Introverts are often misunderstood as antisocial beings who don’t want to talk to people and would rather spend time all by themselves. While these may ring some truth for some introverts, not all people who have such a personality dislike company. Introverts may not be socialising medalists but they can make for good friends once you get to know them.
On the other hand, having an introvert for a significant other can pose a bigger challenge especially when the antics begin to surface and you’re clueless about their personality. Some of you may have just started easing your way into the relationship or maybe you’re already planning to settle down.
Either way, the challenges of having an introvert partner may crop up, but you must realise that there are ways to hurdle these. You can deal with personality differences through couples counselling, and you can also do these 10 things to make dealing with your introvert easier.
1. Accept your partner’s personality
As they say, the first step in addressing conflict is by accepting it for what it is. For the record, your partner being introvert isn’t a problem. However, if you’re having difficulty working around his or her behaviour, you can anticipate friction when you disagree on certain things.
Cope with the situation by accepting your partner’s personality. This will help you understand your introvert partner better. Keeping an open mind towards being an introvert can also help you appreciate their seemingly odd qualities, such as wanting to stay at home most of the time when going out on a Friday night is normal for you.
2. Know what your partner finds reenergising
Just because introverts aren’t keen on socialising all the time doesn’t mean they don’t go out. However, they would want to recharge after a day of, say, hanging out with friends or partying with college classmates. The part where you come in is in knowing what your introvert partner does to recharge and allow him or her space to do that.
Introverts get their energy from being by themselves, so it’s necessary that you let them recharge after successfully convincing them to spend time outside the house. Apart from staying in, your introvert partner may prefer catching up with a book or watching multiple episodes of a favourite TV series.
You can expect introverts to busy themselves being alone doing activities that give them peace and regain their energy. It’s best that you’re aware when your partner is recharging so that you can give them the time and space they require until they’re ready to mingle again.
3. Spend quality time together
While introverts are comfortable being alone, it doesn’t mean that they can always do without your company. If you’re one of the privileged few whom your so looks forward to be with, it’s important that you spend quality time together.
The good thing about introverts is that they don’t necessarily require grand dates for you to make them feel special. Offer to take them to the beach on a windy afternoon or see a film both of you have been excited about since the trailer. You can also offer to cook dinner for two, then have a nightcap afterwards.
4. Be flexible
We’re not saying that introverts are fickle-minded, no. However, the everyday mingling with colleagues or classmates can easily sap the energy out of them and may lead to canceling or changing of plans. For instance, if your partner has had a long day in the office, she may be too exhausted to push through with the dinner reservation both of you planned ahead.
While introverts will agree that they don’t intend to be a buzzkill, they wouldn’t want to risk being bad company throughout the night. The point is, in cases like these, you have to be prepared to understand such changes and be open to alternatives whether it’s ordering takeaway food for dinner or getting massages instead.
5. Be interested
In any relationship, being comfortable with your partner is good–even more so when your mate is an introvert. You see, introverts may not always be the first ones to initiate a conversation, but once you get them started, they’d have a lot to say.
It pays to make an effort in keeping up with your partner by being sincerely interested. They may not want to talk all the time compared to an extrovert, but they’d appreciate it if you check in on them and what their current project is every once in a while.
6. Give them room to socialise
A lot of people have picked up the habit of going out often just for the sake of doing it, and this isn’t exactly a bad thing. However, this is rarely the case with introverts. So when they invite you out or make plans to spend time with a group of friends, take them seriously.
Help your partner host a lunch date with your common friends or that game night you’ve been looking forward to. It’s not every day that introverts are vocal about socializing, and they’d be thankful if you actively become a part of it.
7. Don’t take their being introvert personally
It’s common for people in a relationship to clash every now and then especially if they have different personalities. Having an introvert for an SO can be frustrating at times, like when you want to hang out with your common friends but she’s too tired from a workweek full of meetings. Then in the end, you both have to cancel yet another invitation.
You must understand that when your partner declines an offer to socialize—whether she prefers to stay inside her studio painting or when he doesn’t feel like talking to you even if you want to—they are only looking for ways to recharge. Just because they turned down your offer doesn’t mean they don’t like to spend time with you.
At the same time, when your introvert partner comes up to you and suddenly talks about pretty heavy topics, such as five or ten years to the future, they don’t mean to scare you or be confrontational. They may say a lot about certain topics especially if they had enough time to mull things over, and it would help if you listen intently and participate in the conversation.
8. Be open to compromise
Dealing with an introvert SO doesn’t stop at accepting them for who they are and understanding their behavior. You can continue being the ideal partner by knowing how to respond to their actions especially when they’re being reclusive or withdrawing from everyone.
For instance, when the both of you are going to a party, make plans a few days before on how you want to spend the night. Aside from keeping each other company, you might also want to say hello to the guys, so make an arrangement that will allow you and your partner to catch up with the people whom she’ll be comfortable talking to. However, watch your partner from across the room and read her body language if she’s uncomfortable.
You can also assign certain days in a week where your partner can do her own thing and days where you should bond. By understanding your partner’s needs and helping them organize schedules and activities, it’ll be easier for them to adapt to the routine.
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9. Keep them on the loop
Introverts aren’t known to initiate conversation, but they make for very good listeners and can dispense sound advice too. Apart from showing interest in their activities, you can also keep them updated with your life outside the relationship.
Whether it is work, school, hobbies, or their family, keep them in the loop and seek their opinion. They will be glad to know that you want them to stay updated even if you aren’t together all the time.
10. Give them room to be alone
Communication is a crucial ingredient for any relationship to flourish, and while your introvert partner appreciates a thorough account of your day, you also have to remember to let him or her enjoy silence.
You can be in the same room and go about your day-to-day tasks without having any lengthy conversations. You can have breakfast together and preoccupy yourselves with the morning paper or a book and eat in comfortable, familiar silence. If you know your partner is going to spend the day working on something important, don’t check on him or her by the hour. Instead, ring them around lunch and ask how they’re doing.