An INFJ That’s All Grown Up, But Not Really

My birthday was last month. I turned 34. I can’t believe that number. I really want to cry. I thought it would be different somehow. I keep wondering when I’m going to feel like an adult though. Like for real. At what age will I feel like I have my life together? When does that happen?

I have a friend who has 5 kids and a husband. She manages so much. I can barely manage to get myself out of bed in the morning and get to work. She’s way more adultier than I am and she’s younger than me. *cringe*

I can’t help but wonder if I missed something somewhere. Was there a class in college that I opted out of? Was there something my mom forgot to tell me? Was it one of those trendy documentaries that everyone was watching and I opted not to because everyone else did? 

OK, so I’m being super honest here, because that’s one of my goals this year. I want to show you the real me. I’m still trying to figure out who that is, but maybe we can figure it out together! So, here’s a few of my biggest struggles. Let me know if you feel them too! 

I want to get married, but I don’t want to date

The struggle is so real. I hate dating. The whole concept just makes my skin crawl. All I can see is rejection and a waste of time. What a painful and miserable thing to torture yourself with! 

Surely there is a better way to figure out your future life partner than endlessly swiping through a bunch of terrible pictures and pathetic one line introductions. No one ever responds to my profiles. Maybe this is why I hate it so much. Here’s what it says:

Looking for the love of my life, not a one night stand. I hate hiking and hanging out with friends. I’m more of a documentary and pizza in my blanket cocoon on the couch kinda person. I like books, podcasts and deep conversations about the meaning of life. I’m also super sarcastic, so no sissies, please. Must be passionate about something and have their own things going on. I need lots of alone time and don’t want someone who texts me 100 times a day. 

I don’t know why people find that intimidating. I think I sound absolutely lovely. *shrugs*

Wanting to be alone but not wanting to be lonely for the rest of my life

I was told that I’m too comfortable being alone. Now I’m worried about it cause I think it’s true. I have this little life full of routines that I enjoy and I don’t want anyone to mess it up. 

But I don’t want to be alone forever. I agree. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I am both. Sometimes I enjoy being alone. Sometimes I want to cry because of how painful it is. It’s hard being strong all the time. *sigh*

I can’t keep track of how much money I have…. Details…

OMG. My bank makes so much money off of me. I can’t seem to figure it all out. (I don’t need helpful advice. I just want to complain). I should be smarter than this. I really should be. 

But then I want to be more gentle with myself. The bills do get paid. Nothing has been turned off or repossessed. I haven’t been evicted… yet. 

Confession: my credit score is incredibly low. Like people see it and make comments like, “Oh, I didn’t know it could be a negative number. Huh.” I don’t know why I feel like that’s somehow tied to my worth as a person, but I seem to believe there’s a direct relation. It’s hard to break that habit. 

If you have this belief too, let me reassure you: you are worthy of love if you are broke. You are worthy of love if you have filed bankruptcy or been fired or are homeless. I have been and done all of these things. I’m still here and still worthy of love. It’s a whole new thing that I’m working on, but the more I tell myself these things the more I believe them.

Being forgetful

I’ve noticed recently that I can’t remember anything. I don’t know if it’s age or stress or alzheimer’s, but it’s a thing now. I wandered around Target for an hour the other day trying to remember what I was looking for. It’s bad. I even forgot where I was going on my way to Target. That’s something my mom does all the time!

It’s like look for my phone while I’m holding it bad. And think about something I need to remember, open the notes app on my phone and instantly forgetting the thing I was gonna write down. *Facepalm*

Feeling like my life is a mess

I constantly feel like a mess. Every time I think I have things figured out and now I’m gonna be all adulty and responsible, something else happens. It’s like my adultness is built on a house of cards and and one thing as simple as a cold can bring it down in a flash. 

I don’t like going to the doctor by myself

I had a massive asthma attack last week and I called my mom because that seemed like the thing to do. She told me to go to the doctor, which was super unhelpful advice.

So, I had to schedule a doctor’s appointment ALL BY MYSELF. It was way too hard. It involved calling 5 different people (because they HAD TO HAVE a referral) and trying to remember my schedule and telling them my problem. It felt like way too much. 

Now I have to go by myself too. It just doesn’t feel right. They ask me my problem and I want to look at my mom so she can tell them but she’s not there because she lives 1,500 miles away and I’m 34 and supposed to be able to handle this all by myself. It’s really too much. 

