For the most part of my life I thought that I’m too quirky and just plain “weird” as a Finn, as a woman, and as a representative of whatever age I was. But despite the obvious, small complications, that being a bit different brings along, I’ve thankfully never seen any need to change myself. I don’t think I could even if I wanted to.
But this quirkiness has proven a bit confusing when it comes to dating. I’m a very strong and independent woman and there are very few men who can handle that. And the ones who can often turn out to be so full of themselves that it never really mattered to them what I was actually like… Assholes, as we like to call them.
So, every now and then I had these moments of doubt: Does such a man even exist who would suit me and with whom I wouldn’t be completely bored after 2 weeks together?
There’s a bit of naivety in me, so I always kept faith that yes, there must be a man like that somewhere. What I could never have predicted, though, was that I would ever bump into such a man in Estonia. But thanks to Tinder, I did. You can read the story of how we met here.
We’re so alike. But we’re so not alike.
Probably the biggest and most fundamental difference between our personalities is that he happens to be more of an introvert whereas I am full on extrovert. What are those, you ask?
Well, long story short, introverts “tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone.” Whereas extroverts are the complete opposite; we like socializing, we look for situations where we are surrounded by people (the more the merrier) and gain energy from such encounters.
How ironic it is then that I have been forced by circumstances to spend these past 2 years in Estonia in near isolation from any social connections due to incredible challenges at making friends here. Whereas my boyfriend is required professionally to always be ready to socialize and network, to participate in conferences and launch parties, go for after-works, as well as discourse.
I want to do all of that! And he would prefer not to.
This difference in our personalities brings its own nuances to the already challenging mix. For example, I can honestly admit right here, right now that I am an attention whore. The more attention I get the happier I am. I don’t think there’s enough attention available in this world to fulfill my needs and wants.
And vice versa, he’s very self-conscious and not particularly communicative. But I love and appreciate the fact that he tries. Sometimes he needs space and while I’m fine with one night apart he might sometimes need couple days on his own.
This happens most often after their business trips, which makes complete sense: he needs time to gather the pieces after having to share his personal space in all sorts of events and conferences every day for a week or two.
Most of the time I’m OK with that, I don’t have a problem leaving him be for a while. He usually keeps in contact anyway through the day. But I’m a woman and I have bad days. And sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair that I allow him his space, which means that he won’t be there when I need him to be.
Introverts are often not particularly good at communicating. For example showing affection or speaking about their feelings and emotions are very difficult feats for a lot of them.
So you can probably imagine how nightmarish it is for him sometimes when I’m feeling particularly philosophical and want to have a deep conversation about our relationship just when he’s about to go to sleep. Or when something exciting happened to me today and I text him the details and then receive no reaction whatsoever to my messages. I get angry. Of course I do! Anyone would.
I’ve tried to come into terms with the fact that when he needs space it sometimes (thankfully rarely) means that he might be completely unavailable for me for a day. But I don’t think I should come into terms with that, because it hurts my feelings when he does that. I don’t think requiring an answer or any sort of short reaction to a text is too much to ask of anyone, no matter how introvert you might be…
I try to keep calm in these situations… and 95% of the time I fail miserably.
But no matter what, I have to give him a shed-load of credit, because at the end of the day he’s not like your average introvert. He hasn’t just succumbed to his fate but has instead worked on improving his social skills for years; he’s much more social than he might be, and usually when I want to have a philosophical conversation about whatever, he answers my questions like a good boy. And what I particularly love about him is that he answers straight and honestly.
I base this on my own experiences but I think I can safely say that he’s overall more intelligent than your average man, both professionally and personally. Which is something that I’ve always hoped for from my “ideal man”.
Even though finding the one looked quite “desperate” (I’ve never been desperate when it comes to men) for me for a long time my naivety paid off in the end and I did find a man who A) can handle me without being an asshole and B) who’s a challenge enough himself that there’s no chance of me getting bored of him.
So, for those of you who feel a bit lost in the world filled with Tinder, Bumble, Tumble and Blunder I want to say; please don’t despair, for there IS someone out there for you. Just keep faith and stop looking for them because, like all things in life, they will turn up when you least expect them.
I’m a living example of that :)