Despite their fundamental differences, extroverts and introverts are often drawn to each other. While they may be the yin to your yang, dating an introvert is no walk in the park. Especially when you’re an outgoing person who wants to live every moment to the fullest.
When you have a relationship with an introvert, you have to train your mind to respect their boundaries. But without making them feel left out or ignored. Once you learn to strike that balance, your relationship can thrive in ways you couldn’t have imagined.
There could be an introvert-extrovert relationship conflict and you could be thinking how can an extrovert understand an introvert? In that case, to help you get that balancing act right, it’s important to know what introverts need in a relationship along with some effective communication strategies to get through to them.
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What Introverts Need In A Relationship?
In you have a relationship with an introvert there are some things you need to know. Like any other person, introverts also crave a strong connection with their partner. Their inability to open up instantly and let the other person in often gets in the way. In case of an introvert dating an introvert, this doesn’t pose any real challenge because both partners understand where the other is coming from.
However, this can become the root cause of introvert extrovert relationship conflict. So, to make your relationship work, it’s important to understand what introverts need in a relationship:
1. Meaningful conversations
One of the first signs you are dating an introvert is their penchant for deep, meaningful conversations. Ask them how their day was or tell them about yours, and they’ll probably just nod or reply in monosyllables. But discuss theories, philosophies, geo-politics, and you’ll see their eyes light up like never before.
Introverts are stimulated by intelligence. You’ll have to fan your partner’s curiosity if you’re dating an introvert and want the relationship to work out.
2. Stick to quiet settings when in relationship with an extreme introvert
It’s a well-known fact that introverts are extremely sensitive to their surroundings. They don’t like big crowds, loud music or having to scream at the top of their lungs to make conversation. If you’re in a relationship with an extreme introvert, you’ll have to learn to respect their choice in the matter.
Plan dates in a quieter environment. If you want them to socialize with your friends, keep the gatherings small and intimate.
3. Dating an introvert? Take it slow and steady
An introvert takes their time to open up and let anyone into the sanctum sanctorum of their life. That includes their romantic partners too. It’s not that they don’t trust you or love you enough to let you in. It is just beyond them to open up too soon.
To get over the introvert-extrovert relationship conflict you have to understand this side of an introvert really well.
They need their partners to be patient and take a slow and steady approach in moving ahead. Saying ‘I love you’ too soon or barging into their personal space before they’ve welcomed you in can scare an introvert off. They may also take time to show their romantic side to you. If you want your relationship to work out, patience is your best friend.
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4. Be sensitive toward your introvert partner
When your personalities are poles apart, how can an extrovert understand an introvert? That’s a legitimate concern. But you have to understand that your partner is going through the same thing. They may love your bubbly personality or your penchant to soak up every moment or experience but they cannot imbibe it.
An introvert needs their partner to be sensitive to their feelings and outlook toward life. They don’t like conflict and don’t express feelings easily. As their partner, you have to respect those boundaries.
5. Not taking their personality personally
One of the biggest introvert dating problems is their tendency to over-analyze the minutest of things and overthinking to an extent that they caught in their thoughts.
That makes it hard for introverts to be fully present in a moment. As their partners, they expect you to not take this personally.
It’s not that they’re not interested in what you’re saying or doing. They don’t mean to be distant and aloof either. It’s just who they are.
6. Give them their space
Introverts thrive on personal space and they expect their partners to not violate it. If they need to be alone for a while after being in a room full of people, understand that it’s their way of recharging and recuperating. Pulling them out of this cocoon out solitude or pushing them too hard to engage with you can become a reason for introvert extrovert relationship conflict.
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7. Spending quality time together
No matter how much it may seem as if introverts prefer nothing more than their own company, they too crave a deep, meaningful connection. Even more so with their partners. However, for them, it is the quality of the time spent together that matter most. They don’t care for checking items on a bucket list. if you are in a relationship with an introvert you need to know this.
That can prove to be one of the biggest benefits of dating an introvert, provided you learn to appreciate it. For them, sitting on a couch and having a heart-to-heart conversation with their significant other trumps being at the most happening event in town.
11 Communication Strategies To Use If You’re Dating An Introvert
Dating an introvert if you’re an extrovert can seem like treading in an alien universe every single day. Their tendency to bottle up can drive you up the wall. In these frustrating moments, you may even begin to doubt if dating an introvert is even worth your while.
However, once you make a breakthrough and connect with them at a deeper level, you will realize that, despite your differences – the introvert-extrovert relationship clashes – to have a relationship with an introvert is one of the most rewarding experiences.
Now that you know what introverts need in a relationship, use this knowledge to communicate with them more effectively.
These 11 communication strategies will help you along the way.
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1. Practice active listening if you’re dating an introvert
How can an extrovert understand an introvert? Active listening may well be the gateway to strong communication when dating an introvert if you’re an extrovert. However, the concept of active listening itself is very different for people with such opposing personalities.
Everyone likes to have the other person’s ear and attention when making conversation. But it’s slightly different for introverts. They don’t just want your attention they want your interest too. This is because introverts often feel that they’re not understood, which is why they learn to bottle up over time.
So when your partner is saying something, nod, lean in and ask questions. In a world where most people hear but few listen, this can go a long way in helping you build a strong connection.
2. Weigh your words carefully
Extroverts are by nature talkative people who like to voice their thoughts as they pop in their head and use the other person as a sounding board. This can get both overwhelming and confusing for an overthinking introvert.
