SOULSSSEARCH - my dating profile, part 2

Thank you for reading my profile on the dating website that brought you here. This profile auxiliary page was created as additional information that would not fit there. The goal here is to discuss our compatibility in terms of relationship closeness level or intimacy level. I'm gonna start with a caffeine tolerance analogy, so bear with me.

There is a gene that breaks down caffeine. If you have the fast version of the gene you break down caffeine quickly. You might drink several cups a day. You might enjoy a cup at night and it does not even affect your sleep. You break it down quickly, so you can enjoy a lot of it. One cup is not enough. It is always energizing but never overstimulating, because it breaks down quickly.

But if you have the slow version of the gene only 1/2 cup is just right, or maybe none at all. Even one full cup leaves you jittery and if you drink it after noon it will affect your sleep that night. You break caffeine down slowly so you have to ration your coffee or you will feel overstimulated.

I suggest that similarly there may be a gene that processes human emotional, psychic, and physical intimacy. Some of us just can't be close enough, are never overwhelmed by closeness, just pleasantly energized. And some of us need our distance or else we get overwhelmed, just like with coffee. Almost a century ago the world's first female psychologist Karen Horney called these two types of people "Towards" and "Aways".

Horney asserted there are three different ways people deal with relationship anxiety, and its analogous to how we deal with coffee. Feel free to read through the below wiki page for more detail, or not. Its fine either way since I'm about to hit the high points.

(Click here to read a summary of Horney's Types.)

Horney asserts there are Toward types, Away types, and Against types. The Towards (they tend to move Toward people) are the ones who love more intimacy. Towards solve all anxiety with closeness, with a hug, with time together. They prioritize closeness over everything, are quick to say they are sorry, are quick (or just quicker than their partner) to give in during a conflict in order to restore the peace, are happy to see you, want to spend as much time together as possible, want to pick you up at the airport when you return from a business trip because they miss you. When it comes to closeness they are like people who can't get enough caffeine. Closeness simply energizes them and makes them happy. They do not need a break from it. When this person is unhealthy they may be called clingy or co-dependent, but those terms apply to only a fraction of the Toward people out there. If they are readers, they love to read while snuggling with you. The beginning of an intense relationship is fabulous for them and makes feel like they are finally home.

Away types solve their anxiety with freedom. They get away from people. They withdraw. They would "rather not discuss it" when there is a conflict. They just want to watch a movie, or look at their phone, or read a book in an empty room. This calms them. They like a little closeness, sure, but then they need a break. They may forget that you two were supposed to do xyz together but its really just because they need their freedom, that's what they need. They try to be "good" by prioritizing your relationship but then they need to get away. The beginning of an intense relationship can be exciting but also unnerving for them since it takes them out of their comfort zone.

Against types solve their anxiety with power. They want to control, manipulate, outwit, and hoodwink. They are politicians and con-men. They want to be around people, but would rather be respected or even feared than loved. They will lash out during conflict. They can handle closeness because it gives them a chance to express their power. The Underwoods on TV's House of Cards is a marriage of two Againsts. That's all I'm gonna say about Againsts. Lets just focus on Toward vs Away. And of course everyone has some amount of all three of these inside them, but everyone also has a primary.

The Toward will use your name or call you by a nickname, will sign their notes with an "xo" or a picture. They will touch you on the back. They want to fill you up. They want you to feel even more eager to see them. They will be on time or if they are late, will say they are sorry. They will remember things about you. They are cuddlers. Look up the word solicitous - that's them. They have empathy and they display it. They love closeness with you, its never too much.

The Away does many relationship things out of duty because they realize that their very nature is somewhat anti-relationship. They will spend saturday morning with you and then say "okay, can I go do xyz with my friends now?" If they write you a note they may not use your name nor sign their own. They do not realize that using someone's name is a type of bonding but even if they did, they still might not do it because they are a little allergic to bonding anyway. Many of these traits will not be visible in the early infatuation-fueled stages of a relationship, and only become clear later. (In the very beginning, everyone looks like a Toward!)

I am a toward type. I will want to be with you unambivalently. If one of us is on a trip I will want to check in with a call or a text every day. If we are scheduled to meet I will be early or on time, because I'm eager to be together with you. I want my next relationship to be with someone who is a Toward. That's the only reason I wrote this page.

