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 vulnerable…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.