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Three Tips to Dating an Introvert

April 18, 2021 | by Aleeza Ben Shalom

How to overcome some of the challenges in dating someone who is socially very different than you.

You meet someone and things may be going well. And then you hit a snag…the communication isn’t going well. You can’t quite define it. It could be that one of you is an introvert and one of you is an extrovert. This presents a challenge in dating when personality and communication styles are different.

Introverts get tired and easily overwhelmed in social settings. They don’t love small talk. They can come across as too quiet, too serious, or unapproachable. Someone may overlook or underestimate their abilities or personality or intelligence. Since they have a harder time opening up, it may take them longer to connect to others. They may be hard to read, and it may be harder to get past the surface with them. They don’t share and open up to just anyone. Someone may think an introvert is not interested due to their personality. It may take them longer to warm up to someone and be truly authentic, which can present challenges when it comes to dating.

So what do you do if you're a dating an introvert, or if you're an introvert who is dating? Here are three tips:

Be aware that your personalities are different and how this will affect the relationship. If you are dating someone and struggling with communication, perhaps they are more introverted or extroverted than you, and this is what is causing the disconnect. If you're dating an introvert, it takes a longer time to really see your date's true self. He or she doesn't open up to everybody and so be prepared to take your time in getting to know your date. Come up with ideas for getting to know each other in a meaningful, authentic way. Give your date space as needed, and go on dates that are less about socializing and more about quietly getting to know each other.

If you're an introvert dating an extrovert, your date may want more talking or in-person time than you’re comfortable with. Decide what you can handle and communicate this to your date. Push yourself a little out of your comfort zone. Meet in the middle and come up with a compromise that you can handle.

And if you’re two introverts dating one another, someone has to step up and get the dating moving. While you both may prefer to be alone, we know your true desire is to have a partner and that’s why you are dating. Make a strong effort and don’t wait for the other person to do it.

Decide how much of an opposite you need for balance. Opposites attract because we are seeking balance in our energies. We can feed off of and learn from another’s energy and bring each other to a balanced place. It can also be very challenging. It is nice to match energies, and at times, it is nice to balance each other out. When one person wants to talk and connect more and the other wants to be alone, it can be hard to have a relationship. However, if you’re very introverted, maybe dating someone a little more extroverted would provide a lot of balance for you. If you are extreme in one direction, you probably want to find someone who is similar to you and not the complete opposite.

Think of the person you’re dating and try to meet his or her needs vs worrying about your needs. Trying to get your needs met as a first priority in a relationship is not a recipe for success. The person who you date or marry can’t be all things to you. Sometimes an extrovert needs to vent. So call a friend, a sibling, a co-worker, and save the quick version for the introvert in your life. Don’t braindump on the person who can’t handle it. Call another extrovert who is happy to talk it out with you.

Think about how to meet the other person’s needs. An introvert should decide what his or her red lines are and compromise. Socializing may be very important to the person they’re dating, but multiple times a week is too much for the introverted partner. So compromise; once a week may be the most the introvert can handle, and the extroverted one can go hang out with friends while the introverted one can have quiet time at home. Then everyone is happy.

If you’re dating someone whose personality doesn't match, it’s okay. You’re just different. Different isn’t bad; it’s just different. The questions to ask yourself are: Do I want to build on this relationship? Should I invest time and energy in getting to know this person? Is it worth it? Do we have similar values? Can I live with the personality differences?

The first step is to see if you two can get along and appreciate one another. May you have clarity in understanding your needs and who is the right fit for you.

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