Marriage is all about compromise. But how much should you be compromising when your spouse is an introvert and you are the exact opposite? An introvert is usually considered someone who is shy and likes to spend most of their time alone. If your spouse is an introvert they would likely rather socialize with close friends than go to a party. They also enjoy reading and other solitary activities and probably dislike small talk.
If your spouse is an introvert, then it doesn’t mean that they hate socializing or that they don’t like making conversation with you. Their perceptions are simply different than that of an extrovert.
Married to an Introvert? Big Secrets You Need to Know to Keep the Relationship Happy
Here are the best ways to get along with your spouse when you are complete social opposites.
Opposites Attract for a Reason
Opposites attract. This is a common saying that has some pretty good logic behind it. SAGE Journals published a study wherein singles were to list the personality characteristics they most desired in a romantic partner. The results showed that most indicated that they would rather have a complementary partner instead of a similar one.
Studies even suggest that couples who are too similar to one another have lower chances of staying together and having a successful marriage. If you are in a happy relationship, why question how often your spouse wants to go out and socialize or not? Just enjoy the time you spend together. After all, you were drawn to your partner for a good reason.
Introverts Don’t Hate Socialization
It’s a common belief that those who are introverts are deathly shy. This isn’t necessarily the case, as both introverts and extroverts can be shy in nature. Someone who is shy may get nervous or self-conscious when they have to talk to people. They don’t like to be the center of attention.
An introvert is someone who can socialize – they may even love it! But it tires them out. If your spouse is chatting away to someone at a get-together, they may enjoy their time out but feel emotionally exhausted once they get home.
Stop Apologizing for your Spouse
There are certain occasions where an apology would be appropriate. But for the most part, you apologizing for leaving early or for your spouse not being social enough is only going to make your partner feel bad or embarrassed.
Instead of calling attention to the fact that you didn’t go to your friend’s last BBQ or that your spouse isn’t being chatty enough, thank your host for having you over. Be complimentary. Change the conversation from a negative into a positive.
It can also be helpful to explain to friends before they meet your partner that they are more of a home-body than a socializer. This way they’ll be prepped in advance for any anti-social behavior and will learn to appreciate the time they get to spend with you both.
Enjoy Your Time Alone
If you are in a relationship with an introvert, you may have noticed that sometimes they like to spend time alone. This can be an odd feeling, especially if you’re used to spending every waking minute with a romantic partner.
Instead of feeling indignant about this lack of time together, learn to enjoy your time apart! Use this time alone to pursue your own hobbies or plan an evening out with friends. Instead of relying on your partner to be your entertainment 24/7, learn to enjoy leisure time by yourself.
Take Advantage of their Depth
Small talk? Pass. Deep talk about the universe and life? Check! Your introvert lover may not be big into social gatherings, but they are huge about in-depth conversations.
Not only does this make for some serious bonding time together, it also creates interesting date nights. Instead of going to the movies or to the local carnival your spouse may romance you with a night in front of the fire staring into each other’s eyes or reading books together.
Be Willing to Compromise
Many people think that introverts are socially awkward people who don’t know how to talk to another human being. This is absolutely false! Introverts can be charming, engaging people. According to the ABA Journal, nearly 60% of lawyers are classified as introverts – and that’s a profession that requires schmoozing to make a living!
But just because your spouse can socialize doesn’t mean they always want to. It’s important, as with any healthy marriage, that you both learn to compromise – even if this means cancelling the occasional plans with friends or family. As an extrovert, you may be looking forward to Friday night because it means you can get together with friends. But your spouse may be looking to a stress-free weekend away from work.
Learn to compromise. Perhaps getting together with friends one night during the weekend but heading home early so that your spouse can decompress.
Make a Regular Date Night Mandatory
When it comes to maintaining a happy, healthy relationship, spending quality time together is an absolute must. Just because your spouse is an introvert doesn’t mean they get to skip out on date night. It may just require a little more creativity.
Look for ways to strengthen your relationship without exhausting your partner. Studies show that having a regular date night one or more times a month can do wonders for your relationship. It improves your friendship, heightens emotional intimacy, and boosts physical arousal. Instead of having a full-blown evening of romance, your spouse may only need a few intense hours of connecting to receive the benefits from date night.
It can be hard to be married to an introvert when you’re the outgoing one in the relationship. Don’t despair. There are many things to love about being married to an introvert. Enjoy the quality time you spend with your partner as well as the precious time you’re able to spend apart.
Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.