BOTH Away and Against types love the approval they get from a Toward, so its very easy for a Toward to end up partnering with them. But then the Toward is unlikely to get his/her needs met. The Toward knows they love people and feel (often correctly) that they can make any relationship work, but then they end up feeling like they are not getting enough supportive attention from the Against, or attention, period, from the Away.

If you read all this and see yourself as a Toward, then you are my type.

Remember when we were 17 and everyone was a Toward? You could fall in love over a 90 minute bus ride then start spending a lot of time together every day without fear or inhibition. As we get older and build up a databank of sometimes painful experiential lessons we learn to guard our heart in the beginning of potential partner relationship. This means we may tend to become a little more of an Away type as the years go by. This fact is a big reason why I wrote this. A couple decades ago it was pretty easy to find women who were natural Towards but now it seems they are fewer and farther between. In Toward vs Away terms, I'm not a lot different now that I was 40 years ago.

A fair number of women have been good enough to respond to my profile and tell me they felt a connection to the words and were looking for a man like this. That is good to hear, but of course this Toward/Away thing is only one factor. If I had to put my finger on the basics of what attracts me to a woman its both well-preservedness and femininity. I'm toward the masculine end of the feminine/masculine spectrum (I'm from Texas) and so will not necessarily seem like a toward type at first. For what that's worth.

Since there is no word limit here I might as well go on.

The word consider comes from the latin con (together with) and sidus (heavenly body). Consider is what you are doing when you dwell upon the stars. It is not something done quickly, its more ruminative. A considerate person takes the time to dwell upon their partner naturally. If you do not care at all about socks laying around I am likely to leave my socks laying around. But if you do care about socks laying around I will certainly not leave my socks laying around. Its a small amount of effort for me to make to keep them stored if it has the large payoff of communicating to you that I care about you. In a relationship I will do things like this naturally and hopefully you will do the same for me. Its not really effort, it comes naturally as a Toward.

Another reason I wrote this is to avoid either of us straining. Early in the relationship its normal for us to be on our best behavior - the sloppy gal gets her clothes pressed, the chatty guy makes an effort to listen well. But over time that gal is gonna look unkempt and that guy is gonna talk your ear off, because straining is hard work and nobody can keep it up. People that have an Away component know that being in a relationship requires them to counter their Awayness. But they won't be able to keep it up. So I would rather say up front that if depth, intimacy, and vulnerability tend to be scary for you and not fueling for you, its probable that you would do better with another guy.

Regarding scariness, don't judge yourself if you are scared a little at first, we all are. Do check in with yourself and acknowledge the fear, allow it to stay but don't allow it to have sway. When two Towards meet, fear is the only thing that prevents connection. Fear can stimulate an Against and keep the Away safely distant, but it prevents the Toward from getting the closeness they want most.

For thirty years it was a big part of my job to build connection and trust with new people which gave me a lot of practice at being close with a Toward, boundary conscious with an Away, and deferring with an Against. In the business world its obvious who is who. But in dating its not obvious who is who. Towards often hide the fact that they are a Toward, perhaps because it makes them feel vulnerable, or perhaps they do not want to appear needy. They will freely be a Toward if they meet a dog, a child, or someone who is not a potential partner, but when they meet someone who might possibly become a partner they hide away their Towardness, the very trait that makes them most attractive to someone like me. There are all these stupid cultural rules about dating - don't be eager, do be casually late, be strong and complete, be confident. Yuk. They go completely against what actually builds connection - be soft, be real, be reachable, be authentically imperfect.

Its been said that Generals always fight the last war. Their opponent may be new but their strategies are derived from analysis of the previous enemy, not the current one. So fighting the last war is a mistake. As is dating the last person. If your last date was with an Away, following the lessons you learned there will only sabotage your next date with a Toward. Just something to note.

Let yourself feel 17 again. Don't fear feelings of connection and love, as doing so just denies your nature as a Toward. Open yourself like you do with a child. Earlier I said there are too few Towards among my dating pool. But now having thought it through maybe its more accurate to say there are too many Towards that let their fear make them look like an Away. Lets both try to just be out natural Toward selves.

Guess that's all for now. Thanks for reading.