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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 have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
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
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: 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
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….. Sherrie on space2live
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
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

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
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 …

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Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable?

redhead reaching for the stars

“You’ll always be looking for something better” he said.  “What you want is unobtainable” he said.  These statements came in a heated moment shortly after I softly let him know I didn’t think we were going to work.  These words from a man I valued, hurt. They stung because I knew I hurt him. They hit home because they let in a whisper of wonder and doubt.  Am I doomed in love? Am I too selective? Do I choose unobtainable men? Do I have unrealistic expectations?

For the quirkyalone, there is no patience for dating just for the sake of not being alone.  We want a miracle.  Out of millions, we have to find the one who will understand. ~ Sasha Cagen, Quirkyalone

Am I quirky? Will I forever be alone? Honestly, I don’t think so but…

I did get excited when I saw a profile that read, “You have never met anyone like me.”  I got even more geeked when I read the rest of his profile and determined he wasn’t conceited. He seemed different in a smart and enlightened way.  I almost peed my pants when he ‘liked’ my photos and emailed me.  I got energy from his words.  We talked about meeting in person and then… he disappeared off of Match.

Unobtainable?? Check.

I’m special so you have to be special too

Do I hold out for extraordinary because I think I have something special to offer? Perhaps.  I look at individuals differently than others do.  I zero in on the sparkling facets of their inner world.  I buff and polish those facets with warmth and safety until that person feels more alive than they did before they met me. I’ve been told I’m comforting, healing and akin to dopamine. Essentially, I help others shine.

If they draw out my light as well, then I give with my whole being. I don’t hold back.

All I want…

In true introvert fashion I have deeply examined (over analyzed?) the qualities I seek in a partner.  All of which come with the caveat that my children be embraced and cherished as well (There goes more than half the herd;).

Here they are in no particular order:

1. Inspiring intelligence – Nothing sexier than a brilliant mind.  Bright conversation ignites the brain and makes sparks fly.  Sapiosexuality Baby.

2. Willingness to help and support – Introverts are constantly aware of our leaking energy.  If we want any energy leftover for scintillating conversation and awesome sex we’re going to need some help with the daily grind and decision-making.

3. Respect and validation – It’s easy for introverts to feel inferior in our lack of ability to go-go-go and socialize endlessly.  Make us feel like highly valued equals and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect and nourish the relationship.

4. Deep, deep, emotional intimacy – We get each other. We load our conversations with thought-provoking ideas and vulnerable admissions. We look at the world the same.  We intuitively understand each other’s hurts, needs, loves and aspirations. We communicate with lively ease. We could talk all night but don’t need to because we are in tune in silence as well.

5. Understanding of the need for space AND connection – Allow me to bathe in solitude but extend an invitation to join you afterwards.  Let me know you’ll be there when I’m ready to intertwine.

6. Sweet sensuality – Slow and spiritual most of the time.  Hot and fast occasionally. This can be epic if we dare to blend beautifully. Depth in physical connection. I don’t do casual.  There is too much energy loss in meaningless.

7. Dynamic and kind – I will feel your energy.  Is it compassionate and interested in making the world a better place? I’m partial to non-judgmental idealists.  Pessimism and negativity drain, so I abstain.

Beautifully high expectations met 

Dear God!  I AM going to be alone forever.

As I typed this list, it became clearer and clearer that I am dangerously particular.  Dangerous in that there may never be an individual who lives up to these ideals.  Unsettling in that I will likely hurt others along the way in my search.

And yet…

I HAVE experienced a near perfect coupling.  I have danced in blissful partnership.  I have nailed the spiritual, physical and emotional trifecta. I did stop looking for something better. I have found the miracle, the one out of millions who understands… more than once.

Yes, I lost one and never fully obtained the other but…

They were worth the wait and effort. They filled me with energy and I believe I did the same for them.

At some point Mr. One in a Million will enter my life or I will leap into love that doesn’t fit my criteria and find I was wrong about what I needed.

But for now, alone is better than settling for less. Alone is easier than bleeding energy in a pretend relationship. Alone is where I won’t break any hearts or have mine broken. Alone is where I will discover what I have to offer the world.

How particular are you? Are you willing to wait for the miracle or do you need to be coupled? What are your must-haves in a partner? 

