Introvert-Extravert Relationships: Can They Work?

As an Introvert – specifically, a Mediator (INFP) – I used to be intimidated by the idea of dating an Extravert. I worried that an Extraverted personality type would drag me to parties full of people I didn’t know when all I wanted to do was curl up at home with a cup of tea and a book.

But even more than that, I worried that an Extravert would judge me. An Extravert, I assumed, would find me too quiet and boring and reserved.

So I dated a whole lot of Introverts. But I wasn’t exactly filtering potential partners by personality type, so occasionally I’d find myself going out with an Extravert – and to my surprise, I kind of liked it. And then (spoiler alert) I married an Extravert.

It probably won’t surprise you, then, that my answer to the question, “Can Introverts date Extraverts?” is a resounding yes.

Relationships between Introverts and Extraverts can come with certain strengths, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re easy. (Although, let’s be honest, no relationship is always easy, no matter which personality types are involved.) Here are some of the potential pros and cons of Introvert-Extravert relationships.

The Best Thing about Introvert-Extravert Relationships

In my opinion, the best thing about a relationship between an Introvert and an Extravert is balance. In this relationship, each person is contributing certain strengths and perspectives that the other person doesn’t have. This keeps things interesting – and in the long run, it can help both partners open up to new ways of doing things.

Here’s how that looks in my relationship. As an Introvert, I don’t necessarily seek out a lot of stimulation. In other words, you’re more likely to find me reading on my porch than going to a concert, and I’d rather have dental surgery than go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need or crave stimulation. Sometimes I just fall into an Introvert rut where I spend way too much time at home, on my own.

When I’m stuck in a rut like that, it’s actually a relief when my Extraverted partner says, “Hey, why don’t we go for a bike ride?” or “How about we go out for dinner in this town we’ve never been to?” or “Would you ever want to try waterskiing?”

Sure, I sometimes push back (especially about waterskiing). But to my surprise, I almost always have a good time when I go along with his ideas – and going out and doing things together has a way of keeping the spark in our relationship. Likewise, my Introversion pretty much guarantees that we also spend quiet time together at home, which helps to keep us close.

The Worst Thing about Introvert-Extravert Relationships

Introvert-Extravert relationships can have their complications. One potential challenge for this couple is to remember that the other person’s needs are valid. Now, this can be a challenge for any couple, even those where both partners have the same personality type. But Introverts and Extraverts have different ways of restoring their energy, and that can pose difficulties when one or both partners are feeling worn down.

In a nutshell, Introverted personalities tend to recharge by spending quiet time on their own, whereas Extraverted personalities tend to recharge by going out into the world. So at the end of a long workweek, an Extravert might want to go to a bar or restaurant and blow off some steam, but an Introvert might want to go home, put on their bunny slippers (no judgment), and decompress. So what’s an Introvert-Extravert couple to do? Do they need to spend all of their Friday nights apart?

To be honest, there’s no easy answer to this question. But one thing that definitely matters for this couple is to remember that the other person isn’t trying to be difficult, self-indulgent, or high maintenance. An Introvert’s need for quiet time is just as valid as an Extravert’s need to go out and do things, and vice versa.

In my relationship, my partner and I have had to learn the art of compromise, and we take turns choosing how we spend our time together. That said, we also do things separately, which allows my Extraverted partner to go out with friends or check out a comedy club while I enjoy some alone time. This allows both of us to recharge, which means that afterward, it feels a lot easier for us to bring our best energy to the relationship.

What Do You Think?

So, readers, what do you think? If you’re an Introvert, have you ever dated an Extravert, and how did it go? If you’re an Extravert, do you find yourself attracted more to Introverts or other Extraverts? Tell us in the comments below.

Further Reading

  • Are you an Introverted personality type thinking about trying a dating app or website? Check out our step-by-step Introvert’s Guide to Online Dating.
  • Sometimes going out on dates can be stressful, especially for people with the Turbulent personality trait. Never fear – we’ve got tips to help you feel more confident and actually enjoy dating.
  • Are you curious about how other personality types approach romance? Our basic overview, 16 Personality Types in Romance, is a good place to start.

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