Introvert Relationships: Love Me or Leave Me But Please Don’t Need Me (Too Much)

One of the gifts of introversion is that we have to be discriminating about our relationships.  We know we only have so much energy for reaching out; if we’re going to invest, we want it to be good.

~ Laurie Helgoe, Introvert Power

Often this gift of discriminating taste feels more like a burden than a gift.  I am acutely aware of my limited energy.  Quite honestly most of my energy goes to raising my children.  What energy I have left I use to nurture friendships, connect with extended family and date.

The truth is we (introverts) have to be selective about all of our relationships.  Unlike extroverts we recharge from within. Socializing with lots of people (although enjoyable) can drain us.  Extroverts get energy from social interactions and external stimulation.

Over the last few years I have learned to pause and gauge how I feel with different people.  Do I feel excited, energized, light?  Or do I feel anxious, depleted, heavy? The more uplifting a person’s company the more time I can spend with them and the more of myself I can give.

How to Attract and Hold an Introvert’s Heart

What makes a partner’s personality uplifting and generative? Intimacy. Introverts are not into small talk.  We want to share emotions, feelings and ideas.  Not just any emotions or feelings or ideas – meaningful ones.

Physical intimacy can be energizing as well – provided it is passionate and not obligatory. Sensuality starts with the external but blooms within. Anything that  heightens or encourages a positive internal experience is appealing to an introvert.

Humor in a relationship goes a long way too.  It’s both a physical and emotional boon.

The key to a relationship with an introvert?  It must feel effortless. So full of desire and attraction that the work naturally required in any relationship is done without thinking. Relationships with obligations and agendas forefront must be forged.  Relationships with desire and passion up front must be expressed. Forging a relationship takes up much precious energy.  Introverts generate energy from within by reflecting on ideas, thoughts, impressions and feelings. If we find someone desirable who can share what swirls within their interior then synergy occurs.  We expand and are left energized rather than depleted.

Carl Jung said we choose partners to expand who we are.

Speaking for Myself…

Neediness is my dating kryptonite.  If I sense that someone needs their hand held constantly or is a possessive type, I run like the wind. That kind of relationship requires a lot of external attention, which no matter how exciting at first, ends up being a drain.

Constant drama and complaining will also leave me as lifeless as a forgotten doll.  Deep empathy is another trait of introverts.  If you have problems/pain in your life, I will feel for you intensely.  I will want to help/show you light, which is all fine and good until I find myself in the dark with nothing left to give.

One of life’s greatest pleasures is the anticipation of pleasure.

~ unknown

I love love. Who doesn’t? I dream easily of  romantic scenarios. Conversations and canoodling for hours. Nights of lights in the city, simple bedrooms in country farmhouses. I’m most definitely a hopeful romantic.

I both get lost and feel at home in love songs.

The Space Between

I read somewhere that it’s the space between times with a special person that encourages an introvert to fall in love.  Their internal replays and daydreams are so pleasure rich that the relationship is enhanced.

I’ve had internal imagination backfire on me as well.  Before a first date I naturally imagine a perfect vision of the man himself and the date.  When a date does not live up to my imagination? Disheartening disappointment.

Many of us (introverts) want and have  great relationships, but we generally prefer no relationship to a bad one.

~ Laurie Helgoe, Introvert Power

It’s not always easy to find a partner who understands an introvert’s need for downtime.  Most recently, a gentlemen who I had been talking to over the phone and corresponding with online told me that we would probably make better friends than partners.  He said my independence may not work for him.  He wants someone to witness experiences with him.  I’m not exactly sure what he meant, but in truth I think I am one of the best people to witness experiences with. I pay attention and revel in awe over the simplest things. I believe he meant he needed MORE shared experiences.  Quantity AND quality.  I admired him for speaking honestly and after that our conversation relaxed. I had been holding my breath wondering if I could keep up with the amount of attention he extended and expected.

That’s something I worry about – keeping up with the other person’s affection.  What if they text, call or write me ten times a day?  Do I have to reciprocate the same amount?  Will that become old and exhausting?  Another reason to be discriminating when dating.

Solitude an Option?

If we are going to put ourselves out there it has to be magnificent.  Better than solitude.  Solitude is always an option for introverts.  We use time to ourselves to renew.  Of course, during solitude it is completely possible that romantic daydreams surface sending us out again to find something very very good.

What kind of lover feeds you rather than drains you? Have you been fortunate enough to experience energizing love? Are you in an expansive relationship now?

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171 thoughts on “Introvert Relationships: Love Me or Leave Me But Please Don’t Need Me (Too Much)

  1. Ok so this makes so much sense. I have been quite scared when affection of others turns me off or make me want to run away from them. Not just in relationships but generally I feel repulsed if someone shows too much appreciation or affection to me or if someone wants too much of my attention. So does this mean I start feeling this way because when it goes overboard it depletes my energy and I don’t have anything left to give? If someone wants too much contact I stop replying in the end because it feels like i have nothing more to say but also I feel really worried and scared that I am unable to accept affection and unable to connect deeply.
    Is there a way to balance this? Like for instance if a friend wants to keep complaining about their situation and you have given all the help you could give, how do you keep the friend and still not feel drained in their presence. I seem to lose such people from my life. Same goes for guyz who try to hold on to me too much or want to get too close.

    • There could be several things going on here. You could have a hard time with affection and attention because it generally comes with some sort of energy commitment from you, which could be draining if you are an introvert. Honestly, some people are just energy vampires. They talk on and on about minutiae and it wears our battery down (even extrovert’s batteries).

      I also have a friend who has a hard time with positive attention because he doubts its genuineness. He doesn’t believe it or he feels the other person is being ‘fake’, which he can’t stand.

      Lastly, it takes a lot of trust to connect deeply and vulnerably with others. Are you able to trust anyone? Do you have close personal relationships that foster the freedom to let down your guard? If you don’t then you may not know how to connect deeply. It only takes one person to open the gates to emotional intimacy. It took me a long (30+ years) to make genuine friends and meet men that allowed me to be 100% myself. You may be scared of rejection. You may be scared of engulfment. I’d say the first step is to figure out who you are and then find people who allow you to be you. There is a deeply satisfying feeling when you find yourself in such relationships.
      Thank you for sharing so candidly. Your awareness will help guide you to nurturing relationships. I urge you to be open to them.

  2. Pingback: Establishing Boundaries to Create Profound Intimacy: Drawing the Line in Introverted Relationships | space2live

  3. You’re writing is so sensual it’s like sipping peppermint tea, or eating a meal in France. I’m so envious :)
    Any tips or posts on becoming a better writer? You seem so in tune with your emotions when you’re write I have a hard time expressing it as accurately as you do. Your writing have helped me realize my own feelings.

    • Let your spirit out to play!:) I have a feeling you have a lot to say and would have a lot of colorful stories if you let yourself write freely. Be vulnerable. Be honest. There’s a plus/minus with being extremely in tune with your emotions but when it comes to writing, it helps.

      My absolute favorite book on writing is Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write. She changed my ideas about creativity and writing. I also recommend doing some intuitive writing. Look up writing prompts online and then allow yourself to respond to the prompts for a set amount of time without stopping your pen or typing. No judging or editing as you compose, just let it all fly.;) If you could do this with trusted friends or family and then share what you want, all the better. Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamott also have amazing advice about writing. Explore and enjoy!

  4. Oh boy…First thank you, you are a very sexy intelligent introvert super self aware and giving invaluable insight to others of us who always knew but not exactly what.

    I am a 41yo male introvert who craves a loving and deep relationship always have but also confused by the need for solitude. Of course it’s always taken the “wrong” way or probably more so my own lack of understanding to be able to articulate. I always knew I was different in this way or knew I was introverted but didn’t really know what it actually meant or how to even “explain” myself to anyone. It’s tough living in a world of E’s and I think it’s equally challenging for us to understand why would anybody want to be around people or someone all the time. Much gratitude for your blog and other articles I’ve recently found on my journey to self discovery.

    Unfortunately it is a downward spiraling relationship with an extrovert that forced me to really try and figure out what the hell is going on with the dynamics here LOL. Needy people are very repelling to me I feel all squished up and it’s kind of disgusting like negative energy. So as synchronicity would have it I’m in a 2 yr relationship with an extrovert with abandonment issues go figure. My job has me traveling always to the same place and I’m.. on 7 days off 7 days, so in a lot of ways it’s perfect because I have my time away and it’s a given and not time that needs negotiations. When I’m in town I always spend most days or evening with my SO but I always need at least 1 day to myself to feel “right”. I do not have children and never wanted any of my own and I’m really understanding now why that is……kids are great in short bursts know what I mean. So my GF has an 8yo who is sweet hearted but the boy is high energy and doesn’t listen which drives me bats*it (normal kid behavior I know). Anyway we do not cohabitate as of yet but she’s really pushing the “I want, need, have to have the family unit sharing space ect.” thing and it scares the crap out of me that any free space I have at home will go away and I will have no escape if and when I need it. The more she pushes and wants to talk about the future the more anxious and feeling like I need to run I become. Ideally for me I want to have my own space i.e. separate living space and a loving committed relationship, however that is not something her soul could conform to. She is a therapist to top it off but doesn’t understand introverts and I’ve been accused of being a loner, hurtful, avoidant about certain conversations and “I never say anything” or bring anything up which is not entirely true. We’ve had very deep meaningful conversations…..It’s just not something I’m capable of all the time. I seem to always get points across and listen to hers after we’ve had a blow out, things seem fine for a bit and then we enter this cycle again. Now we’ve just broken up AGAIN ugh and I can’t keep doing this. She’s getting better but is more of a negative nancy personality and I feel like I always have to take care of her emotional needs. I’m fine with that to a degree but it becomes too much at times…………I’m scared I will feel too suffocated if I were to move in with her and implode. She’s not forcing an immediate future scenario but it feels like tremendous pressure to make a promise to me is like marriage. FYI I do really love this woman despite our disfunction…….I could go on but I won’t and I know no one has my answer I’m just feeling the love here and wanted to share ; )

    • I think you just described a situation many of us are familiar with. I absolutely understand your fear of suffocation if you choose to live with your SO and her son. Your personal space will shrink. That is one of the things I love about dating — I can enjoy someone’s company and then go home to my own bed, desk, writing, reading, etc. But I am like you in that I deeply appreciate a loving relationship as well. Introverts and extroverts can and often do, make wonderful pairs. What I have found to be essential in these relationships is a mutual respect. There must be an appreciation (not just a tolerance) for each other’s temperaments. Neither is better or worse, just different. It’s OK and even healthy to have boundaries. If you need a day to yourself in order to be the best man you can be, then you should feel safe to say and request that. On the flip side, she should be able to request your presence. It’s OK to set up a schedule.

