In relationships, the ISTP's independence doesn't just go away. As Nardi tells mbg, they need a lot of time alone, and a constant focus on “the relationship” will turn them off. They also don't particularly enjoy talking about emotions, gossiping, or pointless social chit-chat.
They are, however, great practical problem solvers when it comes to problems within the relationship. "They really love to tackle those, and are willing to stick to a strategy, though of course they want room to maneuver and make adjustments along the way," Nardi explains.
Hackston notes those with ISTP preferences aren't always the easiest people to get to know, but once they are in a relationship, they're committed and loyal. "ISTPs are likely to enjoy a quiet romantic relationship with someone that shares the same hobbies and interests," he adds.
Because they tend to be averse to chatter, they can tune it out, so Nardi notes you'll want to make sure there's a purpose or focus to the conversation, and you're not just "word-vomiting." He and Hackston both note that they'll be much more receptive to calm, objective, and gentle conversations.
And in terms of compatibility with other MBTI types, according to Hackston and Nardi, ISTPs will likely be most compatible with the following types: