Introverts In Love: Tips On How To Improve Relationship Health

Medically reviewed by Brianne Rehac
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

While many introverts usually enjoy quiet time as it gives them a chance to recharge, extroverts tend to gain energy through social interactions. Extroverts dating introverts may benefit from planning social events in advance, giving their partners space, encouraging their passions, and spending quality time together. Meanwhile, introverts dating extroverts may improve their relationships by encouraging their partner’s friendships, validating their needs, and scheduling dates. Introverts dating introverts may find it helpful to structure their living space for each person to have alone time. In general, all couples may benefit from effective communication. For anyone experiencing relationship issues, online couples therapy may be a way to work through them.

Extroverts vs. introverts

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Make the most of your personality type in a relationship

One of the most important differences when it comes to dating may be the difference between introverts and extroverts. These differences in personality can have a profound effect on relationships, and it may be important to understand the differing needs of introverts and extroverts to ensure a healthy, successful relationship.

First developed by Carl Jung, these personality types serve as part of the foundation of many different types of personality analysis, including analytic psychology, the Big Five personality test, and Myers-Briggs.

Introverts tend to have a much lower threshold for social interaction. Introverted people usually get their energy from being alone and recharge through spending time on their own rather than with other people. Introverts can still enjoy socializing and form deep, lasting relationships with others, but they may have many different needs when it comes to dating and cohabitating.

Extroverts, meanwhile, are often the life of the party and get their energy from interacting with other people. Extroverts generally don’t like to be on their own for too long and feel better when they’re around others. Extroverts are often extremely social and love spending time with friends, family, and acquaintances. They tend to form relationships more quickly than introverts and often have a wide circle of friends.

Dating an introvert as an extrovert

The saying might go 'opposites attract', but part of extroverts dating introverts is that the extroverted partner may need to be aware of the special needs of their partners. Below are a few tips that may help introverts and extroverts better understand each other and ensure a relationship between an introvert and an extrovert can grow and thrive.

Give them space

One of the most important things you can do for the introvert in your life may be to give them space. Personal space is crucial for introverts who need time to recharge and navigate their own head. Many introverts love alone time and enjoy developing their own rich interior world when by themselves. Actions speak louder than words, and giving introverts plenty of alone time may ensure they're ready to be fully present for deep conversations and can avoid socially awkward small talk. Unlike extroverts, introverts tend to prefer their own space. This also fosters mutual respect in any potential partners or love interests.

Plan things in advance

Social events can be a challenge for introverts, who often need time to navigate their own head and find comfort in their own space. To ensure that everyone has a good time, it's a good idea to give introverts advance notice of any social plans, whether you’re inviting friends over or going out as a group. With adequate time to prepare, introverted people can plan for social gatherings, foster mutual respect with potential partners or love interests, and make the most of their social life in the frequently outgoing world. If they’re not feeling up for it, they can navigate issues and plan accordingly so that they don’t put a crimp in everyone's plans.

Spend quality time together

Introverts may tire from constant social interaction, but they often cherish low-key, quality time spent with others. Whether you’re binge-watching a show, playing a game, or just reading together in the same room, introverts find comfort in casual activities that don't require much social effort. People tend to forget that simply existing side by side can be a great way to spend time together and strengthen relationships, without overwhelming an introvert's reserves. This can be especially true for introverts in a relationship, where understanding of each other's need for their own space can work wonders.

Encourage their passions

Introverts often have strong creative streaks and are passionate about their hobbies and interests. Whether they write, create art, play a sport, or engage in other activities, these are ways introverts use outlets to express themselves and communicate with the world. Encouraging and supporting their passions is one way to foster a strong relationship between potential partners. This can help introverts feel comfortable in their own skin and confident in their own passions, even if they tend to be discreet people. By championing their passions to the outside world, you can help your introvert partner thrive and feel fulfilled.

iStock/Edwin Tan

Dating an extrovert as an introvert

As an introvert in a relationship with an extrovert, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by their need for interaction, and it’s possible that introverts and extroverts express their love differently. To make the relationship work, it's important to communicate your own desires clearly and to find common ground when it comes to socializing. Connecting with other introverts can be helpful, as an introvert often falls deep into their own head and may struggle with making conversation. Though introverts understand the value of social connections just like extroverts, introverts tend to have fewer friends.

