Help Me Write the Book on Partnership Love and Rainforest Minds

I have looked all over the planet for a book specifically for rainforest minds on how to find partnership love and how, once you find it, how to nourish, grow, expand, and deepen it. Sure, there are many books on manifesting the love of your life and on mastering relationship skills. They are helpful. But I have not found the one that explains the particular jungle-ish issues that come when you live a rainforest-y life and you want to share it with a mate.

(photo courtesy of Michelle, Unsplash)

So I am writing that book.

Will you help?

What should be in this book? I want to know what you want to know. What are your questions, thoughts, feelings, ruminations, and experiences on this topic? If you are in a partnership, how did you meet? What are the challenges you are facing? What are the blessings? What is your advice for others? How are your rainforest traits impacting the relationship? Are you partnered with another RFM or not? What is that like?

If you are single and wanting to be partnered, (You may be happily, contentedly, relievedly single. I have actually been there for many years so I appreciate that choice. There can be great love in your life for sure. Being partnered is only one track, of many, to love.) tell us about that. What do you think is in the way of finding someone? How has having a rainforest mind been challenging or an advantage? Do you prefer being single to being matched with someone who doesn’t have similar depth, sensitivity, and intellect? Have you been partnered in the past and unable to navigate the stresses or discovered too much incompatibility? Have patterns and behaviors in your family of origin or self-critical beliefs made it difficult?

You are welcome to write your responses in the comments below but if you would like to write a lot, which I encourage, please send me an email. What you write need not be perfectly expressed or particularly eloquent. A quick list of thoughts, questions, and experiences would be lovely. Just jotting a few ideas or writing a long diatribe (email please) are both most welcome. Your ideas will help me get a sense of direction for the book and also provide some content. I may quote you but will not reveal your identity. (Or you can ask me not to quote you.) I would love to have diverse views from many different cultures, races, religions, sexual orientations, genders, and ages.

As you know, people often write books not because they already know the thing, but because they need to figure something out. They write to understand or gain the insight they are seeking.

That would be me. And this book. Join me in figuring this shit stuff out.


To my bloggEEs: Thank you!!! If you have a lot to tell me but do not want to write it all down and would rather have a conversation, email me and we can set 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 one.

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.

59 responses to “Help Me Write the Book on Partnership Love and Rainforest Minds”

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  1. A K Avatar
    A K

    I’m in the midst of separating from my long-term partner and am feeling very cynical about relationships. I’ll need to read this book once it’s finished (I’ve found your articles super helpful)!

    My only contribution is this medium article I wrote about how society sells us a lie about romantic love:

    1. A K Avatar
      A K

      Oh, actually there’s another one. I struggle with boundaries so this was a bit of an (in the shower) epiphany for me:

      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Thank you for the links AK. I will check them out!

  2. I’m Writing A Book On Love — For Sensitive, Deep Thinking, Creative, Curious, Smart, Persnickety Humans | Your Rainforest Mind

    […] have already written but have more to say, please do.) That said, if you do not need guidelines, please write what you need to say, want to say, must say, don’t want to say, or are afraid to say. And do not worry about […]

  3. j'adore champagne Avatar
    j’adore champagne

    I will pre-order the book. :0. And I will write you an email. It has taken me such a long time to finally catch glimpses of why what happens happens when you have this kind of mind. It aligns so much with what you write about – “Am I the one that’s crazy? Am I the one who feels too much? Why can’t he see the beauty I am seeing?” and it goes on and on. I shall write.
    Thank you for what you do.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh, yes, please! I would love to hear what you have to say!!

  4. Manuela Martinelli Avatar
    Manuela Martinelli

    People tell me to smile more, to play more to find love. I don’t want to be a oca, as we tell in italian, I want to find love while being myself, while reading, and thinking, and noticing and arguing. This is so difficult, all the people I know is in a relationship, except me. I think there is something wrong in me. Sorry for my english, I am Italian.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      In my experience, Manuela, it is best to be yourself in a relationship! And it is not always easy to find a good match. That is why I’m writing the book. 🙂 Your English is just fine. Thank you for sharing.

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

    I’ve written several versions of thoughts to post on this topic. I finally settled on this.

    The difficulty that I have with all forms of relationship is that no one knows how this life stuff actually works. Here’s my example: Since school I’d been trying to understand my problem. Life flowed along I had several failed relationships. In the last relationship she observed something in me that was the clue I needed to discover I’m 2E and finally solve my problem.

    So, my point about not knowing how this life works is in understanding the intersection point. Was the only way I was going to get the clue I needed to discover I’m 2E was with this person at this time with all the events unfolding precisely as happened?

    I’m not basing my wonder about the way life works on just this incident alone. There are many intersection points and curious patterns throughout all parts of my life and in each and every relationship.

    My only thought approaching a conclusion is that the path to and through relationship may be far more circuitous then our brains can comprehend. It might be more about what we don’t know we need and less about what we wish we had when we are coupling up in some kind of relationship.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Ha! Yes. I wonder. “…far more circuitous then our brains can comprehend…”

  6. A Gifted Multipotentialite in Germany | Your Rainforest Mind

    […] for your sweet, smart sensitivity. By the way, I so appreciate the emails from those of you sharing your experiences with love and partnering. See this post for details. I also want to hear from those of you who are happily […]

  7. Sheep’s Wool Avatar
    Sheep’s Wool

    Ryan ❤️
    I hear you on this situation where you mention queerness.

    Paula, it’s also interesting what you say about ways to find love as a single person. This is very interesting to me, given our complexity, and multiple parts, also our need to be alone (at times, often).

  8. renee Avatar

    I think the lack of interest from others, for whatever reason, makes compromises more appealing than they should be when someone finally DOES show interest. I’ve settled in a lot of ways over the years because I wasn’t sure I would get too many more chances or better options. But I’m happily single now. I say ‘happily’ because I feel like I can at least maintain my integrity by not dating so many wrong fits!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thanks, renee. Being single can definitely be a happy situation. As I’m doing research into partnering, that is not to say there is anything wrong with being single. Not at all. And there are many ways to find love as a single person. Maybe the bigger question, is how do we find love, give love, be love, rather than be in a partnership!?! Maybe I need to reconfigure my plan!

      1. itssue42 Avatar

        musings …. We experience so many types and levels of love; all humans do I hope. As I learn more each day to celebrate my uniqueness, I’ve been able to develop a couple of decent friendships — the kind where we definitely “love” each other, help each other in any way we’re able. Have fun together etc, and I know that I could tell them anything BUT I also know that a lot of me they wouldn’t understand or even be able to hold an intelligent discussion on. Their friendship is wonderful and helps me keep believing….
        BUT it isn’t LOVE by this RFM soul’s (also HSP…. I thought we all were but maybe if not traumatic childhood?)… Anyway, the love I search for in the universe is the one who gets me, essentially all of me, who I can converse with on any topic, who challenges my brain, who loves to dance and play, who I feel completely trusting and comfortable around etc…. a true soulmate to share daily delights with… that I despair of ever finding, but keep hoping… because after all, optimism is a lot more fun and healing. 🙂

        1. Paula Prober Avatar
          Paula Prober

          A big YES to optimism, Sue! And to creating a life where love exists, as you say, in many types and levels. And cherish those friendships, in particular. They are precious.

  9. Ryan Avatar

    I’ve tried being with people I had an emotional connection to but wasn’t intellectually stimulated by. I could never find a way to not be bothered by it, because a huge part of how I experience life is through analysis and the building of ideas for myself. To not be able to have my partner be an equal participant in that made me feel alone, even if they were otherwise an incredible partner. It’s very frustrating and disheartening because, if you insist on finding a rainforest mind partner, the odds are certainly against you, especially once you factor in that you must also be emotionally compatible, never mind needing to like each other and want to choose each other. For me, it is even more challenging because I am also queer, so there is yet another minority category a potential partner must be a part of. I did the math on how many gifted, queer individuals of my desired gender were likely living in my state, and even with a generous age range, it was somewhere around 300 people. I can only guess what that number would be it only included single, emotionally healthy, attractive-to-me (and I to them!) individuals. It’s frustrating to not be able to partake in something that most people take for granted, all because my brain is wired in such a way that few people just won’t be a good match for me no matter how much I try to be open-minded.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I think the higher you are on the gifted spectrum, the harder it is to find intellectual compatibility. As you are saying, too, there are many factors that we are looking for if we want a mate. Thank you for sharing and for being here.

