One of the most common comments I receive on this blog and my Facebook page relates to introverts and extroverts in love. Some people share how their introvert-extrovert relationship has thrived. Others talk about how frustrating such partnerships can be. One introverted man said he just wants to meet someone exactly like him, but with a vagina.
Clearly the saying, “opposites attract” doesn’t apply to everyone.
Dating someone with the opposite personality type can be exhilarating. Differences create excitement. They also allow for discovery. At the beginning of a relationship all this excitement can overpower the discomfort of your differences. At some point, however, problems will arise.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~C.G. Jung
But before you condemn an introvert-extrovert pairing, consider this; the violation of your expectations is more fatal to a relationship than differences in personality.
Some people have very specific expectations related to a long-term partnership. Some of these are conscious (“I want someone who really gets me”). Others are not.
In reality, most of us subconsciously seek to recreate a relationship that fits a pattern. In one way or another, we recreate mom and dad’s relationship or our relationship with them. We might also seek to mirror any other significant relationship we experienced in the past.
We are more likely to accept a problem we see as normal or familiar than one we weren’t expecting.
The devil we know is better than the extrovert we don’t.
Whether your partner is an introvert or an extrovert, they might do things that blatantly violate your expectations. My parents, for example, almost never yelled. Consequently, I am not willing to be with someone who yells a lot during disagreements.
Another huge factor in determining the success of a partnership is whether or not your core values match. Your beliefs and worldview are more important than preferences.
So, if you are in an introvert-extrovert relationship ask yourself the following questions:
- Are our differences within my expectations or do they violate what I consider normal?
- Do we see the world in a similar way?
- Do we share the same core belief system?
- Do we want the same things out of life?
The more questions you answered ‘yes’ to, the more likely your introvert-extrovert romance will survive.
The moral of the story is that love is complicated and you have to consider a lot of factors outside introversion and extroversion. For more thoughts on introverts and extroverts in love, read my post on the pros and cons of an introvert-extrovert relationship.