Sunday, July 12, 2009

On the Quieter Side

If there is one single trait that almost all people believe daters want in a prospective spouse, including especially the daters themselves, it is that the other person be "reasonably outgoing".

I have never heard anyone - quiet or outgoing - who did not say that they "need someone on the outgoing side because I am (shy) {outgoing} and it would be too uncomfortable if the other person was (, too,) {quieter} because I'd have to carry the whole conversation."

In my opinion*, people are usually quite wrong about this (although this is never evident until they are in a serious relationship). Moreover, because by the time it is evident they understand the other person and communicate quite well, they do not think of their significant other as "on the quiet side", and never quite realize that it was not what they said they were looking for. This results in married people never breaking this misconception and informing their single friend that a "quieter" person may actually be a better fit for them.

* I am unsure as to why this misconception exists, although certainly it is possible that people concentrate too much on what makes for a "fun" date at the very beginning, and the more gregarious someone is, the more "fun" they seem if you otherwise don't know them well.**

** As I finished writing this, a friend suggested that people not be described as quiet, as it essentially prejudices the date to look for that and find them to be too quiet. I would tweak that slightly and just say "don't describe personalities" [at least in regards to how talkative they are if not other ways], as it does not matter one iota how other people describe someone but rather how they find each other to be. Daters often tend (consciously or unconsciously) to look for the negatives on early dates as it is, why prejudice their mind before they've even gone out? Let them see how they enjoy one another's company without having something in the back of their mind to look out for.