Are You an Introvert Dating an Extrovert? Tips on How to Make it Work
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Are You an Introvert Dating an Extrovert? Tips on How to Make it Work
If you’re in an introvert-extrovert relationship, you may be confused about how to navigate this ying and yang dynamic. While studies show that a majority of the population identifies as an ambivert —somewhere in the middle of the spectrum— it’s usually easy to gauge which end you skew towards. For instance, introverts fantasize about having alone time to recharge taking long walks, listening to podcasts, while extroverts recharge by being around lots of friends, social gatherings, and talking to people on the phone.
But before we dig into the tips, let’s go over some reminders!
Remember that Opposites attract: It’s just like the old saying, and there are no greater opposites than an extrovert and an introvert.
With the introvert-extrovert relationship you get the best of both worlds: People will see you as a balanced duo, and you complement each other well.
It’s exciting and adventurous: You get to have new experiences that you wouldn’t have with anyone else, namely someone who’s more like you.
You learn a lot from the relationship: This particular relationship will push you out of your comfort zone and entice you to grow and become a better person.
That being said, you are dating another person who is fundamentally different than you, which can be overwhelming, but don’t worry. Here are several things you need to know about an introvert dating an extrovert:
Accept your extrovert for who they are: Being an extrovert isn’t something that can be changed. As they get older, their priorities might change and their friend’s circles may change, but their need for social time + community will not. This is something that you will have to accept, just as they will have to accept and learn about your need for solitude and your deep and soulful desire for peace and quiet. Trying to change each other won’t turn out well and will result in resentment and loss of self. It will take some time for you to learn each other, but once you stop trying to change one another, accept each other, and learn to find a middle ground, you will find the beauty between ying and yang, the extrovert, and the introvert.
You don’t have to DO everything together. There are plenty of couples who do everything together and whatever works for them is great, but don’t be mistaken, you don’t have to do everything together especially in an introvert-extrovert relationship, nor will you want to. This doesn’t mean that you’re relationship is broken because you two aren’t glommed together every chance that you get, it means that you make time for each other to be their own person, while enjoying the things you actually like together.
Tell them your thoughts. As an introvert, you might have a gazillion silent thoughts in your head, but an extrovert doesn’t know that. Offer the extrovert a topic to seize onto, and you’ll find how easy the conversation can be.
Just starting a conversation with a sentence or two can be enough to get the extrovert going. You won’t have to answer back constantly, and it will be an excellent opportunity to talk at your own pace.
Don’t Isolate your extrovert. The worst thing you can do is to isolate an extrovert, that’s like cutting off their oxygen, soon they’ll become sad, their sunshine and bright energy will disappear, and they’ll become irritable and cranky. Unlike introverts, extroverts thrive on other peoples ‘energy and often feel replenished after spending time with others.
They don’t need much solitude and may even prefer to spend their down time hanging with their partner, talking to their friends and family on the phone, as opposed to being alone.
Don’t internalize extrovert’s need for outer energy. An introvert might feel overwhelmed or threatened by the extrovert's social life and great desire for connection,
Extroverts need a partner that is secure with themselves because they are often the life of the party, people are drawn to them, and they like to socialize at parties. If you’re an introvert this might be challenging especially if you don’t trust your extrovert partner. Try your best not to internalize your extrovert’s desire for outside energy to mean that you aren’t enough for them, or that they are looking for intimacy outside of the relationship, or that their attracted to other people. If you aren’t an extrovert, it’s easy to look down on this and think of it as a negative thing, like they’re so attention hungry and why do they need so much validation, instead of simply accepting that this is their way or recharging, just like yours may be to play video games, or go to the movies alone. As an introvert, it may seem strange, but social interaction is just as important for extroverts as solitude is for you. Extroverts are extremely communal; they like to meet new people and gather them together. That being said, this is a great opportunity for open communication, because relationships are all about compromise. Sit down with your partner and talk about what makes you feel safe, and unsafe. Depending on the partners this can very greatly.
Communication is a critical factor in any relationship, but especially in introvert-extrovert relationships. If you’re an introvert, you’ll want to set boundaries with your partner and express your needs clearly so your partner can learn to accommodate them
It’s okay to say no but try saying YES!
Due to extroverts being social butterflies and communal, they will invite you to quite a few social gatherings and parties. As an introvert, you may be inclined to say no, as it will sound exhausting, and it’s ok to say no to events and parties when your S/O asks, but if you say no every time your extrovert partner may stop asking and feel as if you are not wanting to share activities which will lead to feelings of resentment and neglect. It is also okay to say YES and push yourself out of your comfort zone. That’s the beauty of the extrovert-introvert relationship. The extrovert brings the introvert out of their shell and provides spontaneity. If you love your extrovert, don’t forget to compromise! Relationships are built on sharing and compromising. If you choose to go, make sure to show up and be ready to engage. If you’re feeling like you don’t have enough energy to go then opt to stay home and curl up on the coach rather than being disassociated while out. Either way, make a decision and commit.
Let them know when you’re uncomfortable. If you’ve had enough of a party, an extrovert may not pick up on your subtle signs of discomfort, especially at a scene with loud music and a bunch of people. You need to tell them politely that you’re feeling overstimulated, or you’ve hit a wall. Thank them for the experience but let them know your honest feelings about it.
This socializing difference is a biggie – one that will protect both of you from ongoing conflict if you work it out early in your dating.
Be honest about your need for alone time. No matter how much an introvert loves another, they still need time to escape the world and recharge alone. This concept is something you should communicate with your extrovert. Make sure to tell them it has nothing to do with you not liking them anymore, it’s just something you need to create grounding, stability, and cultivate your sense of self. While you spend time alone, this is a great time for the extrovert to go and spend time with their friends. It might be easier if you say things like, “I need to recharge in my cave,” or I need a day for self-care, whatever works best for you!
Find common interests. Extroverts like to try new things; this doesn’t have to include being around a ton of people. This can also include doing arts and crafts, reading a book together, going to the dog park, amusement parks, or trying new restaurants together. There are common interests that you both enjoy, and they are waiting for you to both explore. Also, there may be certain friends of your extrovert that you enjoy being around. When you discover them, make sure to verbalize them to your partner so that they can plan dinner dates, trips, etc. So not only are there common activities, there are common people that you both like and can have fun with. Uncover your favorite hobbies and people, and you’ll always have a way to bond with your extrovert, all the while maintaining your sense of self.
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