The short answer is of course it does, at least by the commonly accepted definition of a commitment phobic. For those who don’t know what I am talking about the INTJ refers to my personality type according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The first time I took a personality test and read what this profile meant I was amazed. It was a description of me!
Basically it means I think too much and accept nothing at face value. Something has to hold up under my own scrutiny meaning mainly it has to seem logical or reasonable to me. It is not something I learned how to do. I have been that way from the time I was a small child. Probably most with an INTJ personality have directed their talents towards something useful like scientific research but I have always been more intrigued by philosophical and psychological puzzles.
Luckily I got married when I was young and before I started thinking too much about relationships. The extent of my analysis at that time was that I was in love and marriage and family should follow. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was only after the abrupt jolt of a divorce and a difficult post divorce relationship that I began to realize that relationships were almost a puzzle that could not be solved. That was the spark that started my inquiry that once started could not be stopped. Although I like who I am I also often think of it as a curse.
The first thing I began to wonder about was the definition of love. We generally only get in relationships with those we love so what is it then? Relationship love is for sure different than the love towards my children. I will always love my children unconditionally and forever. Although we like to think of relationship love as enduring it is unfortunately very conditional on getting our needs met and can very quickly turn to hate as evidenced by what happens in the divorce process.
It seems like relationship love is mostly an evolutionary response to a need to propagate the species. That is what gets us together and then cultural and religious forces take over moving us towards the institution of marriage. Okay that made some sense to me and although in many books they say that being in a mature love is a general feeling of being in comfortable relationship that does not seem to be what most people are looking for in a relationship. Most seem to be looking for that spark that tells them this is the one! This is the person that will complete me because although the relationship books also say that you should be happy and in love with yourself before seeking a relationship I have known very few people like that. Most of us seem to have a sort of underlying drive, and in some desperation, to find the right one which many think of as a soul mate.
Well of course I needed to understand more about that drive and that is when I was introduced to the concept of codependency. To be honest I have never fully understood any definition of codependency that I have read but the concept that we have unfinished business from our childhood makes sense to me.
So now I know too much. This love thing is either some evolutionary response or some drive to complete unfinished business. I don’t know if I could ever be in love again without analyzing what is truly going on. This is the curse part about being an INTJ. I have also developed certain truths that seem to stick. One is that I never want to be trapped in a marriage if the relationship fails. Another is that marriage has become more of a legal contract with all kinds of mainly hidden provisions that has nothing to do with a successful relationship. A third is that if half of all marriages fail so we need to be open to different approaches.
So that is where my personality has taken me. Now that I have gone down that path it becomes difficult to make many bold moves as it relates to relationships. I am either a commitment phobic like society says or I am just being logical. I don’t know. Maybe I need to think about it some more.