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OPTIMIZING YOUR INTROVERT-EXTROVERT RELATIONSHIP

There’s no overarching consensus when it comes to which personality types balance which other ones out.


Some introverts can’t imagine dating an extroverted personality – the mere thought of spending ‘down-time’ socializing or embarking on new adventures makes them want to barricade themselves inside a broom closet and feign their own death. Other introverts adore – even crave – the stimulation that comes from sharing life with a partner who orients their energy outwards – into the world of opportunities and experiences that the introvert might otherwise fail to engage with.


In the same vein, extroverts have varying needs in a relationship. Some adore the long-term balance and insight that can be gained from dating an introverted partner. Others are looking for more of a partner-in-crime, who focuses their energy on action and collecting new experiences.


Regardless of one’s dating preferences, it’s undeniable that opposites often do attract. Many introverts lead long and happy lives alongside extroverted partners. Many extroverts are happy to barricade themselves indoors at the end of a long day with their introverted spouse. And the key to these long-lasting partnerships may boil down to one simple decision: the commitment to understanding and respecting each other’s differences.  


If you’re an extrovert dating an introvert, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind in order to maximize your relationship.  

 

Build alone time into your routine as a couple. 

Contrary to the jaded, people-hating reputation that introverts too often get slapped with, most of them adore and value their loved ones incredibly highly – which is why it can be so daunting for them to tell someone they love ‘I need space.’

If you’re an extrovert dating an introvert, try working alone time into your weekly routine. Schedule a particular night of the week where you go out with friends and allow your introverted partner to have the place to themselves. You’ll spare them the drama of having to explain that it’s not that flame-throwing classes don’t sound cool after yesterday’s networking event – it’s just that if they have to utter a single other word after the day they’ve had at work, they’re going to explode.

Place an emphasis on one-on-one time. 


Introverts and extroverts alike enjoy the intimacy of getting to know one another through one-on-one conversations. However, as an extrovert settles in and gets comfortable in a new relationship, they may be more likely to turn their focus outward and begin expanding their social network once again. It’s important for extroverts to keep in mind that introverts will favor one-on-one interactions throughout the course of the relationship – and that time should be regularly set aside for it no matter how serious things get.     

Take an active interest in the world that exists inside their minds. 

To an introverted personality, the ‘real world’ doesn’t happen at their office or the grocery store or on vacation. The ‘real world’ takes place inside the rich inner world of their own minds. Rather than asking your introverted partner how their day was, try asking what they’ve been thinking about lately. What they’re reading that is capturing their interest. What they think about a given situation or opportunity. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to open up and let someone into their inner world – the one they spend the most time in, after all.  

 

And we cannot forget about our extroverted personalities! If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert, here are a few ways to keep things fresh and invigorating:


Encourage their social life outside of the relationship.


Your extrovert’s need to maintain an active social, professional and adventurous life outside of the relationship isn’t an indication that you are not ‘enough’ for them – it’s simply a natural expression of the way they’re wired! Encourage your extroverted significant other’s need to maintain strong social ties with various people and groups. They’ll appreciate that you respect their freedom – and their bustling social calendar will mean you get the house to yourself a little more often!

Join them in embarking on new adventures.

Just as it means a lot to you when your extroverted partner spends the weekend curled up with you at home, it means a lot to them when you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone and join them on their latest adventure. Take an interest in the new activities they’re trying out, and make a point to learn about whichever ones they are enjoying the most. They’ll appreciate your willingness to join them as they explore their lives from new angles!

Invest yourself in the lives of their family and friends.

Extroverts hold their loved ones in incredibly high regard. And in many cases, the way to your extrovert’s heart is through their social circle. If you can show that you care to get to know the people they already know and love, they’ll see it as a sign of genuine devotion. Make a point to ask how their best friend’s job interview went, or spend a day bonding with their family. Your extroverted significant other will appreciate you going the extra mile to take an interest in what matters to them most – the people they care about.