Being demanding, having lots of expectations, being emotionally clingy? No, this is not what ISTPs behave like in relationships. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of that. ISTP is a type that can get along with almost everyone because of their easy going nature. But obviously they will tend to like some types better than others. This is natural for all people.
So what is the “best match” for an ISTP?
This is tough to pinpoint but I will try to name a few types and back it up with some sound reasoning.
Most personality theorists agree that when it comes to relationships, opposites don’t attract. It is our similarities that bind us together, because let’s face it, people like themselves first, and then everybody else. A little bit of difference is good, but complete opposites in MBTI usually have a hard time understanding each other.
This means that ISTPs will get along well with other ISTPs and with ESTPs too (perhaps even better). Of course, that doesn’t mean you will automatically love every ISTP and ESTP you meet, but statistically you’ll “click” with these kinds of people more often than with ENFJs, for example.
When we talk about similarities in MBTI, we need to focus on Jung’s judging functions behind the 4 letter MBTI type because that is the core of each person’s personality. The important functions for ISTPs are introverted thinking (Ti) and extroverted feeling (Fe). Another important similarity in relationships is the N-S dichotomy because it dictates the way we communicate. ISTPs will communicate easier with other S personalities.
All this leads to the conclusion that ISTPs should get along good with ISFJs and ESFJs, because they both prioritize Fe and Ti, and are both sensing personalities, just like the ISTP. These relationships can bring that little bit of difference we mentioned earlier that can spice things up but the judging functions (Ti and Fe) are the same so there will be lots of common ground too.
ISTPs also tend to like ENTJs, INTPs, ENTPs and ISTJs, but mostly in friendship, buddy or coworker relationships.
Conclusion to ISTP compatibility
In theory ISTPs are supposed to be most compatible with ESTP, other ISTP, ESFJ and ISFJ personalities, but they can have a good relationship with any of the 16 types as long as it’s based on healthy communication and effort is made to understand where the other person is coming from. It’s important to remember that personality type is only one of the elements that come into play in relationships. There are many other factors that are specific for each relationship.