The Definitive Guide to Dating an Introvert When You’re an Extrovert
So you’ve found the perfect partner. They have a great personality, they’re a good conversationalist, and they seem into you. There’s just there’s one small problem. While your life revolves around social activities and friends, your partner is an introvert and would rather spend time alone than in a group.
Can you ever resolve your differences, or is it a lost cause?
It’s not the easiest thing to mesh extroverted and introverted personality types together. But when you take the time to acknowledge and respect each other’s different traits and strengths, your relationship can actually be a lot of fun.
Want to know how to successfully date a partner who leans toward introversion? Here are a few ideas for your new relationship that won’t harm your social life or friendships along the way.
Plan activities that play up both of your strengths
When choosing how to spend time together, ideas for dates don’t always have to lean to extremes. It’s not like you have to pick between large group social time and total isolation. You can find a happy medium between loud dance clubs and the quiet room of the library.
Believe it or not, there are a great deal of activities that feed the needs of both people in the relationship, introvert or extrovert. Here are some ideas for your next date night.
- A picnic in the park can be a great spot for couples with mixed social personality types. The introvert can enjoy thinking in the quiet peacefulness of nature, relaxing with their thoughts on the picnic blanket, or reading a good book. Meanwhile, the extrovert can spend time with their partner and also gain energy from the social atmosphere of people walking their dogs and children playing. You may have different character traits, but you’ll both enjoy a leisurely stroll around the park or good conversation over a solo cup of wine.
- Another great date night that appreciates the traits of introverts is to watch a movie together. After all, you can both appreciate a good show with great actors. You can watch a movie at home together (an introvert’s dream!) or in a movie theater with others. But whichever you choose, both of you will enjoy the experience. Introversion doesn’t mean someone will be drained by all social interactions, especially if they aren’t having to interact with anyone but you. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
- Finally, share your workout. Sure, an introvert may not love the gym, especially if they struggle with shyness. Change up your normal gym environment and take the workout outdoors. Hit the trails together for weekly runs or tap into your partner’s introvert power and do a DVD workout video together at home. Regardless of your different socializing preferences, you’ll both benefit from getting healthier while spending time together.
Don’t take their need for alone time personally
Probably the most important thing for an extrovert to understand is that an introvert will always need some time tucked away from all things social. This need comes from their trait of introversion and not because they don’t love you or enjoy spending time with you.
A close friend of mine who lives in Melbourne, Florida loves coming up to Georgia with her children several times a year, I always assumed that the reason her husband never joined her was because he’s in the military and not able to get away.
Last summer as we were catching up on life, she started talking about her husband’s introversion. His personality type is why he usually doesn’t join her on her adventures. While she travels and stays with different friends, he remains home and enjoys alone time after work, quietly recharging. While it was a little bit of an adjustment at the beginning of their relationship, now it’s just part of who they are as a couple.
At home, my friend enjoys family time with her husband at home. She respects him enough to let him have some down time when she takes short trips a couple of states away. It’s all about balance. They have a rock solid marriage and neither one feels deprived from doing the things in life that they want to do.
Appreciate the power of introverts
Extroverts can fly through life enjoying friends and a busy social calendar. Often times introverts are the ones who are able to ground extroverts to reality. Your partner’s introvert advantage can help the health of your relationship!
Often the introspection that comes along with introversion can lead to good decision making. They also have the ability to help others see the practical side of things.
Your fellow extroverted friends may nod and cheer you on in their rash decisions. However, the introvert will help you come to a stop long enough to reevaluate everything that has happened.
Stop focusing on the traits of your partner that you don’t relate with. Instead, applaud them for the fact that their tendency towards thinking and reflection can be an important stronghold in your relationship.
Involve your introvert partner in conversation with your friends
Unlike super social people, introverts can often struggle from shyness when it comes to talking with large groups. You should actively include them in conversations when you’re out.
Don’t automatically assume that they aren’t interested in what you are talking about just because they are quiet. Often the introvert is a polite listener. They won’t blurt out their thoughts as easily as their extroverted partners will. Make sure you’re in tune with their feelings when out with others and help keep them in your social circle (shyness or not!).
Some people are as outgoing as their social lives will allow them to be and others are inclined to introversion. But you can find happiness dating an introvert! You’ll both bring out the best in each other. Just remember to be patient and compassionate. Don’t be afraid to voice your needs, either. Together, you both can successfully date each other while being fulfilled individually as well.
Cassi Villanueva is a freelance writer and contributing blogger at Catholic Singles. Born and raised in the south, when she's not writing, she can be found spending time with her husband and four children in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA.