Consider the quiet ones for a change

We visited friends this past week in the North Country–we’ll call the place Crystal Lake–where the cell signal is so weak you might as well shut the phone off.

While enjoying the meditative state that inevitably sets in, I was drawn to the many parallels between this jewel of a place and the most overlooked type of people on the dating scene–the quiet ones.

First, here’s a picture of Crystal Lake for you:  nestled in rolling hills, bounded by a pine forest, a bungalow with porch facing the clear water, with no visible neighbors except a duo of nesting loons.  It’s a place with deep history, natural beauty, impossibly lazy days, and starlit night sky.  Its stewards over time have carefully guarded it to preserve the best of itself.

Now, here are the parallels with people who are quiet–those thought of as “shy” by some:

There is no advertisement.  If you didn’t know to look for it, you wouldn’t be able to find it.  Likewise, quiet people aren’t going to speak up around those they don’t know well, and are not inclined to compete for the spotlight.  Next to Sociable, Dramatic, Comedic, Tragic, Loud, or Self Important, you will not easily notice Quiet in the crowd unless your senses are attuned.

You have to go the extra mile.  Just as Crystal Lake is not easily accessible without an investment of time and effort to get there, a quiet person requires time and effort to get to know.

There is a high barrier of entry.  You will not be invited there simply by being charming or by paying dollars.  Rather, you have to earn the steward’s trust.  Most quiet people I know are not likely to let just anyone into his/her trust, even if it’s a friend’s friend.

Competition won’t be as tough.  Crystal Lake won’t ever be overrun with visitors because it doesn’t offer any manufactured excitement.  Same with quiet people–they tend to be overlooked by others since they don’t call attention to themselves.  You won’t have to jostle with a flock of preeners or squawkers to be noticed, therefore you can dispense with rehearsed pick up routines or a slick act.

Quietness should not be equated with a lack of preference or edginess.  It’s easy to be lulled into believing that such an accommodating place has no expectations or challenges–that it’s there to serve you.  In fact, the place rejects ATVs, speedboats, noisy gadgets, badly-behaved people and pets, and pointless chatter.  It wants melodic harmonies, unending, silly board games, delicious meals thrown together with everyone pitching in, and deep, authentic sharing.  It’ll surprise one with prehistoric-looking insects, angry lightning storms, perfect luna moths, and animal jaw bones half buried in the woods.  As long as one is open-minded, these surprises add interest to its attractions.  Quiet people will reveal what make them tick and in what ways they are attractive and interesting, if you make the effort to find out.

You have to behave like a caretaker to be invited back.  Don’t expect a guaranteed return ticket just because you were invited there once.  You have to continue to demonstrate your respect for the place and its character, be willing to protect and preserve its privacy, and either restore it to the state you found it or make it better in the right spirit.  With quiet people, you also have to continue to show that you care and value the person and the relationship.  If you are persistent in your care and attention, you will be rewarded with loyalty and tenacious love not easily diluted over time.

Just think what beauty, depth, and fulfilling relationship you may find if you take a chance on a quiet one.

Do you agree or disagree?  Post your comments or email me your thoughts!

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