Relationships |The Extrovert vs. The Introvert

Being an extroverted person myself, I sometimes find it hard to deal with my partner’s more laid back personality. I like to go out, meet new people, and visit new places, whereas he’s more of a “let’s stay in and watch a movie and order takeout” kind of guy.

Don’t get me wrong- who doesn’t love the idea of cuddling in bed all day and hanging out?

More often than not, though, I find that these clashing personalities not only apply to our social lives, however, but also spill over to more important issues, like how we like to deal with disagreements, how much we share with each other, etc. This is when I find it becomes necessary to come to some kind of compromise to keep the peace, so to speak.

The first thing that helps is understanding where your partner is coming from. Now my boyfriend is not a socially anxious recluse, but having been brought up in a more humble environment than I was, he is not as comfortable as I am with going out and blowing up some cash on a nice dinner, or going out to watch a movie when we could buy it on Netflix. Similarly, his love of poetry and literature makes our agreements run into more philosophical and allegorical territory, rather than taking a head-on approach, as I, a pragmatic person would be more likely to lean towards.

Understanding these little things about your partner not only helps you sympathize with them, to some extent, but find more effective ways of tackling them. For example, knowing that my boyfriend would be wary of going to fancy restaurants, I seduce him with the idea of going for a street-food crawl, a cheap pizza place or a local dive bar, where I know we’ll both have fun, without him feeling too uncomfortable about our finances.

There are plenty of fun ways to make these compromises, and the key to this is communication. A friend of mine a shy and reclusive but sweet person, is never at ease when with her outgoing boyfriend, who drags her along to all manner of affairs where she really feels like a fish out of water. From what I’ve seen and heard though, he doesn’t understand this about her, and just thinks she’s raining on his parade, which leads to fights and arguments between them.

Many people misunderstand the true nature of an introvert, and by sitting your partner down and speaking to them about it in a serious way, might help to establish a deeper understanding of what you need in your relationship. This in turn allows for the creation of certain boundaries that you can then abide to, as a couple, to make sure you have a healthy and balanced relationship.

For example, whenever my boyfriend and I go to a club (which I know he abhors), we agree beforehand at what time we’re going to leave, and while I might wheedle a bit for an extended curfew, I know that once it’s time, it’s time, and we leave when we said we would. This stems from a gratefulness that my partner is willing to go out of his comfort zone to do something that he knows I like, as well as a matter of respect for his happiness as well, and it’s surprisingly easy.

What’s more is, by staying true to your prior agreements, you’ll find, as I have, that you tend to develop a much more easy-going rapport with your partner, and that it builds trust between the two of you, which in turn makes it easier to make compromises the next time around. While it may seem like a difficult barrier to get around initially, with a little bit of compromise and understanding, you’ll find that eventually the old adage of opposites attracting, rings true.