If you enjoyed Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? then you may also love: 

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

How Does Introversion Affect Your Sexuality?

How Does Introversion Affect Your Sexuality?: The Results from the Quickie Survey

It’s Never Too Late to Experience Mind Blowing Passion

I’m Sorry I Hurt You in Order to Save Myself: What Introverts Feel but Don’t Always Say

My Introverted Love Creed: If We Can’t Be Magnificent and Independent Together I’m OK Alone

INFJ sidenote: In the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator I am an INFJ. The rarest of all types.  < 2% of the U.S. population. INFJs are described as extraordinarily insightful when it comes to other people’s emotions, thoughts and desires. We connect on the deepest levels.  We are enthusiastic and compassionate lovers who see physical intimacy as a chance to connect on a spiritual level. We are also the least satisfied in long-term love relationships. Update: I may actually be an INFP. Since taking a Myers Briggs certification course, I have found I am in the middle zone between J and P.  I am an early starter on projects but do love to experience life on my own timeframe. Both are idealists and future oriented so I believe my quest for the perfect mate is still in full force.;)

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  1. […] article was originally published on It is republished here with permission from the […]

  2. Girlady Bouvier March 4, 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

    This is the kind of text we read and be like “omg same!”

    Before my first relationship, I’d think I was way too demanding on how deep a relationship should go. But then I got in a relationship and I went as deep and intense as destiny allowed me to. I experienced emotional intimacy, connection, vulnerability, acceptance and respect for differences. I had some warm arms to welcome back to real world after spending some time regaining my energies. Yeah, it went away as suddenly as it came around, but I had it all. Can’t settle for less anymore. I did tried to meet other people via dating websites but I couldn’t handle those superficial conversations and shallow personalities for long. So I decided not to engage myself and my emotional energy into someone who doesn’t have any less to offer than a casual hookup or meaningless relationships.

    Now let me finish this thanking you Brenda for so many insightful articles. It means a lot to me to have a trust-worthy resource for personality matters – I think any kind of personality reassurance matters when you’re in your early 20’s. Thanks for always reminding me I’m not weird or with way-too-high-standards!

    • Brenda Knowles March 4, 2015 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Once you’ve had the full out love/depth/intimacy experience it is darn difficult to settle for less and you shouldn’t. Your man is out there. You don’t have to waste time looking for him just spend time developing yourself. The better you know yourself the more you have to bring to a relationship and the less you will need a partner to complete you. You will simply be two whole beings working together to create a strong and healthy relationship. Keep on your path.:) Thank you for the kind words. I’m thrilled my writing resonates with you.

  3. Maria Carina Taruc February 22, 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I don’t know if anyone will still be on here since last reply i see was as of 2013. I don’t know who to talk to about my current situation. I’m in love with an introvert. And he so happened to be my bestfriend. He fell in love with this girl and he had pain experiencing tremendous pain from unrequited love. I can see he had been denying the fact the girl isn’t attracted to her at all. He had a lot of justifications why the girl may possibly be avoiding him. He thinks that the girl is scared of commitment or gets scared when people profess love because of the girl’s past experience with love. There was one point he got jealous and hurt thinking another guy was stealing her away from him. When that guy backed off since that the other guy was a friend of his, he then started concluding that I was the reason the girl was avoiding her. We are always together. And I, fell in love with him. I’ve seen him go through pain and I was there for him even before I found out his true personality and the battles he is going through everyday. Right before i found out he was an introvert, I never understood why he is the way he is, not only after he did open up himself to me, telling me everything there is to know about him.. And with that, I am so grateful for since that I knew he was crying out for help and wanted to be understood at least even just by one person. We live in a country wherein people aren’t as open about having different personalities and often just mistake you for being nuts.. I on the other hand, tried the best i can do to make him feel understood. But since he knew that I have fallen for him, things suddenly started becoming complicated. He asked me to stop hugging him and holding his hands when we walk. He said it makes him uncomfortable and that he wanted to reserve himself for THE ONE. I felt so betrayed when I found out that he had been flirting with different girls.. I then realized that I have to let him think that I don’t feel anything for him and pretended to still be in love with my ex.. But each time i talk to him about my ex, he becomes irritated and moody.. I am really confused.. There had been instances he was drunk and he messaged me that he loves seriously but just not the way i want him to and he cares for me so much but not just the way he wants me too.. All the while I thought he was over the girl he fell in with and just gave up pursuing her..But then I felt he started keeping things from me that made me feel hurt. I’ve been honest to him and told him that I don’t like the girl for him, not because I’m jealous or that I feel something for him, but I just don’t like the girl for him because I can feel and see the effect of it on him. Things he doesn’t see or can’t seem to understand.. I know that if he continued to pursue the girl and he keeps on getting rejected, he will just end up miserable and he would feel worst than he already feels.. It gave him more insecurities and more frustrations. I love him and I’llbe honest about it. I just can’t stand being a friend to him and seeing him hurt himself and waste time on this rather than help himself be better.. Then it came to a point he started pushing me away when I tell him things that are painfully obivous to him.. And then I knew I’m becoming a part of his problems.. I don’t seem to understand when he says that he hates it when I get in his head.. I don’t know what to do.. I know that I’m the only one who can understand him more than anyone here.. I don’t want our friendship to end.. How can I save our friendship and how can I help him deal with his situation and make him realize that what is doing is not healthy for him anymore?

