Introvert Love – Let’s Be Single Together

introverts single

For many introverts, the idea of being in a serious relationship stirs feelings of mild anxiety. For others – pure terror.

Since introverts need alone time like we need air – or wifi – the thought of “two becoming one” tickles our gag reflex more than we’d like to admit.

I thought I was the only one who felt this way about relationships. Once I began doing one-on-one coaching sessions with introverts I discovered I’m not alone in my sentiments. Several of my introverted clients and students admitted that they didn’t want to be in a relationship again. Like, ever.

After doing a little digging, I noticed that most of them didn’t want to spend the rest of their lives alone. It’s just that they didn’t want to be in a traditional relationship either.

They wanted the love, trust and companionship of a committed relationship, but they also wanted the freedom and ample elbow room that being unattached provides. In other words, they wanted to be “single together” with that special someone.

Apparently, there are plenty of others who feel this way. Isabelle Tessier’s article, “I Want To Be Single — But With You” made several rounds of the social media circuit. In the article, which was featured in The Huffington Post, Tessier writes:

“I don’t always want to be invited for your evenings out and I don’t always want to invite you to mine. Then I can tell you about it and hear you tell me about yours the next day … I want to live a single life with you. For our couple life, would be the equivalent of our single lives today, but together.”

The ideal relationship Tessier describes sometimes sounds like the honeymoon period (first three months) of a typical relationship. In one steamy part of the article, Tessier writes:

“I want us to be with our friends, for you to take me by the hand and take me to another room because you cannot take it anymore and you feel like right there you have to make love to me. I want to try to stay silent because there are ears that could hear us.”

Many introverts would cringe at the thought of going to a party and then having sex in one of the spare rooms. Yes, parties are that offensive to us. My ideal “single together” relationship would look more like this:

I want to be single together.

I want to sit in tandem silence and know without a shadow of a doubt that it is NOT awkward. I want to walk, and read, and dream together, building worlds without words.

I want to know that needing space is okay. That we will return to each other better than when we left. I want to see our separation as a time of rejuvenation rather than a sign of trouble.

I want everything to be a joke, or a deep soulful exploration. Nothing in between. I don’t want to waste words on explaining why I am the way I am. I want to tell you secrets with my eyes, my smile, my touch.

I want to go on separate vacations sometimes because this will help our souls to expand. When we come back together, I want to share stories from my adventures with you.

I want to take myself out on dates, not because you won’t do it, but because I genuinely like my own company. No one knows how to sweep me off my feet better than I do.

If we move in together, I want to have one room that is all my own, a space where I can stretch out and create, or curl up and incubate. Some things aren’t meant to be shared.

I want to be able to recharge when I’m with you. To know that I don’t have to always be “on” in your presence. It’s enough for us both to just be.

I want to be alone in the same room as you.

I want to find solitude in your presence.

I want us to be single together.

introvert single together

Xo,

Michaela-Signature

 

 

 

25 Comments

  1. Beautiful article Michaela…
    As I was reading it, I recognized myself in so many situations, so many words…
    With every sentence, word I saw myself, my past, present, what would I want in a relationship.
    Every paragraph has a meaning, this is truly marvelous Michaela.
    Sentence: “I want to find solitude in your presence” made such an impact on me… It sounds so sincere, so meaningful, so insightful, the whole article does, but this line is… I really don’t know which word to use, really…
    Anyway, a masterpiece Michaela. 🙂

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    • what can i say..feeels so good to know that am not alone in all this…know you really built me up with the article

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  2. Wow. You hit the nail on the head so many times that it broke off.

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  3. Holy Strawberry Shortcake Batman!!! What a serendipitous surprise to stumble across this post, It’s like you were in my head today because I was having almost exactly these same thoughts this afternoon. I have been trying to figure out what it is that I like and don’t like about this very new relationship that is occurring after 25 years of being on my own. Ah, my train of thought just derailed—- please know that your post is deeply appreciated and it brought me great joy to see my similar thoughts put in words so eloquently.

