We explore an ESTJ – ISFJ relationship with Steve and Steph from Scotland. Steph, an ISFJ who is 28, and Steve, an ESTJ who is 31, met in 2014. Steph is Canadian and moved to Edinburgh for a Masters university program. Steve had also just moved to the same city with his job. In this interview, they talk about the Law of Attraction, the many things they admire about each other and their ‘non-honeymoon’.
How the ESTJ – ISFJ relationship started
Both Steph and Steve had become disillusioned with the dating scene. “I had not been meeting good matches over the year and I had some girlfriends over,” says Steph. “They said, ‘Look, just sign up to an online portal. We’ll help you through this.’”
Steph had made a rule to herself to set specific times to engage with the app because she was busy studying. She decided to only check messages that came through to her but broke that rule just once…when she spotted Steve on the app.
“I just felt this visceral reaction to Steve’s profile,” says Steph. “I had to reach out to this guy…just the way his profile jumped out. It was really unique and just the sort of language with which he spoke. It was really clever. They were song lyrics and I didn’t realize that. Just the way he conveyed how confident he was without being cocky.”
Steph could tell by his language that he was family-oriented and interested in a serious relationship.
Steph replied to Steve with a to-the-point message. “She said ‘Hey, just wanted to see if you’ve answered the chat. If you don’t, don’t worry about it. I’m sure you’ll meet somebody else,’” says Steve. “She gave me the option of engaging in the conversation and wished me luck if I didn’t want to.” His immediate reaction was: “Why would I not? Look at her photos! She’s beautiful.
The ESTJ – ISFJ first date
This all happened within the first two weeks of them both signing up to a dating app.
They both describe their first date as “epic”. They met at a beautiful, traditional whiskey bar called Devil’s Advocate in Edinburgh, tucked away down one of the small alleys.
Steph was late, which she claims was on purpose but Steve is sure she also got lost.
“I was sitting there feeling nervous and then I saw her coming through the door,” says Steve. “My first impression was like, ‘Holy shit. Her photos just didn’t do her justice.’ So my nervous level went from being like five or six to like 10 almost immediately.”
However, it took only minutes before they relaxed. “We found ourselves in our own little bubble and the restaurant kind of disappeared around us,” says Steve. “For the rest of the night it was just us.” Steph remembers it well too. “A complete flow state. Just immersed,” she adds.
“We didn’t want it to end, but the place was closing, so we beelined and went to a jazz bar,” says Steve. “We sort of had two dates in one night and we did drink roulette in the jazz bar.”
The ESTJ – ISFJ instant chemistry
Steve then walked Steph almost home, so as not to seem too forward and felt like the date was all a dream. “I remember walking about 20 paces after saying goodbye and just stopping,” says Steve. “We were in a place called The Meadows, like a big field and I looked up at the sky. There were beautiful stars out. And I went, ‘Did that just happen?’”
It wasn’t until they got engaged that Steve realized there’s another part to this story. Steph’s reaction that night.
“After he left me at the T in the road, I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” says Steph. “I remember getting back to my flat and, fortunately, I have a really good relationship with both parents and they knew I’d been out on a date. So I immediately sent them a message that said, ‘I think I just met my future husband.’ I just…I knew. For years, some people would say, ‘Oh, you’ll know when you know,’ and I’d roll my eyes at them, but this was very much a case.”
The ESTJ – ISFJ dramatic second date
The second date was three or four days later. They didn’t hang around. However, that occasion nearly scuppered this relationship for good.
Steph had been hanging out with her mates in the sun all day and they met after work. However, little did Steve know at the time, that Steph had heatstroke.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a date with somebody with heatstroke,” says Steve. “It feels a bit like being on a date with somebody who’s not having very much fun. Steph’s energy was all off. I thought I’d messed it up somehow.”
Afterwards, Steve thought it best to give Steph a couple of days to reply and she was doing the same. “We didn’t do much in the way of playing the game when first got together but that was the closest,” says Steve. “After a couple of days I thought, ‘right, I’m going to message her,’ and the speed that her reply came back, I knew that I was totally okay. And it has been solid ever since.”
ESTJ – ISFJ relationship shared values
Their similar attitude to life and values has been a huge part of the mutual attraction.
“Physically there was an immediate attraction there,” says Steph. “But it was more…just an energy. When I hugged him, I felt like I was home. It was very clear from the get-go that we shared similar values.”
“I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Law of Attraction?” says Steve, referring to the well-known philosophy. “Within two weeks of meeting Steph, my business partner Michael said: ‘What you need to do is write a comprehensive list describing the person that you want to meet.’ I wrote three or four pages of describing my ideal partner and the person I wanted to attract.”
Strangely, just before they met, Steph had created a similar list.
“My parents had come to visit in March and Steve and I met in June just after,” says Steph. “In Fairy Glen, just off the Isle of Skye, there’s this place where you can make a wish. My parents and I visited there and my wish was to attract my future husband. Between that happening and us meeting, Steve had made his list. I am a scientist by training, but there was very much a spiritual element.”
Even on their first date they discussed this philosophy. “During the date, one of us (I forget who) mentioned the Law of Attraction and both of us just lost it,” says Steve. “We were totally freaking out.”
Steve even had a vision board of the things he wanted to manifest as the screensaver on his phone. “It was just uncanny,” says Steve. “Just going through the exercise and then meeting Steph.”
The ESTJ – ISFJ special connection
While the Law of Attraction was one of the hot topics of discussion on their first date, they got in to deep discussions on other subjects too. “We were delving into what we do professionally and what we want to aspire to,” says Steph. “We’re both quite motivated in both of those areas.”