      I think your instincts are right in that living together would be a challenge but your work schedule might help with that. You can love someone and not want to be with them every day. I can tell that you care for this woman but are having an inner struggle with how much you can handle. Please don’t feel guilty about your needs. They’re real and are just as valid as an extrovert’s need to interact.

      I always recommend having a sense of humor about relationships and the struggles we face with our partners who want more of us. Don’t take everything too seriously. This is love. It’s not logical and linear. It’s an experience and an education along with a whole lot of amazing.

      Thanks for writing in and sharing your story. Keep us posted. I’m always up for hearing about ways couples with an introvert component figure out how to live compatibly. What makes it all sing for you? What challenges do you overcome and how?

      • I think we can be extremely emotionally available but just not all the time. In fact, some introverts would much rather be emotionally available than socially or physically available. Meaningful conversations energize me but attending a lot of social events or doing and doing activities wears me out. We need boundaries so we are not depleted. When we are depleted we aren’t the best partner. I highly recommend sharing some of your new found awareness regarding introversion with your GF. Many people have shared space2live’s posts with their partners.That way she won’t take your solo requests as personally.

  5. hey, thank you so much for your posts! i am an INFJ, after discovering my label, my life changed a lot. i had always thought i was weird will all this “re-charge” moments, in fact other people too think it was weird and i honestly can’t explain to them about that feeling. after reading more about personality types and finally ended up here (glad i did), i am really excited. Moreover, after reading comments here and how you wholeheartedly responds to them.
    i wanted to ask several questions regarding my relationship. i am not sure whether i am doing this right…but…

    i’ve known this guy since (i cant even remember).. we knew each other by names since young but just recently get “emotionally” intimate. its been 2 years now that we’ve started texting and stuffs. and about 6 months that we are more “physically” intimate. he is an ESTP, hard to believe but we go together pretty well. he understands about my “alone/recharge” time. although sometimes he fail to grasp that signal. but when i told him i need some time, he will give me. not only understanding my alone time, he even understands about me and my social-anxiety. when we were out, he often will take the lead to talk to people (if we happen to see anyone we know or anyone else such as cashier man/ waitress). he too understand that i cant be in crowds and that he doesn’t mind spending our time together at home or any other less crowded place.

    but all this things somehow worries me. he payed so much attention about my needs that i am scared he is doing too much for me. i am not sure why am i feeling this way when i am probably one of the luckiest girl having such an understanding guy. but, i kept thinking that i might fail to satisfy his need. as an extrovert, i know he is “charged” buy external factors, but it doesn’t seem like he get enough of those when i am around. not only that but, it seems like i dont (because i cant… i am busy with my studies, my family, and not to mention, my alone time) give him all the attention he needs. he maybe understanding and all, but he is also demanding at times. the attention he might need is sometime outrageous, he would ask me to meet him days consecutively with more than 4 hours/meeting or excessive texts. but then when i told him i have to go or i cant, he will understand and give me my time. he even apologizes for taking too much of my time, although he was always picking my holiday as “our day”. when he is busy, he wouldn’t even mind putting all things away or even do them earlier for us.

    our relationship status is awkward. i will never say we are currently in a “boyfriend- girlfriend” relationship. this will get interesting because, believe it or not, i am the one who would always pull back whenever our conversations start to talk about feelings. i do, i extremely do love emotion-related conversation, but somehow not when exposing mine. i trust him entirely but i dont know why am i feeling this way. i tried to browse about this problem and fail to get any. all INFJ-related readings i’ve read never mention anything about this.

    he kept complaining on how i never sent him “sweet” texts. or the fact that i never start texting before he started it. or the fact that i refuse to pick up his calls (i reject his calls and reply via text; he first dont get it but he still tries to understand me and now, call me less often). or even me refusing a hold hand in public. or even a cheek-kiss or small hugs. i do want to express my feelings towards him more. but all this thing felt awkward. i dont feel comfortable doing all this (especially in public). i am wondering if this is a selfish thought but i was thinking that the fact i agreed meeting him and be his company is how i express my love. i dont go out, but i am willing to, for him. or me trying to give him his “guy” time alone like hanging out with his friends or playing his games. i too give him his time alone when he need to watch or when he have stuffs to do.

    but am i too selfish? am i being too inconsiderate? i am not sure what to do to show him more of my affection (aside from sweet talks which, i am obviously skipping). i sometime feel like, he is too good for me that i dont deserve all his kindness. its like being in this unbalance relationship where he gives more and i get more. should i just start putting my personal thoughts away (out of my comfort zone) and actually do all these things which will satisfy him?

    and oh… additional info which you might relate my problems to is, i somehow have this scared feeling of loving him too much because i am soon going to move abroad to continue my study.

    (sorry for this…. long post, i am extremely sorry. tried to shortened it but… uh… i cant)

    best of luck for you! :D
    and once again thank you for your posts! they maybe just a post but they helped me (a lot), and i believe they helped many other people out there too!

    • First of all, I think you are very self-aware and it’s obvious you care about this man. Many introverts are very private. I know several INFJs. They can have a tough outer shell but a warm, caring interior. It might not feel natural to you to initiate texting and offer up ‘sweet’ words. I know I only feel comfortable sending lovey-dovey messages if I trust my partner completely. I don’t feel a need to send texts often. I do like to stay connected but sometimes texts seem like interruptions. I don’t want to bother anyone and sometimes I just want to do my work or enjoy my leisure time without having to correspond with anyone. I understand how you feel like going out with and spending time with him is your way of giving to the relationship. It is your time and you are choosing to spend it with him. Sweet texts and public displays of affection are extras. You may not have the energy for those. Introverts use up energy while interacting.

      It sounds like you have had some open and honest conversations with your guy. He understands your need for alone time. That’s awesome! If you can help him see you are not rejecting him by sending infrequent lovey texts or refusing PDA then you are doing well.:) It’s good that you are setting up boundaries now. Be mindful of your needs but also respectful of his feelings. Keep the communication open and honest.

      The truth is if he needs more affection and attention then he will look elsewhere. It seems like he is truly interested in you. Relax and enjoy what you have. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be the best companion you can.

      It is possible you are afraid of getting too close before you leave to study abroad. That is natural. It is also possible you are looking forward to time away from him, starting a new adventure. Only you know how much you care about this man.

      I know of another blog – Introvert, Dear – that caters to INFJs. You might want to check it out if you haven’t already.

      Best of luck! It seems you are handling things thoughtfully. Keep up the awareness and kindness.:)

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  7. I am so happy I saw this. For a long time I thought I was a weirdo, but you nailed me. I can’t stand needy partners. I feel like I can’t breath! I usually find myself locking ky food at home and closing all windows and doors and just spend a quiet day watching tv. It helps me recollect my thoughts. Without it I just blow a fuse and end up looking like a lunatic.after I re energies am such a pleasant person. But when someone gets too close I usually push them away or run! I wonder if I can ever survive being married. But thank you. Atleast I know am not alone. Was worried.

    • Don’t worry! You are definitely not alone in your need to be alone.;) Downtime is energizing. Respect and honor that about yourself. Find others who can understand your needs. They’re out there.

  8. Hi Brenda,
    Your blog has been very helpful to me in the past day or so, however I fear it may be a little too late. A relationship that I had been having with someone who I believe is an Introvert ended last week and I have been trying to piece it together. The man was a 30 something year old, PhD student (in social theory) who I felt was a very kind and loving partner, however he also came across often as incredibly self absorbed and busy in his work (understandably I am mostly an extrovert, and have a wide social network and enjoy others company, especially in times of need, I do, however also enjoy time alone to reflect on things.

    My I partner and I had never had a big argument, and any issues we seemed to resolve with respect and maturity. I did often feel I wasnt getting enough from him (sometimes 4 days would go by without even a good night text) and over the past week or so I had been talking to friends about my dissatisfaction in his inability to communicate on a regular basis.

    I had sent him a few messages indicating that I would appreciate it if he responded to me within 24 hours, but nothing offensive or rude, just a reminder of my needs. I felt we had a very strong emotional and physical connection; however often there would be silences out in public that I found difficult to deal with. Last week I asked him if he wanted to be in the relationship, and he said he wasn’t sure if he could write his best thesis if I was around. We met for lunch during the week and I tried to express that I was here for him but needed him to be here for me also. I feel now that me wanting more may have caused the anxiety and driven him to need his space. I did always try to be very patient and I believe I was understanding of his need for alone time, but more because of his PhD rather than it being about his introverted personality type.

    When we met for lunch and I asked if things were ok, he paused and said he wasn’t sure. We left it on him explaining he needed time to think. I was not emotional, nor needy as I have been in part relationships when things are falling apart, and I believe we left on calm and respectful terms. Now I am however wondering if we could make things work, having a better understanding of these personality difference. If he reaches out, I feel I would like to discuss our different I and E types, or would that feel like a head-ache and too much to an I?

    (Apologies for the essay)

    • I am so sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I somehow missed your comment and went on to others. My personal opinion is that you should definitely talk to him about appreciating and valuing your E and I preferences. I would wait for an opportune time. Perhaps when he reaches out to you after significant time to himself. E and I relationships can work very well they just take understanding and a true valuing of each other’s temperaments. Communication is key. He should honor your needs as well as his. It sounds like you were more than patient regarding his PhD work. Listen to what he says very carefully. He is trying to fill you in without hurting your feelings or creating too much conflict. Conflict is draining for everyone by especially for introverts. My suggestion for you is to expend yourself and work on what makes you content. He will appreciate your independent ways and will look forward to meaningful engagement when you are together.
      I always tell my extroverted readers not to take an introvert’s need for space personally. Sometimes they do want to be done with the relationship but most of the time they just need to connect with themselves in solitude. Best of luck!

