Finding Your Soul’s Mate, Your Authentic Voice, and the Right Hair Products

photo courtesy of lotte meijer, Unsplash

During tumultuous times, it may be harder to be single. I can attest to this. And I’m a super-introverted, independent type with a sweet gaggle of girlfriends and an Argentine tango habit.

But still.

No one is tracking my whereabouts. There is no daily contact with one particular human. When I travel, there is no responsible person making sure I’ve arrived. If I were to meet my demise, it could be days before anyone started looking for me. Well, OK, my lovely clients would be concerned, when I didn’t answer the door. And, you, dear readers, would start asking, now where the heck is the next blog post after about a week.  Wouldn’t you?

But, there is no designated person whose job it is to notice.

Most of the time, I’m OK with that. I don’t idealize partnerships. I’m a psychotherapist, for heaven’s sake. I’ve been partnered. I’ve seen the re-enactments of childhood trauma or parental discord or other assorted permutations of unaddressed familial legacies. The partnering thing is tricky. Complicated. Even with a mate, you might still go unnoticed. Untracked.

I know this.

But these days. I’m feeling some pressure to find a partner. You understand. It’s crazy out there. Hard to face the daily news alone. One can only dance so much tango. Or read so many books on spiritual awakenings. Or email your girlfriends with your latest angst-y rant. Or write another blog post and get fabulous feedback from your adoring fans. At some point, a person has to surrender. Admit that being single when it feels like the sky is falling is not very appealing.

And then a person has to do something.

But, what?

Well, first. If this describes you, too, there are books I recommend. For starters. The Course of Love by Alain de Botton and The Eden Project by James Hollis are both excellent reads on the psychological complexities of partnering. Good to know what you’re getting into. (and actually also great if you’re already in a partnership) Quirkyalone by Sasha Cagen (who is also a tango dancer, by the way) is a funny little book in support of single “uncompromising romantics.” Then, if you’re up for a deep dive and some self-psychoanalysis, try Keeping the Love You Find by Harville Hendrix. It’s an oldie but goodie.

Of course, if these books help you realize that you’re not quite ready for a relationship because of the assorted permutations of your unaddressed familial legacies, then, well. Look for a good therapist. (You knew that was coming.) Or if you’ve had trouble over the years just finding friends because of your rainforest-y traits, read these posts. And, of course, you may prefer the single life! There’s some good research out there about the many benefits.

In my case, as you can imagine, I’ve read the books and been in various therapies for much of my adult life. Deeply diving into the layers of my psyche. Addressing my very own familial legacies. Discovering my authentic voice, accepting my curly overexcitable hair whole Self, and discovering my capacity to blog love along with my long lost sense of humor.

So, dearest readers, I surrender. I’m telling you and the world that I’m ready to meet my designated person whose job it is to notice. Who will track my whereabouts. Who will join me in conjuring spells to keep the sky from falling. Who will appreciate my capacity to blog love and has discovered his own vast capacity to dance tango love. Who has found his long lost sense of humor. And faced his own assorted permutations.

After all, as the saying goes:

~ If you build it announce it on your blog, they will come. ~

And, hey. I’ll be sure to let you know when he does.


To my most patient and forgiving bloggEEs: I really don’t know where this post came from. I welcome your comments but don’t worry that I’ve gone off the deep end. I think this over-sharing will resolve itself in a few days. Thank you for indulging me. And for those of you already with your mates, let us know how you met!

This post is part of a blog hop created by the dedicated people at Hoagiesgifted. Click on the image to read more posts about relationships and giftedness.


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Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

52 responses to “Finding Your Soul’s Mate, Your Authentic Voice, and the Right Hair Products”

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  1. What Do Rainforest-Minded (Gifted) Humans Want? | Your Rainforest Mind

    […] and who catapult you. This post. And this one. On friendships. And this one about your/my quest for partnership. I know there is more that you want. World peace, the end of the climate crisis, no more racism, […]

  2. Help Me Write the Book on Partnership Love and Rainforest Minds | Your Rainforest Mind

    […] up a time to talk. Here are a couple of posts on the topic that are places to begin this journey. This one and this […]

  3. Melaicabrona Avatar

    Hi Paula! I hope the universe send you someone to share your world. Though the algorithm never fails: you let the Universe know and they always listen and respond, so be prepared! 😀 I’ll be sending the best and brightest vibes to you! ^^

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh, so sweet, Melaicabrona. Thank you!