    • Brenda Knowles February 22, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      First of all, each of us is responsible for our own happiness. You can’t make him be happy/content. From what you said, it seems like it would be very difficult for you to be neutral about his relationship with the other girl. I believe you honestly care about him and it is honorable that you want to protect him from getting hurt but he may have to learn that lesson on his own in order for it to help him grow as a person.
      It sounds like he values your friendship but does not want to lead you on, giving you hope that you could someday be a couple. He is looking for romantic love from other sources.
      My suggestion would be to focus on making yourself happy. Focus on making yourself someone who someone else would want to be with. What makes you feel alive other than your relationship with this boy? Where do you shine? Fill yourself up and you will find someone to love, not out of necessity (to avoid loneliness) but because you will be a whole being and ready for a mature relationship. Confidence and independence are attractive.
      Big hug. You are learning through each of your relationships. Don’t wait around for someone who is not open to a relationship with you right now. Thanks for writing in. BTW the last comment was from Dec. of 2014 so the conversation is still current. 🙂

  4. MJ December 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    This is exactly what I’m looking for in a relationship. It took me years to know what I want. On my good days I’m willing to wait for THE one and on my bad days, I feel like I’m doomed to stay alone.

    • Brenda Knowles December 6, 2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

      I think we are kindred spirits MJ. I volley back and forth between being fine on my own and deeply wanting a relationship. My standards and desires are at times a hindrance but also a reflection of my new self-awareness. It’s hard to lower them. May we both be content on our paths.:) Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. […] Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? […]

  6. […] Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? […]

  7. […] Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? […]

  8. Corey Murphy June 4, 2014 at 10:22 am - Reply

    It’s good you have that list I feel my relationship meets those standards so it is deFinitely obtainable. sure there are some quirks of hers that bug me but you need to be understanding of them if you want yours to be understood as well. The only problem is if you do find the perfect person, will you be the perfect person for them? Hmmm.. so dont be unreasonable!!

    • Brenda Knowles June 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Good advice! You are so right. You have to be a reasonable and good person and hope they find you just as attractive/lovable. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  9. Todd May 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you posting this. Reading through really hit home with regard to a recent break-up I am dealing with. She is truly the woman of my dreams. I know this because at no point in my life have I ever wanted to give myself completely to another person for the sole purpose of bettering and enriching their life without a selfish thought or ulterior motive. She is everything I ever wanted and very introverted. On top of that she is a doctor and has an extremely hectic, and ever changing, schedule (which I am truly ok with). I am introverted as well but not at the same level as she and have occasions of extroversion. This is especially true when I am with those who empower me (as she does) or those I care for (double whammy). The break-up was only a week ago and I never saw it coming. We had been dating for 5 months, which I know is a short time, however she stated that she was very unhappy for the last month or so and decided that the relationship needed to end. Things seemed wonderful to me and I never had a hint of distress. She truly suffered in silence. As we talked she said that SHE didn’t deserve ME! All the while I couldn’t help but see that as ridiculous and I am sure I voiced that. The reality is that she was incredibly deserving and I never felt like I did enough for her.

