I almost ended my current relationship because I thought dating an extrovert meant having an incompatible partner, but I eventually realized I needed to alter my approach. Here are my 5 proven tips for dating an introvert.
I’m seeing a great guy and he’s an introvert–that’s right, I’m currently in an “introvert-extrovert relationship”…and it’s been a learning experience to say the least (like every relationship should be). My dude is funny, charismatic, laid back and focused, but you’d never know it unless you are in his small circle of friends or an everyday acquaintance. He gets off work, he disappears to give himself a moment to regroup before entertaining me—which can be exhausting because when I get home from a long day working, I’m super hype to see him and to tell him about my day.
I’m loud, chatty, and often enough I seemingly have “complex” stories to tell about my manager who argues with another employee and never irons his tie…YADA YADA YADA and more stuff my boyfriend could care less about, but because he loves me, he gives me an ear to vent—even though I can be long winded and a lot to take in. If you’re seeing someone who you consider to be an introvert, I’m going to suggest 5 tips that will help your relationship flourish with them.
1. Understanding quiet time or alone time (QTAT) can be beneficial.
From my experience, an introvert’s desire for QTAT doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want to spend any time with you or that they’re isolating themselves. You can be in the same space, same room, same crib and they will want to do something that will allow them time to chill. You rub their back, grab their booty or just ask if they’re alright and boom, now you can feel connected again. I like to talk on the phone or surf the net so I’m cool with the alone time because it gives me an opportunity to do my own thing, like read or catch up with friends or whatever else I want to do. Just because they’re being dry, doesn’t mean you have to with them. Trust me, they’ll be ok while you dip out.
2. Keep it 100, always.
Be conscious of what you’re saying when you’re communicating with an introvert. They are great listeners (when they’re actively listening) and will remember details from a random or not so random conversation you guys had from like a year ago—so be authentic. Since they are so selective about who they spend their time with, they pay close attention to verbal and nonverbal cues and will call you out on your bulls***. They have a lower tolerance for stressful situations and will appreciate any effort to alleviate any avoidable stress. Be upfront and keep it real. Master the art of listening, it will save you a headache.
3. Take the time to learn about their hobbies.
Whether it’s working out, listening to nostalgic hip-hop, or hitting the driving range—introverts are doing it. It’s considered an escape when they are dabbling with their interests. Even if their hobbies aren’t anything you’re particularly interested in, it’s still a memorable gesture if you engage with them during their pastime activities. They will reciprocate with a similar gesture and will surely appreciate the fact you’re interested in what they’re into when you’re not around. For example, my golf swing is trash, but I still love going to the range because it’s great doing something he enjoys, the bucket brews are a bonus. You might also find that they’re low key skilled because they’re always so damn focused.
4. Push those uncomfortable conversations.
Introverts will divert an important discussion because they don’t want to use an excessive amount of energy dealing with it. As an extrovert, I tend to spew my feelings and they come rushing out like a tidal wave. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s just they tend to want more time to process their thoughts. Since I’m highly reactive, it tends to cause conflict—especially when I want to talk about sensitive issues, I want to discuss it on my terms. I don’t enjoy creating conflict, I’d just rather knock it out right then and there, however that’s not quite how it goes. I’ve learned that if they care about you, they will process your concerns and address it once they’ve come up with an approach to a touchy conversation. It’s usually within a 24-hour period when they come back ready to square up for that uncomfortable exchange. It’s kind of a way to resolve an issue before it becomes a larger one. I’ve had to compromise on this one.
5. Enjoy the balance.
Anyone will tell you the best relationships are built upon compromise. Even though our personality traits are different, it gives us more of a reason to challenge each other. I love the fact that my dude isn’t as outgoing as I am, because to be honest, I must say, he would take way too much attention from me. He’s smart, attractive, and great with people–he would really outshine me so as an extrovert, that’s not going to work. I enjoy hosting and storytelling, and I have a very strong presence so it’s nice being able to know that I can count on someone who doesn’t have the same attention span as me nor craves as much attention as I do. Ultimately, the relationship works because there’s balance to our individual quirks.
Introverts are not always the easiest to date but remember that it takes a certain type of patience to date anyone in that matter, but these folks are cool in their own weird way. Their mystique is what makes them hot. And if it’s worth it, we can learn a lot from them in relationships.
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