One of the gifts of introversion is that we have to be discriminating about our relationships. We know we only have so much energy for reaching out; if we’re going to invest, we want it to be good.~ Laurie Helgoe, Introvert Power
Often this gift of discriminating taste feels more like a burden than a gift. I am acutely aware of my limited energy. Quite honestly most of my energy goes to raising my children. What energy I have left I use to help coaching clients, nurture friendships, connect with extended family and date.
The truth is we (introverts) have to be selective about all of our relationships. Unlike extroverts we recharge from within. Socializing with lots of people (although enjoyable) can drain us. Extroverts get energy from social interactions and external stimulation.
Over the last few years I have learned to pause and gauge how I feel with different people. Do I feel excited, energized, light? Or do I feel anxious, depleted, heavy? The more uplifting a person’s company the more time I can spend with them and the more of myself I can give.
How to Attract and Hold an Introvert’s Heart
What makes a partner’s personality uplifting and generative? Intimacy. Introverts are not into small talk. We want to share emotions, feelings and ideas. Not just any emotions or feelings or ideas — meaningful ones.
Physical intimacy can be energizing as well — provided it is passionate and not obligatory. Sensuality starts with the external but blooms within. Anything that heightens or encourages a positive internal experience is appealing to an introvert.
Humor in a relationship goes a long way too. It’s both a physical and emotional boon.
The key to a relationship with an introvert? We must be able to relax and recharge with you. Strong relationships have responsiveness (from both partners), common interests and respect for each other’s differences, so the work naturally required in any relationship, is done with minimal energy drain. Forging a relationship takes up much precious energy. Introverts generate energy from within by reflecting on ideas, thoughts, impressions and feelings. If we find someone desirable who can share what swirls within their interior, synergy occurs. We expand and are left energized rather than depleted.
Carl Jung said we choose partners to expand who we are.
Speaking for Myself…
Independence mixed with vulnerability and openness is attractive. A relationship built on personal authenticity and interdependence is ideal. Even as an introvert, I like to have a steady companion I can count on. Someone I trust and who trusts me so that we can have our own endeavors but also provide a safe haven to return to for each other.
Constant drama and complaining will leave me as lifeless as a forgotten doll. Deep empathy is another trait of many introverts. If you have problems/pain in your life, I will feel for you intensely. I will want to help/show you light, which is all fine and good until I find myself in the dark with nothing left to give. Some drama and baggage is expected. We all have it. Partners take turns supporting each other, but if this gets too one-sided the introvert will deplete quickly.
Negativity can weigh especially heavy on an intuitive and deeply feeling introvert’s mind and heart. If you have a penchant for criticizing or judging, then time with you will have to be limited. I absorb emotions and energy from others. I easily slip myself into their shoes and feel what they feel. Not all introverts experience this, but the more intuitive and empathic ones do.
One of life’s greatest pleasures is the anticipation of pleasure.
I love love. Who doesn’t? I dream easily of romantic scenarios. Conversations and canoodling for hours. Nights of lights in the city, simple bedrooms in country farmhouses. I’m most definitely a hopeful romantic.
I both get lost and feel at home in love songs.
The Space Between
I read somewhere that it’s the space between times with a special person that encourages an introvert to fall in love. Their internal replays and daydreams are so pleasure rich that the relationship is enhanced.
Many of us (introverts) want and have great relationships, but we generally prefer no relationship to a bad one.~ Laurie Helgoe, Introvert Power
It’s not always easy to find a partner who understands an introvert’s need for downtime. Most recently, a gentlemen who I had been talking to over the phone and corresponding with online told me that we would probably make better friends than partners. He said my independence may not work for him. He wants someone to witness experiences with him. I’m not exactly sure what he meant, but in truth I think I am one of the best people to witness experiences with. I pay attention and revel in awe over the simplest things. I believe he meant he needed MORE shared experiences. Quantity AND quality. I admired him for speaking honestly and after that our conversation relaxed. I had been holding my breath wondering if I could keep up with the amount of attention he extended and expected.
That’s something I worry about — keeping up with the other person’s affection. What if they text, call or write me ten times a day? Do I have to reciprocate the same amount? Will that become old and exhausting? Another reason to be discriminating when dating.
Solitude an Option?
If we are going to put ourselves out there it has to be good. Better than solitude. Solitude is always an option for introverts. We use time to ourselves to renew. Of course, during solitude it is completely possible that romantic daydreams surface sending us out again to find something very very good.
What kind of lover feeds you rather than drains you? Have you been fortunate enough to experience energizing love? Are you in an expansive relationship now?
Written by Brenda Knowles