    Of course my first question when she told me was “Why”. Unfortunately she could not give me a clear response; she didn’t know. She just knew that she was hurting and mentioned crying herself to sleep. I felt nauseous thinking that I was the source of such pain. I tried to do everything for her all the time and love her unconditionally. Shortly after this happened I met with my therapist and explained all that I could. It was determined that my firm, and matter-of-fact, analytical and inquisitive personality was likely the cause. In addition my want to spend more time with her than she likely could give presumably (this is speculation only from what I have read) caused strife as she already was likely drained from her normal day-to-day. I never forcibly pushed this and only meant it as an endearing sentiment (ex “I want to see you all the time”). Even though I tried to be supportive the way I know how behind the scenes that was not the case. I seemingly turned into a source of contention in her mind.

    In retrospect she was bending for me the entire time. She would re-arrange her schedule on my behalf. She would go out of her way for me. The problem for me was that at the time I never knew and I certainly never knew how big of a deal this was for her since for me those types of things are inconsequential. I feel like such a jerk and so unappreciative. All the while she was making the effort and I came across as a pompous and selfish ass who could never be satisfied.

    My concern now is that I have lost the best thing that ever happened to me. Since this realization I have been reading everything I possibly could about introverts and how I can converse with her gently and genuinely. I know in my heart and mind that my dynamic personality can truly be everything she ever needs or wants. Up until now I see no reason for her to think I wasn’t stuck in my ways and would never alter when in fact I was still trying to understand her better so that I could adapt and we could grow together. Thankfully she has agreed to speak with me next week. How do I help her understand that I understand where she is and that she is safe with me? Please tell me how!

    • Sydney Woman May 15, 2014 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      I’m surprised your counsellor didn’t tell you that perhaps there are other reasons why she felt you were too good for her or a host of other real reasons she broke it off.

      Being as busy as she was, she is not likely ready for the relationship you are ready for. Are you prepared to settle for less or do you love yourself enough to expect more from a partner.

      Or maybe it’s cupids/God/Source Energy/ timing’s way of telling you it’s just not right RIGHT NOW. Sometimes we are just not a match and it’s not necessarily because of you. You’re simply not a match.

      What if she was telling the truth and she doesn’t feel she is worthy of being loved by you or anyone who doesn’t to either ignore her, avoid her or disrespect her. She may suffer some form of avoidant personality disorder or was abandoned in her childhood and your positivity /balance/normality doesn’t give her the support she is used to. Some people, despite being successful in their careers, beautiful, polite, kind and courteous and appear to be well put together are broken. I’m not saying that’s definitely her but if it is she will need to work on that issue. You can’t do it for her. Love does not conquer all.

      I hope your meeting next week either gives you the closure you need or gives you both better insight into the real reasons so you can rekindle the relationship if possible or she can find that help she needs and you can move on without too much heartbreak (it sucks, we all know). If it doesn’t feel right when you walk away after your meeting next week, just know that it wasn’t meant to be and keep yourself really busy. When you break away from what feels like a great relationship before all the biological hormones start to wear off (at around 1.5 to 3 years, it hurts a shit load more).

      Keep us posted.

      Big hugs to you.

    • Brenda Knowles May 16, 2014 at 2:04 pm - Reply

      I think you will have to SHOW her how you can be less of a strong and direct presence. If your dynamic and analytical personality are part of the issue then you will have to back off. Is this truly possible? Often our natural temperament prevails. You can’t change your core essence but you can grow with someone, as you said. You grow through mutual awareness, communication and appreciation of each other’s differences. A sense of humor helps tremendously as well.:)

      You sound genuinely devoted and in love. I believe you want to make this relationship work. The fact that your girlfriend could not express why the relationship didn’t work and why she was hurting reminds me of the trouble in my marriage. I had a hard time explaining to my ex-husband and our counselor what it was that bothered me about my then husband’s presence. I would say now that it was his dominant personality. I always had to speak up to be heard. I became exhausted from the exertion of just maintaining equal say in the relationship. He did not do anything on purpose to hurt me and was very devoted all around. I just couldn’t grow into who I was meant to be within his strong presence. I felt squeezed out. It may be very difficult for your girlfriend to say something like that to you. She may dread hurting your feelings.
      It’s also possible that she is simply overwhelmed with life. If her workload and social life are constantly humming she may be burning out. I highly suggest giving her space and work on something that makes you light up on your own. If she truly is attracted to and cares about you she will seek you out, especially if you make it clear the door is open.
      I love how you said you can be extroverted when someone empowers you. That is a beautiful truth. Perhaps she needs to feel more empowered?
      Thank you for writing in. I’m rooting for you because you are so obviously enchanted with this woman. Keep us posted.

