As a dating coach for introverts, I’ve heard just about every dating dilemma out there. One of the most common issues that arises is the struggle of dating an extrovert.
Many of the introverts who come to me are so jaded by past experiences that they never want to date another extrovert again. “It was exhausting!” they say, as they vow to find a fellow introvert companion who can appreciate solitude.
I understand their frustration. Over the years, I’ve dated both introverts and extroverts. I believe both pairings can work, but dating an extrovert definitely comes with its own unique challenges…
Dating a social butterfly can make quiet introverts feel insecure. You may wonder why they want to go out so much rather than hang out with you.
It’s frustrating because if you accompany them, your social batteries dwindle quickly. But if you stay home, you worry that your extroverted partner will think you’re boring.
Worse still, you may fear that they’ll leave you for someone more outgoing. After all, they seem to know everyone and their uncle. Why would they stay with a homebody like you?
If you’re dating an extroverted charmer who everyone adores, it’s easy to become resentful. Perhaps, they reserve all their charm for their colleagues and acquaintances. Meanwhile, there’s not much left for you in terms of their time and energy.
The relationship can easily deplete both your energy and love tanks. The void leaves plenty of room for feelings of jealousy and anxiety to brew.
It’s very easy for introverts to feel misunderstood when dating an extrovert. Your extroverted partner may question your quietness and need to be alone.
“I wish you’d be more social,” they say, as they get ready for their third party of the week. When you gently try to ask for space, they think you’re mad at them or you don’t really like them.
A couple of the extroverts I dated initially said they understood and accepted my introversion…until reality set in.
If I wanted to be alone together, the lack of attention made them squirm with discomfort. And if I was quiet in social situations I could sense their judgment.
Unfortunately, some extroverts can only “accept” introverts who are willing to change for them.
When you’re dating someone who needs lots of attention and social stimulation, it can be overwhelming
On the bright side, many introverts enjoy dating an extrovert who pushes them to go out more. If that’s you, going to social events with your extroverted partner makes your life feel more full and exciting. Until it doesn’t.
Being with someone who is much more social than you is exhausting. If the extrovert had their way, your social calendar would be packed. Even if you have fun, all the socializing leaves you drained and irritable.
How to date an extrovert
Now that I’ve gotten the worst-case-scenarios out of the way, we can talk solutions.
It’s entirely possible to have a fulfilling relationship with an extrovert—even if you’re a quiet, sensitive introvert like me.
Here are some tips to date an extrovert:
Love your introversion
It’s hard to find someone who will fully accept you if you can’t fully accept you.
I recommend doing an inner child visualization to help you embrace your whole self—including your introversion.
I like to imagine an innocent child version of me holding a rose and offering it to different people. She’s sad because some people aren’t accepting the rose. I walk up to mini me and happily accept the rose. “What a beautiful, special rose. Thank you!” I say as I lovingly embrace her.
Express your needs
When I speak to extroverts who have an introverted partner, they often express frustration that their introvert won’t open up to them.
If you really want to make it work with an extrovert, it’s important to feel comfortable expressing your needs.
Learning introvert-specific communication strategies to share your feelings, set boundaries and deal with conflict will go a long way.
Now that I’ve worked with introverts for close to a decade, I know that it is possible for introverts to excel at all types of communication. My Introvert Conversation Cheat Sheet will help you get started.
Fill your own cup
Extroverts can easily overpower introverts in a relationship. Before you know it, everything is on their terms. Meanwhile, you feel like your true desires are ignored.
Take some time to explore what truly brings you joy and pleasure. While your extrovert might love going out and meeting new people, you may prefer creative or sensory activities, like painting, swimming, yoga and music.
Prioritize filling your own cup, rather than always arranging your free time around your extrovert’s preferences.
Most importantly, know that you bring a lot to the table as an introvert. You’re calm, intuitive, grounded, loyal and so much more!
Always remember that you have so much to offer in a relationship. Anyone who makes you feel less-than simply isn’t right for you.