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I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live

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Introvert Relationships and Sensation Seeking: Being Your Own Amazing Soulmate Update

In July I wrote a post titled, Introvert Stops Searching for ‘The One’ and Gets a Life: Being Your Own Amazing Soulmate. In it, I described my intention to stop dating for three months and focus on experiencing life’s riches on my own. I planned to savor my children’s company, spend meaningful time with friends, do nourishing volunteer work, expand my writing career, try new fitness workouts, exploit my wanderlust and read, read, read. I couldn’t wait to revive my senses and imagination.

An update at the two month mark

It’s rather embarrassing to admit, but three days after I posted my no dating declaration, I had lunch with an incredible man. A few nights after that we had a long and sensuous date that included: dinner at a high-end English pub; sharing a donut and drinking jasmine tea at a 50s shop; holding hands and listening to jazz music at a late night venue and finally laughing and eating guacamole until the wee hours of the morning at a dive called Little Tijuana.

The moon shone that night. Summer supplied a soft breeze. We told our stories. It was lovely.deep kisses

In him, I discovered someone who matched my desire to live deeply and vibrantly. Over the next few weeks, he accompanied me to a thrift shop and the farmers’ market. We cooked bright meals together. We spent an afternoon drifting on paddle boards on a tranquil lake. I kissed him like we were alone in the back of a crowded music venue. He kissed me back and I felt it down to my toes. We did hot yoga together and it was … hot AND healthy. We got out in the world and tasted everything. We also stayed in and watched smart and dumb TV. We talked about our kids. I’d found a good listener who was mature, accomplished and wise. I’d found a playmate and friend.

With him, I relaxed and expanded. I had energy.

Sensation seeking introverts

He claimed to be an introvert too, but I’m not sure. If so, he is a gregarious and people-loving introvert. I got overwrought and tired one weekend and asked for space, mostly because I was dealing with separate emotion-packed issues that had nothing to do with him. He heard my request but ended up seeing me quite a bit anyway.

It is interesting to note that mostly I liked how often we saw each other. He is definitely a give it gas kind of guy and I’m a give it the brakes kind of girl but it worked. We were fairly active in our adventures, yet I didn’t get completely drained. I was both relaxed and excited. A pleasant combination for me given I am a sensation seeking introvert/HSP. FYI, sensation seeking does not mean thrill-seeking. We crave novelty. Highly sensitive sensation seeking can be intellectual, spiritual, or creative in addition to physical.

Go vulnerable, take a chance

Everything was going so well. I allowed my intuitive introverted brain to do what it loves to do— envision a future. I’d been careful about that for a while. I have been let down enough to know to temper my hopes, but I felt I could trust this man. I could tell he was envisioning too.

It was safe to be vulnerable.

protected_heart1But within that vulnerable bliss a deal-breaker issue revealed itself. An obstacle in our relationship that could not be surmounted. This abrupt discovery felt like a needle being ripped off a spinning LP. In the days following, I walked around dropping F-bombs in my head. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I was so disappointed and heartsick.

Suddenly, I was back to my original intention of being my own kickass soulmate. I had broken my own rules and now found myself revisiting them.

No serious dating. Remain celibate. No romantic leanings.

I was slightly buoyed by the fact that I had abided by at least one of the rules.

The perks of being a single AND dating wildflower

Luckily, while I strayed under romantic influences I also kept one foot in Uncoupled-town. I had dined with girlfriends, taken the kids to sacred summer places like the state fair and an amusement park, attended volunteer orientation for a charitable organization, collaborated with other writers, spent time with my extended family and read delicious articles and books.

I had managed to fill myself up by partaking in enriching non-romantic activities while in a romantic relationship. That’s about as good as it gets.:)

Yes, I’d like to have my cake and eat it too

Lest you think my life is all pleasure and canoodling, I’ll let you know that while all of this was going on at least two crises/major life decisions seethed at my elbow, pulling at my attention and heart strings as well.

Over the past six months, I’ve witnessed the death or failing health of several people I know. What I’ve gleaned from these experiences is that you shouldn’t wait to live as you want.

I want to experience life fully and I want to love intimately and deeply. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive or unobtainable.

At this moment, I’m content being single. I’m still feeling bruised from the last dating experience. I actually don’t have a lot of time to properly devote myself to someone. It wouldn’t be much fun to date me.

freedomAll that said, I don’t seem to be able to not date. I am a sensual person who needs space but also desires meaningful connection and experiences. This paradox is the crux of introvert frustration. I’ll continue to do field research on the subject and report back to you.