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  4. That was a blissful read. I feel so surprised to find a similar outlook to my own. I have said for years that I would like my partner to live next door with a connecting door between us so we each have our own life and then meet up and then part the next day but everyone thinks that I am crazy.

    Too much together time I find suffocating and deadly dull. What can you say when you are always sharing the same experience? How can you share something exciting when they were there at the same time. You can not even generate your own thoughts because they can feel ignored if you want to read for hours or do some research or write. Such hard work! I love the idea of a relationship but can’t do the standard modus operandi. Being alone is very often the height of pleasure.

    But obviously other people do feel the same way. Wonderful. I feel so much the better for reading this. And to know that we are the rarest type helps me to come to terms with the fact that all the people in my life tell me that I am different, not normal etc.

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  5. Thanks so much for writing this Michaela, I think it touched a lot of peoples’ hearts because it’s such a shared experience among us innies.

    Right now I’m listening to “Together Alone” by Hammock, and it’s practically a theme song for your words. There are no vocals at all, but I think that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Comfortable in silence 🙂

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  6. I want to not have to say ”good morning” out loud. 🙂

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  7. Been “single together” with my husband of 20+ years. I always felt our relationship was very different from other couples (in a good but very different way) and this article eloquently describes our relationship! It’s perfect (our relationship) and this article! Thank you for being you and sharing your stories. I’m a 50-something year old who just found out last month I was an “innie” and knowing that has explained so many questions I’ve had about myself for many, many years!

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    • So glad to hear your “single together” love story! Good to know it really is possible. 🙂

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  8. Amen to this article! Took the words right out of my mouth!

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    • Good to hear, Pamela! 🙂

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  9. “I Want To Be Single — But With You” – Michaela, that sounds perfect to me! – Frankly, I always thought, that two people – no matter how much they may love each other – should stay TWO INDEPENDENT INDIVIDUALS! Basta! – Many “couples” are living this way: When they were fallen in love, it was like a “miracle”, they were fascinated by each other and later they start to dominate each other and they don’t stop to call it “love”, but for me that’s NO “love” and I fear most of – so called – “couples” are living this way…Ugh!

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  10. I have just joined here. I read this and I wanted to cry. For so long I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I was bi polar. I thought I had some sort of childhood trauma that made me freak out at the thought of making new friends. I was ridiculed when I said I would like to be married but live in separate houses.
    When I found out I was an INFJ I was so relieved!. It was like I had a weight lifted off me, I knew finally there wasn’t anything wrong with me at all. I’m just different and there aren’t many like me.
    When I read what you had written it just so resonated with me and made me feel good inside.
    Thank you for sharing. Thank you all for sharing.
    I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but for me knowing I’m how I am because of my personality type and not because there is something wrong with me, has made the world a better place for me.
    I just feel silly that I didn’t seek out answers earlier.

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  11. This article was fabulous. Extremely validating. My last relationship was quite painful because my partner was constantly invalidating my needs. He was also pathologizing my needs and, ultimately, my identity. I am so glad that I now understand who I am and that there is nothing wrong with me.

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  12. Oh man, did I LOVE this article!! And yes, as someone else indicated, it is possible to attain this in a long-term relationship, provided that you are: A) with a partner who has similar needs for independence, and B), willing to be up-front and honest about your needs for space/solitude.

    I’ve been with my ISTJ husband for a quarter of a century now (married for the past 20 of those years), and until this relationship, I honestly never thought I would ever get married, because my needs for solitude were so great.

    I’m fairly sure that no one we know would have ever predicted that our relationship would work out, because we literally do almost nothing together – we have very different interests (I love nature, quiet, reading, and solitude (and detest socializing), while he is a home-improvement type who likes to binge-watch watch Netflix and entertain his buddies at least a couple of times a month) and habits (he’s an early riser who’s up before dawn most mornings and loves to stay constantly busy working on some project or other, while I’m a night-owl who loves to just relax and enjoy life).

    I love to snorkel, scuba dive, and explore tropical jungles, and have gone on twice-yearly vacations for the past 30 years; my husband has been with me on just two of them.