  10. […] Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? […]

  11. […] Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? […]

  12. […] Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? (space2live) […]

  13. […] Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? […]

  14. Alli November 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this article. Your words ways seem to work wonders when my doubts are running rampant. I am an INFP with occasional J tendencies and its nice to hear someone think about the same things as me. I’m in one of those energy draining relationships and your list was eye opening. I couldn’t put words to it before but now I realize what is lacking for me. Thank you again 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles November 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      I am an INFJ with P tendencies. I can’t quite figure out which one I am. I like things settled but I also love to collect data forever.;)

      Get out of the energy draining relationships. You deserve to live as your highest self. It is possible to be in a relationship that doesn’t empty you. I know from experience in both camps.:)

      Strength and peace to you!

  15. Lotus November 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Once again, you are telling my story! I am INFJ as well. 🙂 Everything you said fits me. I believe I have found that one perfect man, but life keeps us apart more often than not. We don’t give up though, and that says a lot for me.
    I’m sorry to hear that you’re alone again. I keep you in my thoughts and prayers always. Your posts are always wonderful!

    • Brenda Knowles November 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Maybe that is the secret – to be apart a lot? I’m happy you are in a wonderful relationship.
      Alone is OK for now. I am always surrounded by quality people – male and female, so I move forward.:) Thanks for your wonderful support.

  16. Lisa "MeMa" Perez October 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    What I’ve learned in my forty years on this planet is that there is no such thing as “impossible” or “high expectation”. If you want it, you can get it. But the question is…do you really want it?
    I can honestly say that all of my life of dating was just a sport. I’d fall in and out of it because it (unfortunately) defined me and was a method of measuring my self-worth or popularity.
    But then, two wonderful people came into my life which changed this view forever. I was involved in a 7-year relationship with my ex, Carlos, who taught me the lengths that love can go. We survived it all–life, love and hardships that you can’t imagine. Then, he gave up. As he got sicker, I reconnected with someone I knew 20 years ago, Peter, who helped remove me from the situation. We shared two glorious months together as he built up my confidence and restored my soul. Then, he died.
    Carlos and I remained friends but his illness was getting progressively worse. He died almost a year after Pete.
    Then, something magical happened: I landed an apartment that I had wanted and learned how to live alone. I pulled myself out of the depths of depression, anger, guilt, and regret and started my solo life. During the grieving process, I did a lot of “filling in the empty void” by dating but found that the scene had changed…not in a good way.
    It was time to regroup; I had to remind myself that I am the root to my own happiness. Although I wanted to share my life with someone, I had to put myself and my life in order.
    But, it’s never too late. I know that someday like Yoko Ono; I am going to reach out my hands, making my way through the fog and I will find my John Lennon standing there. Then I’ll say, “There you are…!” And he’ll answer, “Right on time.”

    • Brenda Knowles October 30, 2013 at 11:54 am - Reply

      Oh I love your story! Thank you for sharing. You further affirmed what I’ve been thinking – I need to find my own way and worth. I am the root of my own happiness. I know that needing someone is not love. I need to feel and be whole (which I can do all on my own) and then give and receive love from another. Admittedly, this is not easy for me. It seems the times when I am the most independent, creative, productive and giving are when I have a supportive and/or inspiring partner. I have a lot on my plate with children and homelife which takes a lot of my energy. Sharing life with someone else frees up and generates energy for me. Doing everything on my own feels exhausting at times. Sigh…

      I have so many things to be grateful for (including compassionate insightful readers). I also know all of this will ebb and flow. The fog will clear someday and I will find someone – possibly my own stronger, wiser, whole self.

      Thanks again for your kind encouragement and candid story. It hit home with me.

  17. Sherrie P. October 29, 2013 at 11:13 am - Reply

    OMD…I am too speechless to even respond at this moment. I feel like you plunged into my heart of hearts and “read it all out loud” as the song said…… retreating to sit with this a while… but not before thanking you from every corner of my heart!

