To be alone together, my husband and I stay physically close to each other while we do our own thing.
I’ve been married to my extroverted husband for 14 years, before I ever identified as an introvert. Like other “opposites attract” couples, our pursuit of balance has been as long-term as our relationship. The more we learn about ourselves, the more we’re able to learn about each other, and that’s especially true for where we get our energy from.
From the first time we met, it was obvious my husband was the more social of the two of us. But before we lived together, we didn’t realize how that would affect our relationship. When we were dating, we had to plan out the time we spent together. Once we shared a home, it became less clear when we were spending time together and when we were simply at home.
Then we discovered what we call being “alone together.” Spoiler alert: Headphones are key.
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What Does Being Alone Together Mean?
To be alone together, my husband and I stay physically close — whether that’s by cuddling or just being in the same room — while we do our own thing. We share highlights along the way, like a quote from a book or an event scene from a video game, which creates a middle-ground where we both feel like we’re getting what we want: time together and time alone.
Hanging out this way allows us to nurture our relationship alongside our individual selves. My husband is who I feel most comfortable around, so being with him doesn’t deplete my social battery in the same way being with other people does. It’s second only to me actually spending time alone. Although I do still need that alone time, the time I spend alone together with my husband fills my cup as much as it does his.
It’s a different feeling from when we do things together, engaging with each other as fully as we engage with the activity. Both kinds of time are important for our relationship, but to get our opposite needs met as an extrovert and introvert, we’re alone together more often.
Over the years, we’ve found a lot of different ways to do so. Here are a few of our favorites.
5 Ways to Be Alone Together With Your Partner
1. Be in the same room, but do different activities.
This may be the most obvious one, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Simply being in the same room in an intentional and consensual way can be a lovely way to spend the evening for introvert-extrovert couples. I emphasize intentional and consensual because if you’re interrupting what your partner is doing, it will bring resentment rather than connection.
This can look many different ways. I’ll watch my husband play video games while I read or put together a puzzle on our coffee table. We’ll read together, my husband preferring to pop in headphones to listen to an audiobook while I read an ebook or physical copy. We enjoy each other’s company in an unobtrusive way, sharing the general vibe.
The most recent example of this was when my husband found a TV show he was really into. The best part for him was pausing whenever something interesting or funny happened, so he could tell me about it. He would watch it with headphones on, either on his laptop or our TV, and he lit up every time he got to catch me up with the plot.
2. A meme is worth a thousand words.
Sharing memes and videos is a favorite pastime of many couples, including me and my husband. Whether we’re room-sharing or hanging out in different spaces, we swap content that we think the other person would enjoy or that reminds us of them. This may seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a way of saying, “I’m thinking of you when we’re apart.”
It works well for me because it doesn’t require a lot of energy, but still adds to our shared experiences and inside jokes as a couple. For my husband, having those outside touchpoints in our relationship makes him feel more connected.
3. Be in public, but away from other people.
Finding ways to be alone together in public means doing things a little differently than a typical date. Instead of trying to talk inside a noisy restaurant, we’ll sit at an outside table and people-watch. Or I’ll hang back at a relaxing spot while watching my husband socialize. It warms my heart to watch him in his element, laughing and making conversation.
We also love going for drives. Whether it’s around our city or several hours away, during a sunny afternoon or late at night, the atmosphere is perfect for being alone together. Although we sometimes use drives to dive deep into conversation, we just as often vibe to music or watch the scenery go by. At some point, one of us will reach over to grab the other’s hand without saying anything, and that’s peak alone-together connection.
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4. Appreciate nature together by taking a walk or going for a hike.
Going for walks around our neighborhood, or on hiking trails, is ideal for being alone together. Aside from the huffing and puffing that makes talking stilted if you’re going up steep terrain, as a highly sensitive introvert, I love absorbing nature in silence. I leave greeting people we pass to my husband, which makes me appreciate him all the more.
Sometimes we’ll wear headphones and listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. The connection comes from having the same experience at the same time, both of us engaging with it in our own way. We end up having stories to tell each other, even when we were both right there. What the other person thought or noticed along the way adds an extra layer of depth to our own experience.
5. Work side by side.
We don’t limit being alone together to leisure time. When we work on projects around our house, or are being productive on our respective computers, we’re still able to enhance our connection by doing it together. If we agree on the music, we’ll blast it from all the speakers in the house. If we don’t — you guessed it — headphones to the rescue again.
There will always be times that I need to shut the door and concentrate at my desk to get work done, but it makes me smile whenever I peek over my laptop screen to ask my husband what the word on the tip of my brain is. He loves the coworking and body-doubling aspect, and I love getting glimpses into each other’s thought processes while we’re working.
Introvert-Extrovert Relationship Synergy
The best way I can describe the feeling of being alone together is synergy. Our differing introverted and extroverted needs are being met while we create something together: a good, happy, balanced relationship.
I still spend time blissfully alone, and my extroverted husband spends time out around people. We engage with each other, often in hours-long conversations. But, just as important — to ourselves and to our relationship — is finding ways to be alone… together.
You might like:
- 4 Reasons Introverts and Extroverts Go Well Together
- 7 Signs You’re in a Good Relationship as an Introvert
- 16 Things You Should Never Do to Your Introverted Partner
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