  4. Ian Avatar

    I have always seen “finding my tribe” as a higher priority than finding a partner, and value many aspects of the single life, but there’s a big cultural problem: as a male RFM living in Britain I get a sense of there being a protected area of rainforest marked “romantic relationships only” and of everywhere else being laid bare by chainsaws galore.
    This culture not only worships romantic love, it sexualises human emotional connections, making it very risky to seek deep emotional connections in my friendships. When I have “found my tribe” it has been fleeting, as I encounter cultural pressure to hide my emotional connections with my friends, and when my friends couple up they tend to withdraw emotionally.
    I’m often amazed by how little publicity these cultural barriers get, but when I flag them up I usually get told “That’s life”, and I am guessing that this “That’s life” attitude may be the main reason why they don’t get challenged or questioned. I don’t think they are healthy for partnered men either, as they encourage too much dependency on one person, which often hits men especially hard when they get divorced. One of my main life struggles is searching for ways to subvert them…

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I think this is the case in the US, too. Maybe elsewhere. I also see coupling being the “goal” here with friend connections given less importance. Do you know about The School of Life in London? Alain de Botton presents what I consider a healthy insightful view of romantic love. You might enjoy his work. He has a whole organization of therapists right there in Britain!

      1. Ian Avatar

        Thanks for this – I don’t live near London, but Alain de Botton has also written a fair amount about romantic love online and, indeed, it seems that his views on romantic love are similar to my own. I’ve also found psychotherapist Imi Lo’s views on love in general (and a fair number of other things – I can strongly relate to her “emotional intensity” concept) to be pretty similar to mine. It’s probably not an unusual experience among RFMs, but I keep finding that there is plenty of evidence of “kindred spirits” online and yet in my social circles I regularly feel as if I am a minority of one. I get the feeling that too many of us are hidden behind “false self” masks which conform to society’s norms.

        1. Paula Prober Avatar
          Paula Prober

          There can be a certain amount of pleasure from online friendships around the world. That said, I do understand the desire to have close deep connections with humans in person! Shall we take our masks off??

  5. M. J. Cuthbertson Avatar
    M. J. Cuthbertson

    Three multi-year relationships that ended and a fourth that kind of worked. The biggest impediment I had in intimate relationships was that it took me until my late 30’s to get out of my head all the unfortunate adult and cultural nonsense that I’d been fed. Once I found my way toward a better understanding the work I put in everyday to creating and maintaining a relationship caused closeness rather than distance.

    I said the fourth relationship kind of worked because in our 13th year together Jacqueline died. Our time together was great. It’s just that the time was too brief. Among the many gifts she left is that I now have a clear understanding of what a good relationship looks like. I can see the difference between what works and what doesn’t.

    I’ve used that understanding a couple of times and it’s helping. No one long term so far, but that’s more about a bias I’ve developed over my life. Everyone I’ve encountered, previously and recently, has either suffered severe spousal abuse or experienced some deep trauma. I’d like to be in a relationship where the noise from someone’s life is not quite so loud.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you for sharing your story M.J. I’m so sorry that Jacqueline died. It sounds like she left you with some important clarity.

      1. M. J. Cuthbertson Avatar
        M. J. Cuthbertson

        Along with the clarity a wonderfully flexible model for relationship that I wrote for a friend when she asked if she could share it as a guide for her couples counseling clients.

  6. Pecheoiseau Avatar

    I’m kinda sorta partnered but, it’s complicated, as the kids say. And I also enjoy being kinda sorta single. So I hear ya. In a real crisis I have people who would have my back, but there is no designated chicken soup-bringer for when I get sick.

    Almost 20 years ago now, my boyfriend at the time and I met online. He joked that it was “a post-911 relationship”. But it wasn’t exactly a joke as we both had been feeling the weight of uncertain times and the need for companionship and stability (and snuggles!) and headed for Matchmaker. That ran its course and we both moved on but it was good while it lasted. The world got a little better.

    Since then I have acquired an attitude of “Pish posh, who needs to do relationships the way society dictates? I will do relationship anarchy!” But in these uncertain times, I admit to broaching the idea of being more committed, more settled, more “will you be my soup bringer?” “Will you be my person?” Because yeah, it feels like the sky is falling. The results of this line of inquiry are so far inconclusive and I plan to keep asking.

    I have a book/workbook called “Calling in the One” that I honestly have been scared to try because…what if he shows up?! Then I would really have to shape up, wouldn’t I?! Ha ha. (I will talk to my therapist about that one.) It is by Katherine Woodward Thomas and is in the “law of attraction” vein. She also invented the term “conscious uncoupling” but don’t hold that against her! The book is definitely supportive of “putting it out there to the universe”, so it might be worth checking out.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you for the book recommendation, Pecheoiseau. It’s always good to continue to build your friend network. Soup-bringers can also be friends. And, yes, there can be fear around actually finding your “person.” That’s a great thing to explore. With your therapist…

  7. anonymous Avatar

    Your thoughts on partnering resonate deeply, even though my personal search has led me to, finally, appreciate the joys of being single. A favorite quotation from the film “Shall We Dance” seems to capture what you’re saying, simply and sweetly. In response to the question “why do we marry?”, the detective says “passion”, but the main character (Richard Gere’s) wife, Susan Sarandon, says:

    “No. Because we need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet. What does one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything: the good things, the terrible things, the mundane things. All of it. All the time. Every day. You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed, because I will be your witness.”