      • Hi Brenda, For the past few days I have been researching the internet about introverts and I came across your blog and it has helped me so much. I have always been a very social and loud person. I always came to think of myself as always getting what I want. In December I met this guy. He made me laugh so much and I just felt drawn to him. I messaged him on facebook, and then we started texting. We text just about every single day all day up untill 2 weeks ago. We talked about everything. He told me so many things that had happened in his life and he said he had never told anyone before. He did tell me he was an introvert but I didnt really think anything of it and never took the time to research. He would explain that he needed to recharge. He would recharge for a day or two and then text me he was back lol. Again I just thought it was his way of sleeping or something. He told me no one ever stuck around to see how great of a person he was except me. I told him he was amazing so many times. He did scold me a few times when I overly text him. He called me about a handful of times because he said I earned it. lol 2 weeks ago he finally came to my house after me asking him numerous times. We talked, did whatever, but then I was asking him not to leave when he wanted to, thats a buig no no that I wish I knew before. I wanted him to spend the night. He wouldnt and I kept asking and asking. Then he left and I called him about 5 times asking him to come back. Well there was drinks in both of us of course. But two days after he told me that he never wants to talk to me again. I feel like I ruined our friendship. Ive been so upset and beating myself up about it. Now that i have studied introverts, I see I put him through hell. I recently sent him a message explaining that i understand now and asking to give me another chance when hes ready. Im just not sure if he will ever talk to me again. He just ignores me now. I told him that I was so wrong and that i except him and I want to learn more. He so amazing and I just feel so bad I put him through all that. Do you think he will get past this and reach out to me or should I give up?

      • I wouldn’t say that you put him through hell with your repeated asking for him to stay with you. I think you just made him think that he would never have enough space to himself with you. It probably felt like you were going to want to spend more and more time with him until he had no alone time at all. You spooked him. Made him feel claustrophobic or like he can’t breathe.
        Constant texting can be exciting but it also can feel like interruptions. Interruptions are part of life but too many and they become highly irritating to the introvert. It’s so hard for us to get back into our deep processing after the interruption.
        From what you said, I would guess that he really enjoyed your meaningful conversations. You talked about meaty and valuable subjects that deeply engaged his mind and possibly his heart. That is what attracted him to you. For introverts it’s wonderful to have deep connections and then have time to think about them on our own. Sometimes we fall in love with someone in between contact with them.;) I would say your best bet would be to give him space for now. If he comes back into your life, I encourage intimacy of all kinds but then space to reflect and recharge for him. It’ a cycle. If that doesn’t work for your temperament (because you both should be honored) then perhaps he is not the right man for you anyway. Best of luck! Thank you for sharing your story. Keep us posted if you like.:)

  9. Hi there! Just stumbled upon this post while reading up online of ways to improve my current relationship. I’m a very severe extrovert seeing a fairly severe introvert who also happens to be in his final year of studying computer engineering. We’re both in our early twenties; this is my first serious relationship and perhaps his second or third. We were on and off for several months, but nearly five months ago, we entered into a real exclusive relationship. Since then, it has certainly had its ups and downs with me feeling like “you don’t care about me” and he feeling like “you pay too much attention to me.” The thing is we undeniably care very deeply for one another and have talked about a future together and how fulfilling we find one another. As of late though, his resistance to labels is really putting me in a bad place. Neither of us is seeing anyone else; we go on semi-frequent dates, and we kiss whenever we part. Rarely a day goes by that we do not talk at all. For all intents and purposes, he is my boyfriend. And yet he refuses to call himself my boyfriend because “the dynamic isn’t right” and “the relationship is unbalanced” meaning I put far too much of myself into the operation of the relationship and pay far too much attention to him. Accordingly he does not want to enter a relationship as my “boyfriend” with such a significant unbalance. As an extrovert, though, sweet texts and professions of care etc are things I love. But they seem burdensome for him. He is committed to making it work with me; his advice was “if you give me more space and pay less attention to me, you will get the affection and expressiveness you want.” He claims with every nice thing I say, he withdraws further and further into himself. And, again, on top of all of this he resists the “boyfriend” label. I feel as though I show great understanding with him, and I just want to make sure I’m not wasting my time on him. I feel as though I could love him, but I want to make sure I’m doing it “right.” It is very clear he cares deeply for me, and I believe he is invested in the relationship. I guess I’m just looking for another introvert’s perspective on my story!

    • Hmmm. Do you feel like the relationship is growing or plateauing? If it’s not growing, i.e. you spend a little more time together, you advance physical intimacy, you make future plans (I know you did mention this) than where is it going or are you happy with staying at this level of companionship?
      It does sound like you are as patient as possible with him. Does he have a lot of passions or outside interests? Do you? My advice to you would be to develop your self. Introverts love independent and self-aware partners. We do like to connect meaningfully but not all the time. If he is into his work (studying computer engineering) or other interests, he wants to spend focused time on them. Not to say that he should not spend time with you. Both of your temperaments should be honored. I am saying you will be more attractive to him if you don’t need his attention so badly. I’m not sure why he’s so against being your ‘boyfriend’. It is just a label. Does he want to appear single to other women? Is he afraid of being serious with someone? How/why did his other relationships end? Have you asked him point blank how much attention he would like? If he cares about you he will want to make sure you feel secure. You may have to tone down your expectations. One or two texts a day shouldn’t be too much. Seeing each other occasionally (at least once a week) should be manageable. We are all different, even when talking solely about introverts. I am a very expressive introvert, to the point where most people would think I’m an extrovert. Your guy sounds more reserved. Let him live in his cave/world/zone for a while. Do your thing. See if he emerges craving you. Most of us would if we were truly interested. Best of luck! Thank you for sharing your story.

  10. Pingback: Introvert Dating in Her 40s: It’s Good. It’s Bad. It’s Different This Time Around. | space2live

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  12. I’m an ambivert. I met a great (introverted) guy at work that flirted with me all the time. Then, he left for a year but eventually returned and I kicked things off asking why he never phoned me after he left. For 8 or 9 months he still would never ask me out, but almost daily he would make an excuse to see me by inviting me to meet him at the coffeepot. I pressed him about taking me out and he said he was not ready to make a move to date me. We had a rough few months that eventually ended by me finally being so fed up with his inability to connect to me, I said some very hurtful things to him and we didn’t talk for 2 months, he avoided me by going to another break room at work. During those 2 months, I had began to reconnect with a relationship with someone I had been seeing in the past, but that would be a distance relationship if it worked, and even if he was here, he’s not my first choice. Which brings me to where I am now… About 2 months ago, I received a text from the introvert that he left my employer for good and he wanted to see me. Yay! I didn’t even have to think, I wanted to see him too. So, I did, right then! Since that time, he has only seen me two other times. Each time was me asking him to see me. I get rejected (via text) far more times than I can count, it’s hurtful. I don’t need a whole lot, I’ve explained all I want is to get to see him for a couple hours at the least each weekend. He can’t ever make plans ahead of time (with me). He tells me how beautiful he finds me and that I am great person with a lot to offer (someone), but, I am a wildcard (because of when I got angry with him). Is it possible for him to ever have a sense of attachment to me? I am afraid to cut the strings entirely on my distance relationship for fear that he will buy a plane ticket, then my introvert will start to step up to bat. I don’t want to hurt my distance friend, but don’t want to be left empty handed. He also is a good guy. Good single men are not easy to come by in my 40’s. I’m afraid to lose it all.

    • My outsider view tells me neither of these men is the one you’ve been waiting for. I am also in my 40s so I understand the difficulties in finding a good man.:)
      I think you deserve more attention from your introverted man than he is willing to give. I think you’ve given him ample time to step up. We introverts like our space but if there is a meaningful connection we will accommodate the object of our desire. I’m not saying we will devote our ever waking moment to someone but consistently getting together is not too much to ask. He should want to honor your temperament as well.
      It doesn’t sound like you are as into your long distance relationship. He is just filling a void.
      My suggestion? Do your own thing and shine. You will be all the more attractive to quality men. If you can date these other gentleman casually while you create your own happiness go for it! Best of luck! Thank you for sharing your story.:)

  13. Pingback: How to Reconnect: Maintaining Sexual Interest, Engagement and Identity in Your Relationship | space2live

  14. “Socializing with lots of people (although enjoyable) can drain us.”

    I don’t agree with the part “although enjoyable”. I often don’t enjoy socialization, it depends how I feel that day. Usually I prefer to be alone.

  15. Pingback: The Daydreamy Introvert’s Approach to Love | space2live

  16. Hi, i’m an extrovert and i was in a relationship with an extrovert… Initially the relationship was so great, we got to spent so much time with each other but as time goes on, i could not keep with the pace in which she desired attention and all my effort in keeping up with her emotional demands drains me off the energy i should be using on other important things that pertains to me.., i later reduced the amount of attention i was giving to her and started focusing on something else…, in a nutshell she broke up with me
    Now i’m dating an introvert but i can’t just connect with her, she seems so cold and distant.., she rarely call or text me.., though she profess that she loves me but i can’t just see it!

    • Hmmm. You need a happy medium, like an ambivert.:) Or… you could try communicating openly about connecting with your introverted girlfriend. It’s possible that she will need more time to herself than is comfortable for you but she may also start to feel closer and more relaxed around you allowing for ‘parallel play’ (being in the same room but doing different things) to occur.

      Bliss requires awareness, appreciation and respect for differences. A healthy sense of humor is always good too.:)

      Best of luck! Thank you for commenting.

  17. Pingback: Sensuality, Sex, Solitude and Sensitivity: An Introvert’s Recipe for Love and Pleasure | space2live

  18. Too bad I don’t have a time machine. I recently broke up with my introvert. I regret my choice to break up so much because I have never loved anybody as much as I loved her, and breaking up has given me no relief, whatsoever. I’m 27, she’s 22. I am, according to a Myers-Briggs, and extroverted introvert. This relationship has convinced me that I am likely codependent. I get the impression that codependency +introversion can easily bring forth bad chemistry. I broke up with my girlfriend because she wasn’t spending much time with me. She would spend many weekends in isolation, at home with “Mommy,” neither calling nor texting me. I am head-over-heels for her and have been for a long time. So, any weekends that she’d spend in isolation, I would spend suffering, wondering how she feels, if something wrong, etc. I just didn’t know anything about introversion, apart from glib generalities that should be expected from the common public. I didn’t know that introversion could so deeply define who a person is. She often posted comics on her friend’s facebook wall, depicting introverts. I didn’t that them seriously enough. I wanted to. Rather than pursuing the topic on the internet or in a book store, I asked her about her habit of isolating. I asked her too often. She, as opposed to much of what I’ve read here, liked small talk, rather than deep discussions. The deep emotional stuff terrifies her. She would freeze anytime I tried to engage her in a discussion about her isolation, her feelings, etc. I assumed it had to do with depression because she is also bipolar II. While bipolar is still a variable, she is introverted enough that she claims it defines her as a person. I can accept that. But I am accepting it too late. I broke up with her over 3 weeks ago. I just bought a book called Quiet, by Susan Cain, and began navigating the web for more info. I believe I am quite understanding of the women I date but, I am still so naive. I used a one size-fits all approach to my introvert. I figured that pushing emotionally-charged discussions at her, to get to know her, would open her up and, even, perceive me as a guy who truly cares. Instead, I “pushed her into a corner,” to use her own words. She reacted by retreating more and more from me, spending less and less time with me. In the end, she accused me of asking her to spend every last minute with her when, in reality, she was spending a meager 5hrs per week with me and thinking nothing of it (or so it seemed). Reading many of the articles and comments in this site have added insight to hindsight. Now, I realize I was not 1/4 as understanding as I thought I was. I wanted to be but, I just didn’t have any knowledge of introversion. 2 weeks after the breakup, her step mother died. Any comment I made to her annoyed her and, now, I don’t know if reuniting is possible. I have never been one to seek a reunion but, this time, I realize my failure. I want to understand, accept and learn to live with her, despite my codependency.