    My husband has traveled to various family reunions and weddings – I have been with him for just two of those, as well.

    We spend very little time together, even when we’re both home – and that is not a problem, for either of us. After 25 years, we actually still like each other! 🙂

    I know that many people would find this arrangement freakish and completely unsatisfying, but for us, it has worked out quite well – we don’t believe in trying to force the other person to do things that they don’t want to do, and we respect each other’s need for autonomy and personal fulfillment.

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  13. I love this article – well, all of the articles on this site. It’s as though every one of them describes my feelings and outlook on life. Me and my boyfriend are both “sociable introverts”. We like to get together with people, but not too often – we also need our quiet nights in to recharge. We often sit in the same room and read without saying a word. Or I paint and he writes. We’re also quite happy to do out own thing and can go several days without really seeing each other. When I’m with him I can relax and feel like I’m “alone” because he doesn’t sap my energy. We’re both content to just “be”, without having to discuss our relationship and our feelings all the time. It hasn’t always been like this though. Previous relationships have failed because my exes, mostly extroverts, wanted constant attention and got insecure if I wanted to do my own thing or didn’t say “I love you” every day. I had one ex who constantly had a protective arm round me in public and was glued to me at parties instead of going off to talk to other people. If he was out with his friends while I was at home he’d constantly text or call to say he missed me and would try to persuade me to go out. He’d also call me at work to ask me things that could easily wait, which would interrupt my train of though. Things like that really irritate and suffocate me, so I found myself wishing I was single. In contrast, last night my current bf and I arrived separately to a work get together. We chatted for a bit, then spent the night separately talking to different people. Afterwards me and a few girls went back to a colleague’s house and my bf went to a pub in town with some of the guys. I got home before him and went to sleep, then he joined me later. Tonight I’ll probably paint while he watches a film. Everybody wins!

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  14. I think I have only in the last 6 months or so started realizing this about other introverts, and this article is great in part because it shows one of the reasons why I, personally, probably can’t be in a relationship with another introvert and probably why most of my relationships have failed. I’m starting to see that this is something that needs to be discussed early, at the very least for understanding what each person wants out of a relationship, but also to see if this will be a relationship in which each person can get his/her needs met.

    I’m an introvert, but I want something very different from relationships than it seems most introverts do (definitely not “single together”). I had an introverted girlfriend who wants/needs a lot of space, and I could never understand it and found it offensive for a long time even after the relationship ended, like she didn’t care about me. I’m now starting to understand better, I think. It sucks because introverts have so many qualities that I love and are hard to find in extroverts, but I simply can’t handle a more “independent” relationship without feeling uncared for/unloved…I think I am too brainwashed by love stories and romantic movies for that! 😉 If I had a girlfriend who was possessive, obsessive and jealous when it came to me, as long as she wasn’t violent, I’d probably love it!

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  15. Michaela,

    Long time reader, first time commenter. I can’t even describe how beautiful this is to me. It is my ideal relationship put into words. As a highly sensitive INFP i’ve struggled for a long time in asserting my needs in relationships. I always thought that there was something wrong with me until I discovered your blog.

    I just got out of a relationship with an ENFJ that did not respect my need for solace and time to be myself. She took it really personally if I didn’t constantly want to go out and socialize. I felt constantly crowded by her and at the end of the day it stressed me out immensely. I don’t feel guilty anymore for being myself and accepting my true introverted nature 🙂

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  16. This would be the absolute perfect relationship for me!! Unfortunately I’m not sure that I’ll ever have it. I tend to attract needy, emotionally weak men who can’t handle my strength and Independence so I am on a very long (possibly never ending) dating hiatus. At least this article proved that I’m not crazy & for that I thank you! 🙂

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  17. I recognize now looking back that a lot my avoidance to relationships are that sense of internal pressure and expectations of being “officially” in a relationship. I guess the officialness of it seems to take away from the freedom of spontaneity, romance and excitement of the more natural way people can be close or intimate. Thanks you really help give insight to a lot have hangups for the introverts.

