How Introverts Can Feel Closer to Their Partner

A couple cuddles and laughs together on the couch

Introverts often look for deep connections in their relationships, because they don’t open up to just anybody. 

Introverts tend to value depth and intimacy in their relationships — perhaps more so than most people. After all, in many ways, our partner is one of a select few people we introverts truly open up with. If we can’t do that, or if it isn’t reciprocated, we can feel deeply unfulfilled. 

Deep connection isn’t easy, though, especially not in an established relationship that’s past the “honeymoon phase.” But there are ways to cultivate deeper love and intimacy with your partner — and without sacrificing your needs as an introvert.

Every introvert (and couple) is different, but here are some ways you can deepen your connection with your partner. 

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5 Ways to Deepen Your Connection With Your Partner as an Introvert

1. Face challenges together — and come up with solutions together, too.

It’s an old truism that nothing brings people together like having a common enemy. Most of us don’t have “enemies” per se (hopefully!), but we do have challenges in life. Don’t make the mistake of trying to take on your challenges yourself — your partner should be there to support you, and the more you collaborate to deal with the challenges either one of you faces, the closer you’ll become as a couple.

That’s not as easy as it sounds. Here are some tips to do it intentionally:

  • Take a collaborative mindset. When your partner is facing a setback or challenge, start with the assumption that you are there in the ring with them to share it. Likewise, if you are facing a challenge of your own — even if it seems very much like your own thing to deal with — start with the assumption that your partner can help you overcome it. 
  • Be vulnerable. Your partner cannot help you with anything if you aren’t open and vulnerable about it. Share your fears. Don’t worry about seeming weak — your partner is the one person in the world who you should be able to show your weak spots to. 
  • Don’t assume you have the right answer. It’s not uncommon for a relationship to feature one assertive type, and/or one person who is more organized than the other. If either of those describe you, beware of assuming your solution is the right solution for a challenge, especially if it’s mainly your partner’s dilemma (but even if it’s mainly yours). You cannot collaborate if you aren’t open to their approach. (Merging your strengths might be more effective, anyway!)

2. Give yourself — and your partner — permission to grow. 

While relationships are wonderful, they also allow you to fall into a groove, but don’t allow that to hobble your personal growth. According to psychologist Eli Finkel, author of The All-or-Nothing Marriage, nurturing each other’s growth is essential to unlocking deeper levels of connection with your partner. There is no such thing as lifelong passion for another person if neither of you ever changes. 

For your partner, this means accepting that they can (and should) be growing and changing, even if that makes them different from the person you first met. This is not an easy task, but the more supportive you are of your partner’s goals, hopes, and personal development efforts, the more deeply they will trust you. As they grow, you’ll find that your respect for them grows — and your love deepens. 

For yourself, this means setting goals that are your own (not you and your partner’s together) and taking steps to move toward them. These can be major life goals, like earning more money, starting your own business, or switching to a clean diet. Or, they can be short-term goals, like taking a dance class or learning some French before your trip to Paris. 

Either way, involve your partner by discussing your goals with them. This will help prevent or troubleshoot conflicts, but it will also bring the two of you closer together. For example, does earning more mean leaving your partner with the kids more often? 

Just remember, the idea is for each of you to get invested in the other person’s goals and progress. That way, you’ll have the excitement of sharing powerful life moments together.

Are you an introvert who shuts down around the people you’re attracted to?

As an introvert, you actually have the amazing ability to be irresistible, without forcing yourself to talk more. It all starts with recognizing the most common myths about dating and learning a framework for fun, flirty conversations — no extroversion needed. To learn how to connect with your true sensuality, relax, and open up on dates, we recommend Michaela Chung’s online courses for introverted men and introverted women.

3. Feed your mind and soul, which will bring out deeper interactions with your partner.

Introvert relationship expert Michaela Chung refers to this as “feeding the hamster.” As she puts it, “You can’t produce water from an empty well. Likewise, you can’t facilitate thoughtful conversations if your mind is on autopilot. Do us all a favor and feed your cerebral hamster with all of the rich nutrients it craves.” 

Essentially, “feeding the hamster” means nourishing your own mind and soul, so you are brimming with ideas to discuss with your partner, meaningful questions to ask them, and activities you want to share. It’s a way to be active in “giving,” as well as receiving, meaningful connection. This, in turn, primes the pump to bring out deeper interactions from your partner, too. 

Ways you can feed your own hamster include:

  • Build the quiet downtime you need into your schedule. Then, stick to it so you are at your best when spending time with your partner. 
  • Read widely, including (thoughtful) work you disagree with. Personally, I’ve rarely felt my mind crackling with so many ideas as when I’ve read thought pieces from writers on the opposite end of the political spectrum as myself. I didn’t switch sides politically, but I had loads of deep conversations with my partner. 
  • Journal. Journaling allows you to process your thoughts in a way you can’t do in your head, and often brings out creativity and new ideas you didn’t have before. All of this is fodder for meaningful discussions with your partner — and it furthers your own self-development. 
  • Try new experiences together or separately. This could mean traveling to a new place, trying a new activity, or going out for a kind of food you’ve never had before. 

4. Celebrate the ways in which you and your partner are different, like their ability to talk to anybody.

Many introverts find themselves in relationships with extroverts. If that’s you, you might feel like your partner is an alien creature (at times), one who couldn’t be more opposite to you. And, even if they’re a fellow introvert, you undoubtedly have at least a few deeply different traits between you. 

These differences can cause disagreements between the two of you. But they can also lead to a deeper, more holistic love. The difference lies in accepting, and even embracing, the ways in which you are different. 

In order to do this, it’s helpful to reframe your partner’s differences in terms of what you can admire or appreciate about them. For example, you might think:

  • If he wasn’t such an extrovert, I’d never get out of the house. A lot of times, I end up having fun even though I thought I wouldn’t.
  • If I weren’t married to an extrovert, who would do all the talking to salespeople?
  • She might work a lot, but she uses it to provide for both of us — and when she works late, as much as I miss her, I get a quiet evening to myself. 

5. Practice nonviolent communication, intentionally speaking in a way that won’t harm or trigger your partner.

Everyone knows that communication is essential to a loving relationship, but what does that actually mean? What kind of communication works, and how do you practice it? 

Perhaps one of the most effective methods is to practice what’s known as nonviolent communication. Nonviolent communication means speaking in ways that don’t harm, trigger, or intimidate others. As Marshall B. Rosenberg, the Director of The Center for Nonviolent Communication, explains in his book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships, all of us have anxieties, wounds, and fears. When they’re triggered, even by accident, it activates our fight-or-flight response, which ramps up conflict and erodes trust. Nonviolent communication is a way to discuss even the toughest issues without bringing up those triggers, which helps bring people closer rather than pushing them apart. 

Some keys to nonviolent communication include:

  • Being aware of your own triggers and being honest about them. 
  • Pausing and reflecting before responding.
  • Listening to your partner without interrupting, especially in an argument, then restating what they said in your own words and asking if you understand correctly. 
  • Asking for what you want openly, rather than masking it or tip-toeing around.
  • Being vulnerable about your fears and insecurities. 
  • Owning your own reactions and emotions. 

You don’t need to use all five of these strategies to deepen your relationship. Choose one that feels most exciting and promising to you, and start with that. And when you do, talk to your partner about it — even if you do so quietly. 

Introverts, what would you add to the list? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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