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How to Date an ENFP: Attraction and Compatibility

Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.

If you're crushing on an ENFP, prepare for a creative, open-minded, family-loving partner.

If you're crushing on an ENFP, prepare for a creative, open-minded, family-loving partner.

So You've Fallen in Love With an ENFP

The ENFP is the champion and is loved by many. If you're not familiar with Myers-Briggs personality testing, the ENFP is one of 16 personalities with preferences in extroversion, intuition, feeling, and perceiving.

In romance, the ENFP is fairly open about letting people know how they feel. They aren't as mysterious or complicated as, say, an INTJ or an INFJ. Neither of those personalities are jerks, but they see things on a level of introverted intuition that others don't—and, frankly, the INTJ and INFJ are confused by the things other people fail to see.

The ENFP, on the other hand, has extroverted intuition, so they're not filtering as much about their romantic interests. And the ENFP, lo and behold, is often taken by the quiet INTJ and INFJ. In fact, they crave finding partners of these types because together they make an ice cream sundae.

Advice on Attracting and Dating an ENFP

  1. Give Them Affection
  2. Be Gentle With Criticism
  3. Be Loyal
  4. Be Open-Minded
  5. Love Their Family and Friends
  6. Be Creative

1. Give Them Affection

If you want to date an ENFP, keep in mind that you need to be willing to devote a lot of attention to the person. Honestly, you should be devoting attention to any romantic partner. The ENFP loves affirmation almost as much as it loves to give affection to you. Give the ENFP lots of:

  • Compliments
  • Hugs
  • Smiles
  • Laughs
  • Hand-Holding
  • Jokes
  • Brain Cells
  • Unusual Gifts
  • Time

The ENFP desires to see you come out of their shell. They're gaging how well you come out of your shell around them. If they like what they see, they'll keep drawing you out — and likely they'll blurt out how much they like you. They are not drawn to boring situations (or people). Instead, they need stimulation and spontaneity. If that scares you, then look another direction. The ENFP can't be tied down to something too calculated and structured. They desire the world to be more open, free-flowing, and bright.

ENFPs love to explore the world and ideas. They want bright and happy surroundings.

ENFPs love to explore the world and ideas. They want bright and happy surroundings.

2. Be Gentle With Criticism

Be sensitive when giving an ENFP criticism. If you're really talented, you'll tell them what's bugging you without it coming off as criticism. The whole NF family is terrible at criticism. They think about it more conscientiously than most. The ENFP and INFJ have super strong desires to get things right. They're perfectionists . . . and people pleasers. In time, they may improve on this aspect of themselves and be more cool about it. But in the meantime, don't come down too hard on your ENFP.

Give them as much encouragement as possible. Lead them gently through trouble. If you cloud them up with too much criticism, they'll turn so far inward that you won't be able to reach them. Think of the movie Inception. If you stay in the lucid state for too long and too deep, you get stuck there.

3. Be Loyal

An ENFP does eventually want to settle down with a family and a hot spouse. The ENFP may come off as the king or queen of flirts — and in fact, they are. But they're loyal to the core. They're like golden retrievers who want to play with everybody, but have a deep connection with their family. An ENFP does not want to stray, and cheating on their spouse is upsetting to them and the family structure they want to build. The idea of hurting their spouse is painful to them. Any personality can cheat, but the NF crew struggles with the concept.

So with that — the ENFP can be smothering. If you don't want high intensity romance or intimacy, or are constantly wondering who you are and why you tick the way you do, then don't tease the ENFP. They're designed for people and a romantic relationship is one of their biggest life goals. Their highly imaginative and highly romantic needs are best suited (in my opinion) with the INFJ who also struggles with the same energy, but inwardly.

4. Be Open-Minded

An ENFP wants to explore every possible idea that comes to their brain. Don't shut them down if they're being too religious, too conservative, too weird, too liberal, too funny, too whatever. Encourage them to express what they've found. They're dying for an audience because they have a lot they want to express. If you close them down, they'll start to wonder if maybe they should be spending time with someone else.

They really like to spend time all over the place, be meeting new people, learning new subjects, and questioning some of the weirder aspects of life. If you know anything strange, new age, or avant garde — they'll probably at least enjoy hearing about it if not experimenting with the idea.

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Not only do ENFPs love to explore the world and go on adventure hikes, they like to do it with others. They love to be around people.

Not only do ENFPs love to explore the world and go on adventure hikes, they like to do it with others. They love to be around people.

5. Love Their Family and Friends

They want to introduce you to lots and lots of people. Show genuine interest and kindness to all. You may be meeting people from all walks of life, and if that sounds intimidating, it probably will be. They expect you to mingle with their friends, treat them with respect, and get along with their family — especially the younger ones. If they have a younger sibling, treat them like they are a prince or princess.

The ENFP has a soft spot for children. Knowing that you care about the next generation who will inherit the earth impresses the ENFP. They want to know that you can take care of the kiddos, even if you're not going to have them yourself. The ENFP has a childlike spirit and desires to mentor and take care of the younger ones. Hanging out with the kiddos is fun for them, and they like how spontaneous and free-thinking kids are.

If you want to impress an ENFP, hang out with them like you would have with someone at recess. Show them that you're still in touch with your inner child. Don't be afraid to play four square or climb some monkey bars.

6. Be Creative

If using your imagination makes you uncomfortable, dating an ENFP will only make things worse. With an ENFP, you'll be using your entire brain, going from poop jokes to the most philosophically deep planes of reality that you can find. If you're not a connoisseur of words and jumping from conversation to conversation, this might not be the match for you.

But if you're someone who can jump between conversations like a wizard and it doesn't matter whether you're talking about unicorns, Bill Clinton, anthropology, and the Eucharist, then you'll probably be okay. Now, take all those conversations and throw in making muffins, dancing, running around like children, and painting in the mix and you pretty much have what it's like to date an ENFP. Your mouth and ears will be running, and so will your imagination.

Where Can I Find an ENFP?

ENFPs are all over the place. I wouldn't say they're the most common personality type. There are more ENFPs than the rest of the NF family, but honestly the world is dominated by "S" sensing personalities. ENFPs love creativity, religion, spirituality, art, people, ideas, and knowledge.

You'll find them in a number of places like: universities, writing workshops, dances, churches, hippie retreats, music festivals, theaters, museums, pottery classes, improv classes, comedy shows, and free food outings. ENFP likes to be with people and may have loads of people around them.

Don't despair if you're shy. If the ENFP notices you, they'll probably talk to you. They have a desire for people to be included. An ENFP may struggle with shyness too because of their more introverted qualities that put them in an introspective spin from time to time. Those functions are their introverted feeling and introverted sensing. They're dominated by extroverted intuition, but all personalities have some degree of extroversion and introversion. No one is 100% one way or the other.

Questions & Answers

Question: You said above if you criticize an ENFP, they will disappear inward and may never come out again. Any tips of remedying this?

Answer: 1. Be positive and reassuring.

2. Think before you speak.

3. Know that trust takes time.

4. Don't pry too much. Try creating a fun atmosphere.

5. Give genuine compliments, praise, gifts. Show you understand them. They feel misunderstood. Be open to communication.

6. Be supportive.

7. Take them out to do their favorite thing.

© 2015 Andrea Lawrence

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