  18. introvertdear October 28, 2013 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Introvert, Dear and commented:
    Wonderful post! Thanks, Brenda Knowles! I feel the same way — that I am too picky and I will never find someone who lives up to my standards. Being alone is better than being in a mediocre relationship.

  19. introvertdear October 28, 2013 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this! I am divorced and I feel the same way — that I am too picky and I will never find someone who lives up to my standards. I did endless dating on Okcupid for a while. I made some beautiful memories and came very close to bliss with a few (but they were, in the end, unobtainable).

    I write a personal blog on tumblr and WordPress called “Introvert Dear.” I hope you don’t mind that I posted a link to your article!

    P.S. I’m also an INFJ!

    • Brenda Knowles October 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      We are kindred spirits.:) I did a stint on OKcupid too. I love your blog! I am following it.

  20. sheketechad October 27, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply

    It must be the invigorating clime of Autumn that is stirring souls everywhere, as this was just the topic of discussion with my best friend yesterday. Yet I am wondering if ‘settling’ is some new meme that we’re all buying into simply because finding a partner is so difficult? Are our expectations causing us to overlook potentiality? None of these things did I think out prior to marrying my late husband – we just connected and lived. I didn’t weigh him on a spectrum, I didn’t have a check box list of requirements, I just learned to love him faults and all, and he did the same of me. Our marriage was not perfect, but it was worthwhile still the same – often trying, lacking in things that each of us desired from the other, yet I’d do it again if he were still alive. Or is it our age and the knowledge that we’d like to do this only one more time, so we’re simply more selective and perhaps, less flexible, than we once were?

    I’ve really only tried once seriously in the four years since my husband’s death, and I got nicely put away recently without so much as an explanation after several months.. He simply quit speaking to me. A non-emotional query garnered no response at all – I was simply left with a wall of silence.

    I interact with intelligent, articulate, single men and women regularly, and I repeatedly hear this mantra of ‘not settling’. While I do have particular lifestyle requirements, I’m simply wondering if we’re over-thinking to the point of doing ourselves a disservice. I’m not sure yet, but it is something I am weighing along with other things.

    As an INFJ with an Enneagram 5w4, I have a good feeling/logic equilibrium, but I do find myself most interactive with S or T types; they feel more complementary and balanced. They take less and offer more in the realm of cerebral stimulation. Sometimes though, the lack of empathy is a little tough to endure, but it keeps my ‘feeling’ part more calmed and stable.

    Like always Brenda, your posts, and the thoughtful comments given in response, provide good food for thought. Thank you for sharing your triumphs and struggles with all of us.

    • Brenda Knowles October 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm - Reply

      I know I overthink the relationship thing. In the end, my heart leads me, not my mind. I can think all day but someday I’ll have to just leap and follow through. That’s what I did when I got married. It lasted 15 years.

      It’s the energy. Is it there or is it not? I was willing to overlook imperfections and strive for the best relationship with the man I had the best energy with (not my ex-husband). We weren’t perfect but we enjoyed each other immensely. He wasn’t able/willing (he had massive changes of his own going on) to commit to a full time relationship with someone who was still raising young children but we are still close and think highly of each other.

      The weird truth is I often find something I love and enjoy in each man I date. It’s hard for me to say no to time with them. I make decisions about whether or not they are keepers before it gets too physical. I also always keep my children in the back of my mind. How would this person interact with them? Big deciding factor.

      Your “wall of silence” man deserves a swift kick.;) Obviously, you can do better.

      My ex-husband was the S and T type. He did complement me. I miss the way we completed projects together. There was not a deep emotional connection though.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I learn from you.:)

  21. Alex October 26, 2013 at 10:43 am - Reply

    You hit the nail on the head here. I have a lot to offer as well, and I’m not being full of myself. I know I am brilliant and rare because I’ve been, without prompting, told and in detail why this is true. I actually give a mass amount of my soul to help others to allow themselves to shine by such actions and feelings as championing their endeavors and supporting them mentally and emotionally…as is. I let them know in no uncertain terms that who they are is awesome, and it assists in their outlook on themselves. Like you, I want someone who can do that for me. I have that relationship with female friends. Why can’t I with a lover.

