By Sophia Godkin PhD
You may already know that your HealthType plays a significant role in your nutrition and exercise needs, but did you know that it also plays a major role in how you love? In fact, your HealthType is like a golden key that unlocks the doors to your preferences, typical behaviors, strengths, weaknesses, deepest desires, anticipated challenges, and triumphs when it comes to your dating, sex, and love life.
It can take years, decades, and often a lifetime to discover who we are and what we prefer as partners, lovers, and friends. Luckily, you can shave years off of this process just by knowing your HealthType. So whether you are a Diplomat HealthType, are considering dating a Diplomat, are the friend of a Diplomat, or are in a relationship with or married to someone who is, this article was meant for you. Welcome to ‘The Diplomat: In Dating, In Sex, and In Love’, where we ask the question “How does this loveable mind-body type perceive, receive, and thrive in the experiences of dating, sex, and love?”
Are you interested in seeing what your HealthType reveals about you as a partner, friend, and lover but don’t yet know your type? Click here to find out in just 3 minutes.
Familiarity breeds attraction.
As a Diplomat, you’re probably not someone who makes the first move. Heck, you’re probably not a big dater at all. So it’s no wonder that oftentimes someone with whom you were already familiar, whether through work, friends, or other social circles, becomes a romantic prospect. It’s also not uncommon for your romantic partner to be someone who you previously considered “just a friend”, who over time grew to be a romantic interest. When asked what initially attracts her to a potential partner, Bethany P., a female Diplomat, said “When they are my friend first”. “My relationship with my ex wife started as friendship, we knew each other for about six months. Our friendship deepened very quickly, and once we were in close physical proximity and no longer travelling, we transitioned to a romantic relationship very quickly. We had been introduced by a common friend and then continued to bump into each other and see each other in social settings, and knew many of the same people,” shared Quinnley L., a fellow female Diplomat.
One of the reasons familiarity may be such an important part of attraction for you is that it lets you in on your potential partner’s values. The more familiar you already are with them, the more likely you are to know about their values. And if there’s something you value, it’s strong values. And if family happens to be one of them, then boy are you in luck. Any mention of their or your parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, and family during dinner conversation easily brings a warm “this is my kind of person” feeling to your heart.
You’re looking for someone you can rely on.
You are not looking for something shallow. Even in the early stages of dating and getting to know one another, you are already looking for a companion who is loyal and in it for the long haul – someone who is dependable and who you can rely on no matter what.
If she does what she says she’ll do and if you never have to wonder whether she has your best interest at heart, then she’s for you. If he’s there when you need him most and if you know, without a doubt, that you can always count on him, then he’s for you. When asked what qualities she most looks for and admires in a potential romantic partner, Gina C., a female Diplomat, responded “sincerity, intelligence, kindness, stability, and humor.” “Love, compassion, passion and desire for me and for life, loyalty, and ability to give a commitment” are the top qualities Puna R., a fellow female Diplomat, looks for.
You know that if you find these qualities in a partner, it will give you the kind of relationship you want – one in which you’re there for each other during tough times, you’re part of the same team, and you easily make each other’s lives better. Rachel S., a female Diplomat, summed it up beautifully when she said, “an ideal relationship for me feels like you always have someone who will have your back when $#*! really hits the fan even though it’s not always perfect at other times. And like you have a second family.”
Commitment likely follows.
When dating and sizing up their partner, an Activator is likely asking themselves “Is this someone with whom life will feel exciting and new no matter how long we’ve known each other?” However, you– dear devoted Diplomat– are usually asking yourself “Can I see myself with this person forever?” and “Will I enjoy growing old with this person?”
Be selective with whom you date, knowing that dating isn’t a casual endeavor for you as it is for some other types. If you date for a few weeks, those few weeks are likely to become a few months, and those few months are likely to become a few years, which are likely to become a lifetime. Even though you’re not a big dater, you are beyond happy to devote a lot of time and attention to a partner once you find them. It’s not a big push for you to commit; it’s natural.
If you’re thinking of dating a Diplomat for “a little while”, don’t be surprised if the little while becomes a long while. So if a committed long-term relationship is something you’re not ready for or desiring at the moment, a Diplomat may not be the best dating partner for you.