It helps if you make it a habit to weigh your words more carefully before speaking, especially when you’re both settling into the relationship. If you feel that conflicts with your personality and you shouldn’t have to change yourself to have a relationship with an introvert, a fair warning is warranted.
Just let your partner know that you’re merely thinking out loud. Tell them that you’ll ask for their attention when you have organized your thoughts better. This way they’ll know better than to start drawing conclusions from your words.
3. Talk slowly and clearly
No, we’re not suggesting that introverts are slow. That said, they take their time to process information. No matter how inconsequential that information may seem to you. To allow them the space to take in and process your thoughts, try talking slowly and conveying your thoughts in a clear, concise manner.
This also helps your introverted partner savor your inputs in a conversation, mull over it, before responding. To them, the difference between a slow-paced conversation and continuous jabber is akin to savoring gourmet delicacies and hogging on fast food.
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4. Respect your partner’s need for privacy
One of the signs you are dating an introvert is their discomfort with bringing their personal life into the public domain. If there is something of a private nature that you need to discuss with your introvert partner, do it in your private space.
For instance, letting them know that something they did hurt you while having dinner with friends is a bad idea. It’ll make them feel cornered and only push them further back into their cocoon.
The same goes for any other details about your personal life.
5. Write rather than talk
To understand an introvert an extrovert needs to know a few things. Introverts tend to express themselves better through the written word than one-on-one conversations. So, if you have been trying to get through to your partner with no success, try writing to them.
Exchanging emails, texts or even hand-written notes and love letters can be a great way to get an insight into their twisted yet beautiful mind. This can be especially helpful if you’re dating an introvert long distance. Long phone calls and video calls are just not their cup of tea.
They may get on board with the idea because they love you but they won’t be able to open up fully in these conversations.
6. Plan dates where you can talk freely
Personal space, quiet surroundings, privacy and quality time – those are just the pre-requisites for an introvert to be able to communicate. So, when you make plans to hang out with your partner, keep these things in mind and pick a place accordingly.
A quaint café or an al-fresco dining setting works best if you’re out for a meal, for instance. There are no loud noises and enough space between tables for your partner to be able to talk to you without the nagging unease of being overheard.
Similarly, if you’re planning something outdoorsy, a hike on a quiet trail or camping is always better than an open-air concert or a fair.
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7. Give them room to talk
A typical introvert extrovert relationship conflict can take hold when one partner does all the talking and the other doesn’t get a chance to say their piece. This happens because extroverts tend to ramble on whereas introverts struggle to put their thoughts into words. Check the tendency to talk too much. Pause between sentences to allow them to respond.
It also helps to ask open-ended questions. This can encourage your otherwise reserved partner to speak out and share their thoughts with you. If you are in a relationship with an extreme introvert you need to know this.
8. Don’t push for a response
Introverts take their time to mull over things and analyze them before making up their mind on a matter. No matter how big or small the topic. You may be discussing whether to get pizza or Chinese for dinner or contemplating a big life decision such as moving in together. If your partner says ‘let me think about it’, give them the time to think and respond.
If you push them for an answer or take offence at their lack of readiness to respond, they may withdraw completely. In such situations, it can seem like dating an introvert is hard. Perhaps, it is too to an extent.
But you have to understand where they’re coming from to not let these personality traits becoming a sore point in the relationship.
9. Steer clear of sensitive topics
You may have a million questions about your partner’s life before you met them. Their past relationships, insecurities, fears and triggers. Don’t prod and quiz them endlessly out of your inquisitiveness if you want to have a relationship with an introvert for the long-term.
By doing so, you’ll push them away. Instead, focus on creating a connection strong enough for them to let you in and share their darkest, deepest thoughts with you.
10. Pick the right moment for important conversations
As your relationship progresses, there are bound to be conflicts and discussion on touch topics. To make sure that these conservations don’t get derailed by your partner’s tendency to bottle up, pick the right moment.
Time the conversation when they’re in the right mind space and likely to be more receptive to your interjections and thoughts.
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11. Pillow talk is your best friend when dating an introvert
Want to get to know your partner better and know them like the back of your hand? Want to know how can an extrovert understand an introvert? Make pillow talks a ritual in your relationship. There is no better time and opportunity to get them to open up than when it’s just you and your partner in the comfort of personal space without a single distraction to take the focus off the conversation.
The long and short of it is that patience is your biggest asset when dating an introvert. Almost all introvert dating problems can be negated if you just hang in there and allow them to reach out to you.
Don’t expect to hang out in a gang and go clubbing when you are dating an introvert. Be ready to have dates at quaint coffee shops or go camping by a peaceful lake. Chances are you will talk and they would listen but they would take an interest in what you say. Dating an introvert can be fulfilling provided you try to understand one.
It can get a bit difficult to date an introvert because they have the tendency to clam up, live in their own world and talk very little. When that happens. do not push them. Give them their space and they would make an effort to get out of their shell. Be prepared that they would reach relationship milestones much later.
Very much. In fact, in that case they would understand each other better and they would focus on the soul mate connection and the pillow talks instead, of socialising or hanging out with friends.
Why wouldn’t introverts get jealous? They have feelings like any other human being. But the way they express their jealousy might be different. They might become sad and quiet instead of getting angry or throwing a tantrum. You might not even get to know that an introvert is jealous.
Yes introverts cheat. Since they are not too expressive you really don’t know what they are up to. Introverts get into emotional affairs more often than physical ones. Because communicating over text or online comes more easily to them.