Dating with an introvert

How to date an introvert

Welcome to I'll tell you something, where I answer questions about life as an introvert. If you have a question, send it to me at [email protected].

Today I want to reflect on two relationship questions I was recently asked about introverts who are withdrawing.

"I have a serious relationship with an introvert. He recently told me he needed more space. I am not a needy person and I already find that there is a lot of space between us. If I give him more space, I wonder if." we really really are in a relationship.

"I've been crying all night and my eyes are puffy. I don't understand how to act in this relationship. I'm loving, sensitive, intimate. I don't know how I can do without all of these things! Help?"

- gotta love

"I am a classic, introverted textbook. It is the same with a man I have wanted to meet for a little over a year. I thought this would mean understanding the other person's need for space and accepting it when life comes. " stressful. The problem seems to be that we understand too much. We withdraw from each other completely and give each other too much space. And then it's really difficult to reconnect. He is worse than me. He withdraws up to two weeks at a time. I try to understand, but it drives me crazy.

"He's also an introvert who's a musician and salesman. Those roles require a high level of extrovert behavior. And I think it gets him down. I've met a few other introverts. Two of them were fine . but another one was just like this guy. I'm about to put a sign on my neck: Extroverted men only. Introverts like me don't have to apply. It's crazy. "

- Tired of trying to be "understanding"

Learning about introversion is profoundly empowering for many of us. Accept our own need for space and the similar or conflicting needs of other people, and respect the different ways in which we and other people interact with the world - all is well. It leads us to an acceptance that can only improve our relationships and humanity. But when it comes to relationships "I'm an introvert,"or "He (or she) is an introvert" is just the beginning of the conversation.

Source: Bokan / shutterstock

For one thing, “introverted” is not a one-size-fits-all label. Introversion and extroversion, like other personality traits, exist on a continuum. Imagine a horizontal line with introversion on one end and extroversion on the other end. Most of us fall somewhere between these two extremes, expressing the traits in different degrees and in different ways.

For example, your introversion tastes might be, "Weekends are for the family" while another person "Weekends are for loneliness" and a third person "Weekends are for my three closest friends". Your introversion style could be, "I could spend every night with that one special person" The Person could be, "I'm okay just spending weekends together." Your introverted way of dealing with problems might be, “Now let's sit down with a bottle of wine and try this until it is resolved.” Your partner may be, “Let me think about it for a few days and come back . "

And of course, introversion is only a small part of all the moving parts that make us what we are.

While it's a handy and non-threatening label, introversion is can not Take all of the blame for stress in a relationship, nor can you assume it is just Reason someone seeks space in your relationship. That could be part of it, of course, but there could also be other more complex and potentially distressing reasons, such as fear, incompatibility, attachment issues, or any of the myriad things that can cause people to drift or pull apart.

The only way to solve problems in a relationship is to talk about them in depth and in depth.

While I know we introverts are great listeners, we need to know and too express our own needs. In the case of "Tired of Trying", listening and understanding are not enough. It's also important to talk about what our minimum requirements are in a relationship - time, affection, access. (See my post on Introverts' Struggle to Express Needs.)

The response you get to your explicit needs tells you about the true potential of the relationship. Are your needs received with love or are they simply diverted? Is the other person ready to meet you halfway? Are you ready to meet him or her halfway through? Are you satisfied with the offer? You can't always get what you want, but can you get enough?

If not, what then? It's a scary question I know. And probably the ones you would most like to avoid. But if you decide this isn't the relationship for you, at least you'll know that you put so much effort into meeting both of your needs, and you can think of this as a "flawless" breakup: you got it out loud and found that the two of you simply need different things out of a love affair.

If you want to find a new love, think about what you have learned about yourself through these discussions. Jokes about "Tired of Trying" dating only extroverts, but maybe this is not a joke. Among the introverts I interviewed for my bookIntroverts in love About half of those who were in a relationship were happily connected with extroverts- and appreciated the energy and charisma that extroverts brought into their lives. (The other half preferred the quiet pleasures of living with an introvert.) So if you were "tired of trying" you might be happier with an extrovert. Knowing that would be a good thing.

By the way, you also joke that introverts “don't have to apply,” which brings me to an issue I have with introverts: we tend to wait to be selected and pursued instead of choosing ourselves and pursue. Sure, it's a lot easier and less scary to be followed, but it also carries the risk of us falling into inappropriate relationships. Not necessarily terrible or abusive - although that can happen too - but just plain wrong. Bad fit.

My advice to Need To Be Loving and Tired of Trying: Try to seriously assess your own needs in a relationship, believe they are perfectly acceptable, and then put them there. Speak honestly, listen carefully, and then talk a little more. Is introversion Not It is passivity Not Avoidance, and it just is part who we are from.

It's never the whole story.

I'm a fan of quality self-help books, and aside from my own, I recommend a few to help solve these problems:

  • I know I'm in somewhere: A guide for women to find their inner voice and live an authentic life. by Helene Brenner (for women, good for everyone).
  • Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy, Through Buffalo Social Service Sisters Blogger Ken Page.
  • Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love,by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller.

Check out my books:

  • Introverts in Love: The Quiet Path to a Happy Life Afterwards
  • The Introverted Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World
  • 100 Places in the US Every Woman Should Go
  • The Yankee Chick's survival guide to Texas

Note that anything you buy on Amazon by clicking your way through this blog post will make me pennies. Or you can support your local independent bookstore. Click here to find an indie bookstore near you. If they don't carry my books, ask about them!

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