Navigating a new introvert-extrovert "thing" - would like the introvert perspective?

I met an incredibly sweet, intelligent, caring, funny introverted guy. It's early days but I'd like to think it's going really well. We have a similar sense of humor (he makes me laugh more than any other guy I've dated) and he's been amazing to talk to when I'm struggling with the demands of my job. Doesn't give unwanted advice, just listens and helps me talk through obstacles.

We've spent a lot of time together - the thing is, as someone who is incredibly extroverted, I recharge by spending time with him and talking to him. But he cancelled a date the other day because he said he needed solo time to recharge. He immediately set up another date and even though I let him be to give him his requested space - and made it clear I was understanding with his need - he still touched base before he went to bed. So I don't think I'm worried about this being MORE than just him needing to recharge.

What's difficult for me is, I recharge by spending time with him, which means I have the opposite mentality, so truly understanding his need the other day was hard. I did get nervous it was a pull-away, mostly because my mentality is so different. I also know he will pull away when he's unsure of a relationship and while there would be nothing I could do to stop that, I don't know how to decipher just needing solo time and I'm losing interest.

I guess I'm just asking introverts to weigh in and help me understand his needs so I don't take it the wrong way. I think if I can understand his perspective it can cut back on unnecessary worry. I know I have patterns of neediness (like I said I recharge by talking to him and friends) and I'd REALLY like to grow in this relationship and break my own patterns in order to give this a chance to work. I think understanding the introvert perspective will help with this.

If you were and introvert dating a super extrovert, how would you want the partner to approach their own insecurities with it?


Most Helpful Guy

  • It's good to know that you're willing to see things his way.

    People can't believe I'm an introvert, and yes we do need time to recharge by ourselves. It's different for everyone (I won't get into the specifics, but being an emotional empath doubles the recharging time we sometimes need).

    Let me ask you a few questions, are you loosing interest because the lack of time with him or is it something else? It sounds like your communication with him is open at this point, what type of job does he have / is he an emotional empath?

    • Truthfully I'm not sure if he is. I know he's big on empathy and internalizes the feelings of others, whether it's a connection to their feelings (empathy) or his own different internal reaction to their situation so I assume he is. I just don't know the extent of the internalization and more importantly his reaction to them.

      He works a very socially demanding job with high levels of interaction. He's also in a leadership position. I actually just suggested we postpone the "going out" date for a day he has off and that we could just have a quiet night in, instead since he worked today. No response yet.

      And gosh, no, definitely not losing interest at all. More, I'm feeling vulnerable and insecure because this is new to me and I 1) don't know if he's pulling away because of his own disinterest or really just needs recharge time and 2) in the past I've been kind of selfish with my needs and something about him makes me want to change that and find compromise to make ya both happy

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    • WOO! He did really appreciate my offer, and even said he was going to call later to ask if I would have been ok with that. Says he really appreciated my consideration. Thank you for helping me work this through. And I guess if we continue to grow in this way I'll learn to trust that "solo time" is not a reflection of feelings. I think I just have to see that happen and see his consistency with following through afterwards.

      I guess it's lucky that while I AM definitely an extrovert, I'm also probably somewhat of an emotional empath (I'm incredibly sensitive to other peoples emotions) and I'm a couch potato, so as much as I love going out, I'm just as happy staying in as long as I have the company I need to recharge.

    • Sweet!!! I'm happy for you and glad that I could help. If you need, just ask either on here or in a PM (if that's the case, just link this thread).

      An introverted emotional empath is a gnarly thing, because I sometimes mistake a gal's attracted of me as my own attraction toward her.

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What Guys Said 2

  • As an introvert, I'm the same. Constantly being stimulated by someone talking is draining. I need time to be left alone with my thoughts in order to keep from getting stressed out. A constant social life and interaction leads me to get cranky and stressed, as well as tired. I just need quiet to recharge. Having someone always there and talking will eventually drive me crazy and I'll eventually get very snappy with them.

  • So... you're leeching off his energy so to speak. Can't see that going wrong in anyway.

    You should have other social circles where you can be your extroverted self. That aside, how about you listen to him for a change?

