ISTP Personalities in Relationships (5 key aspects)

This blog will investigate the behaviors of ISTPs in relationships. It will further highlight what an ISTP wants and does not want in a relationship. Lately, it will discuss the weaknesses and strengths of an ISTP.

What ISTPs are like in relationships

ISTP behavior in a relationship will be discussed in terms of the following:

  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Ideal activities for dates
  • Marriage
  • Showing affection


ISTPs are very straightforward and blunt when they communicate with their partner. They rarely beat about the bush or have a hard time vocalizing what they think or feel. 

They are unfortunately not very courteous when they do so often hurting the feelings of their partners. They also get annoyed when their partners are not straightforward with them and become passive-aggressive. 

At the same time, they tend to hold back their views on things. They like to listen to other people’s views but don’t feel the need to open up about their views. 

The ISTP’s decision-making process is very autonomous, so they rarely ask for guidance or let their partner know what they are planning to do. 

Being the introvert that they are, they tend to not speak much or make great efforts to create a conversation with people. 

In the early stages of dating, the ISTP is terrible at replying to texts on time and does not like long phone calls. This is mainly because they dislike idle chit-chat, gossip, small talk, and other conversations discussing irrelevant things.

Additionally, they are not very eloquent or verbally expressive with their feelings of love and affection and their partners often complain about their inability to give words of affirmation. 

Conflict resolution

ISTPs are naturally great problem solvers and can work well under pressure and in emergencies especially when others are overwhelmed. 

But when it comes to disagreements and couple fights they are not as graceful as they are when dealing with crises. This is because they don’t have a desire to discuss emotional processes or negotiations about who is right or wrong. 

During an argument, they will be very blunt and straightforward keeping their speaking points short and concise. They remain unfazed by emotional outbursts but they often get annoyed and may even end a relationship if their partner is too dramatic.

Ideal activities for dates

ISTPs love activities that make them work with their hands. They enjoy showing affection by fixing items around the house, helping out with chores, and building or crafting useful projects. 

The kind of dates they enjoy includes crafting something useful together, mountain biking, rock climbing, bungee jumping, snorkeling, or seeing an interactive show or class like comedy, welding, or woodworking. 

They may, however, want to consider some activities that their partners may like.


Most ISTPs do not have marriage at the top of their to-do list. This is because getting married may entail that the ISTP relinquishes some of their freedom and autonomy. 

Commitment is not a problem but the ISTP cannot seem to stick to one thing or person for a long time because they crave change all the time.

Showing affection

ISTPs are not very good at verbally expressing their love for people but they do it through actions. As partners, they love to seek out new experiences, especially hands-on activities and enjoy doing so with their partners. 

They will show affection by helping out around the house with chores and fixing things. They show affection by physical touch and purchasing material things for their partner.

What ISTPs want in a relationship

To be happy, comfortable, and stay committed in a romantic relationship the ISTP usually desires the following conditions:

  • They desire relationships with people who indulge in a variety of activities and events. Therefore, the relationship must be full of new experiences so that they do not get bored or lose interest.
  • ISTPs desire a relationship with a person who understands their impulsive nature. A person who can match that energy by equally being spontaneous is ideal for them.
  • ISTPs seek independence as they embark on various personal projects and live by their own rules. Therefore, a partner who does not mind this about them would be ideal.
  • ISTPs are the type to want to be alone even when they have someone by their side because they are introverts.

What ISTPs do not want in a relationship

ISTPs do not want the following things in a relationship:

  • They do not want a dramatic and overly emotional partner. They prefer a relationship that is peaceful and easy to manage minus so much drama and problems.
  • They do not like clingy partners who will follow them everywhere and stick to them like glue. They want their space and independence.
  • They do not like routine-oriented relationships in which they are always doing the same things and going to the same places. 
  • They do not like relationships that are very demanding of their time and energy. They are people who are constantly preoccupied with their business and they don’t want to get overly involved in such things.

The strengths and weaknesses of an ISTP

Like any other personality, ISTPs possess both strengths and weaknesses which will be discussed in this section.

The weaknesses of an ISTP:

  • ISTPs are not interested in theories or concepts largely because they lack practical application and cannot be proved or verified as fact.
  • ISTPs are fiercely independent which impedes their ability to work with and rely on others in the work setting.
  • An ISTP desires to make their own decisions about their next step without little or no external influence.
  • The typical ISTP has low compliance to rules and regulations, as this gets in the way of their ability to do whatever they want.
  • ISTPs pay no attention to their feelings and the feelings of others. They doubt the credibility of emotions, distrust them and ignore them and value logic.  This makes them very inconsiderate of their partners as they cannot properly empathize with others.
  • ISTPs are prone to becoming bored and uninterested very quickly if they keep doing the same thing.
  • ISTPs are introverts so they spend a lot of time alone and don’t enjoy social activities and being in crowds. Dinner dates and couple events may prove to be draining and tedious which can negatively impact the chances of their relationship flourishing.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

The strengths of an ISTP:

  • ISTPs have a compelling drive to understand the way things work. They like to take things apart and see the way they work.
  • They’re good at logical analysis, solving practical problems and concerns. They are graced with a strong ability of reasoning
  • ISTPs have a daring spirit and embrace challenges. They are attracted to adrenaline spiking activities such as skydiving, surfing, bungee jumping, white water rafting, and motor car drifting, etc.
  • They are usually fearless and can be useful in carrying the more challenging tasks. 
  • Though they are rebels at heart, ISTPs are compliant to their causes and beliefs and will not stray from their principles. 
  • ISTPS are strong advocates for fair treatment and equality for all people. This is as a result of their objectivity and so they tend to hold no prejudices against any people. They can easily thrive in a work environment with diverse cultures and races with no problems.
  • ISTPs are extremely loyal and protective of those they love and cherish.
  • ISTPs are adaptable and spontaneous, they respond to what is immediately before them. 
  • They usually have strong technical skills and can be effective technical leaders. 


This blog investigated the behaviors of ISTPs in relationships. It further highlighted what an ISTP wants and does not want in a relationship. Lately, it has discussed the weaknesses and strengths of an ISTP.

ISTP behavior in a relationship was discussed in terms of the following:

  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Ideal activities for dates
  • Marriage
  • Showing affection

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions: ISTP Personalities in Relationships.

How does an ISTP show love?

ISTPs feel most loved when their partners compliment them on their ability to solve problems quickly, practically, and creatively with the limited available resources in hand. They also enjoy having their crafts or handiworks complimented and appreciated by their partners.

What are ISTPs attracted to?

ISTPs are attracted to people who are confident and comfortable in their skin. Someone confident and in control of their emotions is extremely attractive for the ISTP. They are also drawn to originality, sincerity, and people who are forthcoming about what they want.

Are ISTPs cool?

Yes, ISTPs are considered to be the coolest. They have a calm and collected disposition, but they also have a spontaneous side which people like and makes them cool and fun.

Are ISTPs dominant?

No, ISTPs usually mind their own business and have no interest in controlling others as they are usually preoccupied with their business. 

Can I be both ISTP and INTP?

No, it is not possible to be both simultaneously.

Are ISTPs talkative?

No, ISTPs are silent and do not like socializing and speaking unnecessarily.


‘ISTP: the logical pragmatist’, (2021)   Retrieved from

Leslie Francis & Susan Jones, (2000), ‘Psychological Type and Happiness: A Study among Adult Churchgoers’, Journal of Psychological Type, Vol 54, pp36-41. PDF

Richard Bentall, (2003), Madness Explained: psychosis and human nature, Penguin, London. PDF

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