I Belong Deeply to Myself But I'll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy

big reach

My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

— Warsan Shire

The delicious experiencing of our thoughts is so nourishing it is hard to leave that space.  Lovers may entice, cajole, and whimper but still we are drawn to the space of solitude.  The space where we are content and whole.  And yet…

We desire other-worldly connection.  The kind that makes our eyes flash, our minds spark and our bodies relax.  Intimacy glorious intimacy.  The deepest kind of knowing mixed with heady inspiration and undeniable attraction.  Long, endless and effortless conversations that leave us energized despite our natural inclination to tire.

You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, someone not everyone knows how to love.
― Warsan Shire

We terrify because we can be alone.  Such independence and freedom surely mark us as wild horses.  Unpredictable, able to leave.  We don’t need another for completion.  What if we pull away? What if our walking awaysacred world is within ourselves and not reliant on your touch, breath, words?

What if this is true but we still want you? Can you bear our absences? Will you wither as we expand? Will you wait for our return?

Can you handle our powerful longing, deep connection and meaningful affection once we’ve recharged? Do you enjoy the light of our transformative listening? We will love you beautifully until we can’t, then we will grow distant. Fueling our spirits once again with uninterrupted daydreaming and satiating stillness.

Are we worth it?

With you, intimacy colours my voice.
even ‘hello’ sounds like ‘come here’.
― Warsan Shireholding

I found you.  The one who feels me.  Who senses my gifts and value. Who makes my speech flow and heart glow.  With you I am open, fluid and alive.  I don’t hesitate to show my true nature.

You gave me permission to be me.

You process deeply as I do.

I bathe with you in vulnerability.

We cannot help but kiss.

Emotional depth draws me from the mountain peak of solitude to the sea of you.  Your mind excites me. Your voice parts my lips.  Your words part my…

I surrender my body to your self-awareness and soft touch.

I cannot resist you.

Will we meet in our need for space or will I taste loneliness and confusion as you withdraw and blossom?

I belong deeply to myself

― Warsan ShireTeaching My Mother How to Give Birth

I belong deeply to myself but I’ll let you in if you cherish ideas, intuition, imagination, and my inner world.  I’ll let you in if you honor intimacy. I’ll adore you if you revel in clever writing, long walks, poignant lyrics, majestic nature, humanity, wonder, curiosity, awe.

My breath will catch if you reveal your tenderness and reflect me.

Are you into rich relationships? I don’t do casual.

Are you sweeter than solitude?

I belong deeply to myself and it’s costly to let you in.  You will fill me up and deplete me.

Are you worth it?

What is intimacy to you? Who is worth a loss of solitude? How do you maintain a fluid loving relationship with your need to recharge alone?

Warsan Shire

Warsan Shire

*A special note of gratitude for reader, Chehaw, for introducing me to Somali poet Warsan Shire.  Her lyrical words of love and truth spoke to me.

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26 Comments

  1. Please Don’t Be Serious. Be Fun, All the Time. | space2live
    October 3, 2014

    […] I Belong Deeply to Myself But I’ll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy […]

    Reply
  2. moonfire2012
    September 10, 2014

    Reblogged this on Lokkatru and commented:
    Omg this is so true about Himself! When I get depressed when He’s gone I remember this.

    Reply
  3. Hyrum Feriante
    June 21, 2014

    I love your thoughts and the clarity of emotion behind them. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      June 21, 2014

      My writing coach told me yesterday that I can trust my intuition and feelings. Most of the time I have questioned them. I think my writing has allowed me to express my emotions and gain some clarity in the process. So, thanks for noticing.:)

      Reply
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    June 20, 2014

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    March 10, 2014

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  7. Sherrie
    March 5, 2014

    your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply.
    *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance…..

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      March 6, 2014

      I love Warsan Shire. Her writing eases my spirit. Happy I could convey a similar feeling to you. May I use your comment as a reader testimonial on another website of mine? It’s so beautifully said and I appreciate it greatly.