    • Wow. I think you misunderstood. I didn't go into every detail but of COURSE I listen to his problems! We talk about his work, too, and his thoughts and opinions are important to me. I don't WANT to "leech off his energy" and am actively trying to understand him better so that I can be a better partner for him. He's made it clear that I bring a lot to the table for him, but perhaps you are seeing something I am not, which was my reason for posting in the first place. I just ask that you be less judgmental and negative in the response. I am coming from a good and caring place and am incredibly open to your perspective if it means helping me become a strong partner for him and gaining outside perspective will allow me to grow and become a better person. You may see something I don't, but please be respectful.

    • It was a joke.
      When he needs space, give him space. And when you need to recharge and he's not available, there should be other outlets.
      As he gets closer to you he will no longer feel such a drain from you, as it mostly applies to group situations and dealing with people he's not familiar with.
      If you don't drown him with your stuff and you two can find a balance that works for both of you it should be sustainable.

    • Thanks! And I do - I have friends and family I turn to - that's what I did the other night, left him alone to recharge and hung out with my friends.

      Sorry I didn't catch the joke - lack of tone is always a downfall of internet communication.

What Girls Said 2

  • As a very introverted person, I can say that what he's asking for will continue to be asked for. Introverts get really stressed out by social situations. I would much rather be alone than with a group of people. I was in a long term relationship with a very extroverted individual and we went round and round over these issues. He always wanted to be out doing things whereas I didn't. He liked drawing attention to us in public and that gave me anxiety. Fortunately now I'm in a relationship with another introvert. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is be understanding and never make him feel pressured into being in uncomfortable situations. I think you guys can make it work, it already sounds like you're on the right page and being very thoughtful about his needs. Good luck!

    • I wish I could do a "most helpful" for two people!!! Thank you.

      My best friend and brother are introverts, so I can fully accept and appreciate his needs. I just am not always aware of my actions and you pointed out something huge: we like to tease each other but that needs to stay private so I don't embarrass him. I teased him in public the other day and i feel horrible that I may have made him uncomfortable.

      I do thrive in social situations but thankfully I'm just as happy in more intimate settings. I'm sure at one point if this continues I'll want him to join me, but I know to wait until he's more comfortable with us and maybe meets my friends casually that will make it easier.

      Would you recommend apologizing for my earlier faux-paux or just let it go and be more conscious in the future?

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    • Thanks for helping me think things through! He appreciated my offer and is following through. Score.

    • Awesome, glad I could offer some insight and good luck!

  • Both me and my partner are introverted so we're lucky because we can actually spend time with each other but still recharge at the same time. We're perfectly comfortable being around each other without actually interacting, though I suppose that that doesn't necessarily work between introverts and extroverts?

    Introverts definitely need solitary or quiet time to recharge though. To me, being social is exhausting. I get really tired and really withdrawn easily, which it sounds like he's doing too. But the important thing to remember is that he told you he needed some time on his own to recharge. He opened up to you and told you the truth about why he needed to be alone, which is a good sign. Generally, when I want to recharge, I make up lies like 'I'm ill' or 'I'm busy that night' if I don't trust someone. The fact that he came out and told you why he couldn't go on the date sounds good, and introverts don't do things unless they're comfortable with them. He wouldn't have set up another date if he didn't want to go on it. So I don't think you need to worry in that respect.

    Introverts generally appreciate honesty and sincerity. If you're at all concerned, then I recommend letting him know. Just make sure that you tell him he's not doing anything wrong by not wanting to come out, you know? If he feels like you're being upset by him and his introversion, he might start losing confidence and might force himself to do what he isn't happy with. Let him know that you understand he needs time alone but that you'd just like to check that he's happy with things the way they are.

    • Thank you!! Do you think there is a middle ground for us? I know he's attracted to people with outgoing personalities because it balances his, but I wouldn't want to make him feel anxiety. I deal with my own form of it and want to be a source of comfort, not stress.

      I also learned small talk can be exhausting. We normally communicate throughout the day but he's pulled back a little and I worry it's bc of that. I tend to like to share the little silly things that happen to me but have refrained in light of learning this in order to respect his need to recharge. But, I want to be able to be myself too and share with him and have him share with me. Is there a way to do that, that wouldn't exhaust him?

      And I'm very happy with quiet, one-on-one time as a means of spending time with him. But you mentioned that as something you and your guy do together. Should I be concerned that he didn't want to recharge quietly with me or is that just something that takes time?

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