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  18. A real letter to my introvert fiancé.

    Dear sweet heart.

    We are quite similar in many ways. However, you are on the deep end.
    Your introvert nature does not stop you from being expressive.
    Personally, I want to know that I am loved. I want to feel natured and loved but not smothered. My expression is how I want to be loved.
    If that’s what you feel deep down, I would appreciate knowing how much you care. Not knowing makes me recoil and hide in a tortoise shell.
    My love will be demonstrated the way you want to feel natured and I will do everything right Inorder to meet your needs. We have to meet each other’s need most definitely.
    I’ve never been married. Never stayed nights with anyone often. You are the only one I desire and love enough to wrap around you and stay the night. If i feel unloved – it won’t help us develop a long lasting relationship.
    It’s not all about me, neither is it all about you.
    I promise you that I will give you your space and more. But I would be very happy if you are expressive when you feel like it because I don’t know how to read minds. Or eyes.
    I felt so much love for you these past few days because I haven’t seen you for a month and a half. Haven’t touched your Silky skin. Haven’t kissed you lightly. Haven’t held your hand. Haven’t made love to you.
    So, you see, I felt the need for your love and caring. And what did you do?, went further on the deep end. Sometimes I have bliss and I recharge in your presence or through work.
    However, lack of reciprocation makes me be on pins and needles because I would never want you to label me as needy because I am not. When you asked me last month ” what do I want” I wanted you to have space but I didn’t know that being too relaxed about taking charge would make you feel abandoned. It was not the result I intended. I actually felt I was scoring points by allowing you to be who you are.
    As we grow this relationship, I will learn to balance it and I want us to learn together. Why — I don’t want to lose you or give us up because I don’t feel loved. Saying you love someone doesn’t take much. But don’t say it if you don’t feel that way. If you are selfish to say that or freaked out by saying you love someone – then I may not be the one for you.

    Personally, I ❤️ you from the bottom of my ❤️ and I guarantee you this– l will not say these words this year again – because they freak you out. and overwhelm you.
    Alas, that shouldn’t be your reason not let me know how you feel. My actions and deeds will be my words.
    I hope this resolves this dilemma.
    Hope it helps to reset us in a good path.
    And — I’m not emotional right now. I’m sane.
    I had a hectic day today. Overworked my ass off.
    Naturally, man are introverts 6 hours a day. Hope this helps.

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  19. This is pretty close for me but I take the separation thing a bit further: he has his house and I have mine. We get together sometimes at mine,sometimes at his. Sometimes we travel together. We each pursue our own interests and then share some time together. We are monogamous and talk freely about anything. We laugh a lot! It has been perfect for both of us. No marriage but serially monogamous. I have had 3 long term relationships like this in the last 30 years and am still friends with all of them. I have stopped having or being interested in romantic relationships because I’ve lost interest in sex. Problem solved!😊😃
    When I described my “way” to a married coworker, he looked startled and said “No one should be THAT free.” Think he was jealous of my lifestyle?

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  20. Exactly. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Don’t be too needy or clingy. Don’t rush into rejection. For the men, don’t be texting her constantly, married or not, save it for the date or your time together….give her time to miss you for God’s sake.

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  21. The only thing I wish could happen is for the”nonintros”to read all these comments but only an introvert can really appreciate them. I feel we frustrate other people. I know exactly who gets me and who doesn’t. The one’s who don’t will almost immediately start to stop listening and kind of pretend like they think I’m finished or revert their attention if they can. If it’s just them and me and they can’t hide their lack of interest, they simply take over the conversation and act like I’m the one who won’t talk. But I can tell I make them uncomfortable. It’s like I’m a mystery of some kind. Those people never become friends.
    They would drive me insane!

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  22. I love this article! It describes a lot of what I feel. And I like reading all the comments of my fellow innies who feel the same way. 🙂 Thankfully my fiance understands that I need my space and don’t want to be or need to be with him all the time. He doesn’t mind. He sometimes even asks me if I would for him to stay home on those weeks where it’s been busy and chaotic. 🙂

    Reply

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