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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
Sherrie
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
M.G.
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
C.M.

“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 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…
J.K.
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
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
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon
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

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Introvert Relationships: Requesting Alone Time for the Two of You and Not Just to Run Errands or Have Sex

abrazos-amor-apoyo-beautiful-Favim.com-2000908I recently realized that one-on-one time with my significant other is as vital as time to myself. I need and crave both. They are on equal footing. I used to worry about asking a partner for alone time — so many still don’t understand that need for quiet internal recharging. But now I see that I also have to request alone time for the two of us, and not just time to run errands or have sex. Time for exquisite soul connecting where the core of me touches the core of him.

When an introvert cares about someone, she also wants contact, not so much to keep up with the events of the other person’s life, but to keep up with what’s inside: the evolution of ideas, values, thoughts, and feelings. — Laurie Helgoe author of Introvert Power  via Introvert, Dear

In, If You Love an Introvert, a beautifully useful post by Jenn Granneman of Introvert, Dear, Jenn states, We crave ‘you’ time. This means we want to spend time with you and only you — no friends, family members, or kids around for a while.This deeply resonated with me. Having my own children and having been in couple on benchrelationships with men who have children, roommates, demanding jobs and extended family in the area, I know it is difficult to find time to stare into each other’s thoughts, dreams and fears. But the best mates were the ones who lived for the connection just as much as I did and who were willing to protect our sacred space.

Emotional intimacy sustains the introvert relationship

te-laat-bij-kinderopvangThe last seven or eight years of my marriage offered very little meaningful engagement between my husband and me. I believe this is a common occurrence when children become the focus of a family. We rarely shared those warm deep discussions wrapped in each others’ arms that light you up on the inside. Sure, we tried weekly date nights and locking our bedroom door on Saturday mornings, but we couldn’t get to that man/woman spirit connection. Most of our time was spent talking about kids, the house, extended family and his job. There wasn’t enough time to review the muddied, surface topics AND dig deep into the pure enduring subjects of love, encouragement, feelings, humanity and ideas. The lack of connection led to a lack of vulnerability and intimacy. Lack of intimacy is especially poisonous to an introvert relationship.

As I said in, Emotional Intimacy: An Introvert’s Ultimate Turn On?, the only thing equal to delicious solitude in its ability to rejuvenate and nourish the introvert’s internal living is emotional intimacy.

Solitude and intimacy create energy

After my ex-husband moved out I took a few months to be with the kids and be with myself. I needed to breathe big gulps of silence and to drink a million beautiful words off pages and pages. I needed to catch up with myself, hear what I was thinking and figure out how to proceed in my new life.sunset_alone_by_ibadurrahman

But… all the while a flame of desire for companionship, passion and engagement burned inside as well. This desire could not be satisfied by attending social functions or gathering with friends. I needed the raptness found only in a sole (soul?) intimate relationship.

The only catch was my energy flagged with many potential mates because the emotional and mental engagement were not there. They would want physical affection and I would want them to kiss my mind first. They would book up our calendar with doing and not a lot of being (extroverts) or take off for spontaneous weekends by themselves (introverts) and expect me to feel connected and loving when we were finally alone. I enjoy socializing and definitely appreciate the occasional weekend to myself, but often their level of activity or number of absences strained our connection. I am in no way stating there was anything wrong with these men or anything unusual in their behavior. There wasn’t. They all had lovely traits. I just need a high-quality level of intimacy in order to maintain enough energy to juggle everyday tasks and a healthy relationship.

A few ways to cultivate meaningful one-on-one time

1. Go to bed early together. Not for instant sex but for soft re-hashing of the day and positive sharing of the possibilities of tomorrow. This may well turn into the most beautiful seduction and foreplay.

2. Linger on the couch together with the TV off. Intertwine legs. Ask about the best part of your partner’s day.

3. Go on a date to an intimate and quiet restaurant. Get away from your house and its responsibilities. Hold hands across the table. Ask questions and listen with your eyes.

