10 Things Introverts Need in a Relationship
It’s already difficult for introverts to find their niche in a world that predominantly values extroverted tendencies. As a result, introverts’ needs don’t get enough attention and aren’t talked about as much. This includes the way that they function in the love department. Are you dating an introvert? Here are 10 things that we need in relationships for you to consider:
1. Meaningful conversations
We look for depth in a partner —someone who can keep up with us when we talk about possibilities and theories. If there’s one thing we never get tired of, it’s the mere entertainment of ideas. Ask open ended questions instead of dead end ones that result in single one word answers. Don’t be afraid to enlighten us with your knowledge and wisdom. Be cultured. And be aware. Intelligence is sexy, classy, and timeless.
I tend to gravitate towards men who are excellent conversationalists. And I’m not talking about your cliche smooth sweet talkers. I have a lot of respect for men who can challenge me on an intellectual level. Chances are, if you’ve ever gotten me to question what I thought I was once so sure of, I can guarantee you’ve landed yourself another date with me. The person I’m with right now never fails to enlighten me with his perspective. We bicker and debate a lot, but it’s all in good fun. It’s an interesting mixture —how incredibly different we see things, yet somehow we can meet on a common ground. I think it’s our mutual desire of wanting to understand the way things work that pulls us together. Curiosity can be a magical thing.
2. Less stimulating environments
We’re sensitive to external surroundings. You won’t find us going to every social party. Small gatherings and places where we don’t have to shout to hear one another are more our cup of tea. It’s not about what we’re surrounded by that matters; it’s about the company we’re choosing to spend our time with.
I prefer dates that take place in less crowded locations. As someone who gets overwhelmed easily, simplicity is what I aim for. If someone has to constantly be doing something or is prone to boredom susceptibility if he’s not doing something new, then I already know I won’t be able to build anything long-lasting with him. It says a lot about a person by the places one prefers to spend his time in; therefore, intimacy is very subjective. Where we choose to spend time with our romantic partner influences deeply how people build connections to establish what closeness means to them.
3. Slow steadiness
A slow and steady pace wins the race to our hearts. We’re careful about who we let in. We like to gather as much information as possible about people before we display more affection towards them. While that might make us seem less exciting on the surface with our self-control, there’s so much more we can offer in a relationship that isn’t based solely on the factor of impulse. Don’t take it the wrong way if you don’t get a kiss from us on a first date.
While others perceive me as bubbly and enthusiastic on first impressions, it actually takes time for me to warm up to someone romantically. I always tend to explain to people that I don’t want them to misinterpret my subtlety for indifference. Building trust is a slow dance for me, but I feel fortunate that I’m with someone right now who learned how to step in rhythm with me.
As introverts, we tend to internalize a lot, so we’re prone to bottling things up inside. We need someone who is sensitive and considerate of our feelings, because we don’t enjoy starting conflict. That’s not to say we’re necessarily afraid of it. It just means we’re more careful about what battles we’re willing to fight.
The biggest turn-offs for me are those who are judgmental and quick to dismiss feelings. What often attracts me in a romantic partner is someone who is very much in tune with understanding human motives. People who can analyze actions and can make meaning of what is happening even within the worst of conflicts. I trust people who are capable of these skills, because it means that they see me for my flaws, but still want to stick around to watch me evolve and grow from my mistakes.
5. Help us get out of our heads.
We’re prone to analyzing and over-thinking. It’s hard for us to stay in the moment when our minds dart back and forth with thoughts and concerns. We don’t even mean to do it, and it might create distance and misunderstandings as a result. Just try not to take it too personally. Chances are, we’re probably ruminating over what next move we’re going to make, because we care about how the relationship is growing, or maybe we have a lot of other things going on in our lives. Play the best friend role and provide support. It’ll help us ease up and we’ll appreciate you more than ever.
The person I’m with always talks about headspace with me. He knows how much I like to indulge in it. He’s also familiar with the way I tend to build walls, because I don’t know how to get out of my head. When we’re watching movies, sometimes my hand will tighten up because my mind will go elsewhere. He’ll place his hand over mine and ask, “You with me?” It’s such a simple action, but it’s reassuring. It helps me stay in the moment.
6. Read between the lines.
We invented the art of subtlety, so we’re not usually outwardly flirtatious. The way we communicate is very nuanced. Pay close attention to what we say and how we say it, too. Sometimes, even the smallest phrases can have large meanings behind them.
