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ISFJ (Defender) Relationships Handbook – Compatibilities, Best Matches, Dating & Love

The focus of this article is ISFJ relationships and compatibilities, i.e., how the ISFJ personality type bonds with other people, the ISFJ advantages and flows in relationships. The Mayers-Briggs personality test (MBTI) distinguishes 16 personality types based on people’s individual dominant personality traits.

These traits determine how a person interacts within society, which factors influence his/her decision-making processes, and his/her strengths and weaknesses.

The focus of this article is ISFJ relationships and compatibilities, i.e., how the ISFJ personality type bonds with other people, the ISFJ advantages and flows in relationships.

The ISFJ personality type is someone who is introverted, observant, feeling, and judging, and this type is commonly referred to as the Defender or the Protector. Individuals with Defender personality are responsible, warm, and caring with a focus on other people’s well-being and practical details.

ISFJ Relationships Guide - Compatibilities, Best Matches & Love

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How Do ISFJs Look at Dating and Falling in Love

Among all other introverted personality types, ISFJs are the most likely to be mistaken for being extroverted. Their kind-hearted, caring nature gets them constantly involved in social settings that require assistance, care, or support.

However, this perspective drastically changes when it comes to expressing their emotions. As a matter of fact, ISFJs’ introverted trait is the most dominant when it comes to getting to know somebody or opening-up to somebody new.

This often implies the need of patience and mutual understanding from both sides. Defender personalities function the best in familiar environments, so if someone is trying to start a relationship with an ISFJ, he/she must earn their trust.

ISFJs take dating very seriously, like almost everything else in their lives. They avoid casual dating and will only engage in a relationship if they perceive the person trustworthy and see a viable potential for a long-term commitment.

ISFJs at dating look for emotional feedback and confirmation that the person feels similarly the way they do and he/she is serious about their intentions. But, the key precondition for ISFJs to start a relationship is the willingness to commit.

What makes ISFJ content and fulfilled is pleasing others and meeting their needs. When they are deeply-emotionally involved in a relationship, ISFJs dedicate themselves to their partners to a point of completely forgetting about their needs.

However, their service-oriented nature does have limits. ISFJs often seek recognition and appreciation for what they do for the others around them, including their partners.

If, however, their mates are incapable or unwilling to see and appraise ISFJs efforts, it can lead to frustration and disappointment.

Defender personalities don’t ask for an equal share of care and dedication (not many personality types can boast of having the ISFJs’ protective and caring nature).

What they do need is their partner to understand, encourage and appreciate them, spend time with them, and comprehend the ISFJs’ need for personal time to focus.

ISFJ Strengths in a Relationship

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  • Warm and friendly

People with Defender personality type are warm and affectionate when communicating with other people. They express genuine interest in other people’s wellbeing and show affection and care.


  • Service-oriented

ISFJs get energized when they can please others and make sure everyone is happy. In relationships and dating, they would mostly do whatever it takes to satisfy their partner’s needs.


  • Loyal and committed

ISFJs take their relationships very seriously and commit themselves to make sure everything works smoothly. They are faithful and loyal and seek an equal response from their partner.


  • Organizational and practical

They are excellent at running daily chores and put lots of effort to complete their daily obligations.


  • Understanding of their partner’s opinions

No matter how traditional and conservative ISFJs might be, they show understanding and openness to their partner’s attitudes and points of view, even in intense situations.


  • Take their partner into account when planning things

Since ISFJs consider their relationships very seriously, they always consider their partner’s preferences when making plans or decisions.


  • Remember details

ISFJs are detail-oriented, but when it comes to details that revolve around their partners ISFJs are extremely observant.

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ISFJ Weaknesses in a Relationship and the Implications Upon Them

  • Neglect themselves

In their constant hassle to meet somebody else’s needs, ISFJs often put themselves last on the list of priorities. If they don’t receive recognition for their dedication and loyalty, they are likely to feel bitter, cynical, and bad-tempered.


  • Conflict-avoiders

ISFJs are extremely bad at dealing with conflicts and they tend to avoid them at all costs. However, this can cost the relationship though, as not facing problems only leads to piling them up until frustration and anger settle in.


  • Hard to express their feelings

From the outside, it is very hard to notice the intensity of the emotions ISFJs hide. Their shyness often prevents their partners to comprehend the depth of their feelings, and respond adequately.

If taken lightly, ISFJs can suffer without showing emotions which can negatively impact their wellbeing.


  • Adhere to predetermined traditional roles

ISFJs tend to function in line with the traditional set of standards, clearly defined roles, and act in line with social expectations.

ISFJs Compatibilities and Best Matches for a Romantic Relationship

ISFJs Compatibilities and Best Matches for a Romantic Relationship

Taken from the MBTI perspective, each personality type has several personality types to most naturally bond with.

Natural matches usually are those that complement each other, have a deeper understanding of the other person’s personality, and can easily deal with most relationship challenges.

When it comes to ISFJs’ compatible personality types, the MBTI personality experts suggest that the best ISFJ matches are those who share the Sensing trait.

Those individuals are generally drawn to tangible and visible things, rather than abstract ideas. Individuals who have ESFJ, ISFP, or ISTJ personality types are deemed to be the best ISFJ match.

The reason for this claim is seen in the complementing functions, (introverted sensing v.s. extroverted sensing), as they could help both partners take advantage of what they lack.

Plus, these personality types highly value facts and personal experiences, which translates into more appreciation and understanding of the caring and loyal Defender personality.

Compatibility with Other Personality Types

When we singled out the best ISFJ compatibility matches, we didn’t imply that these are the only MBTI personality types good for ISFJs.