  10. Sheep’s Wool Avatar
    Sheep’s Wool

    Thank you, Paula. That was an interesting comment. I learn from it that we can’t always be clear sighted in our search for love and our own way of seeing (our glasses, our needs) can obscure the view.
    These are valuable topics that I’ll be delighted to read about.

  11. Dr Debbie Steber Avatar
    Dr Debbie Steber

    I am also a psychotherapist, and giftedness is my passion! I have a RFM, have raised two daughters who have RFMs, taught gifted classes for 16 years, and wrote my dissertation on overexcitabilities in gifted teens. I am currently putting together a short self-help book for my RFM clients and relationships are certainly a topic that I would like to address. I will be watching this discussion stream and others on your blog, and I appreciate any ideas that will help me help my clients. I will also include your books as suggested reading for my clients. I keep several copies of your books in my office to loan to my clients, and have bought copies for my daughters and my granddaughter. Thank you for your wise words.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh, welcome, Debbie. Glad to have you here. And thank you for sharing my books!! Where are you located, in case a reader here is looking for a therapist. 🙂

  12. Sheep’s Wool Avatar
    Sheep’s Wool

    dw, your reference to the legacy effects in two relationships of prior trauma invited me to comment.
    I’m struck that the mismatch in doing healing work was an alienating point in one case.
    I’m a single person who has very recently begun mulling over what I think are the effects of emotional undernourishment (‘neglect’) in my early years. It pains me to write that, but life circumstances and my HSP personality are main factors.
    I’m still getting my head around this. Losing a parent early, being a HSP and RFM bring their own effects on a personality.
    I often dreamt up ideal partners, who I hardly knew, whose image I could lean on when times were tough.
    This until recently.
    I’m starting to wean myself off this habit.
    I don’t know my point in this post as I haven’t chewed it out properly in my head, except to point to some elements of complexity in some RFMs’ quest for love or self development. And that this might resonate with others.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      In my own life, I have realized my need for a partner who is also willing to dive into the complexities of their early years and process the “undernourishment.” It’s disconcerting and kind of appalling that I have chosen partners who avoid/deny the impact of their early trauma! And I’m a therapist! So, thank you Sheep’s Wool and dw and others for bringing this up. It will surely be in the book.

    2. dw Avatar

      Hi Sheep’s Wool, thanks for your reply. Undernourishment is a difficult and brave thing to acknowledge, particularly because we tend to spend a lot of time convincing ourselves we are not undernourished in order to get on with the business of living. And for a HSP/RFM, the pain of losing a parent early must be deeply etched; I’m so sorry. These themes definitely resonate with me! Thank you for sharing. And best luck on your quest for love and self-development 🙂

  13. dw Avatar

    Awesome idea Paula! I look forward to reading the finished product 🙂

    2021 was a rollercoaster on the partnership/romance front for me, and I have a few thoughts which are hopefully not too long for a comment. First of all, I ended a long-term relationship, primarily out of a sense of unreceivability and constraint that (sadly) is a running theme above. Finding people who can celebrate the different and extraordinary is hard! That said, my ex-partner was RFM. The bigger issue was trauma on both sides, and a mismatch in self-work; move at different speeds or in different directions for long enough, and you end up far apart. If one of these places is ruled by scarcity, the person living there will find it hard to celebrate others. What for? What will source that outgoing value? Scarcity and undealt-with trauma are relationship killers. I was far from perfect, but couldn’t find a way to ignore the difference in location and the impact it had on me.