I’m not the most direct person, but I’m trying to communicate better. I admire the forthright manner of the person I’m with. This is because I can always count on him to say exactly what he means. The manner in which we communicate is almost as if we’re on opposite sides of the spectrum, and yet he’s good at handling the personality of someone like me. Slowly, I’m learning to be more directly affectionate.
7. Be respectful to our need for space.
While we may like you, we also have a need for space. We need to go off on our own to recharge. It’s important to not be overbearing or suffocating. This will only add more to our stress levels and may cause us to retreat within our shells even more.
I make time to see the person I’m with once a week in between our busy schedules. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, though, I need time to go off and be alone before I see him. He understands that part about me, because he’s wired the same way, too, with both of us being introverts. We’re never pushy with each other and respect each other’s boundaries. It’s refreshing finding someone who just gets it.
8. Quality time
It’s not about the amount of activities we end up doing. It’s about the way we interact with each other. Spending quality time with us is crucial. Although it may seem as if we like to go off and be on our own as introverts, at the end of the day, we still crave meaningful human interaction. Learning to make the most out of time spent together creates a strong bonding experience.
No matter how busy my schedule may get, I will always make time to see someone I’m interested in. This is usually the biggest giveaway that I’m catching feelings for someone, because I’m pretty selective with who I choose to spend my time with. Although I’m fairly open to learning about people in general for the most part, I’m particularly careful about who I choose to learn about me. Spending quality time with someone puts me in that vulnerable position.
9. Be mindful of who we are and don’t try to change who we are.
We live in a culture that is obsessed with self-improvement, always striving to be better. As introverts living in an extroverted world, ever since a young age, we were seen as individuals who can be molded and conditioned to love being in the spotlight. Because “better” somehow always translates to “extroversion,” which is pretty dehumanizing. And we certainly don’t need that sort of baggage hanging over our heads in the realm of dating. When we’re trying to build and maintain stable relationships, we don’t want to waste our time with people who see us as potential projects they can fix. If we wanted that, there’s plenty of self-help books out there.
The last person I was seeing was an extrovert and a natural networker being a social butterfly. He was charming. An actor. Had everyone around me fooled. And had me especially fooled. But overtime, slowly but surely, I watched his performance slip. I didn’t pick up on how controlling he was until it was too late. Then, I wondered why I was hurting so much. Looking back, I don’t think he ever saw me for who I was. He was far too obsessed with his mental checklist of his perfect mate. I was just this trophy he could show off to and talk about to his friends and family. Then one day, he dropped the bomb, telling me that I wasn’t enough for him. There was this overwhelming pressure to change. Believe me when I say that any relationship based on image and ego will die because self-absorption can’t dish out love.
10. Don’t assume anything.
Always ask questions and communicate with us. The thing about silence is that it can often be misinterpreted for plenty of things —anything but the actual truth. We might be slow to reveal things because communicating what we think doesn’t come as easily or naturally, but that’s not to say we’re incapable of such tasks. Mind-reading should never replace difficult conversations.
The person I’m together with right now often communicates his concerns and needs with me. I appreciate his honesty, because it shows he cares instead of just slipping them underneath the rug. When he tells me what is bothering him, I take the time to reflect on what is happening between us, and then work on it. I respect someone who isn’t afraid of raising things that may lead to disagreements. Working things out together instead of just making assumptions about the other person brings two people closer.
What are your experiences with dating an introvert? Are you also an introvert? Do you agree? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!
Granneman, J. (2015, July 7). 12 Things to Know About Being in a Relationship With an Introvert. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
I really loved this. The article as a whole was very engaging and interesting throughout. It’s an interesting point to make in the beginning about society’s tendency to talk more about extroverts than introverts. I think with this reminder, as a whole, people can become more aware of their actions. As an extrovert dating an introvert, this was an invaluable resource for me to go forward with. Overall, excellent work. I can’t wait to see what else you have in store.
Hi Caitlin, thanks so much for reading! =) I’m glad you were able to take something valuable from it! I think it’s so important for people to learn from each other and it’s great that you’re continuing to be aware and open-minded in regards to introversion. =) I hope you have a great day!