Each personality type can adapt to their mate’s personality if the individuals are mature and willing to keep the relationship healthy.

Of course, with some types, there will be more challenges, more adaptability, and more flexibility, but it can turn out to be a rewarding experience.

If ISFJs engage in a relationship with ISFJs, INFJs, or ISTJs, they are likely to support each other by sharing common values.

These personalities have lots of things in common, and it can be easy for them to understand the other person’s motives.

However, they might get too deeply overwhelmed with their personal flaws, and fail to see things from another perspective.

And, when talking about seeing things from another person’s point of view, people with ISFP, ENFJ, or ESTJ could be a good challenge for ISFJs.

These three types share some common features with ISFJs so that they can start building the base of their relationship on common grounds. Yet, their differences can offer contrasting points of view that are thought-provoking and intriguing.

ISFJ as a Parent – Parental Relationship with Their Children

ISFJs are natural parents as being caring and providing are their innate dominant features. As parents, they are loving and supportive, and give their best to make sure their children grow into independent and responsible adults.

They stick to common social norms and teach their children to follow traditional standards and norms.

INFJs consider themselves responsible for their children’s behavior, so in case their kids go astray, INFJs put the blame on themselves and believe that they failed as parents.

This is why INFJs tend to closely monitor their children’s demeanor, set well structured principles and expectations, and pose themselves as a role model.

But, they aren’t rigid or distant. On the contrary, parents with the Defender personality type show lots of love and affection, while maintaining limits and boundaries.

ISFJs’ children usually remember them as loving and warm parents who made sure they become successful and responsible adults.

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ISFJ as a Lover in a Sexual Relationship

When looking for a partner, ISFJs look for someone who sees the relationship growing in the future.

They hardly ever get satisfied with shallow connections, or even less with casual sex, only because it takes time for the Protector personality to get connected with someone new.

Their main principles in love are care and nurture, so short-term relationships don’t make any sense for them.

Sexual intimacy is very important for ISFJs as they consider it as a tangible way to deeply bond with their partner.

As in all other areas in their life, they consider themselves responsible for maintaining the flare, so they work on it as dutifully as possible.

The Protectors’ selflessness is apparent in their bedroom too. Even though sex for them is more of duty than a passionate outburst of love, ISFJs still do much more than a routine to keep their partner satisfied.

ISFJs in Friendships, What They Value, and How They Make Friends

Despite being shy and a bit withdrawn, Defenders love being around people. They get intrigued by monitoring different personalities’ interactions and reactions and love to understand people better. If you add to this their intrinsic nurturing feature, they make good friends.

Since their work is the place where they come across different personalities, they love to engage socially in such places that offer varieties and multiple human interactions. To find out more about ISFJs and the working environment, click here.

On the flip side, friendships are secondary in Defenders’ lives. Families, or God, would be their top priority. Interestingly enough, when faced with uncertainty or doubts, it is their friends they turn to, not their families.

ISFJs tend to discuss problems with their friends and consult with them before making decisions. In such cases, these are people who have been part of ISFJs life for a long time, so they are school friends or colleagues.

Anyway, for a friendship to survive, ISFJs need reciprocal effort and appreciation. This means that not many people would have the privilege to be called real ISFJs’ friends, and their inner circle of close friends is relatively small.

You have probably guessed it, those are personalities who share similar viewpoints, who dislike conflicts, and who are dedicated enough to keep the friendship alive.

ISFJ and Breakups

Romantics at heart, ISFJs are among those personality types that suffer a lot when a breakup occurs.

They usually connect with their mate with a vision to stay together forever and ever, and when this vision falls apart, they feel completely broken and devastated. It is particularly hard for ISFJs to move on as they get completely absorbed in their partner’s life.

After the breakup, ISFJs spend lots of time grieving, asking questions, and relieving everything over and over again. They often idealize their exes and feel as if they’ve lost a part of their body.

The best way to start healing is to drag themselves out in the world, among people, away from diving deeply into sadness.

When ISFJs process their feelings in discussions with the people they trust and discuss all the ups and downs. They need someone with objective reasoning to help them see the reality, not the ideal they’ve created.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What personality type is the best match for a romantic relationship with ISFJ?

The best personality match for a romantic relationship with the ISFJ personality type is someone with a dominant, extroverted sensing function. This means ISFJs match the best with ESTP or ESFP personality types.

Do ISFJ fall in love easily?

It is not common for ISFJs to easily jump into relationships, and they don’t fall in love quickly. They are very cautious when they are starting a relationship as they look for a long-term partner who has strong feelings about them.

Who are ISFJs attracted to?

ISFJs are usually attracted to people who share similar values with them and who are ready to commit to the relationship.

How do ISFJ show love?

Faithfull, loyal, and caring, ISFJ shows love by committing to their partner and making sure they are always at their disposal to meet his/her needs to a point of forgetting their own needs.

A Quick Overview of ISFJ Relationships & Compatibilities

From what we covered in this article, it is apparent that ISFJs are people with a strong sense of loyalty and belonging.

These people make excellent partners if long-term commitment and stability are what you are looking for. They are caring, affectionate, and ready to dedicate themselves to whatever it takes to make their partner happy.

However, this dedication and loyalty can sometimes be taken for granted, or not adequately appreciated. In such cases, ISFJs get frustrated, cynical, and speech-violent.

On the con side too, sticking to traditions or the stereotypical roles in the household might be an obstacle for grabbing a new opportunity or developing their potentials.

Much of that depends on differences between their identities, i.e., whether the person is an Assertive ISFJ or Turbulent ISFJ.

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