    So, newly single, I spent some time grieving, regrouped, and then jumped into the dating scene. It was chaotic and revelatory. I decided from the beginning I wasn’t going to hide who I was; a commendable policy, except that I didn’t know who I was (particularly in that context) and had to make it up as I went along. I guess we all do! But I was never shy about being gifted, being intense, being focused on depth of personhood, and perhaps because of that openness, always seemed to find unusual people to spend time with. We weren’t always the same type of weird; sometimes it was the very fact of weirdness, of felt internal difference, which drew us together and occasionally combusted in spectacular ways. I got hurt (and hurt others), but learned a lot about myself in the process. Like a ghost eating human food, the world left its mark on me and I became more real.

    One first date I went on lasted eight hours and three bars. This was in some sense diagnostic. Five months later, I’m with the same extraordinary woman, negotiating the ups and downs of trauma (on both sides), cultural difference, pandemic-induced co-hibernation, and the logistics of potentially moving to another city. It’s overwhelming, uncertain, and fun; an experiment in being. I hope it will mature into stable partnership. But the experiment works right now because this person is intensely alive, invested in healing their trauma, empathically patient with mine, and RFM-ly weird in ways that are different from me, but do not preclude mutual celebration.

    I want to emphasize this last point. Even with other RFMs, difference is guaranteed. What are the chances another RFM will precisely share my enthusiasm for Old Norse, mycology and Bach? The combinatorics is unfavourable. There are some things that as mammals we probably require, like warmth, security and acceptance. As RFMs there will be further addenda, but a shared passion for mycology doesn’t make the cut. I can find other people to talk to mushrooms about! It’s more reasonable to seek someone who can celebrate the intense, often inarticulable richness we carry around in our heads, who loves it, and by virtue of that love gives us joyous permission to expand into the world. Love leaves its mark when we expand.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      dw, I will surely include a lot on the influence of childhood trauma in the book and the importance of working on it. As usual, I appreciate your insight and the eloquent way you are able to articulate your thoughts and experiences. So good to hear from you. I would love to hear how this most recent relationship unfolds. I’m sure I shall be quoting you in the book. Thank you. 🙂

      1. dw Avatar

        Thank you Paula 🙂

    2. cmd1122 Avatar

      What a beautiful way of capturing such a multitude of deep experiences! Your recent relationship sounds so intense and exciting, and how wonderful that you have found someone so similar different in ways that work. Thanks for giving me hope 🙂

    3. A K Avatar
      A K

      “Like a ghost eating human food, the world left its mark on me and I became more real.” Stop it already, you’re going to make me cry! 😂

  14.  Avatar

    We risk peculiar challenges in each phase of a relationship, regardless of age. (Given that our life experiences have been nonconformist in almost every way, I doubt this comes as a shock to any of us.) Maintaining interest in light and airy conversation during that ‘meet and greet’ is tough, and convincing yourself to engage in that scene repeatedly is exhausting … sometimes so exhausting that merely thinking about it sends you right back to the recliner. It can be tough to line up for the race when you can clearly see that large and awkward obstacle right at the starting blocks. And then – assuming all goes well and you were convincingly ‘light’ and ‘airy’ enough – you have The First Date.

    You may find yourself in a lovely situation and delightfully surprised at the breadth and depth of conversation! Good for you, you found Waldo! But, more likely, you wind up somewhere like a ball park with your date yelling, “This is so awesome! I love being right in the middle of a huge crowd, don’t you?? The energy is amazing!!” while you wonder if the sweaty individual seated next to you intentionally flicked something wet onto your arm, or perhaps it came from the upper deck? No matter, as you’ve already thought through 27 different scenarios in your head and decided that the answer is yes: wearing a mohair sweater without air conditioning in the middle of summer would, in fact, be less torturous than this date.

    The sign just beyond the field that reads, “Stuck In Traffic? You Could Be Home Now,” taunts you.

    But, for purposes of this discussion, let’s pretend like you found someone that said, “Huh … I never thought about that,” less than 15 times through the course of The First Date. This one has potential! And there are bonus points offered if they can spell ‘potential’ correctly!

    As an RFM, I’ve struggled with a litany of subsequent issues. People don’t often understand my sense of humor, because they can’t see the movie playing out in my head (trust me, it’s hilarious). Others have told me they are ‘intimidated’ by my book collection. I’ve lost track of how many times someone has said, “You know, you’re the smartest person I’ve ever met, I’m worried I won’t be able to maintain your interest.” I find it too easy to manipulate others into doing what I want while thinking it was their idea all along. (I do feel bad about that one, though.) I see trends well before anyone else does and get bored waiting on the sidelines for everyone else to catch up.