    • Did you say you are an extroverted introvert? Susan Cain’s Quiet is the perfect book to read to get a realistic understanding of introverts. It sounds like you weren’t satisfied with the amount of time your (ex)girlfriend spent with you. I don’t think that will change. It may have even been difficult for her to ask for time alone. Only you know if you can handle a partner who will consistently need time in solitude.

      Kudos to you for researching introversion. What you learned could be valuable with your ex-girlfriend or with any other relationships you take part in. Don’t forget your temperament and relationship desires should be honored too. It takes appreciation and respect for all differences for a relationship to work. A sense of humor goes a long way too.

      Interesting that she didn’t like deep conversations. Perhaps she has wounds she’s protecting. Not all introverts want emotionally intimate conversations but in general we like to save our energy for the meaningful talk rather than spilling it all during surface conversations.

      Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best whether you make an attempt to reunite with your girlfriend or move on with your new insights.

  19. I have been lurking and reading your posts for a few months now. As an introvert, I deeply appreciate your honesty, advice and perspectives on living in an extrovert driven society – oh, and those relationships too ;)

    I have been dating an introvert for nearly 2 years. I love how we value mutual respect and patience, giving each other space to be alone. We live an hour apart and normally spend the weekends with each other. I am not someone who craves a lot of emotional intimacy but rather a nice medium, not too much and not too little. I certainly don’t need it everyday, maybe 2-3 times a week of sweet tender words shared between couples. “I love you because….” or “I was thinking about you and how lucky I am to have you in my life….” Nothing major but just enough to fill the love bank. lol

    It bothers me how little and infrequent he shares intimate emotions with me. Even when we are physically intimate, he focuses more on himself. This has been a major issue in our relationship to the point I have debated if we are a good match. I can’t seem to get him to understand women are emotional creatures and an emotional connection is the glue of the relationship. Well, at least for me :) The cycle usually goes I make it an issue, he is more open with me with his feelings for a few weeks and then it just stops. After 2-3 weeks go by without any real emotional connection (I have a wait and see approach), I begin to feel a void, make a fuss and the cycle begins again.

    How can I get my introvert boyfriend to value what is important to me and my core needs?

    • I should mention that he is helping me market my business, taking on the role as Marketing Agent. He has put in a lot of hours reading marketing strategies and making suggestions. He is amazing and does so much for my business.

      I can see he is doing this out of love for me. The irony is, it feels more like a business relationship with perks. I wish he would tell me how he appreciates and loves me too. Even texting me a romantic message would suffice!

    • I’ve been there. It’s frustrating in many ways but I always find it especially disappointing when physical intimacy is still expected but the emotional intimacy is missing. Emotional intimacy for me is the primer for meaningful physical intimacy. The majority of men (based on Myers Briggs research) are more logical thinkers/communicators as opposed to the warm and fuzzy feeling types. He may be perplexed about how to even start an emotionally satisfying conversation. Chances are it’s not his strongest skill so he shies away from it. My guess is he feels confident at showing love with acts of service, i.e. the help with your business. When he does open up be sure to praise and reward him like crazy. Make sure he feels extra safe with you so that vulnerability isn’t a gigantic risk for him. I don’t know how old you are, but I’m finding more hard-nosed/thinker/analytical type men who are post 40 start to get what it means to let down your guard and show sensitivity and love. I think they’ve taken a few blows to the ego and figure out valuable caring and sharing are.
      He may simply be a very practical and logical man who thinks love language is flowery and silly. Make sure he knows that in order for your relationship to work you need emotional connection. If he values your relationship he may be willing to work at it. They love cause and effect reasoning.;) If he can’t come through for you perhaps you are better off with a more warm and open man.
      I wish you much luck. Be mindful of your needs and respect and appreciate his too. I hope you learn and grow together.:)

      • Thank you so very much for sharing your insight and perspective. You hit the nail on the head. You have described him perfectly and yes, he is 40. Double points!

        It drives me batty because he is incredibly thoughtful, smart, encouraging, dedicated, kind and sincere. He has so many great qualities I admire in him. But without the emotional connection, I feel lonely and am discovering I can’t be in a relationship without it. I loved what you said about “emotional intimacy being a primer for meaningful physical intimacy.” How right you are. On one hand, I have this great guy! We both understand our introvert needs for alone time and space. Sometimes I wonder if he is more of a introvert than I am.

        On the other hand, he knows the importance I place on having an emotional connection with him. It was 17 months into our relationship before he said those 3 words to me. That has kind of always bugged me. In fairness, he does text me “I love you” or “I miss you” a few times a week – that is the extent of it. I have mentioned to him a few times that it would be nice to hear how he loves me or what about me he cherishes. There is deliciousness to experience when speaking the language of love.

        But what happens if I feel I have given him tons of positive reinforcement when he has been more open and repeatedly explained how vital it is for my core needs? I am beginning to wonder he chooses to be insensitive and is taking our relationship for granted.

        Should I just back off of our relationship, create new boundaries and not be as available? Please forgive me if I am going outside of the introvert domain and into the more nitty girtty area. I am curious to listen to your suggestions.

        *hugs*

      • Have you read or seen online the book, The 5 Love Languages? I’m guessing one of yours is Words of Affirmation. It’s one of mine too. I’m guessing your boyfriend’s is not. He may be more of a Physical Touch or Acts of Service guy. Some men are just not good at being a warm communicator. It is beyond their realm of competence and confidence. At 40, he may be starting to develop some skills that eluded him before. I think at this point you take on the role of teacher and hope he loves you enough to learn or you back off and see if there is a more emotional and intimate man for you. I’ve been in relationships with men who are not emotionally intimate most of the time but then when things were ending they showed a remarkable amount of sincerity, sensitivity and warmth. It’s usually in there but many men are not self-aware or brave enough to express it. Only you know how evolved your guy is or could be. A big part of love and relationships is how we feel about ourselves when we are with someone. How do you feel with him? I hope my ramblings guide you in some way.:)

  20. Pingback: Building Beautiful Introvert/Extrovert Relationships | space2live

  21. Hi! I just came across this article and it was fantastic. I just realized today that the guy I am seeing is an introvert. It’s weird since I was married to one for ten years, you’d think I’d have seen the signs, but I was oblivious to them until I actually talked to my ex about him this morning while we were doing our kid exchange. (We have a great relationship FWI) And I was just venting on how I don’t understand this guy and I’d been researching men and how they think (I’ve been out of the dating pool for 16 years) and how lost I felt. My ex looked at me and said you’re looking up the wrong stuff. Everything you’ve told me, this guy’s an introvert. You need to be researching that.

    Me and my ex met under different circumstances. We had the same group of friends. We were were friend first, then moved to falling in love and then getting married. So I was just used to him. I never really thought about his introverted ways, it was always just the way he was.

    With this guy, we met online. And we texted for 9 weeks. I’ve apparently become more introverted as I’ve aged. I despise talking on the phone and this guy never wanted to. I loved that. In fact, we still only text. We are seeing each other now. He has a difficult time with women because of “mixed signals” I totally get this now because he confuses the ever-loving crap out of me. I actually understand it more now from the things I have read. I swear, reading about introverted men was like reading his personal description. Unfortunately, I worry if I have already messed things up with him and its too late to fix with things with him.

    I am a big sharer. I’m also blunt. Things were going great until I got a little too direct about him being too quiet and what I was viewing as “closed off” one night while we were together. Before that night, he hadn’t been like this, but this night was different. His reaction was not what I was expecting and he said, he was just hanging out and enjoying my company…and drama was something he wasn’t down with. I see now, he really was just enjoying my company, but at the time all I felt was isolated from him.

    Things were a little tense and awkward for about a week, but I backed off, like way back. And on Friday we had a really good conversation, and he was talking about the next time we get together.

    Long story short, he’s got a big change going on his life right now, which is also affecting thing between us. He will reach out to me every once awhile about it, but then, of course, once he does the initial reach out, he doesn’t want to talk about anymore. I do drop it. On Sunday, I sent him a text saying I was worried about him and hope everything was okay. His response was why are you worried about me I’m fine. Okay. We talked a little after this. The Sunday night something happened that I witnessed in the background and wasn’t apart of, but I saw where he was emotionally at that moment. To reach out to him, I sent him a hug via text told him I hurt for him. He never responded to that text. So later, I sent him message that I cared about him, he was my friend and worried about him. I respected his space, but if needed me I was here. He didn’t have to go through it alone. Well, he read the message…and again no response.

    Now I’m trying not to take things personally, especially with what I read today. He did send me text Monday night that stated, “just saying hey.” and then one Tuesday that stated he was sick, I responded that sucks. hope you feel better. and I got a thanks and smilie face reply back. If I text him, they are just very short, hope you feeling better.

    My first question is the fact that he is still contacting me at all is good sign, right? It might not be in the way I’m wanting, but I shouldn’t feel slighted? He is reaching on in the way he does, correct?

    My second thing is, if we make it past this, what tips can I have to make it easier for me to make it easier on him? I really care for him. I enjoy his company when we get to spend time together. We do live in about an hour apart and we kids, so its not been easier getting that face-to-face time. I don’t want to push him away with coming across to clingy. So we spend our time texting inbetween. Is there anything I can do to bridge the gap we’ve got going on right now or is just screwed up and theirs really nothing that can be done?

    Thank you very much. I really wish I’d come across this article weeks ago. So much would’ve made more sense. It would’ve saved me a lot of over-analyzing and freaking out too.

