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Dating an Extrovert When You’re an Introvert

A man who's dating an extrovert as an introvert, fishing with his girlfriend on a dock and laughing.

Dating someone who is more outgoing than you has its challenges, but it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. There are many friendships, family relationships, and couples who have an introvert-extrovert pairing and make it look easy. The key is to be open about how you’re feeling and make sure you have your own life and interests that aren’t dominated by your extroverted partner.

Here are 4 tips on how to handle dating an extrovert when you’re an introvert:

1. Only engage in activities you’re interested in.
Finding things you have in common with someone can be some of the best times in your relationship. Part of getting to know someone is learning about they things they enjoy and, in the process, you also learn more about what you do and don’t like. When you’re dating an extroverted partner, it’s OK to not want to go to baseball games or a loud concert if it’s not what you’re interested in. Likewise, they may not want to go to a book reading or watch your favorite show. It’s important that you find what you like to do together, without forcing it or making too many sacrifices.

2. Let your partner into your world.
As a person who likes to keep to myself, it’s important for me to be with a partner who’s understanding about my need for personal space. It would be difficult to be with someone who was smothering me with attention and needs that I couldn’t always reciprocate.

However, introverted silence can be confusing to an extrovert, and can lead your boyfriend/girlfriend to think the worse. What you may see as healthy and normal alone time, may come off as ghosting or ignoring to them. Make it clear what your expectations are. If you want solitude at certain times, then make sure you say so and be consistent. Communicate often so that there’s a clear understanding of how you both deal with people, each other, and your environment. It will go a long way in clearing up the confusion.

3. Make sure you have your own life.
It can be easy to resent your partner’s full-of-energy lifestyle, when you’re the one with the simple routine of going to work and coming home. There may be times when your partner has commitments after work that you don’t. It could be they have a lively career that involves a lot of dinners and traveling. Or maybe they have a lot of friendships they spend time maintaining by meeting for drinks, coffee, and dinner. If you find that you’re at home alone and feeling upset that you’re left to yourself, how can you change the way you feel?

Creating your own life, that’s active but still fits with your personality, will help you not feel so lonely whenever you’re apart from your partner. There are a lot of activities and hobbies you can do either on your own at home or out and about. It can be something you used to do, such as swimming, attending cooking classes, or playing the guitar. Or it can be sometime new, such as going to a networking event, reading a new book, or reconnecting with old friends. Prioritizing your own time and interests will help you appreciate it when your partner does the same.

4. Create win-win solutions.
Compromising is important in any relationship, but situations that satisfy you and your partner are the best. The important thing to remember is that being an introvert isn’t a weakness. There’s no right or wrong way to be when it comes to these types of personality traits. You may not be the conversation starter, but you can be the one who listens and offers thoughtful advice. You’ll be the first person your partner wants to see after a string of stressful events, and he or she will be there when you want a bit more excitement in your life.

Instead of retreating into yourself, try to incorporate yourself in the settings and situations you feel comfortable with. And, most importantly, talk it out. You’ll be surprised how close you can become with your partner if you just open up.

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