We explore an ISFJ – ESTP relationship with Maia and Tom from the UK. Maia, an ISFJ who is 27, and Tom, an ESTP who is also 27, were set up by a friend back when they were 16. Little did they know then that they are a perfect personality match on So Syncd. In this episode, they talk about their first date to the cinema (where they watched not one, but two films!), becoming Facebook Official and how they show love.
How the ISFJ – ESTP relationship started
Their meeting was a set up by a mutual friend who was convinced (rightly as it seems) that they would click.
“He invited us both to his house at the same time, a few times, and kept saying to me that I would really like Tom, we’d get on really well,” says Maia.
The friend then engineered a fancy dress party, now legendarily known as That Party.
“It was a superhero party,” says Tom. “So naturally I went as a Smurf because that apparently is a good thing to go as. I think it was actually just an easy outfit, you know, paint your body in blue and wear white legwarmers…”
Maia, who went as Wonder Woman (naturally!) and Tom ended up kissing during the party and, as it happened, Tom wasn’t the only one who ended up covered in blue paint that night.
At the time, both being 16, there was no long-term relationship plan involved. “I didn’t think we had really high hopes in terms of thinking that we’d be together for a really long time,” says Maia. “We were really young but I remember my friend Jess actually said, ‘He’s really nice. You should give him a good chance.’”
This comment from Jess comes as a bit of a surprise to Tom. “What do you mean…give him a good chance!?” says Tom. “And now look at us. Still together.”
The ISFJ – ESTP first date
Their first proper date was a classic 16-year-olds date – the cinema. Although they hardly planned it out.
“We didn’t know what we were going to watch at the cinema,” says Maia. “And then the film that was on was St Trinians Two. It wouldn’t have been either of our first choice of film, but we’d committed to the date and the idea of it.”
The choice of date was deliberate because they were both a bit nervous. “The cinema seemed like the only option really, to get a bit more comfortable without having to have formal chats,” explains Maia.
After the film had finished, they headed back to their home town but didn’t want to say goodbye.
“We didn’t want the date to end, but we didn’t know what else to do,” says Maia. “So we just went to the cinema again, but in the other town. It was a late showing…because we were too shy to speak to each other.”
The choice of film was clearly irrelevant.
“It was some like end-of-the-world type film that Maia absolutely hates,” laughs Tom.
The ISFJ – ESTP relationship spark
Tom’s initial interest in Maia was due to him acting on his friend’s advice.
However, it quickly became more than that. “She was different to other girls that I’d met before,” says Tom. “I felt like she had her stuff together and there was something going on.” This is a typical characteristic of ISFJs.
Maia, like Tom, initially showed interest in Tom because of their friend’s recommendation. But even before that, Maia and Tom’s paths had crossed while out with friends in the local town.
“I remember clearly Tom being really kind to this older drunk guy talking rubbish and Tom was just listening to him while everyone else was avoiding him,” says Maia. “He didn’t care that all of our mates and our mutual friends were trying to avoid him and move on. He really knew his own mind.”
As soon as Maia got home that night she said to her family that she had met a really nice guy.
Despite only being 16, early on in the relationship Tom organized flowers to be sent to Maia on Valentine’s Day. In fact, he got his dad to deliver the bouquet as Tom was away skiing.
“He got someone else to do all the legwork,” jokes Maia. “But to be fair to the 16-year-old Tom, they were really nice flowers – lilies and roses, I remember.”
In typical Millennial teenage style, they then decided to be ‘Facebook official’ and celebrated the occasion with a memorable late-night swim in the sea.
Myers & Briggs personality types
Maia and Tom both found out their personality type relatively recently through talking to the So Syncd founders, their friends, Jessica and Louella Alderson.
“I just find it fascinating,” says Maia. “And how it relates to our friends personalities and habits.”
When Maia discovered Tom’s personality type she immediately thought: “That’s definitely Tom.”
