If you’re a hopeless romantic, you’ve probably dated these two types of people: The Independent and The People Pleaser. The People Pleaser tends to have a hard time saying no to others, doesn’t want to let anyone down (otherwise they are wrecked with guilt), they are afraid of making people feel bad, prioritise other people’s needs over their own and may lose track of time from working on other people’s agendas. Whereas the Independent Person can be someone who does not rely on others for assistance, someone who prefers to do tasks alone, someone who does not follow current trends in fashion or thinking and does not care what others think about them. As a hopeless romantic, there are pros and cons for dating both of these types of people.
The allure to dating the People Pleaser is knowing that they would do whatever it takes to make you happy, while the independent is a strong decisive person who can take charge and handle the difficult situations for you. But for every pro, there’s always a con. The people pleaser is just that, a “PEOPLE” pleaser. Their concern isn’t just in making YOU happy, it’s in making EVERYONE happy. This means there will be times when they take someone else’s side over yours or prioritise saving the world over watching Netflix with you. You may find yourself struggling to find your place in this person’s life as it may just seem like there is no space for you. You may also feel lied to at times because the People Pleaser says what you want to hear, not what they mean. Even worse, sometimes you’re the “bad guy” because they feel taken advantage of. Eventually the solid foundation of trust slowly erodes away and resentment replaces it on both sides. You begin to lose faith in your partner and in your connection, maybe even wondering who this person is. But there is hope!
Make sure you're inviting your partner's truth by being open, curious, and non-judgmental — even if you disagree or don't like what they're saying. Strong reactions from you, by being dismissive, falling apart in tears or becoming angry, keeps them telling you anything you want to hear just to avoid the drama. You may need to pull the truth from them. Do what I call "rolling out the red carpet" to invite their truth — all while making sure your response remains tolerant and accepting.
Alternatively, the independent is sometimes so independent that they only pursue things that matter to them and completely disregard any attempts you make to contribute to the relationship and their life, because they’re so used to doing everything for themselves. You may find yourself struggling to find your place in this person’s life as well as it may often seem like there is no space for you. However, there are some redeeming or at least reassuring qualities. For example, yes the independent likes to be alone, but “I need to spend time alone” does not mean, “I need to spend time away from you”. They just need to turn off for a bit and recharge so that they can go back to being awesome for you. So it’s really not you. Relax.
The important thing to remember is that just like any other personality type, these personalities are on a spectrum, which means the degree of difficulty for cohesion with this person can range anywhere from mild and tolerable to severe and incompatible. What this means is, it is up to you to decide how much of these various behaviours you can tolerate and desire. Let’s face it, they both have desirable characteristics but like any other personality type can become annoying over time; because at the end of the day, you cannot change anyone but yourself. The best way to decide goes back to our pros and cons; as long as the pros outweigh the cons, it’s worth the pursuit. Remember — only when both partners show up and share the truth of who they really are can your connection deepen in a way that keeps the relationship hot, healthy, and happily ever after.
What's the most valuable piece of dating advice you've ever gotten? Share your best and worst advice in the comment section below!