You’ve found someone you really click with and think they may be the one, except for one thing… they’re an introvert and you’re not. But this doesn’t mean that the relationship is bound to fail. Dating an introvert can actually add more balance to your life.
“It’s important to recognize that introverts are not necessarily socially anxious, shy, or loners. Introverts love talking and connecting with people, especially on a deep level, but they also need to have the proper balance and proportion, otherwise they get drained,” explains Dr. Michael Alcee, a clinical psychologist who specializes in introversion. “What truly differentiates introverts from extroverts is that they recharge from the inside-out, replenishing themselves by going into the world of ideas and the imagination rather than through prolonged social contact.”
Introverts bring a lot to a relationship and are wonderful people to be with. To help you understand your introverted partner, here are some tips you should keep in mind.
7 Tips for Dating an Introvert:
1. Sometimes introverts just need a push to be social.
There are a lot of introverts out there that truly do enjoy being in social settings once they get there. They just need a little push on occasion to make it happen, explains dating expert James Anderson. “Being social can be an energy drain for introverts but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to do it or value it. Being encouraging and appreciative of your introverted partner when they do make the effort to socialize with you can go a long way.”
2. Limit the amount of time and frequency spent in large, social gatherings.
An extrovert needs to understand that an introvert can only take so much being out in crowds. “After a while the amount of stimulation will force them to retreat so that they can recharge,” explains Dr. Venessa Marie Perry. “Therefore an extrovert should understand that an introvert can be social, but will need to retreat to get some peace.” Perry emphasizes that this doesn’t mean that he/ she isn’t having a good time, they just enjoy people in small doses.
3. Planning goes a long way.
It’s very easy for an introvert to put off socializing, but harder if you make a plan. “If you really want to get your partner out of the house, you need to plan out your social calendar as much as you can. Make the plan, get them to commit to it, and stick to it. If an introvert knows when they’re going to be social and when they get to relax on their own, they’ll be much more agreeable,” says Anderson.
4. Don’t confuse an introvert’s quietness with being uninterested.
Introverts generally only like talking to a few people in a social situation—usually someone they know or have something in common with. “They can be social butterflies but for a short amount of time. Introverts need time being quiet. It doesn’t mean that they always want to be alone, but they just want to enjoy quiet time with the person they’re dating, maybe watching a movie or just being present with the person,” says Perry.
5. Pay extra attention to their actions when it comes to what they need.
An introvert may be reluctant to speak up when they’re feeling uncomfortable at a social gathering, or don’t want to go to an event that you’re set on going to. They may feel that they’re causing you to miss out. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to any physical cues they give you that may indicate, ‘I want to go home’ or ‘I don’t want to go out tonight.’ You’re not a mind reader but if you’ve dated an introvert long enough, you’ll be able to start picking up on these cues.”
6. Developing a friend group of other extroverts can take a lot of pressure off.
Having a well-rounded group of friends that you can lean on for social interaction can take a lot of pressure off of your relationship. “If you need to be social four nights a week and you can count on your friends to be there for you for a few of those nights, the load will be much lighter on your partner. You’ll both be able to have the experiences you need and truly enjoy your times together,” says Anderson.
7. You can’t change an introvert.
It could be the social gathering of the century, but an introvert will rarely feel like they’re missing out, and you can’t change this. “It’s important to accept that an introvert is this way by nature, and it’s in their temperament,” says Alcee. “This is the way they’re built and, as a result of this wonderful sensibility, they bring lovely qualities to the relationship. Make sure to let your introvert partner know how special they are.”