You fall quickly.
You absolutely love having a partner and though you’re likely to take your time with many facets of your life, falling in love is not one of them. It’s not that you’re rushing; it’s just that when it feels right, you let yourself fall, albeit sensibly. And once you fall, you are committed and loyal beyond measure. In reflecting on her relationship with her Diplomat husband Eddie L., Diplomat Barbara I. shared, “We met in a summer camp where we both worked. I was 17, he was 21. He expressed interest in me that summer, but I was already involved with someone, and we only started dating the following October after I parted ways with the other guy. It progressed fairly quickly as we were serious about one another, and grew to love each other very much. We spent a lot of time together, and eventually got engaged and then married. He was one of my true loves. We were together for a whopping 13 years! A pretty proud accomplishment for us both.”
You care deeply.
The way that you take care of your loved ones is incomparable, and it shows in how deeply you care for your partner. You are a natural giver, and deep care, unconditional support, and generosity run through your veins. You are truly concerned with your partner’s well-being and want to make sure they are living life as well and as comfortably as possible. You often take to making your partner feel valued by truly listening to what they have to say, showing them unconditional kindness and support, and through traditional companionship (eg spending time reading or walking together) that allows you to enjoy life’s simplicities and create a happy home life together.
Puna R., a female Diplomat, said one of the things she loves most about being in a relationship is “having someone to share the inconsequential parts of my day with when I get home, to share food with, to adore and to nurture someone” and Janice Y., a fellow female Diplomat, said her ideal romantic partnership rests on “love, affection, intimacy, compassion, kindness, an earnest desire to be together and to do things for one another.” “This person is one of the core relationships of your life and you prioritize him/her above other things,” she said. Yara E., also a female Diplomat, echoed this notion in sharing her definition of love, saying that “it means you’re willing to give A LOT for this person.”
As a Diplomat, remember that along with providing you with innumerable chances to take care of your partner, a relationship is a wonderful opportunity for you to slow down and allow yourself to be taken care of too. If you are in partnership with a giver like you, it can be a very alchemic connection. You water me, I water you, we never drain each other, and together we grow. When asked how she prefers that someone show love and care for her, Puna R. said “I love unconditional support, offering to do the things for me that I don’t love doing, taking care of me and my needs.” “Compliments and praise also make me feel like a million dollars,” she added.
It’s not just for now, it’s forever.
Just as dating isn’t a matter of a few days or weeks for you, a relationship isn’t just a matter of months or years. It’s forever. As a homebody, you naturally yearn to find someone with whom to share your home life. If there is anything you want, it’s to marry, settle down, have kids, and create a simple life with someone. Barbara I., in speaking of her 13 year marriage, said “I really enjoyed the experience of living with someone I loved, sharing a home, a dog, a life, and being a wife to this person.” In speaking of her reasons for marriage, Nancy U., a fellow female Diplomat, said “What appeals to me is being in love with one man over and over and over again forever and that is why it is important for me to be married.”
Given your unquestionable desire for commitment, be mindful in finding a partner who desires the same level of romantic commitment as you. If you don’t check in periodically to gauge whether your value systems align and that your desire for a “forever” commitment is mutual, or if you simply disregard the differences in values between you, you may eventually find yourself unpleasantly confronted by the fact that they, unlike you, are not in it for the long haul. When asked why her last relationship ended, Larissa L. shared that it was “discord about core values. I wanted to move on, commit to one another re: a family and joined future, and he didn’t, wasn’t ready yet.” “I really liked him, grew to love him, and wanted to spend more time with him, do things together, plan for the future, etc. I think he cared for me a lot, too, but was not invested in building a future with me in lieu of other personal pursuits he wanted to pursue. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way that things unfolded, and eventually I had to let it go, time and time again. Even as I reflect back on it, I can honestly say it does not have the core components of what I am looking for with a partner,” she shared.
When engaged with a partner who too yearns for a “forever bond”, your love of commitment is an absolutely beautiful quality. Because you are committed to your partner for the long haul, you are unfailingly committed to making the relationship work. If something goes wrong, unlike the Connector or Activator who may immediately entertain the idea of a breakup, the first thought for you is “How do we make this work?” You will do whatever it takes to keep the relationship in working order.