I, too, am an introvert and everything that you just listed is so very true. I was ina relationship with another introvert and I bombed that relationship so badly because of the assumptions, rushing processes and trying to low key fix them. Now, we still talk, somewhat but I just feel really awkward because I feel like I botched the friendship/relationship and I just don’t know what to say or do at this point. So, I’ve just decided to leave them be and to work on myself and hopefully when we talk again things will be much better. Nonetheless, I just feel so bad so, I think that I will take this time to heal and just hope for the best. Thanks for being so accurate in your post?.
Hi Mary J, thanks so much for reading. =) I’m glad that you were able to relate to my article and that it’s helping you reflect. I hope you’re recovering well. Relationships aren’t easy, to say the least, and I’m sorry for the rough patches you went through. I know exactly what it’s like to feel awkward, to make assumptions and to try to fix things by myself. I’m learning over time that communication really is key. And it’s something that’s definitely difficult and meant to be mastered gradually. But, the best things in life don’t come easy. If everything was great, nothing would be special. As someone who tends to bottle things up, the most important thing I’m still learning even to this day is to grow comfortable from becoming a “me” to a “we.” Difficult conversations have to be tackled together in order for a bond to grow stronger. It’s not in good times that relationships endure —it’s the hard times that do the true testing. Space is important, because it allows us to take time away from a situation to see it in a different perspective, so it’s great that you’re taking that step. I wish you both the best of luck, really and truly. I’m always here if you need to talk. =)
Hey Catherine! This article is wonderful. Now I am sure that I am an introvert person.
Every point is so true. Is about the complexity about our inner self. I usually think that I don´t feel just one little thing, is a lot of emotions, in differents proportions and always with something bigger in the deep.
I´ve learn with time and with space, to give me the chance to open up at my personal way. Not everybody understand, but other people apper and resonate with our esence, and is so wonderful and special.
Always the point is love everything about us, even when the outside give the prize to extrovert people.
Thank you for your article!
Hi Yohanna! Thanks so much for reading. =) I’m so glad you’re able to relate to my article! Yes, the inner self is always complex. But, it’s great that you were able to learn with time and space to open up at your own pace. It’s hard to get everyone on the same page when we try to create understanding as a whole, but I’m glad you’re not discouraged by it and it seems like you have a solid understanding of who you are. Letting that confidence shine will surely help you in the long run, and people will appreciate you for that honesty. I hope you have a great day! =)
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I Will read more about it. I found my self in it.
I am not an extrovert, but nor do I consider myself an introvert. Although from following your site I can see aspects of my personality that sway to me being more introverted rather than an extrovert. In my work life, in particular, I have been surrounded by extroverts, who consider themselves to be the ‘stronger’ ones. They see quietness as being a sign of weakness, which is untrue. My partner is definitely an introvert. He constantly shuts me out and only gives one word answers to any conversation that I try to initiate whether it be about a film we’ve watched or about what’s going on in the world or our personal lives (we have a teenage son, who is also very quiet.) My partner is not an affectionate person and is amazingly skilled at ‘brushing things under the carpet’ and, hence, will not discuss any problems. He can be kind to others, but distant at home. I understand he needs his ‘space’ when he’s at home, but I have found the ‘coldness’ that this creates in our relationship unbearable at times and it has created a great deal of distance (and walls) between us. I followed this site in the hope that it will somehow help me understand him and how to talk to him and how to be around him. Being with him has meant that I have had to change my personality from being ‘upbeat’ to being more and more reserved and I have found that I have become more introverted as a result. Just a little more affection from him and if he could let me know how he’s feeling sometimes, would make the world of difference. It can be difficult, but I’m forever the optimist!
He sounds less like an intovert and more like someone that needs relationship counseling. He is ignoring your need for interaction and connection. When I read you short comment I see a relationship heading towards its end. You are hurting because your needs arent being met and he isn’t doing anything to care for you because it your needs/feelings arent important enough to him.
Thank you for a wonderful, thought provoking and insightful article! Upon reading this, i realise that i too am an introvert in many ways, however as described in many other articles i have read, i am on a sliding scale between intro and extrovert, therefore do not quite understand all the ways a true introvert function.
I have recently started dating the most amazing 100% Introvert man, super intelligent, very in touch with who he is, extremely attentive and considerate, and super insistent on deep clear constant communication to ensure all issues are resolved at all times. In this past week we had a little misunderstanding after which i could physically feel him shutting down toward me.
This week i am experiencing his first ‘introversion’ episode where he has completely pulled away from me, not only with words, but with affection and time as well. A 180 degree change in his attitude toward me and the relationship. All the gushing beautiful words and thoughts he shared have evaporated. He now speaks to me as if i’m a business associate. When gently asked he said that his feeling have not changed, yet his actions seem to show they might have?
