I’m sure I miss you too anon but your anonymity is confuddling me. :)
In short, yes, dating an INTJ can be hard for an ENFP!
Equally, I think dating and learning to be vulnerable with anyone in general can often be difficult for an INTJ.
INTJ/ENFP in general
I would love to offer profound academic insights, but in reality, ENFP/INTJ relationships often resemble dog/cat relationships.
How did it work?
It was a slow grower. We had known each other for a few years through my ex-boyfriend. I was probably too bubbly and outgoing for him to realise that I was actually intelligent. I thought he was aloof and possibly arrogant. He randomly told me me one evening a few years into our friendship that he thought I was very bossy when he first encountered me! I was also convinced he did not enjoy my company until the latter stages of our friendship. We have entirely different backgrounds, both career, education and socially. On the plus side our brains connected and our different backgrounds mean we are not competitive with each other (well not so often)! We had a mutual interest in internet memes, debates, random online documentaries and conversations. I really admired how he could discuss something without slipping into anger or intense emotions to make an argument.The more we talked the more he would reveal more personal thoughts, emotions and insights into his life and I felt a lot closer to him.
When I ended the relationship with my ex he stayed in touch, and when it felt appropriate, we started talking about the possibility of meeting up as something other then just friends. So, no fireworks or explosions! It was a relationship built on mutual interest, respect, shared values and goals and a love of animal memes.
How do we make it work?
It works because we both want to make it work. We both share the same values and goals in life and we are willing to be vulnerable and communicate (or try to). Our relationship has never been perfect and we have navigated road bumps but, as time goes on, we’re closer than ever.
I believe what holds the INTJ/ENFP relationship together at the beginning is often the ENFP’s ability to communicate and extract crucial information from the INTJ while waiting for the INTJ to take down his wall of stubbornness. I definitely felt exhausted in the beginning working as the ‘translator’. It took a lot of time to understand what made my INTJ happy inter-personally. I don’t think he had ever thought about it. He just assumed I’d somehow fit into his life without annoying him. Oh the delusion! Then when he was sitting in front of me and I was having one of my emotional and existential ponderings out loud I could just see him get overwhelmed. In the same way I was totally unprepared to date someone who, when stressed and vulnerable, simply shut down and pushed everyone away without the ability to communicate what he was doing or what he wanted. So translator ENFP worked full time for a few months.
The biggest thing I have learned with my INTJ is to give him space when he asks for it and even actively encourage him to take time to himself if I think it might help him. When an INTJ is overwhelmed I don’t think they are able to identify what emotions are overwhelming them. You need to understand an ENFP is programmed to talk everything out. Every tiny thing can be reflected on out loud and resolved. An ENFP might try to sit down and overwhelmed INTJ and analyse possible emotions and ‘help’ but this can cause the INTJ to shut down even more and even push the ENFP away. Then the INTJ will indirectly associate their feelings of being overwhelmed with the presence of the misguided ENFP and then it just goes into a spiral of miscommunication. My INTJ seems to process his thoughts better alone (usually on the internet or gaming) and he returns to me like a different person with a clear head. Every time he takes time by himself to more confident I grow that my therapeutic skills are not needed and, to be honest, that’s a refreshing break.
The biggest change I have seen in my INTJ in the process of making our relationship work is that he is more willing to be vulnerable in front of me. It took him a long long long time to understand that, by exposing things that trouble him about himself, we are actually brought closer together. To be honest, I only achieved this when I located an academic article which proves that women are evolutionary primed to be more sexually attracted to men who have the ability to be vulnerable in front of them (so true!). Being vulnerable means you are exposing that deep down you have fears, shame and memories. Being vulnerable is owning up to a mistake and seeking help rather than running away from it. It is showing you have insight into your own behaviour whilst also allowing someone connect to you on a personal level of trust that you would to no other. Learning to be vulnerable and intimate is the key to enjoying sex and having a love that goes beyond a casual fling. It’s saying ‘I’m really not perfect’ and the other person saying ‘i accept all of you and I love you’.
Absolutely nobody walking this earth is ‘undateable’. I prefer to see that comment as a real positive sign that you would like to date or be in a relationship with someone and you are evaluating your own behaviour. Maybe you are recognising that you have some interpersonal skills or habits that might make it difficult for people to be in a relationship with. The sheer fact that you have such an insight probably puts you ahead of 50% of the dating market already!