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.
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.
But 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.
All 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 Match.com profile remains hidden.
When are you happiest? In a relationship or on your own? Do you seek novelty and/or sensations?
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