    • Hi! Thank you for sharing your story. I’ll try to give you some further insight.:) I do think it is a good sign that he is still in contact with you, especially if he is the one initiating occasionally. My gut feeling says that if he is going through something emotionally taxing his energy and mind space are taken up with that. He will not have the energy or desire to be repeatedly responsive. His inner world is so flooded with details and thoughts about the issue that he may feel overwhelmed or exhausted. It would be nice if you were there and able to give quiet affection but since you live apart texts and constant messages may feel like work or a distraction. I would let him come to you.

      For future connecting with him I suggest “parallel play”. An introverted man recently told me he enjoys that. Parallel play is being together in the same room but doing separate things. My friend told me a look or a touch every once in a while is meaningful to him. Sometimes more meaningful than a long conversation. Although he also enjoys intimate conversations about subjects that are significant to him. Chit chatting about daily routines will overload the introvert’s circuits. Sounds like drama turns your guy off too.

      Do you two email? Email to me seems easier to say more but still allows for personal discretion about when to read and respond.

      Best of luck to you. I might also suggest sending a post or two from space2live to him to read and discuss.:)

      • Hi Brenda,
        Thank you so much for the response. I will put these in my back pocket for *fingers crossed* the future. Some of them really won’t work for me at this time though because we are so new. We’re not even in a relationship, if that makes sense. I feel a very strong connection to him and we are still at that having fun stage, the ‘let’s see where it goes.’ We’ve been drawn to each other for some weird reason. Is it for a future relationship? I don’t know. Are we supposed to end up being some really killer friends? I don’t know. I just know I am very selective with who I associate with. (I’ve been single for four years. After one date, I’m usually done. I don’t even look again for months) He’s the only one I’ve felt a pull to. I don’t ignore those pulls. I never have. I’ve got great friends because of it. So I’m not easily deterred by some quirks. :) I have quirks too. Lots of them actually.

        The funny thing is I started this research to learn about him. I actually ended up learning about myself as well. I’d always considered myself an extrovert. That’s not the case. I have a very outgoing personality, but I can also be extremely unapproachable at times. After reading all the information, I realize I am an introvert and went took that MBTI test and came back as an INFJ–that description is 99% me, except the always looking for the ultimate relationship. I don’t casual date. Never have.

        Here’s a question I have. He has been in a lot of failed relationships. Since I had no idea that I was actually an introvert is it at all possible that he doesn’t? He calls himself self-absorbed–to me that sounds more like what he’s been told. I actually don’t see that. Like he texted me tonight. Simple quick text about an hour ago, just let me know about his day. He didn’t have to text me to tell me that, but he knows I’m worried, so he sent an update text, so I wouldn’t. That’s not being self-absorbed. That’s actually being thoughtful.

        How would I broach that subject? The one thing with him is I do have tread carefully on how I bring up things. I’m not the type to sit on stuff, I’m just a ‘let’s get it out, talk it over, hear each other out and move on’ sort of person. He’s not like that. He does not like conflict at all. So I’m still trying to figure out how to softly ease into these things with him so he doesn’t feel attacked, i.e. I’m causing drama. There’s a way. I just got to figure it out.

        We don’t email. The only thing he has for internet is smartphone. So I don’t email. We actually have the exact same phone and even though I have internet and my gmail set-up on my phone, if I get an email, I wait until I get home to respond because I hate typing on that thing. Texting is one thing. Emailing on a tiny keyboard…yeah, no. He is looking into a laptop, so hopefully that is something that will change soon.

        My fingers are crossed for this weekend. If things go great for him (we’re not getting together, this is part of his personal issue he is having) I’m hoping it will pull him out of his funk. He’s “disappeared” on me for like 48 hours and stuff, but this is difference. There’s some depression in this, and rightfully so. I would be struggling. But it does make it harder for me to sit back and do nothing. But that seems to be what he needs right now with where our relationship is. I hope I’m gaining his trust if nothing else.

        Thank you again! You really have no idea how much this information has helped me. I’ve just been calmer. I needed answers.

      • You might consider sending him a post from space2live with the message, “I read this piece today and it made me think of you. What are your thoughts on it?”. It’s a start to the introvert conversation. :)

        It would be good if you could put his actions into some kind of neutral observation so he doesn’t feel like you are judging him for needing alone time. Sharing a post on introversion could give you language to use. Keep giving him space. Let him approach you. But when the time is right gently let him know you have a deeper understanding of his needs now. Best of luck!

  22. I know I’m kinda late on this, but after another argument with my introverted, engineer partner (double whammy!), I can’t help but feel annoyed. Being an introvert is like an excuse for doing things how he wants to- that’s how I see it. And what I’m getting from a number of the comments here to some extent, is that extroverts are needy and are the ones the need to adjust to accommodate introverts- when will an introvert look at what it means to be an extrovert and take some time to deal with us accordingly (I’m a mix of both, but more an extrovert- sure you can tell by now)? If it was up to my partner, he would work all day and not need a moment to talk or just spend time with me. I keep telling him the he needs to think about whether not he really should be in a relationship because he is completely fine by himself. I am not needy, but I sure would like to feel needed. Weird thing is that he says I don’t make him feel needed! If I ask him to let us go out occasionally, it’s a sacrifice to him. How can a relationship thrive without spending time together? And this is not even an every week thing; if we went out 10 times last year, that’s a lot!

    Where’s the balance? Why should I be the one giving space, and staying quiet and not bothering him so that he can recharge, etc.? What about the companionship that I desire to be recharged?

    Middle ground… That’s what I seek? Is that too much to ask from an introvert?

    • No I don’t think expecting your partner to honor your temperament is too much to ask. I think many introverts feel we have morphed into the extroverted cultural norm for long enough and now want the extroverts to bend a little in our direction. That is the sentiment coming through in the comments on this blog (and after all it’s a blog about introversion – going to be slightly slanted;). That said, in the end it’s about the relationship as a whole. Both Es and Is need to be respected and honored. If you are not satisfied that needs to be communicated (which I think you do). If he is not willing to create a relationship with you, something beyond his needs, then it will be empty. I just posted an article from Mark Greene on the space2live FB fan page about relationships beyond individualism. He suggests creating a separate entity within your relationship, called ‘the relationship’. It’s not about his needs or your needs it’s about feeding the relationship. Check it out. It could be helpful.

      It sounds like your partner is making it clear how he prefers the relationship to run. Can you live with that? Is he working on a particular ‘mission’ at work? Will he be able to focus on you more later?

      I agree, without connecting and spending time together there is no relationship. I’ve been in your shoes. Ultimately, I moved on without him because I couldn’t take the disappointment of him not being there for me. He moved on to continue his work/mission.

      Best of luck to you. Introverts can be in committed relationships. We want to be honored and respected and we should honor and respect our partner’s temperament as well.

      • Thanks Brenda, I appreciate your insight. I’m working through things from internally, instead of projecting. Turns out, I just need to spend more time with me :). This is a great article!

    • Ambivert I feel like we need to be friends! I have been with my I about a year and its definitely been a struggle, I am slowly learning not to take things to heart though, of course that doesn’t help the sometimes overwhelming feelings of “can I Do this, am I sure this is what I WANT”. When I read your comment however I could have very well wrote it myself! I understand EXACTLY how you feel, it may be helpful to have a fellow mix of a personality type dating the definition of an introvert to discuss and soundboard off each other!

      • Kyla, I’m glad you understand. And I’m sure, after the turbulence in your mind subsides, there are moments, when things are fine. That’s where I am now, after a week of being absolutely MAD about feeling ignored. Thing is, I thankfully know that I want to be with him, so half my battle is won. I hope you will be able to know that soon. He’s a great man, and even saying that doesn’t seem to do him much justice.

        But guess what? I have found a solution that makes us both happy. Neither of us has to give up anything (:D yay me!). Here’s the secret- fill up your time with things YOU want to do. Trust me, he doesn’t mind one bit. I think socialisation has led women to believe that they need to ‘be there’ for their men. Between your mum’s or grandma’s theories, Celine and Barbra Streisand singing “Tell him”, and a whole lot of other corny references, we feel that a relationship somehow calls for us giving up a part of ourselves. That’s how I felt; I realised after some introspection. I’m flipping that script. I’ve been going out with friends, immersing myself in my work, exploring who I am… And I haven’t been happier. He’s fine too. I say less, which is really much easier than a 2 hour conversation about my feelings, and he’s actually opening up! Or maybe because I’m talking less, it seems he is talking more lol. Silence doesn’t make me uncomfortable anymore. I don’t think he’s mad at me or wonder if I did something wrong.

        Instead of trying to get him to understand me and be who I want him to be, I invest time in being me. We get along better that way. :).

        Hope this helps, and that you’ll be on your way to happiness with your love!

  23. Hello!
    I would like some advice. Lately significant other has been very busy with work (recently changed jobs, a large portion of day is spent on commute, can no longer text during day for the most part) and I’m feeling a loss of intimacy. We’re both highly introverted. We did just spend the weekend together, talking, etc. We did talk about the future together and it’s always “we.” I asked him today (it’s Sunday evening) if he minded I sat with him and he said that he needed some time for him which is what often happens during the week. I can’t blame him since commute is so nasty, but I can’t help feeling a little rejected. I know he loves me still and that as an introvert, he wouldn’t spend time on our relationship if he didn’t feel it was worth it (read from other blogs). He also said that I’ve lasted longer than any other girl (nearly 8 years), so we are fine.
    I also suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. VERY anxious. He does communicate some via instant message (we have our offices separate).
    So, I’m wondering: am I over reacting? Can you offer some advice?
    Thanks!

    • Let the dust settle on his new job change. Does he drive for his commute or is it a train/bus setup? If he drives perhaps he could call you from the car? Although I know drive time can be a great for thinking things over and processing. Books on CD or podcasts are also a good escape during a commute.
      I think you are right. Things are secure with your relationship. His head is just full of new job issues. He may need space from you, particularly if you are feeling very anxious. He may pick up on your anxiety and absorb it, thus draining him a little too. As a mature partner, he’ll want to communicate openly with you no matter what, so I’m not saying go away when you are struggling. Be there for each other but be cognizant of the energy you are putting off. He may also be worried he is stressing you out with his stress. Keep honoring each other. You guys got this.;)

      • Thanks for replying! I do feel a little better and you may very well be right: he’s picking up on my anxiety and it’s hard for him. I know people who suffer from anxiety and it’s hard to be around them sometimes. Perhaps I need to work on my own anxiety a bit and that’ll help him. And I do recall that when I started my new job, I neglected him a bit (accidental) and tended to close down a bit to recoup. Maybe he (as you say) is doing the same with his new job. Perhaps it’s time for me to see a professional about the anxiety. It runs in the family and from what I’ve seen will only get worse.
        He sometimes calls me from the car and that’s always nice.
        Thanks for your help! This is truly a wonderful blog and it’s nice to see people posting such things: brings awareness that introverts aren’t stuck up, nerds, etc. We just recharge when by ourselves.
        Thanks again! :)

  24. I just stumbled onto this amazing blog. I use to be an introvert in my 20s and slowly broke out as I got closer to 30.

