Living with an introvert

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The following was submitted by a very thoughtful and considerate guy wondering how to handle things if he and his introverted girlfriend move in together.

I have been dating my girlfriend of 2 1/2 years…she’s an introvert. We have learned a lot about her introversion along the way. I say we, because she didn’t know whe was an introvert until I researched and pointed it out to her. So my dilemma is, I have concerns about our relationship in regards to living arrangements. I’m not sure how this would work considering she needs a lot of alone time. If we decide to move in together, how do we co-mingle when she wants to be “off”? I would like some ideas, help or suggestions for living arrangements between introvert/extroverts. Thanks in advance.

Photo credit: Liz Grace

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31 Comments

  1. You need to talk to her about this. We’re all different, and our needs change depending on our situation and how social we need to be elsewhere in our lives. Even the way we recharge is different between individuals and also depending on what’s going on in our lives.

    I’m sure some need complete isolation, but sometimes we just need to not have to interact, or not as much. And it’s not like you need it all figured out from the start. You figure things out as you go, make sure communication lines are open, and that you’re both working at finding the balance that suits you both.

  2. First off, ASK her. I am sure she has some ideas.

    In my own case, my favorite thing to say is: please give me a chance to miss you! (In other words, don’t always be there.) Also, my husband is real good at recognizing that I need some solitude and asks me if he needs to go away – and he gives me the gift of not being offended when I say “yes”. I typically am okay after 30 minutes or so, but each individual is different. Please give your girlfriend the same gift. It’s not about you – it’s about her.

    PS. There are some other things I say to my husband, but they are “safe” because I have made sure he understands. The second-favorite after a really really long day is: “Don’t talk to me! Don’t even LOOK at me!” Yes, I know it sounds rude, but again, he knows it’s not about him, and he knows that in a short time, I’ll be back, calmed down. It takes a very secure partner to be able to do this, but it’s all about trust, anyway. Good luck!
    gharkness´s last post ..Want to be on TV? Really?

  3. In my case, I the introvert find I sometimes get lonely because my favorite extrovert is off having adventures that don’t suit me. Since I’m in a city new to me, I’m seeking introvert friends for quieter activities, although those tastes don’t always match either.

  4. I would consider allocating a room specifically for her to retreat to – her own personal study for example. A place where she can shut the door, relax, and enjoy some personal time away from you and everyone else. But, like the others have already said, you should ask her what she wants.

    It’s important to remember that she may not bring the subject up, even if she desperately wants to, out of fear of appearing selfish or not committed to the relationship. But if you don’t address this now, you may end up with problems down the road. The best thing you can do is to present the offer to her yourself, and tell her that you are also open to any other ideas she may have, no matter how crazy or selfish they may appear.

  5. im happy to know you care for her so much and want to help. i can suggest you guys to consult professional or psychologist, that can analyze it and bring you helpful tips. one importent thing is – keep the strong love between you two!
    good luck!
    sapir´s last post ..Diet for Life

  6. These are all lovely ideas. The one I like best is where you, the loving and understanding extravert, give her space to say honestly what she needs and don’t feel offended by it. If you learn not to interpret her needs in the light of your needs (needing to be away from you doesn’t mean she’s tired of you or no longer loves you), you’ll give her so much room to be the healthy introvert she should be, and your relationship will be healthy as well.

  7. my friend’s husband introvert, she likes it, maybe that’s why she married him, the man should be calm and brave, but sometimes it is asymptomatic, especially when she expects a violent reaction to some good news

  8. I have a cousin that is once an introvert. Her mom sent her into a counseling and gradually exposed her to group of people. At first may aunt said it was really hard during those times cuz she really never want to mingle with anyone she doesn’t know. It was overcome gradually, the counselor advised my aunt to invited a few of her high school friends at home have fun and conversing with each other it took a long 1 year and 6 months for her to change. I guess if you really love the person you are holding right now be there for her guide her to the change that you are looking for her.
    Jason@beglaubigte Übersetzung´s last post ..Neue Sprachführer

  9. I agree with barak, being aware is super important and it might solve most of the problem. and to talk about that with other people and with her too. if it doesn’t chang you can try ask someone profesional, it can be very helpful. it helped me when I was needed… good luck my friend, what ever happen :)
    Anna´s last post ..The best way to meet guys

  10. I know people who are introvert will be very close to them selves and they wont share any thing with any one. I know this well since my brother is a introvert but also a very intelligent and always a very deep thinker. they share them selves only with people who close and they understand them .
    Lola T´s last post ..Agua de alpiste

  11. I think the best thing to do is to communicate effectively. She may be introvert but she surely knows how to communicate with you. Then respect each other all the time. Now that you know your differences, you should both be more sensitive with each other if you want to live together and make things work.

  12. First, I admire you for doing this and making yourself open for suggestions. This only proves that she really mean a lot to you, despite the situation. And you are getting ready to deal with the condition in case you two settled.

    I think the best way to settle your dilemma is to ask her directly. Have a joint decision every time so conflicts will be avoided.

