This week we explore an ISFJ – ESFJ relationship with Eliana and Jon from New York. Eliana, an ESFJ who is 32, and Jon, an ISFJ who is also 32 , first met back in 2014 at a party. Jon was captivated but Eliana had a boyfriend at the time. They both continued to live their lives, and Jon would think about Eliana from time-to-time, until one day, over a year later after Eliana had broken up with her boyfriend, they reconnected on a dating app. Sparks flew and they are now married with a baby.
How the ISFJ – ESFJ relationship started
These well-matched personality types almost never got together. “We met, well, at least I met her at a party that she doesn’t remember in 2014,” says Jon. “I remember she walked through the door, and I’m not making this up, I was like, ‘Who is that girl?’”
Jon quickly engineered to get closer to Eliana in the kitchen of the party house as he found her mesmerising. “I felt something different. It wasn’t this typical, ‘Oh, there’s a good-looking girl. Let me go talk to her’.”
However, Eliana already had a boyfriend but, as fate would have it, a year and a half later Jon was on a dating app when Eliana’s profile popped up and he immediately thought: ‘That’s the girl.’ The matched and started talking only to realize that she lived just a block away from Jon in East Village and, as they say, the rest is history.
While in between first meeting and finally going out on a date, Jon had thought about Eliana and tried to find a partner that made him feel the way he felt in that kitchen the first he set eyes on her. “How lucky am I that I actually somehow, someway got paired back up with her and it worked out,” says Jon.
Eliana admits to not remembering their first connection at the party but realised she knew him as soon as she saw him on the app. “When I did connect with him, I recognized him immediately,” says Eliana. “I was like, ‘Oh, I definitely want to go out with this guy.’ So there was something on my end.” As Jon adds: “What are the chances of that all aligning?”
The ISFJ – ESFJ first date
Their first date was a small restaurant in Soho. “We just had some drinks, had some food. And it was on our first date that we connected instantly,” explains Eliana. “We ended up going around the corner to a bar and we opened up about everything. I shared with him about how I was in therapy. And he shared with me about how he just started working with a life coach and we very instantly felt really comfortable with one another. We definitely had really a good chemistry from the start.”
Jon agrees. “The second we sat down we both took these leaps of faith and just divulged so much stuff. We were vulnerable to each other on day one. I don’t think either of us were intimidated by it or turned off by it.”
In fact, they felt so relaxed and in tune with each other that it didn’t feel like a first date. “I know this sounds so cheesy, it felt like we kind of knew each other,” says Jon.
Even though Jon was immediately attracted by Eliana’s beauty he found the openness between them a real turning point too. They also shared interests in music and other hobbies.
The ISFJ – ESFJ special connection
Eliana felt the same. “There’s a physical attraction and connection but I also felt the same way towards him,” she explains. “With his personality type being an introvert, Jon is actually somewhere between an introvert and an extrovert. He can be either. He has this very sort of charming part of him.”
However, the charm did not get in the way of the instant connection. “I think it’s rare to really find that. So often, on a first date, everyone’s putting up a front and trying to be a different version of themselves to impress that other person,” says Eliana. “I felt like he was just really being authentically himself and I felt like I was able to be completely authentically myself. And I think that’s like the key to a successful relationship.”
Making it official
They first considered themselves a couple a month after this first date which is unusual for Jon. “I’m not trying to sound overly-confident but it’s always been the opposite with me playing it cool,” he says. “But with her I was like, ‘Wait, are we girlfriend and boyfriend or are you playing around with me still?’”
Eliana agrees that was when they “made it official” but from the time that they went on their first date they were seeing each other pretty much all the time.
Myers & Briggs personality types
Eliana had been aware of her personality type for some time, having done the tests for several jobs. She has always known she was an extravert. Jon has also been aware for a while of his type and is thrilled that So Syncd removes the randomness of meeting your soulmate online.
“Your app puts it [personality] in the forefront. It’s such great information. I mean, how a couple typically figures all that stuff out is through trial and error and I’m sure most couples don’t even ever figure that out,” says Jon. “Certain things come out just naturally through being in a relationship but it’s great if you have that information earlier on.”