    Wishing you good fortune as you open to finding your witness.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      That’s a wonderful quote. Thank you. A witness. And, at the same time, I also appreciate “the joys of being single.” Very much. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Gabriela Montoya-eyerman Avatar
    Gabriela Montoya-eyerman

    Thank you for sharing and I join everyone else in sending the universe the message of your shout out!

  9. Sarah Avatar

    May your paths cross and sweetly intertwine.

    I met my soulmate by visiting my high school English teacher after having spent two years away in college. And that’s how he met his, too.

    I know how lucky I am that it was that easy.

    I suppose that sometimes we aren’t just given what we deserve. We have to search and reach and ask and try and work and fail and start over.

    But…while I only know you through this pretty special blog you’ve written…I have to say no one deserves to have someone special with whom to share her happiness and joie de vivre than you.

    (And a thousand apologies to my eighth grade French teacher if I got that wrong.)

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Merci beaucoup, Sarah. <3 Thank you for sharing your story. And for being here.

  10. medleymisty Avatar

    It may be the OEs talking, but I think of “oversharing” as “being a human”. 🙂

    I’ve been with the spousal person since we were 18. Got married when we were 21.

    I met a girl at orientation at college, and when school started I saw her again. We were walking along when she reached out and stopped a guy who was riding by on his bike. She’d gone to high school with him and they’d been in the same AP Spanish class. We decided to go to a gathering at his dorm that night.

    Now, 18 years later, I just finished eating a delicious sandwich that the guy who was passing by on his bike made for me. 🙂 Which yeah, we laughed on our last anniversary about how now we’ve been together for as long as we were alive before we met.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for. *hugs if you want them*

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Great story, medleymisty. Thanks. And I’ll take the hugs. 🙂

      1. medleymisty Avatar

        I read this and I didn’t panic or get all scared! Yay! 🙂 Thank you.

  11. the glimmering girl Avatar
    the glimmering girl

    Thank you for this. So deeply felt and resonating. I’m holding fast to all the good advice you share…and visualizing your adoring partner (who will love your hair as much as I do!).

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Yes…..while you’re visualizing your adoring partner….

  12. Becky Avatar

    I managed to find another rainforest mind. We easily (and annoyingly) finish each other’s sentences. I didn’t believe in soulmates before I met him. Praying you find the right mind.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you, Becky!

  13. viviendoconintensidad Avatar

    Hi Paula, here María from Spain. I have found your blog a month ago and I can not express with words how much is helping me 😉
    I think I have been single for most of my life (still i am) because I did not understood and accepted myself so I was pretending in my relationships with others. Now that I understand and accept who I am I am being vulnerable and i show people who I really am for the first time in my life. I have found my tribe 😉 (anothers HSP and rainforestminds), but with a romantic partner I am still scared of being “too much” for everybody.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I’m so glad that you found us, Maria. We understand the fear around being too much. Thank you for being here and for your comment!

  14. cmd1122 Avatar

    Thank you for opening up to us all, Paula. This is a very moving post because you remind us that you are a human being. (Sure, we knew that, but also you also kind of seem like a super hero with some crazy mind-reading and empathy skills, and such a huge capacity to love. I usually feel like your posts come at just the right time, as do many other readers; they are so soothing and helpful and funny and reassuring and calming and inspiring…reaffirming.)
    Those realities you listed about there being “no designated person” are tough for sure, and we’ve probably all been there: a sometimes haunting mix of loneliness and doubt about ever finding someone, yet a knowledge that you do have greater freedom to do things that interest you, on your own schedule.
    I sincerely believe you will find someone who will help you mix up a spell to keep the sky from falling, while also keeping you laughing and smiling, both inside and out. You share so much love on this blog alone, so I will be hoping for love to find you and shower you.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you so much for this, cmd1122. It’s very much appreciated. The truth is that I get so much pleasure out of writing the blog plus the love I feel from all of my bloggEEs is so special that I almost feel greedy asking for more. <3

      1. cmd1122 Avatar

        Please don’t feel guilty (as if it were that easy–wink, wink). 🙂 <3

  15. Patricia Moore Avatar
    Patricia Moore

    I so understand this. I feel this vulnerability. I’m also feeling it from the isolation and lack of community. I’m sending you love and hope for this call to be answered for you

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Sending you a big hug, Patricia. Please think of us as a community for you.

