Introversion is often misconstrued as shyness, but this is a misconception. As someone who dates an introvert, I’ve seen that my boyfriend has no problem striking up conversation with strangers. He is by no means nervous or timid around others. Instead, introversion has more to do with a person’s energy. While extroverts, such as myself, feel energized by social situations, introverts feel drained by too much social stimulation. As such, introverts need time alone to recharge. For an extrovert, this sentiment can be hard to grasp. After all, time alone can leave us feeling bored and unproductive.
While dating an introvert when you’re an extrovert may have its challenges, it can make for a very rewarding relationship.
Opposites attract, as the old saying goes.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, introverts make great partners for extroverts. Introverts are great listeners, and boy, do we extroverts love to talk. Introverts will carefully consider all of the things you have to say, and also will consider elements of a situation that you may not have even thought about. Because of these qualities, they can bring very valuable insight to you.
Introverts also tend to be driven, passionate, trustworthy, and in touch with their emotions; These are all super attractive qualities to have in a partner.
Having an introvert so prominently in my life has also inspired me to take more time for myself, and enjoy this time alone. Even though this isn’t my natural inclination, I’ve learned to take more time to relax, and have become far more productive in my alone time.
Manage your expectations.
Dating an introvert doesn’t come without its challenges. As an extrovert, I use communication as a way to feel connected to people. I like to constantly text all of the important people in my life. I also like to keep a busy social schedule. If I don’t have any social plans, I try my best to change that. Choosing to spend time alone in the past has been rare, and it usually meant I was tired or not feeling well.
On the other hand, introverts don’t need a constant stream of communication. In fact, they can feel exhausted by it. Dating an introvert has meant I have to learn to manage my expectations, especially when it comes to communication. I’ve had to learn to not get upset if my text messages aren’t answered right away. I now know not to take it personally when my boyfriend says he wants some time by himself when I ask him if he wants to hang out. I’ve had to learn to recognize that this is part of his time to recharge, and not a personal attack against me.
Be comfortable doing your own thing.
The best solution I’ve found while dating someone who doesn’t always want to go out and be social, is I’ve learned to be content doing my own thing. I keep up my social calendar and continue to do the things I want to do. Just because your significant other doesn’t want to attend a certain party or event, doesn’t mean you don’t have to. Just like you shouldn’t make them feel guilty for wanting to have some time alone, they shouldn’t make you feel bad for wanting to go out.
A crowded place isn’t the best choice for a date.
More than once I’ve brought my boyfriend to a packed place, and we’ve ended up having to leave early because he has felt anxious or uncomfortable. I’ve had to learn not be upset by this. A crowded bar, a festival, or a party might not be the ideal location for a date with an introvert. After all, you’ll have the most fun in a setting in which you’re both comfortable.
Instead, find activities you will both enjoy. Instead of a noisy, crowded bar, go for cocktails at a more low-key location. Or do something active, like going for a walk or for a bike ride. Appreciate those intimate nights in by cooking dinner and watching movies together. If there’s a party you don’t want to miss and your boo isn’t in the mood, take a girlfriend instead.
Introversion isn’t a defining characteristic.
Introversion isn’t a be all, end all characteristic. Introverts still want to be social, and there are times they might not feel so drained by crowds and social gatherings. Similarly, extroverts might experience times when they want to stay in and take some time to be alone.
It’s important to listen to our partners and to remember that everyone has different needs in a relationship.