    I minimize my intelligence because I don’t want others to see my Gifted, because once they figure it out … they leave.

    But I’m tired of explaining to people that being Gifted doesn’t mean that I am smart at everything, walk around with a computer for a brain, and never make mistakes. And no, just because I can see what will likely happen, I’m not going to tell you – in my experience, rarely do people really want to hear that they are wrong. Not only do they not believe me, but when I’m actually right, they resent me for it. Being Gifted is not the ‘best thing ever,’ and I think my Mom might have been ill-informed when she told me, “After a certain age, boys will start looking past a girl’s looks and want someone that they can value as a partner.” I mean, I’m pretty sure she was just making it up as she went along right there.

    I would love to find someone that challenged me intellectually – or, at the very least, just doesn’t tell me that I ‘overthink everything.’ I want to have a reason to learn about something this special human is into that I didn’t even know existed, yet is endlessly fascinating when they tell me about it. I want someone emotionally capable of listening to me reason through the 18 different ways any given situation could resolve. And then, I would love it if they could show me a flaw in my logic that negated 16 of those paths. I need someone that is independent enough to give me a lot of space to explore, think, read my 13 different books at once, hug me and rub my feet after I re-surface, and then gift me a blackboard (complete with felt erasers and the GOOD chalk!) because they thought I might enjoy that more than an expensive handbag. Where is the man that listens to my irrational fears without making fun of me, and then wraps his arms around me until I feel safe again? It’s that same guy that will notice when I haven’t eaten all day because I’m completely absorbed in whatever project I’m working on, and reminds me to rest at some point and feed myself so I can keep going.

    Someone that can remember to pay our bills on time (one of us probably should?) … but finds the way that I can both forget my birthday and remember the square root of 12 endearing. (It’s 3.464101615137755.)

    Someone that enjoys hearing about my latest hobby … and then doesn’t chastise me when I’m ‘done’ with all of it and never touch it again.

    Someone that doesn’t dismiss me when I explain how two things are connected … just because they don’t understand it. Yet.

    Someone that enjoys humor as much as I do and laughs without fear of being the only one … which only makes me surrender and join in.

    Someone to both give me space and hold me tight enough that I forget what mohair ever felt like.

    1. clignett Avatar

      Oh, Anonymous, this is just so recognizable!! Thank you for putting the feelings into words that resonate to my deepest core! 🙏❤️

    2. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you, Anonymous. This is quite helpful and touching and you may find yourself quoted in the future book! Others will surely resonate.

    3. itssue42 Avatar

      YES Anonymous
      “I would love to find someone that…..”
      Exactly! So well put.
      Yup, that’s exactly who I’d love to find too 🙂

    4. cherylhlmn Avatar

      Thank you. I feel heard and seen.

    5. movedtosunshine Avatar

      Wow! It is so validating to see that someone else shares my thoughts. Thank you for this.

  15. movedtosunshine Avatar

    Hi Paula,

    Unfortunately, as many others have reported above, I cannot contribute anything positive! God knows, I’ve tried hard to experience what society defines as a ‘normal’ relationship, with no success.

    In retrospect (I’m 56, been married a few times, and I have been reclaiming my virginity for over ten years now), I would have to say that I am simply naive to the rules on how to “Play The Game of Life” the way the rest of society seems to innately understand. And, apparently, I am unable to learn them.

    The pattern that has revealed itself for me is this: In the beginning, the qualities and traits that I possess are the best thing about me (intelligent, self-sufficient, independent, etc.); in the end, those same qualities become the things that they hate the most.

    I do not understand why anyone would want to expend energy creating a false persona simply to deceive another person. While I am extremely empathetic and can easily feel when others are in distress, I am unable to use that same talent to feel when someone has malicious intent.

    I have never experienced the emotion of wanting to destroy another person. I’ve never plotted revenge, never felt jealousy to the degree of hate, never wanted to kill anyone, never thrown anybody under the bus, never stabbed anyone in the back to get ahead… I KNOW that these things exist, but it irks me that I am STILL blindsided by the lies, deceit, and manipulation that other humans exhibit, even after I thought that I had done my due diligence before getting involved with them. You’d think that the shock-value would have worn off for me by my age, right? Nope.

    I just want to be comfortable being myself! Isn’t that what everyone wants? Why waste time pretending to be something you’re not? Sooner or later, the truth will reveal itself.

    Nevertheless, for unknown reasons, I still hold out HOPE for humanity. I still want to believe that, deep down, people are basically good. Thankfully, I have collected a handful of true-blue friends over the years who share my hope and who love me just the way I am.

    I just re-read what I typed, and I’m laughing! I sound like jaded, poor-me victim. That’s not the case! Believe it or not, I am more content being single than I have ever been while in a committed relationship. I am thankful for the loving connections that I have established and maintained in my life, and I realize that cohabitation is not for everybody! Ha!


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      There is a lot that is positive here, movedtosunshine. Hope for humanity. True-blue friends. Your beautiful qualities. And yes, cohabitation and partnership is not for everyone!! I have been single for many years and I have a creative, sweet, meaningful life!

    2. itssue42 Avatar

      That’s a relationship topic that may be common in general or is it predominantly us RFMs? Namely, you are who you are; why pretend to be someone else? In the long run, it just causes immense trauma and lost years.

      I had many “boyfriends” (gotta be a better word there LOL) but always ‘left them before they could leave me’. It wasn’t conscious, and I know part of it was my restless spirit & quick boredom, but it always seems like people aren’t truly themselves until after you’ve known them well for a while.

      Unfortunately, I had a similar experience as movedtosunshine…
      A person who appeared to be a bright, inquisitive, lost soul like me who liked all the things I liked, believed in the causes I believed in etc etc. We met in Greenland and were such a good match. (too good to be true indeed) I was sooo soooo naive for so long and kept thinking it must be me; I must be doing something “wrong” to make him volatile and angry and cruel and a completely different personality. Fast forward 25 years of non-stop roller coaster abuse between his 2 personalities and finally FINALLY I caught on to the fact that he had been pretending his Entire life with me to be somebody he wasn’t. I’m such a stubborn beast and so convinced I should be able to fix everything for everyone…. after all I’m “so” smart…. it never occurred to me that he wasn’t who he pretended to be.
      In this case, it turns out that he was also hiding from himself and didn’t realize he was pretending; so we spent all those years being NOT what the other person needed. And by then I was so scared that I was so unlovable that if I gave up on him, then I would be “alone forever” Oh no 😀
      And to top it off, RFM remember? Just convinced I could ‘fix’ things, help us, etc etc. now that I was understanding why he was the way he was.

      And meanwhile I have so much anger at myself and at him for taking my life from me. …. On the good days, I tell myself that now that I know I have a tribe (here), I can feel good about myself and do the things I love and maybe eventually someone will love me truly.
      But most of the time reality sinks in….. Who the heck would want to have their life so impacted by an imperfect, energetic, endlessly curious, endlessly analytical soul who has no intention of every stopping? Who is eternally interested in improving. And at chronologically 66, how the heck do you find a true soulmate when 99% of people seem to think they should be planning for “retirement” at that age or facing mortality? Not a chance! I feel and act 35 and am fully aware that our minds can do a huge huge amount to heal our bodies if we learn to live productively and positively. So I’m busy mapping out the next 60 years.

      And I tell myself now NOW I’ve learned. Nobody will take advantage of my honesty and my trusting nature again.
      But I still don’t understand why people lie?? What’s the point? It just makes things negative in one way or another, whether it’s politics or interpersonal relationships. I still cannot figure out the benefit to anyone to not be honest…

      And yes…. for good or bad….. now for several years I’ve been working on getting him into a life that makes him happy. I’ve been ridiculously pleased that I now understand him enough (and much better than he wants to know himself) that he is content, happy, productive for the first time in his life (at 75). My successful “project” let me take the situation and get something great out of it for another human. So now I cope with life alone in a big house which has been a royal pain during this last 2 years. People should NOT be asked to hide their faces from each other; its so psychologically damaging. OK, not getting on that soapbox, sorry. Just really miss interacting with humanity in person.