  16. whitebackatcha Avatar

    Thank you for being authentic and open. Being real normalizes what we, your adoring fans, are going through. Most of us already know there isn’t a magic solution that will make our lives easy and perfect; we want advice, but we mainly just want to feel understood.

    And those of us who are single can certainly understand what YOU are going throught here!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you, whitebackatcha. Truly, having “adoring fans” is such a blessing! I recommend blogging for all single people!!

  17. HippieBea~ Rev GreyHawk Avatar
    HippieBea~ Rev GreyHawk

    Thanks for sharing!! As I have been working on Healing and BE-ing I have been well and truly Single for a little over 20 years. OH.. a brief “encounter” once or twice but nearly 8 years since so much as a kiss. And now that I “get me”…the Authentic ME using this new-ish term I too am Ready to surrender!! I am OPEN to a relationship ( I think? LOL) Naw I AM!! Course my life is quite Solitary and I am Rarely in a position to even meet someone!! BUT~ I put my intention our into the Friendly Universe I am Ready for a Healthy relationship with a like-minded Soul!! Ah HO! Mitakuye Oyasin

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      YES!!! 🙂

  18. Gail Post, Ph.D. Avatar
    Gail Post, Ph.D.

    Paula, Yet another beautifully written post – but this one is even more profound. Your bittersweet description of the not-so-little hardships about being alone, like no one to track your coming and going, is a poignant reminder of how hard it can be to be single. Thank you for sharing this about yourself, and for the help it will bring to everyone who reads it.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you, Gail. It was one of those pieces that seemed to write itself!

  19. cathytea Avatar

    Thank you for generously sharing! Your loving guiding hands-of-the-universe will find it so much easier to guide the circumstances of your life now that you’ve put it all out there publicly! And we will enjoy hearing of the adventures your heart and soul encounter ! Much love to you , who shares her love daily with all!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh, thank YOU, cathytea. Always good to hear from you.

  20. Deborah Nam-Krane Avatar
    Deborah Nam-Krane

    This made me smile and tear up (in the good way). I’ve been married for 25 years, and my husband, in addition to giving me butterflies, is my best friend, and I can’t imagine life without him. Everything you said, plus someone who is your biggest cheerleader and knows your heart. (Bonus is someone who makes you feel unashamed of the crazy family you came with.) I’m picturing you with someone who lights up your heart and makes your eyes sparkle, and I eagerly await hearing about it when it happens.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Will let you know, Deborah. 🙂 So happy to hear about your best friend.

  21. annahjamesart Avatar

    Fantastic, Paula!

  22. Coaching the Gifted Avatar
    Coaching the Gifted

    I love the synchronicity that I am reading this post on the morning of my wedding anniversary. Your words made me think of many things I have taken for granted about being in a deeply committed, long-term relationship. I will be on the look-out for a single man with these characteristics and steer him in your direction. We all need to be loved and cared for in multiple ways. I love you!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh my gosh! Happy anniversary!

  23.  Avatar

    Good for you! Keep us posted!

  24. lauramary3 Avatar

    Wow! Thank you Paula. For me this is the sweetest and most deeply moving of all your blogs.
    No, I don’t think you have gone off the deep end at all. I think you have met the moment to be courageous, to share with us the deeper you. The authentic and vulnerable you. This is a most precious gift coming from a therapist. As you say, it may resolve in a few days. But it makes rich reading because in your usual style you also share an abundance of advice and new resources (oh, so now I have 4 more books to add to the 17 by my bed from the previous blog!). And by the way…. you make me laugh out loud! What do you mean “your long lost sense of humor” ? Maybe it doesn’t feel online for you but you certainly manage to communicate it effectively in your writing.
    While I am here, you mention Argentine Tango so much I “surrendered” too! I am on lesson 3 and have fallen for it in a big way. Everything you have ever said about it I now understand. So a heart felt thank you Paula x

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Aha! So good to hear that you’ve taken the tango plunge, lauramary3. And thank you for laughing…and for this comment!

  25. Mercedes Campos Avatar
    Mercedes Campos

    Loved your ‘over-sharing’ post!

  26. Devon Avatar

    Hurray!! I am loudly celebrating your bold announcement and intention as you call in your soul’s mate. I love Harville Hendirx’s take on things. Another oldie for me was A Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch, from which I took on “nobody’s ready for marriage — marriage makes you ready for marriage”. Of course that hasn’t stopped me from taking a couple of online courses in a bid to not repeat the relationship dynamics of the past as well as to get me aligned with the realities of real relationships. At my core I know that an authentic and worthwhile relationship will take much negotiation and navigation and I am willing for that now. I am so thrilled for you and am feeling such joy for the richness that the union you have describes will bring to the world.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I’ve heard of Schnarch’s work but never read him. Thanks for the tip, Devon, and for your sweet support.

  27. FredB Avatar

    If you owe enough money, someone will look for you.

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