At social events, my extroverted boyfriend keeps the conversation alive while allowing me to politely escape to recharge.
Making small talk with strangers has always been my idea of hell — but not for my boyfriend. He might be the most extroverted person I have ever met. He can turn a stranger into a best friend in one conversation, and he leaves everyone he meets in awe of his charm.
Suffice it to say, we are complete opposites. As an introvert, I would rather turn up the volume in my headphones, avoid eye contact with everyone around me, and limit any interactions with strangers to a polite smile.
You might think we have irreconcilable differences that make us completely incompatible. I once thought that, too. But, oh, was I ever wrong. Actually, I believe our differences have made us work better together, leading to the most fulfilling, joyous, and healthy relationship I could have ever imagined. Sure, it took some work, but what relationship doesn’t.
Here are five reasons you should not write off an introvert-extrovert relationship too quickly.
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5 of the Best Things About Being in an Introvert-Extrovert Relationship
1. There will be less attention on you at social gatherings.
Large social gatherings plague my introverted soul with a sense of impending doom and end up exhausting me quickly. My boyfriend finds these interactions invigorating, and he relishes every conversation he can partake in. Surprisingly, these differences end up making him the perfect plus one and an ideal complement to my limited social battery.
My fellow introverts, do you ever feel stuck in a conversation or exhausted by endless small talk and just wish you could walk away for a few moments for a chance to recharge? Well, my extroverted partner gives me just that — he is more than happy to swoop in and turn any unwanted attention away from me when he can sense I am losing energy. He keeps the conversation alive and engaging, while allowing me to politely shrink into the shadows for however long I need.
Because he knows me so well, he detects any shift in my energy and shows support without fear that those around us will suspect something. Not only am I offered the chance to detach from a draining situation, but he happily satisfies his own desires by stepping in. This makes us the perfect double act. This dynamic gives us the space to nurture our individual needs in social settings and, consequently, become happier.
2. A gentle nudge out of your introvert-friendly comfort zone can lead to incredible memories.
I have always felt safe in my introvert-friendly comfort zone and have been disinclined to venture out of it. Being an introvert with a touch of social anxiety, I have consistently limited myself and intentionally avoided new experiences. Dating an extrovert, however, has inspired me to push past these barriers, which has led to some incredible memories.
For example, I avoid parties and tend to cancel on people at the last minute, preferring to spend that time alone. My boyfriend has encouraged me to find a better balance between my time alone and my time spent outside of my comfort zone. He has accompanied me to parties and weekends away with friends that I would have previously found a way to excuse myself from. He has also inspired me to ask acquaintances out for coffee and begin new friendships that have become invaluable to me.
As an extrovert, my boyfriend is always willing (and excited) to visit new places and embark on new experiences. His enthusiasm is contagious, and it has gently persuaded me to be more adventurous. Of course, it would not be a great thing if he constantly forced me to do things I would rather not do. But that is not the case at all — he supports me to try things that I otherwise would have easily excused myself from doing. If something is too much for me and I really cannot do it, then he more than understands that.
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3. You will get guilt-free quality alone time.
My perfect evening is spent at home with a good book, a cup of tea (I grew up in England), and a face mask. My partner would prefer to spend time at a bar with friends or playing a game of soccer. This contrast has made setting boundaries, and spending time apart, simple. The freedom to enjoy our own interests separately — and be secure in the knowledge that the other person is doing the same — allows us to show up as our best selves when we are together.
In any new relationship, it can be difficult to navigate the balance between time spent together and time spent apart. But I believe this issue can be more straightforward in introvert-extrovert partnerships. We both have such different needs that this time spent apart satisfying our individual interests is essential for the longevity of the relationship.
Spending time apart became even more important when we started living together. At first, the idea of suggesting that he go out with his friends — so that I could have time alone — seemed terrifying. I thought he would interpret this request as me not wanting him around and that I would end up accidentally offending him. In reality, he was feeling the same way. He wanted more time to socialize, but he was scared that if he made plans without me, I would feel left out.
See? We both needed time apart to pursue our own interests — and once we acknowledged this, the whole relationship transformed. Our time together has become even more enjoyable, as we’re secure in the knowledge that we could also spend guilt-free time apart.
4. It will give you a new perspective on life, both together and apart.
Introverts and extroverts view the world quite differently. Introverts tend to be more cautious of the world around them whereas extroverts are more fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants optimistic. In my relationship, our different approaches to the world have led to many interesting and illuminating conversations. If I were with someone more similar to myself, I think it would be pretty boring and not be as beneficial for my personal growth.
Dating an extrovert has encouraged me to adopt a more open and welcoming perspective of the world. I used to be cynical about other people’s intentions, but after listening to my partner’s positive opinions about the same situations, I have noticed myself taking a new approach. I like to think this influence has gone both ways and I have taught him to blindly trust people less often (but while still maintaining that great positivity of his).
There is nothing wrong with the way I view the world as an introvert, and there is also nothing wrong with the way he views the world as an extrovert. It is a core part of the human experience to learn from, and listen to, others in order to deepen our understanding of the world. An introvert-extrovert relationship is one of the many great ways to get a glimpse into how the world works for others, learn from someone different from yourself, and develop a new perspective on life. For example, I have learned there is beauty in connecting with others while also enjoying the tranquility I find in solitude.
5. It will make you fall more in love with your inner introvert.
When my boyfriend and I started dating, I believed I should mirror some of his extroverted qualities and pretend to be more outgoing than I really am. (In fact, a lot of introverts “fake it ‘till they make it” — until they discover this is not healthy.) I had convinced myself that our differences would deter him from wanting to be with me.
This is not the way it should be — ever. Not only should I never have considered changing myself to be in a relationship, but I should have realized I never needed to. He found my introspective and calm demeanor attractive and endearing. He fell in love with me for the very reasons I thought he would not. Every day since, he has made me feel proud and empowered to be exactly who I am.
He buys me face masks and books, sets up cozy reading corners for me, and sits with me in the movie theater every week because he knows these are things I enjoy; they reconnect me to who I am at my core. Throughout our relationship, he has made sure I never lost these parts of my identity. As a result, I feel more comfortable with who I am than I have ever felt before. Equally, I love every part of him that makes him outgoing, excited, and adventurous — and would never want him to lose that.
One of the most wonderful things about an introvert-extrovert relationship is that you get to explore the world through the lens of someone so different to yourself — all while falling deeper in love with who you are.
Although introverts and extroverts may be quite different, this can be a great thing in a relationship. Falling in love with an extrovert may have been one of the greatest things to happen to me. I have had countless new experiences and made incredible new friends because of the encouragement and perspective he’s offered me. I never want to change the fact that I am an introvert; in fact, my relationship lets me celebrate that part of myself, too. So don’t write off a relationship with an extrovert too quickly. I promise, it’ll be worth it.
You might like:
- 5 Perks of Being Married to an Extrovert as an Introvert
- Why It’s Great Being an Introvert-Extrovert Couple, Despite Our Difference
- 8 Confessions of an Introvert Living in a World Made for Extroverts
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