For now, my profile remains hidden.

When are you happiest? In a relationship or on your own? Do you seek novelty and/or sensations?

If this post resonated with you, you may also love:

Introvert Relationships: Love Me or Leave Me But Please Don’t Need Me (Too Much)

Building Beautiful Introvert/Extrovert Relationships

How To Be Lively, Energetic and Vibrant When Your True Nature Is Thoughtful, Introverted and Reticent

Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable?

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  1. Marjorie May 31, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

    such=”sharing” …..I suppose my texts have a mind of their own….LOL

  2. Marjorie May 31, 2015 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Your writings soothe my soul…thanks for such your experiences!

    • Brenda Knowles May 31, 2015 at 10:59 am - Reply

      I’m so glad Marjorie! I read your comment as ‘sharing’ even when it said such.;)

  3. Bob September 14, 2014 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Brenda, it is so easy to get caught up in the emotions and ego of meeting a new someone. Time is always the test of relationships. As the “newness” wears off and we can back away a bit to take inventory of the relationship, we can get a bird’s eye view of whether or not this is person truly suits all of our needs. When I divorced several years ago I found myself in a relationship that, in retrospect, was never going to work. But in the heat of the moment, I tried to hang on to it despite red flags popping up all over the place. Cannot recall which flag snapped me out of it, but I finally ended the relationship and the woman couldn’t believe it. Got a bit ugly, but I am so thankful I came to my senses. I am now blessed with the love of an amazing woman who accepts me as I am. I firmly believe we all learn from every relationship, good, bad or somewhere in between. Learning is growth and growth helps us live truer, happier lives.

    • Brenda Knowles September 18, 2014 at 7:50 am - Reply

      I agree Bob. Time does reveal the truth of a relationship. The first few months are heady and honey-moon-like. I am learning this and more with each relationship. I have learned to give red flags credence but I’ve also learned to not be too quick to rule someone out. My expectations were so high at first. I wanted perfection. I now know there are ‘costs of admission’ for every relationship. We just have to determine how much is too much.
      When I first started dating a gentleman told me I have to date for a while to know what I want. He said I would learn with each relationship. I believe he was right.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and insight. I’m happy you found someone who loves you fully. There’s hope.:)

  4. Gary Haig September 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Brenda. After my recent break up with my girlfriend of a dozen years, my son recommended I read your blog, and I am so very grateful that I followed his advice. All of a sudden, I’ve realized that I am not alone in my desire to be alone, and that I am allowed to put my “Mr. Sociable” extrovert persona out to pasture and indulge the true introvert and HSP that is my default state of being. My entire life, I was pressured to defend my “shyness” and “anti-social” behavior and so I faked it and adopted my “Mr. Sociable” facade. What a great relief to discover that it’s not some rare disease that I suffer from, but a rich inner life experience that is shared by so many others. How empowering! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul.

    • Brenda Knowles September 14, 2014 at 8:56 am - Reply

      Wheee!!! Enjoy that rich inner life that is your true nature. I think you’ll find that once you let the mask slip off you will attract others who feel the same way. It is such a gift to be free to be you. You are definitely not alone. I’m so thrilled that your son recommended space2live. I’m honored.
      Have a ball discovering and revealing your true self.:)

  5. ilona fried September 5, 2014 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I am curious, too, about the deal breaker. And I also want to challenge you to honor your original intention to not date for 3 months…who knows what other internal gems you might discover?

    • Brenda Knowles September 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Oh Ilona! 🙂 We shall see. So far, I’m staying on the single/alone track. I have a remarkable life with or without a man. I have a few wonderful male friends who give me that male fix (dinner, conversation, coffee, home improvement help) if I need it.
      See below for my response regarding the deal breaker.

      • ilona fried September 6, 2014 at 10:58 pm - Reply

        Always good to have a male fix! And I respect your decision to honor the privacy of this person.

  6. Steven Barer September 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I have to say that I’m super curious what the deal-breaker issue was. In the face of what sounds like an otherwise pretty exceptional fit, to the extent that you can determine such thing in mere weeks, I’m both surprised, and very curious to know what emerges that’s non-negotiable? I’m trying to imagine myself in your shoes, or his, and offer up something that would be a deal-breaker. It’s a challenge.

    • Brenda Knowles September 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm - Reply

      I know it leaves the reader a bit dissatisfied not knowing what the deal breaker was but I decided to keep the issue between me and the sweet man, private. I respect him and our time together. We are still friends. I’ll just say it involved one of the big 3, faith,family or health.

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