I recently started dating a fellow introvert after being in a relationship with an extrovert. I know they say opposites attract, but I don’t always find that true for extroversion and introversion. I think one of the foundations of a steady relationship is a basic understanding of a person’s primary needs, and a lot of my needs are better understood by someone who operates similarly. I know all relationships are different, and there are a lot of happy introvert-extrovert couples out there, but personally, I believe it’s great dating another introvert. Here’s why.
Why Dating Another Introvert Is Great
1. A lot of your date nights involve takeout and binge watching.
After a long week, the last thing most introverts want to do is go to a crowded club or bar. My extroverted ex would want to go out every Friday — and it was utterly exhausting. He didn’t appreciate my need to unwind.
My introverted boyfriend is more than happy to stay in. Dating an introvert means they completely understand needing to wind down after a long day. They’re more than content to order a pizza and watch eight episodes of The Office — even if it is date night.
2. They intuitively understand your need for alone time.
Another introvert tends to be more understanding of the boundaries that you set when it comes to alone time. They know that solitude is crucial to your energy reserves and mental health — and that, paradoxically, time spent apart will ultimately make your relationship healthier.
My ex and I would fight when I asked for space. This was offensive to him, and he thought that he did something wrong. My introverted boyfriend understands why I need my alone time — and he is happy that he gets alone time, too. He doesn’t get annoyed if I don’t reply to his text message three hours later because I’m tucked away in my bedroom, enjoying some “me” time.
3. Commiserating with each other is therapeutic.
My boyfriend is the one I text when an extroverted coworker does something that bothers me. He can always make me smile or laugh over the situation. He’s empathetic and gives words of encouragement about these situations — something my ex would not have understood.
Being able to commiserate with a fellow introvert is pretty darn therapeutic. They usually understand what it’s like when you’re overshadowed by extroverts, or when someone insists on small talking with you when you’re just trying to catch a few moments of peace. When in a relationship with another introvert, getting to talk about these hassles is a bonding experience and a relationship builder.
4. They’re ready to leave the party when you are.
We introverts are all different, but if there’s one thing we have in common, it’s that we can only take so much social stimulation before feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Staying at a party for too long may even make us anxious or physically unwell (a.k.a. the introvert hangover).
When I tell my introvert that I think it’s time to leave, he’s more than happy to agree. Chances are he wanted to leave 10 minutes ago but was being polite. My extroverted ex always wanted to stay and socialize, because he was the life of the party. It caused a lot of tension between us, and it’s nice not to have that tension.
5. Your conversations are on point from the beginning.
My boyfriend and I met on a dating app. We ended up talking the entire day we met and then went on a date later that night. We were able to have conversations about deeper, intellectual topics from the get-go.
It’s no secret most introverts despise small talk. It’s draining and feels fake to us. Looking back, the conversations I had with my ex were a lot different in the early stages. They were all small-talky and kind of draining. It took me a while to know if I even had a connection with him, because I could feel exhausted talking to him about basic things.
Even as my relationship with my ex progressed, I still didn’t feel like he was able to connect with me on a deeper level. It’s great to have an ongoing level of connection with a partner.
6. They’re great listeners.
I would thank my boyfriend early in our relationship for listening to me. He would just tell me, “That’s what I’m good at.” It took me a while to realize why I was thanking him. I felt like my extroverted ex didn’t take my problems seriously. It would feel like he was bored by my issues and that he was trying to talk over me. He would always try to give me advice, when I just wanted someone to listen.
I’m not saying that extroverts can’t be good listeners, too, but it doesn’t seem to be their primary mode. With an introvert, it seems to come naturally, and it’s nice having someone who can actively listen to me. It makes you feel a lot more appreciated.
7. Sitting in quiet is okay with them.
My ex would always have to have some type of noise in the background, whether it was the TV or simply him tapping on the table. He didn’t feel comfortable just sitting there with me. He would always have to be talking or making some sort of joke. He also repeatedly made comments about me being so quiet.
It was draining for me because it overstimulated me. With my fellow introvert, it’s not this way at all. We feel relaxed in silence, and it’s quite comfortable. He understands how draining it is to be constantly stimulated, and he does not need to fill the room with noise 24/7.
It’s nice having someone understand that silence can be a-okay because they need that too. It makes for a far more peaceful environment and cuts back on relationship stress.
8. They respect your wellbeing.
Extroverts have different needs that contribute to their wellbeing. Whereas they have a need to be stimulated almost constantly, introverts do not have that need. A lot of times, because our modes are so different, it seems like they do not respect the factors contributing to your overall mental and emotional health. My extroverted ex didn’t respect my time or space and need for solitude, but with my introverted boyfriend, I get a sense of peace because he respects my wellbeing.
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9. They don’t take your time together for granted.
Dating an introvert means they know that you have limited social energy and need to be selective about who you spend your time with. This is why they cherish your time together and don’t take it for granted.
Sometimes my ex was flippant about the time I gave him. He didn’t always appreciate the time I gave him, especially when I felt over-spent.
Though I never feel over-spent when I’m with my fellow introvert, it’s an amazing feeling knowing that he doesn’t take a single second of our time together for granted. This is what makes our relationship great. He’s respectful of my time and therefore is respectful of me. I feel loved and appreciated in a way that I didn’t with my extroverted ex.