Validate their needs

When dating introverts, extroverts may feel as if they’re putting undue pressure on their partner or taxing their limited reserves. They may also have trouble understanding their partner’s desire to be alone and may want to spend more time together. If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert, it can be important to validate your partner’s needs and make sure they know that you’re there for them no matter what. It may also be helpful to ask questions about what sort of social events your introverted partner would enjoy participating in; for example, happy hour may be too much social pressure, while going to a movie with friends may be more doable. 

While it can be helpful to set boundaries when it comes to your own needs, it can be a good idea to go out of your way to make sure that your partner knows that you love them and respect their desire to spend time together. Dating an introvert may mean understanding that introverts love differently than extroverts, bonding more during one-on-one time than in social situations.

Encourage their friendships

Encouraging your partner to develop relationships with other people can help relieve the pressure of fulfilling their social needs alone when dating an extrovert. It's important to communicate about how many friends and how much socializing is comfortable for both of you and find common ground in making conversation and talking about the same things. Building a circle of other introverts can also be beneficial to the relationship, and ensure that both partners are comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone. This will make the relationship work, and keep your partner fulfilled with their love interest and everyone else in their social circle.

Pay attention to them

Extroverts dating introverts may sometimes feel ignored or neglected when their partners need a lot of time to themselves. It can be important to pay attention to the needs of your partner and to let them know that they’re cared for and loved. Try to show interest in your partner’s life, talk to them about their day, and spend time with them when you are able. These actions may act as subtle signs to make your partner feel reassured in your relationship and more confident that you enjoy spending time with them.

Schedule dates

While extroverts often thrive on constant social interaction, introverts sometimes balk at the idea of spending unlimited, unstructured time together. To meet both of your needs, you might try scheduling dates together a couple of times a week. Even if you live together, structured dates can be a great way to meet the socialization needs of an extrovert while allowing introverts to schedule and plan for social interactions.

Communicate your feelings

If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert, you may not display as many outward signs of affection as your partner is used to. It can be a good idea to make sure that your partner knows that they are loved and valued, even when you need time to yourself. Try regularly reminding your partner how important they are to you and going out of your way to show them that you care.

Dating an introvert as an introvert

A couple are standing up and hugging; the woman is holding flowers and has a happy expression.
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Make the most of your personality type in a relationship

Introverts dating introverts are often already very familiar with the needs and wants of their partners. Even so, there may be a few strategies you can implement to make sure that both of you get what you need while still growing and enriching your relationship. Making sure that each of you gets enough space, while still spending time with one another and reaffirming your relationship, can be key to success and happiness.

Structure your living space

When both of you need to spend some time alone, it can be important to ensure that you both have a spot you can retreat to away from each other. If you have space, an ideal solution may be to set up separate offices where you can work, read, write, or just spend time by yourself. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can still set up a room divider or otherwise separate your living space so that you each have a dedicated spot.

Prioritize clear communication

In her book "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking," Susan Cain provides a convenient guide to understanding how to communicate in relationships. As an introvert, it's common to fall deep into your own head and struggle with making conversation. It's crucial to communicate openly about your likes, dislikes, wants, and needs with your partner to ensure a healthy and happy relationship. By doing so, you can both provide for each other while respecting each other's boundaries.

Online therapy may help you strengthen your relationship

Are you finding it challenging to navigate your romantic relationship? Online therapy may be a strategy to consider. Perhaps you’re an introvert and prefer to speak with a therapist from home rather than attend a session in person. In that case, online therapy can make it simple to get the support you deserve from anywhere with an internet connection.

According to this study, online couples therapy can be as effective as traditional in-person therapy. The couples in the study felt doubtful as to the efficacy of online therapy at first. However, after experiencing it for themselves, they reported that it was positive and beneficial for their relationships.

Takeaway

Dating as either an introvert or an extrovert can present various challenges. Introverts tend to recharge with alone time, while extroverts usually gain energy from socializing. If you’re an extrovert dating an introvert, it may be helpful to give your partner space, plan social events in advance, spend quality time together, and encourage their passions. Introverts dating extroverts may find it beneficial to validate their partner’s needs, encourage their friendships, schedule dates, and communicate feelings regularly. Introverts dating introverts may be able to promote relationship health by structuring their living space, and all couples can benefit from effective communication. If you’re experiencing relationship issues, online couples therapy may offer helpful relationship advice and help you better connect with your partner.

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