What did I learn about relationships this year?
What did I learn about introversion?
Looking for what you want can cause you to miss out on what you need. I had a complicated list of wants and expectations for potential partners. I would meet men who seemed to have many of these qualities but eventually they would let me down or leave. True, my list was extensive and some may even say, unrealistic, but I believe the real problem was I was going for the opposite of my former husband and in fact, looking for someone much like myself. According to 16 Ways to Love Your Lover, it is ideal to have friends like yourself for affirmation and understanding but it is better to have a mate with complementary traits for personal growth and versatility.
Relationships help us grow. Noted psychiatrist, Carl Jung, said we choose partners in order to expand ourselves, to become whole.
I need regular doses of space from people. I can only handle the emotions, attention and needs of a few people at a time because when I do engage with others it is on a profoundly focused level. I am a thinker and reflector first, doer and action-taker second. I have deep emotions.
I dated people who were like me and we couldn’t make it work. Sometimes, I was the one pushing my boundaries in order to help and support my partner and the relationship. Sometimes I was the one asking for support. I’m no simple girlfriend. I bring a lot of considerations to the relationship (three children, life in the suburbs, introvert who needs solitude, complex emotions), I understand this. I need someone who can handle those facets of me. I have learned if I have a partner who supports and encourages me, then I can give more to him. I have the energy and desire to cherish him. I can rest in his reliability. I can trust he will be there. This does not necessarily mean I need an extrovert, although they are always a possibility. There are introverts who are doers. There are introverts who can be pressed up against with emotions and handle them with grace, calm and decisiveness. There are definitely loving and intimate introverts.
I’ve learned I need someone enough like me that we connect easily but different enough that we both grow within the relationship. I’ve also learned that every relationship is imperfect and effortful (despite my request for effortless in this post), but that is where the growth comes in. I NEED someone who is willing and able to go through the effortful part with me.
What I learned about introversion is that introverts quite often present as extroverts. Especially, as I get deeper into middle-age (mid 40s), I see more and more of us who have learned to behave like extroverts. We even enjoy the buzz of connecting with others.
We all work our way to wholeness. We have to make our way in the world so we learn to react situationally. We hone our skills so we can participate fully in all arenas. We often do this so well that others say most of us are ambiverts.
Conversely, I see many extroverts who now believe they are introverts because, they too, are desperately seeking downtime. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1. There is much more introvert awareness and acceptance therefore it is now OK to be introverted and 2. Our modern world of technology and constant connection is truly wearing on all beings. Even full-out extroverts are often over-stimulated and overwhelmed by daily existence.
The biggest clues someone is a true introvert? How they feel after a round of social engagements. Are they raring to go or are they keenly searching for a book and a quiet corner? And if you were a solitude seeker as a child, you most likely are a solitude seeking introvert now.
Below you will find the most popular new posts written for space2live in 2014, followed by the most popular posts of all time.
Enjoy and happy sweet and love-filled 2015! I appreciate you and your thoughtful participation in the space2live community.
Top 10 New Posts from 2014
What did you learn about relationships this year? Introversion?