    I think your requirements are a perfect outline of the basic requirements for a strong relationship. If you wanted any less, I think you’d be settling. In the daily grind, it is so hard for me to keep everything organized to begin with, I’d have no time for him if he didn’t assist with everyday and abnormal tasks. Intelligence is a must. Have you ever worked with someone who is less intelligent that you are? I’m not trying to be mean, but it is extremely frustrating and difficult to get anything done properly. If I can’t even handle it at work, how would it be possible to make a relationship with a person that I’m looking to be able to “get things done” with, find connectivity with, and have many deep conversations with if I can’t even do it in short spurts at work. Intelligence…and utilizing that intelligence…are a must. I say utilizing as some prefer to be lazy in conversation and other activities.

    Dynamic is key for me. It’s key in making the world a better place as that is my motto in life too. It is also key in having a zest for life because I feed into the zest of other people and therefore try to surround myself with them. I find life to be more adventurous and fun in daily and irregular activities if I have someone to mutually feed off of the zest of.

    Connecting in ideas, conversation, and emotions…that’s the core of life an relationships. If you don’t have that, what do you have.

    I also agree that in some ways you may be surprised with who you end up choosing as a life partner. It happens all the time. I actually read that in long term relationships attraction is the number one common trait, but I also heard having the same religion or belief system is a high numbered trait. In the end, life’s a crap shoot, but I think it’s good to have a base yet flexible idea of what you are looking for even if you are not “looking”.


    • November October 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm - Reply

      I absolutely agree, I feel very similar. But I also feel like being that close with someone and having a relationship like that is just too much…. Too much intensity/stress, work, effort, pain in between the happy times…After 3 failed serious relationships, I’m not sure I want to try anymore.

      • Brenda Knowles October 27, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

        I feel your discouragement and fatigue. Maybe you do need a break to breathe fresh life into you. I’ve been there. I get worn out from online dating highs and lows (much smaller scale but still trying at times). Be gentle with yourself. If you read Melanie Marttila’s comments (see below) I think you’ll find some beautiful wisdom. It’s when you let go of needing a relationship and find contentment on your own, that promising relationships develop. I am considering flying solo for a while…

        Hug and strength to you.*

    • Brenda Knowles October 27, 2013 at 8:33 am - Reply

      I think when you give a massive amount of your soul to champion others you need a significant other who fills you up. There has to be a balance. Intelligence and a certain level of “dynamic” are inspiring and feed the spirit.

      Only recently have I been willing to admit I need help with the daily grind in order to reach my highest potential. I don’t like needing anyone but my introverted nature can only process so much detail/work/stimulation before it’s full and not available for higher callings. I would love to get through everyday obligations with someone and then soar together above them. Ideally.;)

      As you said, it’s all a crap shoot. Some days I want to throw in the relationship towel and others I want to leap into its risky magnificence.

      Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  22. Melanie Marttila October 26, 2013 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Thanks for this post. It really speaks to the fears of many introverts who have recognized and owned who they are.
    It wasn’t until I decided that I was not interested in a relationship and content with a solitary life, until I decided to pursue my craft seriously regardless of the outcome, that I met and fell in love with my husband. In retrospect, it was a zen thing. I let go of my desires and suddenly, there he was. We are both independent and private people. e.g. I am currently half the continent away, attending a writing conference solo. Phil and I are both perfectly happy with the situation. Our intimacy includes, but is not limited to sex. We’re actually best friends with benefits. I know I’m not necessarily a typical introvert, but happiness is possible. And loving yourself and your solitary life is critical to opening up to someone else, introvert or extrovert.

    • Brenda Knowles October 27, 2013 at 12:05 am - Reply

      I believe you have hit the nail on the head. I know I need to embrace my own endeavors and feel whole and blessed on my own before I am ready for a healthy loving relationship. I have to let go of the need to be completed. You and your husband sound like a cool couple I’d like to know. Thank you for sharing your story. I learn from you every time Melanie.

  23. Ann October 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I have been told these words myself. When I hear them, I feel powerful on one hand because I know what I want and then on the other hand I question if it is out there. I will wait! No matter how long it takes, I will wait.

    I just got out of a 6 month relationship because it was not “IT”. I knew it in my heart and in my mind. Yet I stayed because I felt so picky. Now that I am on the other side of the breakup I know it was the right thing. My spirit is awakening again and my feeling of alive and power is back. I LOVE IT! I have missed it oh so much! It feels good, it feels warm, it feels light!