      So …. have I learned my lesson, not to trust anyone at face value again, about anything….? I really really hope so, but honestly I doubt it. It’s just not in my RFM nature, which has gotten me used over the years countless times and countless trauma contributing to that “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so unlovable” trauma. So I never even have dear friends, except in far flung countries who I never see.

      At least, now I know there’s nothing wrong — I’m just a trusting foolish butterfly. But it sure seems like it would be really grand to have someone to lean on now and then. And to share the endless wonders of the world around us with.
      I cannot decide!! Is that asking too much? Is that fantasy realistically even possible for RFMs? Even after we’ve got a handle on who we are and feel good about ourselves and our path — could someone else really ever love our complex, but simple, always in motion self??

      1. movedtosunshine Avatar

        itssue42: It sounds like we have had very similar life experiences and self-doubts. Have I really learned my lesson to “not trust anyone at face value again?” That question sends me down the analytical path of wondering if I will create a self-fulfilling prophecy. The struggle is real.

  16. clignett Avatar

    I agree with everything that has been written above. Also in my life complex early set on child trauma, a non-understanding parent (mother in my case), as well as a non-understanding and jealous sibling, multiple trauma in my teens and after, as well as a history in the family from the war in Indonesia, second generation trauma. I write this first to explain the background, which became clear to me in my late 40’s. I’m 52 now, and looking back I can understand why some relationships couldn’t make it. Some were “doomed” from the start because I didn’t know who I was, what I was carrying inside me.
    With the wisdom now of who I am, what I’m capable of (Indonesian background comes with many “insights”), with my realization that I am in fact a RFM, an HSP, gifted (2 or 3E), and what not, I “know” now that I did the right thing to stay single until I had sorted myself out. Came to accept and learned to live with my past experiences.

    And that a New Future Boyfriend will come on my path at some point. Or not. Either is ok. I’m happy since a long time, so he needs to bring MORE happiness to my life. And I to his. Acceptance and toleration, understanding and communication, or at least the absolute willingness to do so are most important. Just like brutal honesty. I might not like it, but I will have to deal with it, ánd it gives ME the choice how to respond. Of course, that also works two ways. It’s still a choice you make, every day, every hour maybe, to choose the other person as your partner in life. And, what I need most of all is humor, silly stupid humor. That you can laugh and joke with (and sometimes about) each other and still be ok with each other. I need a best friend, a mate (as in the Australian way), someone who will be there, no matter what..

    It’s a give and take for both sides. Sometimes the other needs you more, and sometimes it’s the other way around. Love comes in many forms, but for me the first criteria is “can I trust you to accept me for who I am, with all my quirkiness and neurotic behavior (sometimes), my sarcastic humor, my Beagle Indie ( a very important point – if he doesn’t like the person, it’s a no go from the start).
    I’m at a point in my life that I don’t accept lies, not even the ones “got your own good”. Too old for games, too tired to try to explain myself over and over without the feeling of the willingness to understand me. And, non-negotiable – faithfulness. Absolute faithfulness.
    That’s all Incan think of at this time. 🙈🤣

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      This is wonderful, clignett. Thank you. Are you living in Indonesia now?

      1. clignett Avatar

        No, I’m living in The Netherlands now, my ancestors fled the country to all parts of the world. My grandparents and their children fled to the Netherlands, as it was a colony of The Netherlands. With the impression that they would be safe and welcomed by the Dutch. Which wasn’t the case.. not by a long shot.

        1. Paula Prober Avatar
          Paula Prober

          I was thinking that you were in the Netherlands. Have you met Femke Hovinga? She runs an organization for the highly gifted in the Netherlands. You could tell her I sent you! <3

          1. clignett Avatar

            I will check out their website, maybe they are a match! Thank you! ❤️❤️

    2. Cube Avatar

      You have described my partner! For what it is worth, I have found that my partner is nor perfect, nor RFM, but highly intelligent nonetheless. He accepts and tolerates me and we are understanding each other better year after year and are making an effort to get closer in communication styles. There is a lot for my partner to take in me, but also vice versa. One of the things that draw me, was that with this person it is possible to make a rational argument and that they will accept it, and change their mind, and I do the same. Of course there are the emotions as well, but we are getting better at understanding that not everything is rational all the time, and there are times when it is wise not to try to be rational. Neither of us really do dating well, and each of us had independently thought that this person would make a good life partner, rather than short term fun and games, and thus we aimed at the long term, and rather skipped the fun beginning part, but this has suited our personalities. We have been together well over a decade and have offspring, who have inherited interesting combinations of RFM and non-RFM traits. As for how we met, we met via studies and via joint friends and first became friends ourselves.

      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Thank you for this description, Cube. 🙂

  17. Tere Avatar

    First of all, I apologize if I can’t convey what I want to know, but I don’t usually write in English. But this is my question: Is the choice of being single determined only by trauma (from childhood or adolescence) or that choice might not be linked to those “negative” events and could be part of the RMF? And if so, what aspects of being RFM trait could explain these choices? The answer would be pleasantly to face how punishing society can be and get to know each other more. I am a 33-year-old woman, soon 34, single. Thank you!, greetings from Mexico. I just read your book, was so helpul and I love it. I already did my review on Amazon. Again thank you so much.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you for the questions, Tere. I think I understand what you are asking. And, thank you for the book review!

    2. itssue42 Avatar

      I think that is indeed a huge part of the equation — our RFM childhoods & teens had enormous, often negative, consequences which I think handicaps us greatly from the start when it comes to finding someone to share our lives with. And I think that sends a lot of us down unhelpful paths for years…. “looking for love in all the wrong places”

      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Yes! And this will definitely be addressed in the book!!

  18. ewabs2 Avatar

    I am single and have been my whole grownup life, even teenage me didnt have a boyfriend. mostly because the boys around my age where uninteresting ( or plain stupid teens?).
    what my bigest problem is, is that pretty much every relationship that I see around me is so totally not how I would want it. most of the time the, lets say math, doesnt work.
    in my opinion and dreams 1+1+3 or at least 2,5 and most relationships I see are 1+1=1,8 so someone is getting the short end of the deal, mostly the woman.
    and then I prefer being alone. I would only consider a partner that makes my life better and I make my partners life better. but I dont see any of that. or only the first few months to at most 2 years and then somehow the balance gets uneven, the relationship gets boring. they start holding each other back in stead of stimulating or being cheerleaders for eachother.
    so if you have any tips on how to keep a longer relationship going in a good way, I am all ears, ( going to buy that book anyway as soon as it hits the stores)

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Well, it will be a while before it hits the stores! 🙂 I am going to interview RFMs in good longer relationships to find some of those answers!

      1. itssue42 Avatar

        Would definitely love insight into RFMs who are in real, genuine, good, soulmate relationships where one can grow and change and blossom. Could provide some much needed insight into how to get there 🙂

    2. A K Avatar
      A K

      Yep, I’m the same. I’ve always dated guys about 15 years older than me (which was a bit awkward when I was 17 😂)
      And I don’t know a single relationship – in all my friends, family, community – that looks genuinely beneficial to both people. It’s very disheartening 😔

      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Yes, that would be disheartening, AK.

  19. Annette Avatar

    Thank you for your suggestion about writing a letter to a future partner. What I put down took me by surprise. I’d ask one thing to be covered in your book; how we don’t see some of the warning signs for what they are. Those “hum, that didn’t make sense” moments can really be red flags. I’m finding for me that a well grounded partner with open curiosity & adult behavior to be top priorities! But that’s me.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Yes, Annette! I always love it when I write in my journal and am surprised by what comes out. And thank you for this suggestion. I expect to be writing something about red flags and patterns that we bring into relationships.

  20. peabodyrus Avatar

    my contribution would be solely negative; I’ve never found a resilient connection. However, I wonder whether Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter might not fit your bill . . . I suspect they’re both deep in our rainforest!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      <3 Oh, thank you. Yes, they are likely great examples. Do you have questions that my research might answer??