I’m more interested in Netflix than being productive on the weekends

I always have big plans for the weekend. Two whole days to do whatever I want!! That’s usually 16 – 20 solid hours of Grey’s Anatomy. 

I get back to work on Monday and people ask me what I did. I don’t like that question. They just ask so they can tell me what they did. They think it’s fun to go hiking in Vermont or sailing in Rhode Island. I’ll stick to my blanket cocoon, thank you. 

Knowing exactly how to fix everyone else’s problems, but not my own

OMG. It’s a whole thing. I have to imagine that my problem is my friend’s problem and they are asking me for advice. So I come up with some KILLER advice and then I do the same thing that my real friends do when I give them killer advice: completely ignore it. 

I wish I had some answers for you all here. I don’t. Like I said, I don’t know how to solve my own problems. But I want to be more real and honest. The only way that we can feel more understood is by putting it all out there and hearing other people say “OMG ME TOO!!!” So send me the ME TOO’s!! Tell me I’m not the only one who feels like a fake adult, spends too much money and watches Grey’s Anatomy all weekend!

As Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things. We can’t do easy things, but we can do hard things.

You’re not doing it wrong. It’s supposed to be hard. But we can do hard things.”

31 thoughts

  1. Take a class @ adult Ed in something casual you’d like to try. No pressure or grades. That’s how I met my husband. I thought he was strange and silly and kind of obnoxious, but he grew on me. Don’t try to make things happen. However if someone seems promising, I love the honesty of your “warning” about how you are. I wish I had had that in my arsenal when I was younger! 😉

    1. 100% relate to everything you just wrote. Thank you for helping me feel less alone. Sending positive energy your way ⛮

    2. I’ll be 50 at the end of the week, and every single thing you said resonated deeply with me. I lost my mom to illness in 2015, and I still wish she was here to take care of me when I’m sick, and have to do things on my on. Also, waiting on the man of my dreams, but don’t want to go to the trouble of searching on my own. I think we’re all more adult than we realize. We are actually making it in this crazy world, even though it doesn’t feel like it most of the time.

  2. Oh my goodness! This resonated so much with me! Whilst I hate that there are others that feel like I do (it’s not a great feeling), it is kind of nice to know I am not the alien that I think I am. Having said that, I really have no answers 🙁 My Mum said something to me today about me enjoying being alone, and whilst it is true, it doesn’t mean that I don’t get lonely. But like you, the whole online dating scenario just seems so unnatural and I just don’t feel comfortable or enjoy any part of it.

    1. Oh. My. God. I have felt this so intensely the past 6-10 months! I am so worried it’s going to continue into this year. Thank you for this article.

  3. I am willing to bet you are probably a bit more together than you realize or give yourself credit for! My friend’s 70+ year old mother says she still feels like a kid…like she just graduated high school yesterday! 🙂

  4. Personal ads are hard! But, it’s how I met my husband. We just celebrated 21 years together. 🙂 If I may be so bold, maybe try something like this for your ad – show what you have to offer a guy, not just want you want from a guy. Wishing you all the best!

    “Looking for the love of my life. Not interested in one-night-stands. I dislike hiking and socializing. Instead, I prefer documentaries and snuggling on the couch in a blanket cocoon. I love books, and deep conversations. I’m looking for a guy who loves a sassy girl that isn’t clingy. A guy with his own passions and interests he’d like to share. I can be your biggest fan. Let’s talk!”

    1. Like I’m reading my own head… I can relate to all, but I’m 38 (cringe)… Don’t know if it helps to know you are not alone… or that we are both sad fake adults 🙁
      Lots of love

  5. You are NOT alone…been there, done that and till doing. As foe Netflix sometimes I have learned as an INFJ (introvert) I need that ‘alone’ . Time to just sit and do nothing (well maybe have a good binge watch) so I can kind of recharge and get back to myself. For me it is part of my self care.

  6. thanks for sharing! really, I can relate to most of what you wrote about. it feels good to know that someone out there has similar challenges. I wish you would write a post on how you will overcome these challenges.

