Introverts, Intimacy, and Indescribable Equilibrium


How do introverts deal with intimacy?  Michaela Chung of Introvert Spring and Brenda Knowles of Space2live tackled the topic in a conversation earlier this month.

They covered emotional intimacy, dating, sex and other issues as they relate to introverts, but all types of people could relate to the points they raised.  It’s worth a listen.

The biggest issue for introverts in relationships is how to create time to be alone and be close and remain connected.  The biggest issue for introverts not in relationships is how to fulfill their desire for a close, intimate relationship when they need, value, and relish their alone time.

Chung and Knowles were spot on about how most single introverts crave intimacy but will not settle for just any relationship because of their ability to enjoy their own company.  We want to be understood more than anything, we want amazing, or as Sasha Cohen, coiner of the term “Quirkyalone” put it, introverts, like the quirkyalone, have “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.”

I’ve said partly in jest and partly not in jest that I want someone like Jesus — infinitely loving and forgiving with an ability to see what is true and is also a fan of the show Night Court.  That’s not a high standard at all.  Hmmm..

But you know why I want someone like Jesus?  Because he wouldn’t disrupt what Sophie Fontanel, author of The Art of Sleeping Alone, called an “indescribable equilibrium” that comes from being alone and liking it.  Being “indescribable”, I can’t describe it but I enjoy my inner equilibrium and need it to function.

Intimacy requires vulnerability — the ability to feel whatever you’re feeling and express it in front of another human being — and vulnerability is the ultimate disrupter of equilibrium.  When done right, that disruption can be lovely.  When done wrong, which is most of the time, it messes you up.  I can’t tolerate being messed up over and over again hence my desire for a Jesus-like person.

The only way I can see being able to be intimate and vulnerable without it completely throwing me off-balance is to practice being LindaMakahavulnerable…all the time and with everyone.  Intimacy is like surfing and vulnerability is like the waves.  You need the waves to move forward but they also knock you off the board.  You get better at surfing by repeatedly getting back on the board after being knocked off and intimacy works in the same way.  As Ane Axford put it, “your core muscles get toned from the unsteadiness”.  You have to be unsteady to get stronger in surfing and you have to risk vulnerability to get closer to someone.

The other way to maintain your equilibrium while being intimate is to find people who naturally help you keep your balance.  It’s rare. As rare as it would be to find someone who is like Jesus.

Until then I’m going to seek pleasure and comfort in Netflix.


7 thoughts on “Introverts, Intimacy, and Indescribable Equilibrium

  1. I truly appreciate you mentioning the introverts and intimacy interview Michaela and I did. 🙂 I think you and I are kindred spirits. I didn’t realize I had competition for Jesus’s affection.;) I am definitely riding the vulnerability waves and strengthening my core. It’s really hard sometimes but like yoga or meditation I think blessed intimacy is more of a lifetime practice than something you master. It does feel good to exist in the sweet spot of equilibrium. Having gentle partners and companions who honor your equilibrium is the ultimate gift.


    1. I really enjoyed the conversation you and Michaela had. I hope you do it again. Andy Mort was the one whose recommendation alerted me to the exisience of the interview.
      I thought I was the only one who wanted someone like Jesus! It’s nice not to be the only one.
      I agree with you about vulnerability not being something you master. It constantly requires bravery.
      Thanks for checking out my blog. I’ve read a lot of the articles on your blog. I don’t know why I haven’t followed you by now.


  2. Great concept. Both my husband and I are introverts and sometimes it’s funny that he will be reading in one room, while I’m in the other doing the same. I do like alone time, like when he’s at work and I’m home and vice versa for him. We don’t get offended by that, so it’s nice. I couldn’t imagine being with an extrovert who talked my head off or got mad when I didn’t want to go out. Some may like that but it would not work for me.


  3. Reblogged this on space2live and commented:
    I loved this post for its mention of the indescribable equilibrium introverts feel when alone and the beautifully high ‘Jesus-like’ expectations we have for our romantic interests. Melene, of Sensitive New World, talks about intimacy, introverts, vulnerability and Netflix. I know you’ll love it as much as I did.

    Oh and she brings up my interview with Michaela Chung, so there’s that too. 🙂

    I had one of those weeks (months?) of emotional turbulence, crammed calendar and buzzing brain. I was in desperate need of meaningful socializing, exquisite reading and a sofa date with Sherlock, Kevin Spacey or Paul Rudd, so I skipped out on creating a new post this week and breathed in deeply until I reached that aforementioned indescribable equilibrium.

    Thank you for understanding my writing absence.

    Warmly and truly,

    Liked by 1 person

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