    With that said, my concerns revolve around a long distance relationship me and my girlfriend have been nurturing for the past 5 months. It was a connection at first sight. We felt each other in a deep level. She’s told me consistently that I’m the one she’s been looking for, the one that finally understands her deepest feelings.

    She’s an introvert.

    But I didn’t put a finger on it until recently. Don’t know why since i was one before.

    I was the one who sent the many poems, the string of emails expressing my feelings to her about the world, about her and me together. But I didn’t understand why she didn’t reciprocate the feelings. She would say, “I can’t express myself like you.” She would say, “i express myself through seeing you.”

    We were far away so it hurt us to think that we had this physical space between us. We did see each other for two fantastic emotional weeks, and a few times before that. Last we seen each other, physically, was two months ago with me planning to go to her in several weeks.

    We talked about our circumstances and decided that we needed to be with each other, so I told her I would bring her to the US and we could live together. She agreed with a wide smile but then said she later decided that she couldn’t leave her family and friends. This was something that came up for her many times over, being unsure, fearing uncertainty. So I decided that i would move there and she was worried about the things i would leave behind because of her.

    the other day I was having a bad day and needed her to send me a smile, text smile, something that i could appreciate knowing it was from her. She didn’t and I got a little upset as she has not responded to many important things that I thought she would comment on but never had. Why doesn’t she respond to my work, samples of art pieces that are dear to me, many times over?

    I called her out on it and told her that I felt like she didn’t care, that I have been responding to everything that she had to offer but she hadn’t. It was a transient moment for me.

    She was taken aback and said she was just focusing on her own things and that we should talk in a day or two. Well, we didn’t talk. She didn’t respond to my text messages. and when she finally got in contact, via email, she said that she’ll contact me when she’s ready and closed the email with a kiss.

    I since sent her flowers and allowed her to take the time that she needs and let her know that I’m there for you, to support her as I want her in my life.

    It’s been five long days.

    Not sure what she really meant by “…when she’s ready” but I know that she loves me and know how much i love her and care for her. I was like a mentor to her, helped her in anyway possible. She’s my rock.

    Does she really mean it’s over? What should be my next step? I know what I know and know that i do want to reach out but know that she needs me not to. Or do she?

    • Your relationship was moving very fast and would require a lot of changes on one of your parts. My gut feeling is that she got overwhelmed with your quick decision to be together and with your constant attention. All of the moves required to make your relationship work would be life changing. She has no idea how life would be with you if you were in the same city. It might be too much. I think you are doing the right thing to give her time and space. I know you live far away and haven’t seen her in a while but this is her time to mull things over. Introverts like to process things in quiet. She may have loved being with you (introverts fall deeply in love) but she may also have a need to be true to herself/friends/family. My guess is it all moved too fast for her and she got spooked. She may want to be with you but take it slower. Make sure she is part of the decision-making and planning. It sounds like you are quite expressive. Give her space and time to be expressive too – it may take her longer to formulate her ideas. Good luck! Rooting for both of you.:)

      • Thank you! She reached out to me the other day with, “I’m thinking of you so much.” A good sign. I’ve given her the space she needs to mull through her thoughts or as she says, “organize her thoughts.” I take her lead when it comes to communication. I only email her once a day unless she gives me hints that she wants more. Thanks!

  25. Hi Brenda,

    After reading your post and visiting your website, I think I can ask u a question about my relationship. Its a bit long please bear with me. I had a relationship of four year in my college where the boy was very loving and caring. We both loved each other a lot. A lovy-dovy couple least interested in the world but always into each other. I was a very controlling, attention-seeking and demanding person in the relationship. I never grew as a person, made more enemies than friends in those 4 years. But still I was very happy. The only issue was that the guy was good in nature but not in professional terms or that much in intellectual terms. The relation ended due to some reasons.

    I entered a new relationship with a guy who is an introvert in nature. He is otherwise highly motivated in his work and is a stable person. Externally he is very much a person with whom I wanted to be with. But I still remained the same demanding, over possessive and insecure in this relationship too. I cease to trust him and want him around me all the time, given the fact that he dosen’t talk much. There is some ego in me or in him which comes in between when I feel like sharing stuff with him. He has asked for a break for a month so that we both can grow as people and decide if we want to be with each other since we would fight every other day. Now in this break period sometimes I feel that I should end the relationship and sometimes I feel that I should go ahead. I fail to understand that what is the real problem.

    Please guide me..

    Thanks,
    Horribly confused.

    • Is this man internally someone you want to be with? You said externally he is very much a person with whom you want to be with but in your heart is he someone you feel connected to? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? During this break, do you miss him or just having someone to do things with?
      It sounds like you know you have an issue with control. For some people it is more natural to want to critique, analyze and tell people what to do. If this relationship is important to you I suggest you work on empathy, harmony and appreciation. When you are stressed do you tend to want to control more?
      To me, a break is a good idea for you two. Give the relationship space and perspective. Perhaps you each have areas to develop as individuals first.
      One thing I am learning myself is that you have to know you’ll be OK whether the relationship works or not. Another thing is every relationship is going to have hurt and disappointment. If it is going to work you have to both sign on to work through those when they arise.
      What is your gut telling you about this relationship? Do you already know what is right for you?
      Thank you for reaching out to me. I know I gave you more questions than answers. It’s difficult for me to advise unless I know more about your partner’s perspective. I’m rooting for the potential of each of you.:)

      • Thanks Brenda for replying.. I am a mixed person as in if I have the mood I will talk endlessly and if I don’t I won’t utter a single word. I want to be in groups but I end up finding more lone time and personal space. I hate when some one intrudes into that place. I tend to have more one on one interactions than a group. I feel uncomfortable in a group because I cease to have attention. This relationship actually pricks my those dark areas where I had never given my attention to. Since my boyfriend is an introvert he dosen’t pay me that much attention. And in turn I feel very hurt. There have been times when after going out with him I have cried a lot. I never shared these feelings to him because I think he would’nt understand. This attention thing happens with my friends too. So, I cease to make good friendships also. I cease to give freedom to my boyfriend and I expect him to do the same. His cool attitude makes me feel unwanted. It feels as if it won’t matter to him if I move out of this relationship.

        In this break I do miss him but I feel like hating him also for putting me in this situation. The only silver lining is that if I accept this person in my life I would grow as a person which I always wanted to and which is the most painful journey to travel. Not only when I am stressed, usually also I tend to control people around me. Also, how the person is behaving with me matters a lot to me and my behavior changes accordingly. I want a stable man like him in my life but to accept such a person I need to be courageous which I think I am not.

        It may be that I might not be at fault in this relationship, probably the issue might be with him that he dosen’t know how to carry on a relationship. I am thoroughly confused. My gut knows this that with a man who will give me all the attention in the world and shower me with love and care, I will never grow as a person but with a man like him I would grow as a person but I lack the courage to travel that road.

        Please help..

        Thanks

      • My gut instinct says you need to work on being responsible for your own well-being. Every relationship helps us grow but I think you know your issues and need to work them out before you can be a solid, loving partner. It sounds like there are some deep insecurities that need to be brought to light. Do you have any passions that you could explore? Is there a way you could help others that would also help you expand? I think if you give to others you will receive beautiful things in return that fill you up.
        For now, space from your man seems like a good idea. It’s not right to cry a lot after time with your partner. Something is missing. You are already exploring self-awareness. Stay on that path. Try new things. Gain self-confidence and mastery in something and watch yourself blossom. You will be filling yourself up instead of relying on others to make you whole. I don’t mean to sound harsh. I have been in your shoes. I am right now. I’m also working on taking charge of my well-being. Best of luck. You’re on the path.:)

  26. Hi Brenda, thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking posts. I am an introvert and feel that I’m increasingly becoming so, especially since starting a job that would probably suit an extrovert’s personality more and feel I need more time to recharge. I’ve been speaking to a nice gentlemen for the past 6 months and we’re in the process of getting engaged. When we were in the same place for the first time and before we were introduced to each other or had any idea that we’d become introduced to each other, I spotted him out of the crowd and his image is still very vivid in my memory, his introversion struck me so deeply to the extent that I felt repelled by it, he seemed so reserved, so ‘in his own bubble’, I remember saying to myself ‘if this person is to ever propose to me I would certainly say no’. We met a year later, spoke vaguely, and then I was told indirectly by someone that he was interested. I turned that offer down, I took it up again, then was very close to turning it down again, but after few meetings we started to speak about deep issues and I became hooked. He shares the same values as me and is very hard working, he seems to accept me for who I am and showed willingness to support me in being the person I want to be. We only communicate face to face, that’s once or twice a month. I still question the initial feeling I had, and my gut feeling is blurred, but once it was clear and it was telling me to not proceed. He recently mentioned that he is needing to spend less time to recharge and be alone. Is he becoming less of an extreme introvert? Do you advice me to proceed with the engagement? what areas shall I beware of and what shall I investigate further? thank you

    • I usually advise to go with your first instinct but it is possible to not ‘see’ all of an introvert’s depth at first glance. As an introvert, you may already know, we often take a while to show our whole light.:) Perhaps you give your guy energy and that is why he doesn’t need as much time alone? One on one interactions can be energizing, especially if they are meaningful. That said, I suggest proceeding slowly. Spend a little more time together each month. Do you talk of future plans a lot? Do you spend whole days together? How do you feel after each time together? Do you need a break? Do you want to see more of him? Perhaps your need for recharge time is similar. Is he worth the effort of going through some hurt and disappointment, because every relationship has hurt and disappointment. You just have to trust that you will work through it when it arises. Do you feel yourself growing and expanding because of your relationship with him?
      Hope some of these questions will help you with clarity.:)

  27. Pingback: Space2live’s Top 10 Posts for 2013 and A Personal List of Lessons Learned | space2live

  28. I’m so glad I came across this article. I, an introvert also, just ended a relationship with an extremely introverted man. It’s breaking my heart.