Jon is now keen to use their personality types to improve their ISFJ – ESFJ relationship. “I think Eliana and I are both two self-aware people who do exploration into our own minds and how we work,” says Jon. “She’s a lot better at it than I am, but I try to understand why I react that kind of way.”
Eliana feels that their opposite introvert-extrovert tendencies would be easier to navigate with more personality understanding. “He needs more alone time than I do,” she says. “Even with my clients who are in relationships, I’ve heard them say, ‘he wants to be alone a lot’ or ‘she wants to be alone lot. He doesn’t want to be around me.’ It becomes a fight. As an introvert, you need your alone time. It’s not at all a reflection of myself, but it’s a reflection of your personality.”
Raising a family as an ISFJ – ESFJ couple
Their baby son is taking centre-stage when it comes to their conversations and together time at the moment. However, they still find time for deep discussions. “We always joke that we can get into the deepest, longest conversations still now with the baby,” says Eliana. “For both of us, we really are into personal development and growth and talk a lot about ways that we can improve ourselves and just communicate better.”
Jon adds: “The past four months have been all about our son. What kind of family do we want to raise? What kind of values do we want to instil? Eliana’s building her millennial success coaching business and I’m in the real estate game so I’m looking at buying small businesses. In addition to creating this system as to how we’re going to raise our family and what goals we want for that, we’re both fostering and encouraging each other to go after our own goals in terms of building businesses.”
Dealing with conflict
When it comes to conflict, Eliana has learnt from past relationships. “Having had a lot of crappy relationships in the past has taught me a lot where I always felt like I would sweep my feelings under the rug. I was nervous to be authentic and show up authentically,” she says. “Essentially I always want to be upfront and communicate how I’m feeling really honestly, whether he agrees or disagrees. I don’t ever want to feel like my feelings are invalid or that I can’t share my feelings with him.”
They have successfully worked out how best to decompress conflict. “If we do feel like things are tensing and boiling up, we’ve now learned to press the pause button and walk away. We give each other a little time to reflect and come together,” says Eliana. “I think that’s something that we were pretty good at early on. But as the years have gone on and we’ve learned about each other more, our types of personalities and how we handle fights or arguments, we’ve gotten even better at that.”
Jon feels their different emotional backgrounds has meant that they have had to work hard on a framework for resolving relationship issues. “Eliana comes from a family where they talk about everything and dive deep into it,” he explains. “Whereas with my family, we didn’t express ourselves, it was more surface level. Pretty early on we started being like, ‘Alright, we can’t operate like this, this isn’t a good model for us. Let’s find some middle ground where, if we’re in a conflict, we take a little break and five minutes later, we’re going to sit down and figure this out.’”
He explains that it doesn’t need to be an hour-long discussion but it’s an open unemotional resolution to whatever the issue is at hand.
Mutual admiration of personality traits
This ability to take a breather has worked and their ISFJ – ESFJ relationship is stronger than ever. “What I love most about Jon is what I learned on our first date. He’s super honest. He is always trying to better himself,” says Eliana. “I loved that he was so into personal development and had a life-coach. And he’s just a very loving and nurturing person. He’s always there for me, always supportive of me if I’m ever going through a hard time.”
Jon is very touched by his wife’s words. “The biggest things that I love about her personality is if this girl says she’s going to do something, she’s going to do it. One day she’s like, ‘I’m going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.’ A year later, she’s there with her dad climbing and she’s not an outdoorsy person and she did it. And then she left her job and started her own business and she’s been doing it for over a year. She takes risks and I’ve always been one who’s been afraid of that.”
Jon is also amazed by Eliana’s openness to constructive criticism as he knows he has a defensive side to him. “if I offer constructive criticism Eliana accepts it and implements it and does not feel embarrassed by it or put up this guard,” he says. “She’s super empathetic.
She feels for people that come from different places than her that don’t have the same experiences. She’s also an amazing mother and, at the end of the day, she’s a clown. This girl makes me die of laughter every day.”