Advice for introverts and those who love them

I have found the times when I am the most stressed about a relationship are when my partner is asking for my time and physical attention but not making space for true intimacy. My advice for introverts is to take your relationship’s intimacy temperature. When was the last time you talked for hours? Non-judgmentally listened to each other’s ideas and feelings? Shared music lyrics or passages from a favorite book? Really slowed down and saw your significant other as a faceted human? Do not be afraid to advocate for closeness. Put in place one of the above one-on-one settings. You will both benefit.

bigstock-Happy-young-couple-in-love-27315422-copyMy advice for anyone dating an introvert is to expect a need for personal space but a high level of beautiful intimacy when you are together. Sure, there are many times when life moves fast and requires work, socializing and attention to things outside of your little couple world but when possible make an effort to engage deeply with your introspective partner. Inviting our inner world out to play and sharing your own internal realm are two of the most incredible gifts you can give. I believe our appreciation will astound you.

What fills you up enough to handle daily work and give generously to a relationship? Do you have a hard time maintaining your energy within a relationship if deep intimacy is absent? 

If this piece resonated or affected you in a meaningful way, I would truly appreciate it if you would share it with others who may benefit.

Thank you,

Brenda

 

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6 Comments

  1. Megan Jennifer July 19, 2015 at 1:18 am - Reply

    Hi Brenda. I’m really enjoying reading your posts. I’ve reboogged this one to internalwritings.com, my own (very!) new blog. Intimacy is so important to me in a relationship. Being an introvert I find that I need a small number of close friendships and small talk drains me. Unless I have someone that I can connect with deeply life can feel very lonely, even though I am happy in my own company. I am planning to write my next blog on the unique loneliness of introversion. Keep writing, Brenda. Feeling the connection. Megan.

    • Brenda Knowles July 19, 2015 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing my writing Megan! I will be eager to read your blog on introvert loneliness.:) Sadly, I was lonely in my marriage because there was no deep connection.

      • Megan Jennifer July 20, 2015 at 12:39 am - Reply

        I felt that too in my own marriage which ended 6 years ago. I didn’t know myself well enough back then to realise the problem. I didn’t know I was an introvert. The blog is almost done…..just fine tuning. Thanks for following 🙂

  2. Megan Jennifer July 19, 2015 at 1:11 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Internal Writings and commented:
    There’s a unique loneliness that can come from introversion. We need to deeply connect with others. Intimacy is so important.

  3. Shannon July 17, 2015 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Wow! This is the second time I am commenting on one of your posts, and I have to say I am so glad I found your website/blog. I recently put my relationship with my boyfriend of a year and a half on hold because I am having serious doubts about whether or not we belong together. Over the last 6 months or so I have found myself not looking forward to spending time with him and not really having any physical desire at all. I always chalked it up to the fact that I am a single mother of a 7-year old and I work full time, therefore am quite tired at night. However, after having spent some significant time alone together on vacation and while my daughter is away visiting her father, I found it did not restore the feeling of emotional intimacy the way I had hoped. I have racked my brain trying to figure out why I no longer feel close to this incredibly wonderful man. The only thing that came to me was that we don’t really seem to have deep and meaningful conversations or connection anymore. There is also the fact that he is an extrovert with high energy levels who always wants to be going and doing. He likes to chatter and ask frequent questions. It just wears me out. I still love him and think the world of him, but just don’t know if we were meant to be together for the long haul because of all the reasons listed above. It is a bit depressing because we have talked about marriage and my family (daughter included) adore him. In any case, this blog post and the other one you wrote about sexuality and introversion have really given me new insight as to why the light of connection and attraction has gone out on this relationship. I’m soul searching whether or not this is fixable. Thanks for your valuable insights.

    • Brenda Knowles July 19, 2015 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      I’m so glad you found my posts helpful. Did you used to have meaningful conversations with this man? Were you able to slow down and just BE while you were on vacation with him? Does he understand/engage in emotional intimacy? If there is no depth and connection it will be difficult for you to open up sexually. We can’t gaze into each other’s eye all the time but the best relationships protect that sacred space for slowing down and re-connecting. Also, as a single mother, you may need some transition time to go from ‘mom’ to ‘woman’. Take time after your daughter goes to bed to have a quality/non-routine conversation with your man. See if you can get him to talk about what’s inside rather than external things. My gut says his going/doing/chatterbox nature is wearing thin, but remember if his extroversion has any value to you (gets you out of the house, makes you laugh, gets things done, etc.) then it may be worth suggesting some changes in your relationship to allow your temperament to glow/grow. I would also see if there is anything you could do to spark your own growth. If you try something new (job, hobby, fitness) then your changes may shake things up for the two of you and give you more energy. If he sees you are happy he may relax. Just a couple of suggestions. Do with them what you want.;)

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