    We were together for a year. In the beginning he was the initiator and pursued me. We would see each other at least twice a week, with contact at least every other day.As our relationship deepened and progressed he became more distant, more consumed with his work and contact became more infrequent. Then finally he “went underground” and I didn’t hear from him for ages. He said he need time, and I backed off. I touched base a few times, to see how he was doing, but that was it.

    When he finally emerged, he apologised and acknowledged that it wasn’t fair on me. He then said that he felt guilty because he actually preferred to be alone and that he didn’t like feeling like he was letting me down because he was conscious that there was someone waiting for him outside. We ended the relationship because he said he had nothing to give me right now, but that he’s not sure if a few months down the track he’ll change his mind completely. But he doesn’t want to keep me waiting around for what may not happen.

    I’m really hurt and heartbroken because I care for and love him. It hurts that he said he prefers alone to being with me. I know it’s not personal but it sure feels that way. I understand we all need lone time, but it sounds like he’s after a permanent state of alone. Does that sound normal for deep introverts?? Or was it just a cop-out??

    • I have been in your position exactly. It does hurt even if you understand the need for alone time. Has this man been on his own for a long time? I would advise that this man will always need space but he may be the type that also needs to be advancing a vision of his own. Is he deeply engaged in his work? My best advice is to let him make the next move. If you can still be in contact that’s good. If you have any chance of working as a couple you will have to understand his ‘mission’ and his need to process in solitude. He will have to let you in and not go ‘underground’ without talking it through with you. At least he was open and honest with you. If he fills himself by having enough time to go within then perhaps he will be able to reach out to you again. Just know his limitations and don’t forget you matter – don’t settle for less than feels right to you.
      Thanks for sharing your story. It definitely resonates with me.

      • Thank your for your reply and understanding. It’s so hard to explain to friends and family, they just think he’s a bad person.

        You are so insightful – He is someone who needs to advance his own vision. He is an artist and designer, and his work is his life. He had been alone for sometime before we met, and he admits his work has always come before everything else. In the beginning, I was independent, driven by my own projects, and had my own light to shine so to speak. I think that’s what attracted him to me. But over recent months I began to lose myself to doubt and fear, abandoned the things I love, and because I was so drawn to his creativity and talent, I took his light for my own. I needed him more than either of us was comfortable with, because I needed validation and it seemed easier to get it from him. But I see now that the more I reached out for him rather than addressing my real issues, the more I pushed him away.

        This breakup has made me realise I need to find myself again too. I do still want him in my life in some way, as friend or lover, but I have asked for a period of no contact to give me time to heal and rebuild. I hope when I am ready to reach out, he will be ready to listen too.

        Thanks again for writing and starting this blog. In a digital world of “he’s just not that into you’s” and things like that, it’s so refreshing to find something that reaches deeper into the human experience.

      • Wow! I feel the wisdom in your words.:) I believe you are on the right track. We have to know that we will be OK even if a relationship falls apart. Rebuilding yourself is the way to create a strong foundation for a relationship. If you have your own ’cause’ you won’t rely on someone else to make you happy. They can simply join you in the contentedness that ensues.;)

        As I said before, I have been through this exact scenario. As soon as I fortified my own being our relationship re-kindled. We have to make a conscious effort to work through the hurt (because there is hurt/rejection/disappointment) but that allows us to grow.:)
        You have to know love comes from within. Let it flow from you into whatever lights you up – projects, people, nature…
        I’m cheering for you!

  29. Pingback: Introvert Relationships: Are Our Expectations for Love Unobtainable? | space2live

  30. I think this will help me a ton, and I believe I’ve found it just in time. I am currently trying to get into a relationship with with an introverted woman. We met about 2 months ago and really really hit it off. We live about 8ish hours apart currently, so distance is totally a part of this. We started kinda slow, but I became very attracted to her personality very quickly as our only contact is via the web and some games we play together. She is an incredibly smart woman and thus she picked up on this very quickly. She let me know early on that she did not in any way want a relationship with me because of the distance factor. I agreed with her and said that this was what I wanted as well… Turns out my heart had other ideas on that matter, but it worked out in the end as she actually came to me asking to be my “Internet Girlfriend”. I let her know that I in fact did want this as well, but I didn’t want to start anything not worth starting. I explained that the meaning behind this was that I wanted to be able to grow the relationship if it had the potential to be great. She accepted and thus we started dating… kinda. I say kinda as I am a very physical person, I like to touch and feel a girlfriend. From a hug when I get home from work to more intimate things such as sex. This not being part of our relationship because of distance caused me to start to try to contact her as much as I could. Any time I woke up to get ready for work and I saw her online I would leave her a message telling her “good morning”. To me I felt this was a nice way to let her know I was interested in her. After reading this article I find that it has the opposite effect. It did in fact cause her to withdraw from me. It was very slight at first, but I noticed it. I did not change my actions the way I needed tho as I just tried harder to contact her and let her know that I was there for her. Recently she has gone to her parents to visit them for the holidays. She has let me know in the past that this is a very draining thing for her, but I never did really understand why until I read this. While at her parents she asked me on her second day there for a sabbatical, which she explained was time she could play games by herself. I accepted it instantly as I knew I had kinda “invaded” her games that she plays by joining her in them. I figured that she just needed some space, a concept that I don’t understand at all myself as I have never needed space from someone I was interested in(a very big problem for my past relationships). After a few days she contacted me again just to say “Hi”. I believe that she did this to let me know that she was still there, but it had the opposite effect on me and it just made me feel terrible like she was going to leave. It mainly has this effect on me as she asked me “How are you holding up”. She calculates everything she says, so I knew this had more meaning then face value. I asked her what she was really saying, and she just explained what the saying actually means, which if you knew her would be her dodging the question. Rather then calling her out on it I let it slide and let her know I was fine even tho I had been eating myself alive wondering if I should keep trying or give up since it is such a new relationship. Three days later she contacted me back again, just saying “Hi” again… I could not stop myself I let her know I missed her and wanted to spend some time with her. She informed me that she felt the same way and we enjoyed a night of playing games (that I did horribly at because I was so shook up). That was the last I have talked to her, which was one day ago. I honestly expected her to contact me again tonight, because in my mind I had given her the time she needed. In desperation to make sure I did not screw anything up more then I already had, I searched the internet for answers on introverted people as she had told me she is one. I know I need to give her space, and I know she still wants to spend time with me… But I am at a loss as to how to work this. I want to talk to her about this as I know she has only been truthful with me, and I with her. I want to keep it that way, and to show her that I want to keep it that way. I want to tell her all of the things that have been going through my head. I to find out what her thoughts on this situation we are in are. I do not want to chase her farther away, which is exactly what I think will happen. I think of myself as a very strong man both in mind and heart, I have taken a fair beating both mentally and emotionally in my life and it has done nothing but make me stronger… I do have an “Achilles heal” that totally saps all strength from me, and that is not knowing what to do. I find myself very good at reading people. But when I am not able to use all of my senses, sight being the main one, I start to question my intuition. That doubt in myself causes me to crumple into a tiny pile on the floor unable to deal with even normal life at times. Long story short I am looking for even the smallest light at the end of the tunnel. Do I continue on my chosen path? Do I tell her how I feel, or maybe tell her some of my feelings at first. Should I contact her at all, or should I leave that to only her. The other part is I know she loves it when I am confident, but my confidence is shattered with this situation. Thank you very much if you take the time to read and/or reply to this long winded rant about my current situation. I appreciate any help or tips you may have.

    • You need to get a on a different level of your relationship than the game aspect. I do feel like you and the comment I got recently gave me insight. You need to have a personal connection and that is person to person and have that one on one. Though my girlfriend is across the country we do still get together. We click when we are one on one. You need to bridge your gap and see her and not game her. I do not know if you are seeing each other or just having an on line. Like the person told me. You need to help them grow and make them feel like you contribute to to them. When you can do that you can grow too. I am slowly experiencing it but continue to have my bouts of insecurity due to previous cheating girls in my life. It is a lousy feeling to feel like you are. Use the enrichment process and it will truly help you. If you are not face timing or keeping a real connection by being together then I would look closer to your area for the person that will help you grow.

      • I appreciate the comment greatly, but that is kinda on the line of what I was asking. I can’t just say “hey lets get together some time” if she is feeling she needs to get away right now. Also she already knows she is introverted, so she plans her life accordingly. She actively separates “life” and “free time”. It is past just playing games and maybe I did not touch on that enough. If it was just gaming then I would not have even taken the time to look up anything on dating an introvert. As of late it has been only games that we communicate on, but for at least a month and half we did nothing but talk for hours and hours. So in conclusion, thank you very much but I apparently did not explain my situation enough. I will in fact keep that idea in my head, and thank you for helping me to continue to think about it differently.

    • First of all, you are showing great sensitivity and care in the way you are handling this. You obviously are considering your partner’s feelings very deeply. Bravo!
      Is your partner still at her parent’s house? If so, I would continue to give her space. She is interested in keeping in touch with you as she demonstrated by contacting you with the sporadic “Hi”. This is a good sign. She also was willing to connect with you one night and play games. It’s a very good thing to let an introvert miss you. We need that space in order to desire your company again. We also need the space in order to revive ourselves or come back to ourselves. She may be immersed in family gatherings which may be familiar and comforting but also draining (constant forced togetherness gets old). If she gets any time alone away from family she may need that to recharge (i.e. not call/text/play games with you).
      My best advice is to do whatever it takes to give her energy. If she needs solitude, give her solitude. If she needs to ride your extroverted energy wave, let her ride. I would also encourage meaningful conversation as opposed to chit chat. Meaty discourse fills us up. In your case, I also suggest meeting in person at least occasionally, while that may be more stimulating for her, I think it would greatly relieve (or at least provide information for) you of all the unknowns you are contemplating. Using all of your senses is very helpful when communicating openly and intimately. As much as I can relate to my fellow introverts, I also want to make sure that all types are honored. That’s what makes relationship work. Valuing and honoring differences. Your needs/desires count too. That said, introverts do think through what they say before they say it so take what she tells you to heart. She did say she didn’t want to start a relationship because of the distance between you. I would inquire about this again at this point. I would wait until she is in a calm state to ask and I would ask in the most non-pressuring way ever.;) It’s more than OK for you to be honest about your feelings. It will feel like too much attention if you pepper her with constant inquiries. Keep it honest but not overwhelming. We introverts like our freedom – the ability to go within ourselves if necessary. We also like meaningful connection. Be yourself but know she will always need space. Can you accept that?
      Best of luck. Keep us posted.:)