Personal growth in an ISFJ – ESFJ relationship
Eliana believes that you can’t go around changing people and loves Jon for who he is. “One of the things that I always talk a lot about with clients is that you can’t change people, right?” she says. “To truly have a successful relationship, you have to recognize that people are the way they are, and you have to be accepting of that. I think that there are always things that you want to work on together in relationships but I would never want to change him.”
She does agree that Jon can get defensive sometimes but they are working on that. “I’ll communicate that with him and then we talk it through. So it’s not really anything I would want to change; it’s more so that we can communicate honestly about it and work through it.”
After some thought Jon adds: “The only thing I want her to improve upon is she’s a little bit of a hypochondriac. She tends to worry, not even just about health, about finances or packing for our trip. She worries about crazy stuff.” But then again, ESFJs do tend to be worriers.
The ISFJ – ESFJ relationship challenges
They have certainly tested their ISFJ – ESFJ relationship with challenges. “I think being pregnant during a pandemic was a really challenging time,” says Eliana. “Not being able to be around family and navigating…I had just, a few months before, started my business. I was at home pregnant trying to start a business, [and we] couldn’t be with anybody.”
Due to the pandemic, Jon was also navigating working from home for the first time in his life and they were living in a one-bedroom apartment. “That was definitely challenging for us in a lot of ways but also really great for us and taught us a lot about boundaries,” says Eliana. “We kept that open and honest communication and stayed positive and lifted each other up when we were having harder days. We literally got married, got pregnant right after and then went into the pandemic. Our first year of marriage had a lot going on in it but I think it’s also been a massive year of growth for both of us.”
Pandemic aside, Jon also feels one of their biggest challenges is their family backgrounds. “We come from two completely different families. Her family is a little more religious than mine. I come from a different financial background, we’re just different,” he explains. “Families obviously mould you to a certain way. Once you hit a certain age, you become your own person, but there’s obviously residual effects of how you were raised. But, like any couple, when you come from two diverse backgrounds, you think that your way is the right way.” This has been even more in focus since having their son. “Figuring out how we want to raise him, we do not have completely different scripts for that, but there’s some differences there that we’re working out through compromising.”
Complementary ISFJ – ESFJ personality traits
Part of the success of their relationship is that they are both good listeners. “I know that if I really need support, he’ll listen intently to me and same goes back for myself,” says Eliana.
When it comes to weaknesses Eliana describes herself as being a big worrier and gets caught up and bogged down sometimes in the minutia and the details. “Jon can sometimes think bigger picture than I can, or he can compartmentalize a lot better. So I feel like [we have] some similar strengths, but definitely also different weaknesses.”
The future of the ISFJ – ESFJ relationship
Going forward as a couple, they are excited about growing their family. “Although I am terrified of having another kid because one is manageable and I hear all the stories about two and three, I’m very excited for that,” says Jon. “I’m excited for us to be this team that really works with our children and we have all these fun adventures together, work through challenges and we teach Levi.”
“I always say Jon is multi-passionate entrepreneur,” says Eliana. “There is a lot of different things that he’s delving into. And I think for both of us, we’ve always wanted to do our own things, be self-sufficient. We’ve always been interested in leaving the corporate world. I’m just excited for us to both build something separately, but also together. [I’m excited] to see how we can create that life of freedom where we can do what we want to do professionally, that we love, be able to be with our family and really build a life that we can be really proud of.”
Jon looks back so thankfully that everything worked out as it did and that a beautiful ISFJ – ESFJ relationship blossomed. “To think that’s how it started is just mind-blowing. I’m not really a fatalist so I don’t think this was predetermined, but the fact that we’re here after all that… I could’ve deleted that app and I could be someone else right now, but something brought us together and I’m very happy for that. Baby boy slept [through this interview] the whole time too!”
Eliana is a millennial success coach. You can find her at www.elianagoldsteincoaching.com.
How to write your own love story
Sign up to So Syncd, the personality type dating app, for free today to find your perfect personality match and write your own love story.