People say “opposites attract,” and this can be true for many relationships, especially when an introvert gets together with an extrovert.
Extroverts can struggle to understand introversion, as they might not meet or interact with many introverts on a regular basis. And since extroversion is considered the “norm” — sadly — many might not get the chance to become close with an introvert. This can cause them to miss out on the many positives that can come out of an extrovert-introvert relationship (whether it’s a friendship, romantic pairing, work colleague, and so on).
Many people say “opposites attract,” and this can be true for many relationships. Sometimes people feel balanced by the differences in their connections, seeking solace from their chaos or spontaneity from their otherwise predictable routines. These factors come into play in romantic relationships between extroverts and introverts, and many people might find this balance comfortable enough to commit to marriage.
As an introvert, I gain a lot from my extroverted husband, including embracing his spontaneous adventures and open heart. He can become quick friends with most people, which means he usually doesn’t have boring conversations or awkward interactions. There are many positives I gain from being with him, but he’s expressed his appreciation for me, too, by explaining some of the benefits he gets from our connection.
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5 Ways Introverts Can Help Balance Out Their Extroverted Partners
1. They’re always available to help you recharge.
Extroverts usually thrive in highly social jobs because they crave stimulation and aren’t easily exhausted by socializing like introverts. In other words, their days are usually filled with conversation. They’re charged by it, which can make isolation a tough situation for them. (Extroverts even seem to prefer awkward social interactions over long periods of isolation!)
When an extrovert is married to an introvert, they know their home base is always a safe place in which to return. My extroverted husband is usually the one who invites guests over, so he’s more in control of who visits the house than he would be if he were married to another socialite. Sometimes, his work days are rough, and it’s comforting for him to know that he can come home to a peaceful environment where he knows I’m there to unwind with him and help him decompress from the day.
I work from home, so I get a lot of my quiet time out of the way before he returns from work. So, most days, I’m fully charged when he walks in, and our evenings together serve as a nice recharging event for him. We spend time together talking, watching TV, or playing games. Everyone needs moments of peace, as well as moments of stimulation, and we’re able to work together to create nice in-between energy during the evenings that recharges us both.
2. They’ll help ground you when necessary (like if you’ve overbooked your social calendar).
At times, extroverts can get caught up in the idea of being surrounded by fun people. They might agree to plans that aren’t realistic because they were blinded by the energy exuding from their fellow extrovert friends. Before the extrovert overbooks themselves or makes promises they can’t exactly pull off, having an introverted partner at home can help them get grounded, take a step back, and prioritize.
Another way to look at the grounding aspect is in moments when an extrovert might be overstimulated and not realize it. Since extroverts gain their energy from socializing, they might not recognize signs that they are too overstimulated. Exhaustion can sometimes prompt decisions to continue to seek out other people’s energy, which can cause a draining effect for them.
So, we introverted partners can serve as a great reference point for calming vibes and help an extrovert realize when they’re expecting too much from themselves. For example, my husband loves to make others happy, which means he may sometimes overbook his social calendar and then feel guilt from letting them down. Discussing our future plans together can ground him into realizing when his priorities aren’t serving him well, and then he can adjust his calendar to a more reasonable pace.
3. They’ll help you learn new things, and in new ways.
Many extroverts enhance their learning by collaboration. In school or work, they might prefer group projects, brainstorming sessions, or meetings as a way of retaining, and sharing, important information. That need for stimulation means that learning usually has to be fun, engaging, and social for them, or they might end up suffering down the line. Having an introverted partner can help in this situation, as they can learn to retain information in completely different ways.
An example of this from my personal life would be the fact that I prefer to read, and write information down, to retain it. My husband, on the other hand, prefers to hear and see it. We can often work together when information is given to us in one form or another, filling that gap the different learning preferences can create for us individually. When he’s struggling with something that’s text-heavy, for instance, he might need my assistance to help him process the information.
He can also retain information much better if we have a discussion about something rather than reading it on a screen or piece of paper. I might struggle to process auditorily (because overstimulation can easily happen through listening). But he can capture the information much easier and communicate with me on a one-on-one basis. This difference in communication and learning styles can open a whole new world to learning new concepts and improving general understanding.
4. They’ll listen — really listen — and can give you insightful advice.
Extroverts can retain a lot of information by listening, but they can also get caught up in the excitement of speaking, so they may not always be the best listeners in a social setting. Since extroverts recharge each other by having fun, stimulating experiences together, they might also not get quality social time with others. Many extroverted friends I’ve had have expressed feeling safe with me and can open up about deeper topics they don’t often share with others. After all, we introverts are known for being great, active listeners!
This can be a crucial positive for an extrovert with an introverted partner. Introverts are usually used to feeling misunderstood by most of the people they interact with. Because of this “other” feeling, they’re more likely to enjoy reading fiction and learning about things, like philosophy and psychology. Understanding people can create better connections, and introverts really want their limited social interactions to be filled with a deeper understanding of one another.
Keeping this aspect in mind, introverted partners can be a wonderful ear for an extrovert going through a difficult time (or even to help them process day-to-day things). They can also use their research to give insightful advice about certain situations, especially because they’re usually very careful about what they say. Introverts want to be understood, and it can take some work to process information and put their thoughts into words. But that hard work can greatly benefit extroverts, who might need (and want) to slow down and understand their situation from a different perspective.
Do you ever struggle to know what to say?
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5. They can help their extroverted partners see the value in alone time and introspection.
One difficult element of the connection between an extrovert and an introvert in a romantic partnership might be the battle for alone time and social stimulation. Sometimes, there isn’t a good balance, and extroverts will have to respect the introvert’s boundaries and find other ways to soothe themselves that don’t always involve socializing. This might seem like a scary concept for many extroverts, but it can serve them in the long run as they learn the importance of alone time and introspection.
My husband and I met early in adulthood, and before we’d gotten together, he was always with people. He had friends staying at his house, and he would often date different people. He didn’t enjoy being alone, and I’ve met many other extroverts who have expressed the same sentiment. Living with an introvert creates a stable foundation of safety for the extrovert — they’re no longer alone — but they will still have to respect an introvert’s need for quiet in the home sometimes.
Reflection often comes into play when sitting alone with your thoughts. Extroverts might avoid these moments of introspection, but ignoring significant issues can manifest in toxic ways, especially when they feel overwhelmed. Seeking socialization as a distraction when there’s an underlying problem never fixes the issue, and extroverts have the opportunity to learn this lesson and reevaluate their lives because of it. Marrying an introvert gives plenty of room for this and could be considered a big benefit of doing so.
You might like:
- How to Date an Introvert (Advice From an Extrovert)
- I Married an Extrovert. Here’s How I Handle Our Differences.
- Will I Be Single Forever? 6 Introvert Dating Struggles
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