  13. This is a very interesting topic because I too am extremely introverted and my girl friend is an extrovert and we live together on the weekends only. I love being alone most of the time but I deal with it during the weekend as I have the week to have time to myself and do what I want with no distractions. For you I would suggest just talking to her about it and try and find a happy medium since you will be living together every day. Communication is key and you will find the right times to have “together time”. Good luck!
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  14. Michael@autorent on

    Well, if this is will be your situation and you have a girlfriend like her. I don’t really think that you always adjust in her case. She will also need adjust yours. A relationship must have a give-and-take situation. There are so many things to consider in a relationship not just yours. The best advice for your is to consult to a psychiatrist first to learn more about to handle this type of person.
    Michael@autorent´s last post ..autorent

  15. If you are thinking of moving in together someday, sure thing you love her that much. It’s time for both of you to talk to each other and let out everything that you have in mind. Then settle to something that is agreeable for both of you. It’s the true test of your love.
    Teyona´s last post ..A Recent Pick is Under Contract

  16. I happened to be just dumped just now. I have difficulties on meeting with my reports on my job. The thing about our relationship is we get to have lots of pride. We haven’t got to talk it out. I for one is partly at blame. On a relationship one does tend to be humble while the other is in anger state. Understanding is the key to fruitful relationship.
    Tommy´s last post ..Pharmacy Technician

  17. That’s something you’re going to have to discuss. How much time per week or day does she need alone? If you’re gone at work all day, that should help. Maybe some time to read or just chill at night by herself, before going to bed, would be enough.

    Perhaps you should go out with your buddies a couple nights a week or sometimes on the weekend to give her a larger stretch of alone time. Just going into a separate room for a few minutes where it’s quite, is often enough.

  18. This is a good site. My brother is dating an introvert and she is a real difficult person. He really loves her, but she is not easy to be around. What is weird is that sometimes she will act like she is an introvert and a lot of people think she is but when she is alone its a whole new person.

    I think this site will help me understand her a little better.
    Nick@Tech Salary´s last post ..GIS Technician Salary

  19. You are indeed a thoughtful and considerate person. The most important action to take is to talk with her. Communication is the key to deal with your introvert girlfriend.

  20. You have taken the first step to developing a healthy relationship, attempting to understand each other and work together. As you have already established a major personality difference I would advise you go one step further and take a personality test, they can be found free on the internet. Along with your “type” you get a description of that personality, it gives a better understanding of each others drives, strengths and weaknesses which will help. As an introvert who has lived with an extravert for many years I can say it is very difficult when they don’t care enough to try an understand. I would agree with an earlier comment on having somewhere in the home as her “escape”. I cannot stress enough the importance of “not taking it personally” when she needs space as stated earlier. I do disagree with the comment that the person was “changed” to be an extravert. She may have learned to be more extraverted but the internal drive to “get into her own head to recharge” will remain the same. With introverts, when things get overstimulating on the outside, things on the inside begin to go crazy. Sometimes all it takes is getting ten minutes of “alone, quiet time” away from what’s going on, sometimes it takes longer. As it’s been said many times thus far, ASK HER, but “listen” to her answer and don’t feel it’s a negative directed at you or that it’s you she needs to get away from. Introverts like to go out and mingle just like everyone else, unlike everyone else it’s draining for them. When she’s ready to go, go, or offer to let her go if she wishes without you. Another thing I have noticed that may or may not be true for all extraverts but is for the ones I know, they feel you’re not really spending time with them if you’re not totally engrossed in what they are (movies, etc). This is something I don’t understand because to me if someone is in the room with me, no matter what their attention is focused on, they’re still spending time with me in my eyes and I’m happy with just having their presence. Introverts spend a good deal of time in their own head, “recharging” can happen for some in the presence of others if they are not required to be totally absorbed in what everyone else is. Develop a “code”, when she’s quiet, it doesn’t automatically mean somethings wrong, she may have just wandered off into thoughts of her own. Ask her if this is a “thoughtful quiet” or a “somethings wrong quiet”. If it’s a thoughtful one, ask if she’d like to share but don’t take it personally if she doesn’t, if she does, give her thoughts/feelings the validation they deserve. They may be silly or wrong to you but they are hers to have, acknowledge them as hers and point out what you may disagree with (respectfully and gently..:). There is much information to be found on the internet and books on introverts, how their brains are wired, the reasons for and why they do what they do, utilize that. If you chose to take the personality test and your “types” aren’t the “perfect match”, that doesn’t mean anything at all. No matter what “type” people are, if they are willing to work together to understand each other and find ways to make COMPROMISES in the relationship to make it work, it will. As it’s been said, YOU care enough that you have taken a very important step. The key is that she will have meet you, she has to be willing to do the same. Relationships are give and take, no relationship will be healthy if one is doing all the giving while the other does all the taking. Good Luck!!!!

  21. Wife of an Extrovert on

    My husband is very much an extrovert. I am the introvert in this situation.

    I don’t know about your girlfriend, but I am a very straight-forward person, so it helps me to be straight-forward and just blunt with my husband. I told him from the start, that in the mornings (I just picked my worst time of day, haha) “don’t talk to me, unless it’s something quick and important or if I talk to you first. I will eventually come hang out with you, just give me time.”

    I would advise to ask her what YOU can do to ensure that you are not approaching her when she really just wants to be left alone. Or simply ask her to let you know the second you come to her: “hey, i love you and i want to hang out later, but i want to be alone right now” It makes things so much more simple. Sometimes I would simply say “hey, I love you and I know you want to hang out today, but I’m just not really in the mood to spend much time with people today”

    However, you both need to compromise. So, instead of just saying I don’t want to hang out today I usually say to my husband “Hey, I love you and I know you want to hang out today, but I’m just not really in the mood to spend much time with people today. But if you give me some time to myself, maybe we can play a game of cards later? Or go get a milkshake and bring it back home?” sometimes it’s nice to just sit next him and not have to respond. sometimes he will bring his computer or a book over to the couch and sit next to me while I edit photos or write on my blog. That way, we are kind of spending time together but not having so much social interaction (which I appreciate).

    It’s nice, as an introvert, to be able to be around people but not have to react or socialize much. It wears me out.

  22. I’m an introvert also, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like socializing! I live with my husband (who’s an extrovert) fine, we do our chores separately, I recharge alone in the living room or bedroom, we watch movies and talk and hang out together usually around three nights a week maybe then every now and then (maybe once a week) we spend a night out with friends! :) good luck, I wish you the best :)

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