, calm and organised. Yet somehow there’s a missing spark. How does she feel about you? It’s all rather ... dispassionate. And so somehow the magic never gels and two ships pass in the night.

The Femme Fatale

Women who are ENFPs are another rare species: I’ve met only a few in my life, most specifically two of my girlfriends back in the early seventies. For the NT male she sparkles, flirts, scintillates. She dazzles you with attention delighting in the mutual interplay of ideas. Her warmth makes you feel special, she understands you completely, reads your mind - she is your soul-mate.

Except that she’s maddeningly fickle – just when you think you’re communing she’s noticed someone over your shoulder and the beam flickers away. You wait and wait, hoping it will come back: sometimes it does but only till the next time.

The femme fatale delights and perplexes the ‘S’ individual but her true threat is to the NT who is hooked by her torrent of ideas. Drawn in and spun around, transfixed by her apparent delight in him, flattered by her teasing as he fails to keep up as she skips from topic to topic, he’s too late in understanding that the femme fatale has limited interest in any one man – being the focus of all men’s attention is so much more exciting!

My former ENFP girlfriends were joyfully willful, impossible to cage. They unwittingly pulverised me with longing and jealousy and moved on.

What works?

So here we have the Goldilocks’ conundrum: the ice queens are too cold and the femmes fatales are too hot. Is there some type of partner out there who’s just right?

The most emotionally-giving types are the SF(J)s: their emotional warmth directly projects to their partner and is not refracted through abstract causes or moral principles. But of course they’re ‘S’.

The less extraverted NFs (INFP, INFJ) are not as emotionally demonstrative as their ‘S’ sisters but are nevertheless more focused on individual relationships than the dangerous women above. So I would say to my ENTP colleague: look to these if you’re after a strong, enduring relationship.

I think he's tired of all this advice.