    1. I’m not quite 30, but almost there and I feel you. I put off going to the doctor ALL the time because it DOES involve calling far too many people, and there is little I hate more than calling people on the phone. I also LOVE being alone a lot, you are right that I think our type gets very comfortable being alone and though we get lonely enough to just crave human contact, I think our type does have a propensity for reclusivity. You should check out articles on the dark side of INFJ, or even unhealthy INFJ’s, because a lot of the same issues you’ve mentioned have come up in those and I know when I read them it was a like reading myself in a book. We all go through healthy and unhealthy periods in our lives, I think for us in particular it’s hard to remain mentally healthy and that affects everything else. Also, the forgetfullness, that can be attributed to the “brain fog” from lack of sleep, and also depression. I’ve gone months and months where I could hardly remember what I did the last week and that was during a couple years when I was very depressed. But hey <3 thanks for writing your article with such honesty, it's really comforting to read about other INFJ's, I wish you luck with your life. <3

  7. Who said you have to be an adult. I am close to 50 and I still refuse to be an adult. Boring! As for finding someone, I was lucky. Did online dating before smart phones, found the one. He fell for my brain, leaves me so much space as he likes it too. For your profile leave out the negative content. For example say you love deep conversation and love doing quiet, intimate things with your potential partner. You are interested in a more permanent relationship, so this means I am not a one stand kinda girl. You love reading, etc etc. they will learn about your hate of hiking and being a herminator later. Even better my geek loves doing the finance aspect. But before that woah. And work knows I am quirky, and love my alone time. And I love being me. Beat to your own drum and bugger fitting in. My dad used to say it is okay being a goat and not a sheep.

  8. On dating: I just want to say that I like your dating profile. I think you should stick with it. Let me explain: this most recent round of online dating I decided that I going to be my most authentic self and I honestly hoped that it scared off the bad ones and that only those who would see themselves reflected in my honest profile would respond. It’s a GREAT culling technique. This time around, I only wanted a real connection and I knew it require me to be extremely honest with myself and others, and to not second guess the urge to run at the first hint of a red flag. I decided to indulge myself in being picky. And I couldn’t really afford to, because I live in a city that is literally documented as one of America’s worst cities in which to date. But I stuck to my guns and it worked! I am now in the best relationship of my life to an INTJ (highly recommend!). Be encouraged, you’re doing the right thing!

  9. All I can say is ME TOO!!!! Thank you for sharing this!! I thought I was the only “fake adult” out there!! You should start a “Fake Adult” group on Facebook, so we can support each other!! Thank you for your honesty- I trult appreciate it!!!

  10. Damn so true!! Me too!!! That’s how I exactly feel right now, I’m 33, single, broke (but still manage to live and eat everyday), and feel so messed up. I’ve been asking friends about their opinions on issues I had been going on these past few weeks, I appreciate that they were giving honest review but yes I prefer to listen to comments that much agrees with me.

  11. Me too! I wonder if it is an infj thing? Before reading this I thought its because of all the traumatic things I went through during childhood. I definitely don’t feel ‘adult’ at 36.
    Btw trust me, being single is way better than to be stuck with someone that makes you feel lonely.

  12. So much for it “getting better with age”, lol. I love the honesty and conversational voice in your post. It felt like one of those conversations when you’re a bobblehead because everything being said is undeniably relatable.

  13. With the dating thing, I was the same way. I hated going to bars, blind dates and the entire 3 ring circus. Then a close friend of mine in college said two thing that have stuck with me.

    One, you are the sum of the seven closest people you hang around. So surround yourself with the people you admire and aspire to be like.

    Second, you often meet you soulmate or partner through a mutual friend. Again, like minded people tend to end up at events, gatherings or places at the same time so your chances of knowing a potential partners without dating increase. Let it happen and be organic that is how I met my wife of 15 years, at a Renaissance Faire, drinking port and eating chocolate covered strawberries while at a poetry reading party.

    By the way thank you for the blog, I’m too a INFJ and a severe dyslexic. I have recently decided to have a mid life cry-sus and instead of a girlfriend, I got into finding out why I am the way I am and if anyone else out there has similar experiences. Thank you, and know we are here supporting you and your journey.

    1. Thank you so much for your support!!

      I also love your advice about how to meet someone. I feel like that’s some of the best advice I’ve gotten. 🥰

  14. Me too! I love this post and all the comments, you all made me feel so much better about myself and less alone in the world. Thank you! ❤️

  15. It’s like we are the same person! I’ve never met or heard about anyone like me. I had a massive asthma attack a few years ago and had to be intubated. I highly recommend you never go through that. Anyways, great article!

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