Introverts, as a general rule, take one look at extroverts and want to go take a nap. Just contemplating the idea of being so overwhelmingly social all the time is enough to make an introvert feel exhausted. That said, sometimes opposite can attract and leave introverts dating extroverts. There is nothing wrong with this arrangement, and many couples are very happy. Mixing the two personality traits can, however, lead to some serious confusion on behalf of both parties unless they make it a point to understand one another. An introvert who is dating another introvert will completely understand why their partner needs some time to themselves after a long day. An introvert who is dating an extrovert, on the other hand, may be baffled as to why the extrovert wants to go out with a dozen friends when they have had a long day. Neither is wrong, but they do need to have a bit of extra communication in order to make sure they are both on the same page.
There are shades of introversion and extroversion. Like every other personality trait, the two rest on a spectrum. Not all introverts need the same amount of recharging time, and not all extroverts crave the limelight. Every individual is different. There are, however, some common trends when it comes to extroverts that introverts need to understand. Here is an introvert’s guide to dating an extrovert.
Extroverts want to go out for dates.
As a general rule, introverts are happy to have date night consist of dinner at home and snuggling on the couch with a movie. Extroverts are often willing to do that occasionally, especially when the weather is terrible. After a few nights in, however, most extroverts begin craving something new. They thrive off social interaction and time spent with other people. It gives them energy. As such, an extrovert is more likely to imagine a date as taking place at a club, restaurant or somewhere that there are other people around. This is what they will plan when they are in charge of date night. Introverts may enjoy that sort of thing on occasion, but too many people can lead to an exhausted and irritable introvert by the time dessert arrives. Introverts who are dating extroverts need to make sure they discuss what is acceptable as a date and compromise when necessary.
People make extroverts happy when they feel down.
Usually, when introverts are sad, sick or down in the dumps, the last thing they want is to be around other people. Instead, they want to curl up in a ball under the blankets and not move until they are feeling better. Extroverts, on the other hand, want to go out and socialize when they are down in the dumps. Being around other people, talking and generally being social gives extroverts a boost of energy and helps them recharge their batteries after a terrible week. This means that when an introvert’s significant other has had a stressful week at work, the party the two were planning to attend on Friday might be exactly what the extrovert needs as a bit of a pick-me-up. More than one well-meaning introvert has canceled plans thinking that is what their partner needs, when in reality, the opposite is true.
Extroverts like group activities.There are certainly introverts who have a lot of friends or enjoy doing things in larger groups. That said, most introverts prefer to have a small, intimate group of friends and do things with them either one on one or in small groups of three or four. Extroverts, however, often take a more the merrier attitude. This can rapidly become frustrating for introverts who have a different definition of “a small group of friends” meeting somewhere. An introvert who is expecting three people and is surprised with a group of 15 is not going to be happy, and an extrovert who hears that the introvert is expecting “quite a few people” at a dinner is going to be confused or disappointed when six friends show up instead of 20. Once again, the key is communication. Introverts can feel like they are not enough to keep the extrovert’s attention when the extrovert wants to invite more people to outings. The extrovert, on the other hand, might start wondering why the introvert hates the extrovert’s friends since they never seem to want to invite them to anything.
Extroverts will make plans when the introvert wants to stay in.
Extroverts like to go out and be social. This often means spending as much time as possible with other people. The mere idea of spending every night with friends is enough to exhaust introverts, but staying in too often can leave extroverts ready to climb the walls. As such, introverts should not be surprised if they find that extroverts make plans to go out with friends when the introvert wants to stay in for the evening. Introverts sometimes feel like they are being abandoned for something better when extroverts make constant plans and seem unwilling to spend quiet time with their partner, but the extrovert is not trying to do that any more than the introvert is avoiding the extrovert when they want some quiet time to themselves. As long as both parties understand the other’s motivation, there should not be a problem. If someone starts to feel abandoned, however, they need to speak up before it becomes a more serious issue.
Extroverts like to stay in contact.
Introverts hate small talk. They would rather sit in silence and stare at one another than have a long, rambling conversation about the weather or vague discussions of potential weekend plans. Extroverts, on the other hand, tend to value any kind of human interaction. They do not mind small talk since it means that person they are interacting with is at least somewhat engaged with them. This desire to continually communicate carries over to cellphone usage. As a general rule, introverts are not normally bothered by going a decent stretch of time without human contact, and when they want to be alone, they do not want to be dealing with their cellphone. Extroverts, on the other hand, like to remain constantly in contact with the people in their lives. When they are not with someone else in person, they tend to text, call or message the other people they know, and they may not understand why an introvert refuses to come to the phone.
Extroverts tend to share more.
Extroverts tend to be more talkative and more open to sharing. They are more likely than introverts to wear their hearts on their sleeves. As extroverts tend to think better when they bounce ideas off another person, they tend to hold back fewer of their deeply personal thoughts and feelings. Introverts, on the other hand, tend to be more private for a variety of reasons. Introverts do best when they think through things on their own, so they tend to keep turmoil internalized as they work through it. Between that and a smaller group of friends, introverts are far less likely to share their personal thoughts and feelings with any specific individual. This can cause conflict in a relationship when an introvert and extrovert disagree on what is acceptable to share and with whom. Make sure to be clear on both to avoid problems later.
Extroverts may not notice an introvert needs some time to recharge.
Extroverts get their energy from people. They feel the most alive when they are in a crowd of people or talking with others. They thrive in the spotlight and feed off of interactions with others. Those same things, however, that give extroverts their energy also leave introverts exhausted and in desperate need of some time alone to recharge their own batteries. Unfortunately, extroverts do not always think about that fact. They are so busy having fun and getting their energy back that they may not realize that their significant other is desperate to leave the party behind and go home. As such, introvert-extrovert pairs need to make sure they have some sort of signal to let the extrovert know when the introvert has reached their saturation point for social interaction. It might also be a good idea to take two cars to social events that have the potential to run late. That way the introvert can go home without dragging the extrovert away from their fun.
Introverts may find extroverts’ constant social antics exhausting, but that does not mean that the two cannot form happy couples. In fact, the combination of the two can lead to good things for both people. Introverts can help extroverts slow down and find peace in the quiet moments. Extroverts, meanwhile, can help introverts expand their horizons and come out of their shells. It allows both parties to grow as a relationship should, as long as both people are aware going in that they are dating someone with a very different concept of “recharging” than themselves.