Having had a discussion with the So Syncd founders about the impact of knowing your personality type on a relationship and The Five Love Languages, Tom became more intrigued.
“I think as a result of that conversation that got me thinking about personality types more and I linked it back to what I am and what Maia is,” says Tom.
Tom’s love language is ‘acts of service’ and Maia’s is ‘words of affirmation’.
Maia feels most loved when Tom cooks dinner or does a boring chore that Maia can’t face doing. “I really appreciate it,” says Maia. “I don’t need him to show it how I would show it – which is really soppy and say I love you loads.”
In an ISFJ – ESTP relationship, ISFJs do tend to be the ones who vocalize their love more often.
ISFJ – ESTP complementary personality traits
Both agree that knowing their personality types has helped their relationship. “For Tom to know that I’m an introvert and for me to know and understand that he’s an extravert helps,” says Maia. Tom agrees that it makes them both more understanding of each other. Maia often needs time alone to recharge while Tom needs social contact to do the same. ESTPs thrive being out in the world doing things.
However, Maia also understands that Tom pushing her to perhaps go out more than she would choose is actually good for her. “I can have a really fun time when pushed to move out of my comfort zone. I would rather be with someone that does that and have all these fun experiences than be with another introvert.” This is exactly why they would be a golden personality pair on So Syncd.
Likewise, Maia has helped Tom to realize he can enjoy his own company and time spent just as a couple without others around.
They value each other’s opinion on work and social issues and always catch up at the end of every day. “At least we have got things to talk about now and we don’t have to watch back-to-back films!” jokes Maia.
Tom feels he can still learn from Maia after 10 years together. As an ISFJ, she has strong morals. “I like how she knows what’s right. I like to think of it as a good moral compass,” says Tom. “She knows what’s right and what’s wrong and gets the line right more often than not. I like to feel that I’m learning from that. I think she’s a better person than I am, ultimately.”
Maia enjoys Tom’s sense of fun. “I like how much fun we have together and how he makes me more fun. And when it’s just the two of us we just have a massive laugh. We just get on really well.”
Often in an ISFJ – ESTP relationship, the ESTP will help the ISFJ lighten up and the ISFJ will encourage the ESTP to take time to reflect.
The ISFJ – ESTP personality type differences
However, while Maia loves that Tom’s makes her a bit more extrovert, it also sometimes works against her personality traits.
“Introverts find loud noises and bright lights more difficult than extroverts do and I find Tom’s voice very loud sometimes,” says Maia. “I think we are on different frequencies of volume in how we communicate in terms of how loud we project our voices. Then I find that I get really annoyed at myself because that’s such a boring thing to say – ‘Stop talking so loudly’.”
Tom, on the other hand, would love Maia to be more sure herself of her moral compass. “She needs to just back herself a little bit more with her decisions. You know, commit,” says Tom although admits she is getting better at it.
The ISTJ – ESTP relationship challenges
An ISFJ – ESTP relationship has its challenges, like every relationship. Whilst they live together now and have spent plenty of time in each other’s company during lockdown they have also experienced several years living far away from each other.
When Tom lived in both London and Exeter they met up every two weeks, which they found hard and missed each other. However, the couple made more effort when they were together, which was a positive. It has also made them more resilient within their relationship.
“We see loads of each other at the moment but we are still quite independent. I think it has given strength to our relationship,” says Maia.
And they never left each other on a bad note when living apart. “Even though we were young when we lived in different parts of the country, if we had a small falling out just before bed, I’d say: ‘No, we make up before we go to sleep,’” explains Tom. “I think that sort of set quite nice foundations for even bigger stuff.”
Maia and Tom are getting married in this year (2021) and are excited to build their future.
“As we’ve been together longer, we get on better and we have more fun, so I hope that continues,” says Maia. “And when we have had challenges in the past, it has definitely brought us closer together. I’m sure there’ll be lots more challenges ahead. I’m looking forward to us facing them together and continuing to get closer.”
How to write your own love story
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