    Thank you for this post today! It was perfect for my world!

    Much appreciation!

    • Brenda Knowles October 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm - Reply

      My favorite writing hero, Brenda Ueland, always said she felt most brave and debonair when she was just ending a relationship. Ah the possibilities.:) I’m glad you’re back! May your spirit soar dear Ann.

  24. October 25, 2013 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    I think you will definitely find the one you’re looking for. I was alone for a long time before I met my husband. I’m an INFJ and he’s an INTJ. As a fellow introvert, he totally gets me, but his logical side really helps me balance out my intense emotional side. We come together on hours of deep talks, eccentric tastes, and subversive open-mindedness, and challenge each other with opposite interests (I’m a literary nut, he’s into live music). Your person is out there, for sure. It’s just a question of right timing.

    • Brenda Knowles October 25, 2013 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      Oh that’s so hopeful, thank you! Your relationship sounds like a lovely pairing. Someone to balance my intense emotional side would be cool…:) Enjoy your bliss! Thanks for connecting.

  25. November October 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Holy cow. That last line just hit me.
    I am leaving my partner for an undetermined amount of time, during which I will (among many things) try and figure out where I want my life to be. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m settling, that I might not get to do the things I’ve wanted, and that I am meant to do something bigger with my life. “Alone is where I will discover what I have to offer the world.” At times, this daydream includes places like Africa and Myanmar, so watch out, world…

    • Brenda Knowles October 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      If your inner voice is whispering, listen to it.:) I have the same tug to do something bigger with my life. I admire your courage to go forth and explore. You may discover after time away that your partner needs to be a permanent part of your life or you may decide to carry on without them. The space will talk. Enjoy the journey.

  26. May S October 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Oh, this is just SO me, it’s almost frightening. I have no idea how many times I’ve been told my expectations are way too high, and that there is noone that can ever live up to them. I see myself so much in this, I feel the exact same way.
    I have been in relationships where certain things lack, and that’s just a no go. It does not work.
    Thank you so much for this vivid and beautifully written piece of work! It’s soothing to my heart and soul. To find there are others that think like I do, and feel the way that I do too.
    Breand, you are such a beautiful sould, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles October 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      Aw thank you May. I was worried the post might come across as a tad conceited but it’s the truth. I am incapable of being in a relationship unless it is very close to ideal. I don’t expect perfection but I do know myself and what I like. I was able to overlook a few imperfections in a man who filled me up with energy and gave me a safe space to be me. I know I can love and be loved. I do want a partner again but not enough to settle for whoever wants me. I want to give love authentically.

      Thanks for your steadfast support May. I so appreciate it soul friend.:)

  27. Jenny October 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    This post is incredible; I relate to it 100%. The last paragraph resonates especially strongly for me. I can’t express how grateful I am to have found your blog–and I’m grateful to you for sharing your very personal feelings and experiences! It’s wonderful to know that there are other people out there who not only understand my feelings, but share them as well (I’m an INFJ also).

    • Brenda Knowles October 25, 2013 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m so happy you found space2live! It’s therapeutic and amazing for me too when my stories resonate with others. It’s wonderful to know I have kindred spirits out there.:) INFJ, yay!

  28. ilona fried October 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Beautiful post…I found myself nodding in agreement throughout. I’m curious what your Enneatype is? I wonder to what extent your (and my) romantic preferences are determined by that, rather than introversion per se.

    • Brenda Knowles October 28, 2013 at 8:46 am - Reply

      Ilona I need to find out what my Enneatype is. Can you believe I don’t know?? You could be right about enneatype over introversion. I think INFJ has more to do with my preferences than straight out introversion as well. Much, much feeling and intuition.;) Do you have any suggestions for good places to take an Enneatype assessment?

      • ilona fried October 28, 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

        There are many free online Enneagram tests (should appear on Google), but I recommend the book by Helen Palmer (The Enneagram). It’s a fairly in depth and nuanced system of assessment, with explanations about how each personality type behaves when under stress or when feeling strong. It’s good baseline info to have if one is in a process of growth and change, and to understand the people around them.

        • Brenda Knowles October 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

          Thank you for the book recommendation. More self-analysis yay! I enjoy figuring out others too.

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