He does not seem to be ‘introverting’ around others that he is close to either.
My question to you is – if you wouldn’t mind to voice your opinion here and offer some insight – Is this normal that the affection and excitement for the relationship seems to be missing while he is ‘introverting’?
I am of course wondering if He is second guessing the relationship as it is very new, but only because I am the only person he seems to be ‘introverting’ from.
I would so appreciate your take on this as an introvert as I really do like him, but don’t want to risk getting hurt thinking he is only ‘introverting’ when indeed he is more likely pulling away…..
And of course, if this is a normal way for and introvert to behave when ‘introverting’, then i can rest easy and learn to love and accept him with a calm trusting heart!
Can it be that he was spending all that energy towards you hoping that the feeling will come with time, but they didn’t. So he wasted all that energy and reverted back to his usual introverted self?
Let me know how it went, if my guess is correct. I’m a bit alarmed that I understand it in this way, I don’t want to upset the person I’m spending my energy towards in the same way.
See the person you are with once a week? That’s nit a relationship. That’s a booty call.
An enlightening article thank you so much for it ! I’m in a relationship with an introvert. I can’t even call it a relationship since he never stated that he loved me or even liked me .the relationship is wholly based on text as we live in different countries. But I realize I am one of his closer friends, once he subtly mentioned I’m beautiful and another time he mentioned he likes listening to me.
He shares beautiful love songs with me and sings/plays them on the guitar and sends me recordings .I believe he only sends them to me.
We text sparodically but might end up chatting for 2 hours. He asks for my opinion about his artwork, sends me jokes and we share info about food,songs and movies we like.
My main point of anguish is how he might spend a month without even sending me a hello. Also the fact that when I text him , he might take days to respond . I find it hurtful and disrespectful . I feel I can’t complain about it to him as he never really gave me his heart, so I have no right to that .
Otherwise he is an amazing person and I feel lucky to have him in my life,especially after having suffered a long abusive marriage that ended several years ago. I don’t want to lose my special person, but I’m scared I mighy be building castles in the wind. Please advise .❤
Does it seem like he is falling for me ? Is it normal how he hides away for a month or more then casually starts chatting like nothing has happened? Should I give it a chance or walk away ? Because honestly I don’t want another heartbreak . Waiting to hear your opinion. Much love.
I dont think he really wants to be with you sadly and wasting more time will cause you so much pain ,good luck with whatever you choose x
The stated characteristics of an introvert are very helpful in recognizing if you are engaging with an introvert. The needs, modifications and accommodations seem like a lot of work and super taxing. It is almost non reciprocal and selfish. Perhaps there is a way to create a foundation where introverts can understand how some of the behavior tendencies can have consequences for a partner who is simply wanting to be in love. The results often seem to cause isolation, lack of empathy, and selfishness toward the partner. Though it seems like it is not the intention, it does produce that result.
I also see a stalemate in communication as there is an evident “do not try to change” an introvert yet there is a desire to be patient, talk things out, not assume and express your needs. There is a clear contradiction of needs between introverts and extroverts yet it seems the implication is that the introvert needs to be catered to.
After reading all this I feel a better understanding of the needs of an introvert and ease of identifying one but I am left asking where does that leave the rest of us when trying to have a healthy, satisfying relationship with such complexities?
I do not know it is right or wrong, but I also dating with an introvert person. The first two moths in relationship, everything was find. After that thing has changed and I do not understand at all. He stopped going out with me, stopped texting, stopped responding my text, and ignoring me. I try to ask and find out what happen between us, but still cannot help. I decide to stop run after him and thing has happened. He called me out for movie and had dinner. He acted like he still loving me, nothing has happened and then he back to used to be again. So, what is that mean? I do not get it.
Wow…most of the stuf as of she was describing me
Very interesting indeed.. I am a introvert and for a long time I thought I was a freak until I understood what I was.. I am still learning what I am about and accepting who I am as a introvert. That it’s ok to be me and if another person doesn’t have any understanding of who I am then those are the people I want in my life.
Every word u said is a reflection of me..thank God I came across this article because I was beginning to think that I was abnormal,that something was wrong with me mentally..It’s really a relief ..
Nice article, Catherine.
If. You. Could. Have. Add. In. Lgbt Or he she. Instead about. Your boyfriend