This, coupled with your aversion to conflict, also means you’re quick to sweep differences under the rug. These differences, however, do eventually need to be expressed and addressed. And though a little bit of conflict may threaten another relationship, often it will only make yours stronger and more harmonious (which is what you really want). Change takes a lot of physical and mental energy for you so when it comes to whether to break up or stay together, for better or worse, staying together often wins.
Like everything else in life, you like sex to be consistent, predictable, and satisfying. You don’t need it to be a wild ravaging adventure (like an Activator might) that takes place in a variety of locations, is done in a myriad of ways, and that continuously elicits new and interesting sensations. “My more outgoing sexual experiences were pretty concentrated to a very short period of my adult life. I don’t miss the excitement. I tend to find stability pretty sexy” said Luna Z., a female Diplomat. After a while, you know what you like and you know what your partner likes, so why not stick to what you know works?
Same position, same partner, same time of day? No problem!
That’s not to say you won’t try something new or “outside the box” if your partner suggests it, but you’re unlikely to be the one to propose that you switch things up.
Sex, for you, is about pleasing and being intimate with your partner in a romantic way. You take your time, aim to please, and take pleasure in knowing that he or she too is experiencing pleasure. Sex is about sharing an emotional connection with your partner, and that’s why, especially if you are a female, you don’t rush into it with just anybody. Hookups aren’t your thing. Love-making is. This notion of sex as romantic connection was beautifully captured by Tiana J., a female Diplomat, when she was asked what sexual fulfillment looked like for her. “It’s an expression of love and deep connection, as opposed to a physical satisfaction. Sex without heart is only temporarily satisfying, sex with heart is the most mind-blowing, nourishing, satiating experience,” she said.
And let’s not forget the traditional signs of romance like chocolates, flowers, or running a bath for you and your partner. You happily welcome those too. Mmmm… so romantic!
It shows your devotion.
Sex is an expression of your loyalty to your partner as both dear friend and lover. Yara E., in sharing her definition of love, said “it’s a combination of friendship, mutual respect, trust, intimacy and reliability… Add sexual chemistry and you get a relationship.” In fact, the term “friends with benefits” – if it didn’t already get such a bad rap, implying a complete absence of romantic commitment – could be used to describe you and your partner. In the truest sense of the words, you and your partner are best friends who also share the immense benefits of sex, and you commonly choose to do so in the context of a committed romantic relationship.
Sex therefore is an opportunity to show your partner your duty and devotion to him/her. It’s a way to express your love. And while you might not be inclined towards kinky sexual activities and you’ve got some boundaries when it comes to what you will and will not try, in the name of expressing love and loyalty, you are surely open to trying something your partner expresses interest in.
And because being physical is a sign of love and devotion, it’s an important staple of your relationship. Asked how important an active sex life is for her, Luna Z. remarked that she doesn’t need daily sex but she doesn’t like going too long without it either, explaining that it’s “more so because [dry spells] make me feel disconnected from him than because I need the sex itself.” Maria P., another female Diplomat, asserted that “sex provides an opportunity to re-establish and rekindle that connection when it’s been lost or derailed. I think sex is just another way to communicate within a relationship, and like any form of communication, it needs to be nurtured and honored.”
The HealthType classifications can be a wonderful way to understand yourself and the people in your life better as you navigate the terrain of friendship, dating, romantic relationship, love, and sex.
As you use these classifications to understand yourself and the people with whom you share this life better, remember that each type represents a tendency, not an absolute. And while there are six HealthTypes, there is only one of you. No one person is the same as another, and no one relationship is the same as another. Who you are as a friend, dating, relationship, or sexual partner is a function of your HealthType, and also your culture, conditioning, environment, past experiences, your current state of mind, and your current state of heart.
Has this sparked ideas in you on how you will create a fulfilling dating, sex, and love life based on your HealthType? Let us know in the comments below!
Look for my piece on “The Secrets To Creating a Satisfying Diplomat Relationship” coming soon!
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