Steph was new to the UK at that time and Steve was new to Edinburgh. “A lot of the conversation focused on similar upbringings in the sense that I grew up on a farm and Steve grew up on similar…well, not a farm, but with sort of gatekeeping, hunting, fisheries and things,” explains Steph. “We were both the kid that woke up really early to do to the chores and we had very similar family values.”
It then didn’t take long for them both to consider themselves a couple. In fact, they both agree that from the first date, even though it was not voiced, they felt this was the case. “It didn’t need to be verbally defined, I guess,” says Steph.
Myers & Briggs personality types
However, discovering their personality types did cement their great relationship by making each of them aware of the other’s strengths and weaknesses.
“We did them [the personality tests] independently then I did the test for Steve, he did it for me and we got the same [results] as well,” says Steph. “I thought that was really interesting. As we were reading the text, we were like, ‘Yes, yes, you are family-orientated.’ Also, the strengths and weaknesses really spoke to our personalities.”
Steph and Steve have now been together for six years and married for three years, but they have definitely not run out of conversation. “We are really starting to invest in, and direct, mostly what we talk about to around the future,” says Steph. “We hope to have a family and, in order to do that, we’re thinking about building an extension on our property. We’ve been dreaming and scheming.”
Steph admits they are quite goal-oriented and focused on supporting each other’s goals as well.
Why the ESTJ – ISFJ relationship works so well
When asked what they like about each other’s personalities, Steph does not hesitate. “I really noticed early on just how positive Steve is but also how much he just gets on with things,” says Steph. “He might be complaining in his head, but he’s not moaning. He’s just getting on with it.”
Steph feels that Steve’s ability to always be positive and lift people up is quite unique. “You might be venting to express some frustrations in a work setting but Steve just doesn’t do that,” she explains. “Even as a couple, he’ll say nothing at all or something nice. He’ll just find a way to reframe things so that they’re always positive. I love that part of his personality and just how ambitious he is as well.”
Steve believes Steph is brilliant in social situations. “Steph is a listener in a group,” says Steve. “She won’t say much but not because she’s shy, but because she’s really genuinely listening. People have been just running away with what they’re saying and not really thinking about it, but she’s absorbing it. At the end she’ll step in, tie it all together and frame it in such a cool, positive and enthusiastic way that everyone engages with it.”
He adds: “She’s an excellent communicator and reads a room beautifully. I’m terrible at reading a room and she’ll often kick me under the table when she needs to in order to straighten me up.
“One of the things I love most is her enthusiasm and her ability to make everyone feel like everything is okay. She’ll ask: ‘What was the best part of your day?’ I think that’s such an excellent question that everyone always responds to. It’s not an opportunity to complain about the crappy parts.”
ISFJs and empathy
If you delve deeper into the Myers & Briggs personality type model, you get to cognitive functions, which are specific mental processes. The second cognitive function that ISFJs use is called extraverted feeling. It’s all about awareness of other people, being able to naturally read a room, knowing what should be said and knowing how to make people happy. However, it also means that ISFJs, like Steph, absorb other people’s emotions.
Steph admits that it is massively draining sometimes. “I really absorb the strength of the room and if someone’s having a bad day, I feel that as well,” she says. “I’m a very open book and I probably overshare when I’m stressed. I think Steve does a good job of receiving that stress with his personality.”
“We’re more about how can we bring out the best in each other’s personalities,” says Steve. “And how can we support each other to evolve, grow and get to the next levels.”
Steph agrees. “In our relationship, we’ve not had what I’d consider a full-blown fight. I think we’re good at de-escalating things.”
Which is just as well as Steph admits that they seem to have a habit of taking everything on at once. In a span of four weeks, Steph submitted a PhD thesis, defended a thesis, then got married a week later.
“Steve finished planning our wedding and soon after we decided to buy a house,” Steph laughs. “Not because there was any rush, it was just we saw opportunities to do these things. It was a massive stress!”
The ESTJ – ISFJ non-honeymoon
Thinking they would cut back on the stress, Steph and Steve decided to book a honeymoon six months after the wedding.
“There was so much packed together on the run up to our wedding, we figured that we would give ourselves six months to clear our feet and calendars and make sure that we could be nice and relaxed on our honeymoon,” explains Steve.
However, best made plans and all that…“Then the week before our honeymoon we had an offer accepted on a house, which was a total fixer-upper which we weren’t intending to do,” says Steve. “The bathroom was gutted. This all happened whilst we were on honeymoon, so we were dealing with plumbers and builders trying to get in contact with us throughout the day. They were WhatsApping us videos saying, ‘What do we do with this? Can we move this?’”
Steph reminds Steve he was also closing an investment round for his business while trying, at the same time, to sell another business.
“It was all time-critical,” says Steve. “So the crux and the main point is: I think I owe Steph another honeymoon!”
The future of their ESTJ – ISFJ relationship
Going forward, all their deep discussions and strong family values have shaped their future plans.
“We do hope to have a family one day, but there’s no defined timeline on this,” says Steph. “I think we are a couple, but we’re best friends and teammates as well.”
Steve’s great ambition is…to get a donkey. “We both have a vision of having a place in the country with maybe a field at the back,” says Steve. “Steph grew up with horses, so she’s always wanted a horse. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is getting a donkey but there’s a couple of rules around it. Steph has to get the donkey for me for my birthday one year and the donkey is going to be called Lamborghini. I can say from that moment on that Steph got me a Lamborghini for my birthday.”
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