When individuals fall in love, they tend to seek out a partner who is compatible with their personality and have similar character traits. However, the aphorism “opposites attract” applies for some as well. You may be head over heels for someone who is the complete opposite of you. If you would rather go out for drinks on a weekend, but he would rather stay home to catch up on a book. Or if you are the center of a party, and he is the geek at the corner who is dying to go home. You are always actively reaching out to new people and making connections, while he prefers to keep to himself and minimize interactions. If you are dating someone who is a completely different person than you, personalities may often clash and cause tension to arise if you do not know how to deal with them properly. Hence, we have gathered a few tips on how to date an introvert, if you are an extrovert.
If you derive energy from the interactions that you make with other people, it may be difficult to understand that your partner does not feel the same. In fact, he probably needs time to recharge after a night out at a party alone. However, an important pro tip is to always be supportive and try to understand your partner’s needs. This includes giving them ample alone time and compromising to stay home on certain weekends. Making sure that their needs are met and acknowledging that your personalities are different will definitely help you and your partner avoid many unnecessary arguments when you two can’t seem to find a common ground for your weekend date.
Do not Judge
It is often difficult to grasp the idea of how introverts hate social interactions because you basically live for them. However, you should not judge the way they act around people or their own preferences for a perfect evening — their introverted ways are usually set at birth. Instead, you should try to appreciate how they are wired and look at things from a new perspective. The ways of your introverted partner may teach you to slow down in your tracks and appreciate the little things in life. It gives you time to self-reflect and promotes increased introspection. On the other hand, what you can offer them is the increased opportunities to develop self-growth, make new connections and take on new challenges in life.
Do not Take Them Personally
A key takeaway is to always respect their decisions and preferences and to not take them personally. More often than not, your partner may reject being your plus one at a party, or turn down an invitation to a friend’s house warming. Furthermore, they may value alone time more than a date out especially after a long day at work. When this happens, you have to remember that they essentially need time to themselves, and are not rejecting you for you. Of course, they would love to spend all the time with you and get to know your friends, but as introverts, being alone at home is a way to recharge and restart a brand new day. As both sides of the coin, it is important to politely let your partner know if you are too drained to attend a social gathering, or are too restless and need a breath of fresh air. Respecting and acknowledging the differences will help promote a stronger bond as you signal to your partner that you respect their choices too.
Create a Safe Word or Phrase
As an introvert, being in public, in a crowd or around noise for a prolonged period of time may be very emotionally draining when it comes to social interactions. At times, more serious cases may also result in anxiety when they are overwhelmed. In such social situations, it can be useful to come up with a safe word or phrase that only both of you know to escape these situations and head back home. It can be a simple excuse used at events when your partner (or you) wish to head home for the day. After some time, the safe phrase may not even be needed as you will slowly be able to pick up on nonverbal cues that indicate your partner’s discomfort or fatigue.
Be Comfortable With Silence
Extroverts usually hate silence, but they are an introvert’s go-to. Introverts typically need more time to process sensitive and important issues more so than extroverts and hence may choose to keep silent for a period of time. As extroverts who may perceive these silences as an indication of a lack of interest or disrespect, it is important not to overthink these silences and give more time for your introvert partners to respond. At times, introverts may value the silence during bonding times like watching a movie or having a meal so understanding them and not letting it frustrate you is key. On the flip side, don’t be overly cautious and be sure to also gauge whether they want to have a conversation by searching for some good conversation starters to kick things off!
Acknowledge Their Strengths
When your personalities are clearly not the most similar, it is important to identify their strengths instead of letting these differences separate you. If you admire your introverted partner’s independence, let them know. If you think that their ability to engage in constant self-reflection is sexy, point it out to them too. Relationship experts advise individuals to highlight these differences as diversity to the relationship, instead of connection barriers, in order to use these differences to your relationship’s advantage. Both parties will focus less on these “incompatibilities” and more on each other’s needs, allowing a deeper connection to be forged.
More often than not, a relationship falls into a rut because individuals believe that their personalities are incompatible. However, a relationship’s demise is not always inevitable as long as a couple is able to deal with these differences in a positive way while appreciating the diversity brought to the relationship. As long as you keep these tips in mind, it does not matter how opposite you and your partner are, you will be able to cultivate a blissful and long-lasting relationship.