Dating should be fun for any personality type. The thrills of forming an intimate relationship reach the heart of our primal selves and capture our imagination as a society. Dating offers a chance to connect with someone on a deep level, and for most people, there’s no more powerful need, lack, or drive. It can weigh on us.
Situations offering such grand risks and rewards can be especially rough for personality types with a strong Turbulent trait. Hope burns more intensely, doubt plucks more sharply, and defeat rends more painfully. It’s called the “Turbulent” trait for good reason.
Are you a Turbulent personality type? Find out with our free, easy personality test.
Relatively speaking, Turbulent personality types tend toward reactive, variable, and emotional expressions and responses. They often require more social validation to maintain their confidence and can be more concerned with what people think of them.
Nothing triggers these tendencies like dating. Oof...
But no personality trait automatically or only brings difficulty. There are no “bad” traits, just certain unhelpful expressions of them. The Turbulent trait has some amazingly wonderful qualities – and advantages – associated with it. As we discuss how it might interfere with dating, we’ll also look at how it can be beneficial in those situations.
Balancing a strong trait just requires fine-tuning how it’s expressed in daily life – and a little practice goes a long way. So, let’s think about how you can do this.
1. Before a Date: Unreasonable Apprehension
Turbulent personality types are more likely to be nervous about a date, especially with someone new. Common reasons are fears of rejection or making mistakes. You worry that you might sink a date by saying or doing “the wrong thing,” and that the other person won’t like you.
Well, you can find endless negatives if you insist on going into the realm of possibility. But consider just going on that date instead – that’s where you can find positive outcomes.
Your worry is born of sensitivity, and that same quality can help you on a date. Think of it like a jet ski (just go with us here...): It’s thrilling, it can quickly go horribly wrong, and you’re at the controls. A person with sensitive reactions can navigate nimbly instead of speeding into obstacles like a drunken, overconfident lake weekender. Concern creates care.
An attentive Turbulent type can be less likely to make the blunders they’re more likely to worry about.
The key is not working yourself up pointlessly beforehand but saving your care for a time and place where it can create good things. Your sensitivity will help you keep the date afloat and headed in a fun direction.
Practical tip: Being genuinely nice is a healthy expression of Turbulent concern for how others react to us, including showing lots of friendliness, respect, and kindness. During a date, you can extend this effort beyond the person you’re with to others like servers, salespeople, and attendants. If you broadcast positive appreciation, you’ll be more likely to receive it.
Simply put, treating people well feels good and is super attractive – wonderful ways to be during a date.
2. During a Date: Reactive Conforming
We’ve mentioned how Turbulent personalities can be highly responsive to those around them. When you’re getting to know someone on a date, you may try to hide things you think they won’t like – or that you don’t like about yourself. But it’s incredibly important to value what you are. Plus, how do you know for sure what they’ll like?
Guessing games are a poor substitute for genuinely getting to know each other. You can respect yourself and the other person best by showing your authentic self – the real you is your “good side.” It’s a hollow joy to have someone love an artificial version of you, or to back yourself into a corner where you must maintain a facade. Icky.
Conforming to an assumed, illusory ideal is a dead end, even if it seems to work initially.
For all you know, your true self might be far more compatible with your date than whatever image you put up. Imagine two people pretending to enjoy artsy films while hiding their love of cartoons – they’re missing out on a fun connection. Like magnets, you can’t “click” together if you’re padded. (Where do we get these metaphors?)
Practical tip: As a Turbulent personality type, you might be tempted to agree to a date setting or activity that you aren’t really into, just to please the other person. Don’t. The date will go much better if you’re both genuinely enjoying yourselves. If they suggest something, they’re hoping you’ll like it. This means that your preferences matter, so voice them.
It’s okay not to like sushi or underground rap battles. There are plenty of options for a date.
3. After a Date: Second-Guessing Yourself
For Turbulent personality types, any void in communication or expectation following a date can be extra problematic. You may worry about what might have gone wrong, second-guessing your previous actions and perceptions. But filling a void with negative imaginings is always a mistake.
If you tell yourself an unkind story long enough or intensely enough, you may start to believe it. That’s harmful to you. You may start to believe things about the other person too, and that’s unfair to them. You might eventually build up pressure like a runaway steam engine (here come the metaphors again...), but don’t derail: hit those brakes.
Your date either went well or it didn’t. The other person is either into you, or they aren’t. Retreating into worried retrospection cannot make the situation better, but it can easily make it worse.
Instead of allowing doubt, self-deception, or resentment to fill an absence of information, why not get some actual information? Communication is how people connect, and honesty is a great way to bond with someone. If you enjoyed the date, say so. If you’re wondering if the other person enjoyed it and wants to go out again, ask them.
We’re certainly not saying that such steps are easy, but they are simple. Reaching out requires some mental and emotional effort, but it’ll be worth it. You won’t know where things are headed until you take a step – and wherever it is, the truth will move you forward. So, take a deep breath and act on what you know, not what you imagine.
Practical tip: If you’re dwelling unpleasantly on a past date or you’re stressed from waiting to hear back from someone, stop and ask yourself, “What would I be doing right now if I hadn’t gone on that date?” Whatever the answer is, go do it. Literally. Meet up with friends, focus on work or school, or engage in whatever you’d normally do.
Stay busy with your life priorities, and let the date fit in where it can, rather than take over your focus. (This can also help you avoid obsessing before a date.)
“There’s Something Terribly Wrong with Me”
That’s a falsity that’s easy for people with the Turbulent personality trait to believe: that they’re inadequate, unlovely, or just plain wrong. Such feelings are natural and deeply human, but they need not define or limit you. The Turbulent trait may shake things up a bit, but it’s important to understand that there’s nothing wrong with it – or you.
In fact, this personality trait brings many positive effects, including a restless desire for things to be better. It calls you to find validation in becoming who you want to be and showing that grand self to others. Concern about who you are empowers you to pursue your own ideal, instead of merely conforming to someone else’s.
What this might look like in the realm of dating is not feeling emotionally responsible for whether another person likes you. It’s great to be your best self, but you still may not hit it off with someone. Being awesome doesn’t automatically mean that two people are compatible, nor does their incompatibility mean that there’s anything wrong with either person.
This can be hard to accept when your heart and hopes pull at you. You might be tempted to believe that you’re somehow the problem. But wanting to be your best doesn’t mean that you’re deficient now. Growth is an ongoing process to be proud of. You are who you are, and that’s worth appreciating constantly.
The value we have for ourselves reflects outwardly and flatteringly. When a compatible person gets to know the authentic, wonderful truth of who you are, they’ll appreciate it. Believe that. And then you’ll be like two magnets riding a jet ski away from a derailing train.
Or whatever you like to do on your dates.
What techniques work for your personality type when it comes to overcoming dating stress? Let us know in the comments below!