      Reply
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  10. Hewin
    August 18, 2013

    I found this blog after googling something about needing time to let someone in this morning, because last night, things went really wrong with someone I just started dating. I felt really drained after a couple hours with him. I wanted to leave but couldn’t figure out a way of explaining what was happening. To me it felt like it had been mostly ‘him’-time, but he reacted very hurt and made me feel very guilty, asking why I was sending out such mixed signals. I think he even felt used. I tried to explain, but everything I said was dismissed as not a good enough explanation. Meanwhile I felt like I rarely ever try this hard to explain myself to someone and I didn’t really owed him that kind of effort yet. I’m pretty sure I will always end up feeling this drained, should we see each other again. At the same time, he seems like an interesting and genuinly nice (and apparently, pretty sensitive) person, and seeing him hurt really did touch me. Ironically, he was the first person I’ve dated in years, because I was slowly figuring myself out as someone simultaneously very sensitive and very independent. Thank you for reminding me that it is okay. This was spot-on, I’m very grateful. I really don’t know what I’d do without the internet in moments like this, it does give me exactly the kind of thoughtful, reflective and accepting emotional support I need!

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      August 18, 2013

      You are very self-aware. I believe you are probably right in thinking that you will feel drained again if you choose to spend time with this man. Kudos to you for being compassionate and trying to explain your feelings. He seemed to have difficulty understanding. He didn’t get you.
      I am like you, simultaneously sensitive and independent. I do love a deep connection though.
      Keep your eyes,ears and heart open. Your self-knowledge will make it easier to meet others who do understand you and may even energize you.:)

      Reply
  11. miles
    August 4, 2013

    Thanks for the post and website. It was referred to me by a fellow introvert. So far, and reading some of the other websites on introversion, it has helped me become more aware of my traits as gifts and not feel shame about them. I have to admit, I’ve had a fantasy of a “typical family” and have longed for that, but I don’t seem to be moving in that direction or can’t, b/c the pull to be true to myself has been too strong.
    Blessings

    Reply
    • brennagee
      August 5, 2013

      Your self-awareness will lead you in the right direction. Our culture makes having the “typical family” look so heartwarming and right. I had the “ideal” setup — typical family — I felt trapped and depressed. I went against my nature for years. I finally spoke up and created boundaries that felt right for me. It wasn’t easy. I’m still working on it.
      You can have a family and be very content. There must be respect for your temperament. Follow your intuition.
      Thank you for sharing so candidly.

      Reply
  12. chehaw
    August 4, 2013

    This sounds like a road map to how we introverts want to love and be loved–this is so achingly beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • brennagee
      August 5, 2013

      Thank you for the intro to Warsan Shire. I couldn’t get her poetry out of my head. Her words were the perfect backdrop for expressing the way introverts feel about solitude and love.
      I thoroughly enjoyed reading your writing as well. Beautifully thought provoking.

      Reply
  13. rootstoblossom
    August 3, 2013

    Love this post! This so beautifully illustrates my feelings as an introvert. “I don’t do casual.” I do intense, like you said – “until I can’t. then we will grow distant. Fueling our spirits once again with uninterrupted daydreaming and satiating stillness.” Hubby is not an introvert, and is only beginning to understand, after 19 years together. He has no inner world like I do.

    Reply
    • brennagee
      August 3, 2013

      I’ve been there. I love intimacy but a break is eventually necessary. I hope your husband continues to grow his understanding of you and your nourishing inner world. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Hopefully, you have learned some about his temperament as well. Awareness can go a long way. Best of luck to you. Revel in your introversion and help your hubby see the gifts in it.

      Reply
  14. Sandy Sue
    August 3, 2013

    I often think I’d do best with a partner who is an FBI agent or superhero, someone who is gone long periods of time on the job, who has their own life, but chooses to share theirs with me. Well, it’s a fantasy…

    Reply
    • brennagee
      August 3, 2013

      You made me laugh out loud.:) In all truth, I used to wish my ex-husband traveled more. Then I would have time to miss him AND time to myself. I definitely prefer independent partners.

      Reply
  15. Doug Toft (@dougtoft)
    August 2, 2013

    Another beautiful post. You capture the polarity of togetherness and solitude, both needing the other.

    Reply
    • brennagee
      August 3, 2013

      I feel that polarity within myself every day. Pulled in two different directions. Love both pulls.:)

      Reply
  16. OneHotMess
    August 2, 2013

    No, I cannot risk the loss again. I have seven gorgeous children and two times at bat. No. Four years later, no,I can never risk that again. Also, I am totally good with that.

    Reply
    • brennagee
      August 3, 2013

      You are an introvert, yes? Were your previous partners introverts? I completely understand your aversion to taking a risk again and building a relationship. I have similar reservations – mostly questioning myself though. Wondering if I am meant to be in a committed relationship. Thank you for your honest response. I always appreciate your input.:)

      Reply
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