As someone who would rather be at home than out and about on Saturday night, dating can be particularly challenging. I love the time I have to myself, but I still want to meet someone new and have the typical dating experience. I would like to flirt, ask for someone’s number, and go out on dates and get to know someone even though I usually spend my life doing exactly the opposite. The irony of the contrast isn’t lost on me, but I choose to see it as a goal rather than as an obstacle. Dating requires a major step outside of any introvert’s comfort zone, but the reward is oh so exciting.
The First Move
The more people I’ve met, the more I’ve realized why an introvert can be so attracted to someone who’s completely their opposite. Extroverts talk and laugh with an ease that’s so natural it’s practically magic. To someone like me, the ability to flirt and tease is extra attractive because I know how much I would struggle trying to do the same.
Naturally, the extrovert is usually the one to make the first move. For an introvert like me, it’s a huge confidence boost to know someone finds me attractive and wants to see me again. For the extrovert, though, it feels just as natural to be the one to take the initiative. This sort of role fulfillment is great for both parties since we each get to do what we’re comfortable with. Opposites really do attract.
Luckily for me I’m not the most introverted person on the planet. I would rather spend time in a quiet place by myself, but I’m willing to step outside of my comfort zone and try out social situations before I say no. In my experience, though, the extroverts I’ve dated have had much stronger personalities than me, which makes things challenging when we disagree.
I cannot count the times I’ve been the one to give in to what my date has wanted. Nine times out of ten, I find myself in a social situation that I really did not want to be in. My extrovert date, however, was always right where he wanted to be. I’m all for compromise, but I can count on one hand the number of times we had a date night in rather than going out.
More often than not, my date would run into someone he knows while we were out. Sometimes I’d be introduced, but most of the time I would just stand there for several minutes without any acknowledgement whatsoever. As frustrating as it is, it’s something that I’m used to by now. Super extroverted people can be so busy talking to realize that an introvert is being left out. When I gently pointed this out to my date, he said “you don’t like to talk, so I won’t make you talk. If you want to talk just do it.” As infuriating as that was, I let it slide.
An Introvert Looking Forward
It didn’t work out between the extrovert and me. The huge difference between our personalities definitely played a part in the break up, because I was more stressed and clueless than I should be in a relationship. We just did things differently, and that’s not a bad thing. An extrovert and an introvert could definitely make things work, but with one personality that’s so much stronger, it might be a challenge.
For a successful relationship, both partners need to respect the other’s needs, no matter how different they are. Both can and should spend some time outside of their comfort zones or trying something new, but they’ll have to keep between the lines of boredom and stress.