      • Thank you very much, both for the comment and for the things you have writen. Reading this has helped me feel like I am doing right. I read this before I went to work and I had a bunch to say, but I work retail and thats tends to be mind numbing, so I have forgotten. I will post if I remember

      • Well so far so good. Over the past week I talked to her all of once. I did let her know I wanted to talk to her more, but she didn’t notice it, so i felt ignored. It was quite hard for me to wait but it has paid off so far. I don’t think I am out of the woods yet, as I know she is going to be like another week or more playing her single player stuff (she got more for Christmas). She did at least say hi to me today, and I let her know I was feeling very left out. I honestly could no longer tell via just text if she was just running away, or still taking time and I told her. She let me know everything was ok and that I need not worry. I didn’t do more then say my peace though as I didn’t want her to actually run away. Once she explained herself I thanked her for it and we played a game together. It was subtle but she let me know when she was done talking about it. I still think it is worth it, but I don’t know yet how it will work. I made her laugh alot while we played games tonight so as of now I feel quite good. I think I stumbled onto a small victory, and by that I mean that she keeps her life and her games separate. From what I can see there is starting to be a separation from me and some of the games she plays. To me this can only mean that she is not including me in as part of her life, which I think is good. I just don’t want to lose the ability to play games with her. This is just speculation at this point, and even so I have no problem not joining her on some of the games that she plays by herself. I kinda invaded one of them a little bit long before I even found this site, but I’ve since taken myself out of it and I only play it when she asks me to. That or when she is offline. Anyways that’s it for now, never know what the future brings!

        P.S. I wrote a poem, not per say for her, but about her and I’m not sure if I should share it with her. It is kinda about me and her, and I’m thinking that now is not a good time to share it even if I do… but still it could be nice. I’m to shy to post it without any encouragement, but I can.

      • I’m an introvert myself, with need for space and have an extremely introvert girlfriend, which I had a difficult time understanding at first. It did take some time even for me to realize that there is nothing else going on but the need for solitude to find her inner balance again. Sending her a poem, even though you mean well, will likely end up in setting her back and she will need even more time to regain strength. These little well meant gestures put pressure on her and it is well possible that she feels obliged to come back with something as thoughtful and nice and it will not help her “reset”.

        It is important to understand that these periods of solitude have nothing to do with you, but are only meant for herself to gain strength be able to be with the person she loves. In the end, giving her space and quiet time will benefit you, trust me ;)

        Hope this helps, be patient and you will see that even though she seems far away, likely she is much closer than you think…

      • I read somewhere that dating an introvert (if you’re an extrovert) is like dancing. The extrovert steps in, the introvert moves back. The extrovert moves back the introvert comes forward. It is like that. I remember my former husband wanting to run on the treadmill beside me at the health club. I wanted him to be on the other side of the gym so that I could have space to zone out with my headphones on as I ran. I imagine your gaming scenario is like that. I do feel kind of bad that you can’t play the games you love when you want.

        I would feel things out for another week or so and then decide if you should share the poem with her. I think it’s a beautiful gift but it all depends on how she feels about you. It will be a good litmus test. If she is receptive to it I would take that as a very positive sign. Awesome that you wrote it! Lovely way to express yourself. Kudos! I hope you get to present it to her. You can share it with the space2live crowd if you want but you might think about keeping it special between you and her.:)

      • For some reason I cannot reply to anything lower then this post, so i am using this one. Thank you very much for that, you are right I should keep it special. I do think she would enjoy reading it at some point, but you are both correct now would not be the time. I had not planned on giving it to her any time soon. Good news is she made sure to show me that she cares about me today by talking to me. It was a very small, but it was sooo much better then just “Hi” and then nothing else. She actually didn’t even say hi, just made a bit of small talk.

        Thank you to everyone that has responded to me, I really appreciate it very much.

  31. Pingback: Nurturing and Caretaking in a Relationship: Sword and Shield or Energy Drain for Introverts? | space2live

  32. I always thought I was an introvert until I started spending time with a very introverted man. He enjoys small gatherings where he will make small talk with people over drinks, so I thought he was an extrovert at first, but he actually needs a lot of time to himself. I didn’t realize how serious this need was for him until recently when it all came crashing down. We were supposed to go to a party and he cancelled at the last minute saying he’d had an exhausting week and didn’t have the energy to go out. He’d never stood me up before, and I was shocked. I’d also had a rough week and didn’t feel like going out alone, thought it might be nice just to stay in and chat instead, so I suggested we hang out alone rather saying I’d been looking forward to his company (big mistake), and got snapped at that he wanted the time for himself and asked me not to expect anything more from him because he couldn’t give it. When I queried what he meant he said he didn’t think we were a good match for a close friendship although we could hang out sometimes, and that he likes to be alone. My head is still spinning because I thought things were going well, and that we were gradually becoming friends. This happened just the other night and I haven’t spoken to him since as I don’t know what to say, and if he really wants to be alone and not be around me then I should probably just move on. Only I’m not sure if he really meant he doesn’t want to be friends anymore or if he was just having a really bad day and freaked out because I seemed needy. I’d been hanging out with him a while and it felt like we were just starting to get closer and talk about more personal things when this happened. My friends say I should go and talk to him, but i think it might be better just to leave him alone and see if he approaches me, what do you think? Did I ruin our friendship forever by being too needy, or is there something I could do that would show him i’m not a threat to his peace and quiet? How can i give him energy and not drain it from him? I’d still like to be friends, but not if he doesn’t want to be.

    • I don’t think you did anything overly needy. It sounds like he had a rough exhausting week. It may have been difficult for him to ask for the night to himself and then when you asked to see him it just might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Sorry. I would let him come to you at this point. He may truly need A LOT of time to himself and a close friendship may feel too intrusive. Introverts love meaningful conversations and large blocks of unstructured time. Interruptions are one of our least favorite things. If you have a deep interest in remaining friends I would follow his lead. Let him decide if and when he’d like to re-kindle a connection. I know it’s confusing and even a little hurtful but please don’t take his reaction personally. Best of luck. Thank you for reaching out and telling your story. Sorry I was delayed in my response.

      • Thanks. I needed space from him after this so I avoided him for a bit. He has approached me a few times now, making small talk, so presumably he either just feels bad about what happened or he wants to re-establish a connection. I have kept things brief with him because it was more than a little hurtful and I don’t want to get into the same situation again. I still care about him but I have to think of my own sanity too. If he does want a friendship It is better if he takes the lead, as you suggest, so I’ll just wait and see where he takes things from here.

    • That sounds just like my relationship! We have/had been talking/dating for 5 months. We met one evening when he approached me. He was living out of state at the time and we hit it off and have amazing chemistry! The first two months he was out of state, single and living by himself and self employed. Then he moved an hour away, new job, and living with friends that have kids and we were seeing each other every weekend. Everything was great! We talked of the future and even spent the holiday meeting his entire family. Then a week later out of the blue he states he needs a break because he hasn’t had a weekend to himself. Still wants to be friends and hang out once in awhile. Blown away because I really started having strong feelings for him I sucked it up and told him I understood. I really do think that was a lot of change for him in a two month period. He left beautiful weather for cold and all of his friends. He has sent a couple texts in the last week. I’m still confused but my gut told me he was just over whelmed. Then I found this article and thinking maybe that’s what the problem is. So as much as it hurts I’ll give him his space. I know I’m an extrovert but at times like to be a introvert. Just hope I’m doing the correct thing. I really care for him but don’t want to set myself up for more hurt.

    • I have been in a relationship with an introvert. My problem is that I am the extrovert. We have had an up and down ride because of her being tossed between me and her children. She wants to give all of herself to the kids but also cannot figure us out in her head. We had a break of approx. 2 months though I kept keeping lightly in touch and then boom one night she called, we cried and all got back to normal. She definitely pulls back when i push for wanting to be close. We also have a coast to coast long distance relationship. We talk daily but since our last tryst, we have not talked for 2 weeks and I have lashed out (which I now regret). Your site has interesting insight. I need help in trying to deal with my no labels girlfriend. She likes this title because it does not make her feel committed (I guess). Any insight on this would be very helpful. Thanks.

      • I promise to respond to you within the next 24 hours. Life is crazy busy this week but I always respond to my readers and your comments are thoughtful and deserve attention. Until then have an incredible day!

      • My first reaction to your relationship story is that your girlfriend is feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps she is a ‘big picture’ person who loves her children and relationships but is bogged down with details and the need to be present for everyone. She puts mothering first because that is what we mothers do. It is what society compels us to do. There may not be much left, energy-wise, after she cares for her sons. The logistics involved in your relationship make it that much harder to get to the good stuff – the part where you love and help each other. If her load was lightened and she could relax and truly JUST BE, who would she be? My suggestion to you would be to help her develop her. Help her feel valued, joyful, smart, loved. The more you need her and ask for her time the more she is going to retreat. She has to save some of herself so she doesn’t feel engulfed. That said, what you need and value is important too. If you are not getting any satisfaction from the relationship then it’s not much of a relationship. It is possible for introverts and extroverts to pair happily. It takes respect, awareness and sometimes a sense of humor. My first steps for you would be to truly listen to her words and make her life simpler so that she can give to you. Sometimes space is good. It gives her time to find clarity – to return to herself. Afterwards, she will have a better sense of herself and if or how you fit into her life. Hope that gives you a little insight.

      • Your post was excellent. Also leaving me more questions. You say make her life simpler by listening. I try to get information out of her but she can be vague. She does not say much because I do not think she knows what she wants. She if afraid to commit. When we got back together a year ago after a short lapse, she said she did not want the pressure and wanted our relationship to be a “no labels relationship”. I to this day have a problem with that because it seems so sleazy and so empty.

        She has been in relationships in the past but they have been somewhat hidden from her kids and everyone because she did not want anyone involved with her children because of the societal norm. She likes our long distance I think because it does not put pressure on her there. The last few weeks, I have stepped back and not called and dropped the texting and I think now she is reaching out more. What other things can I do to make her life easy mentally? She does not work and has no real duties except the kids and maintaing the household. Also what other key things can I do on my side to help her find her value in this relationship? I think she wants our relationship because we have had some blowups all because of me wanting her to be closer of course and we always come back together (because of me wanting and asking her back). She can be very stubborn and has had issues as a young girl with her father lashing out at her which I think really has stayed in her mind. She adores my children and is really close to them. I think that is the bigger glue to our relationship. I have had some issues with my ex where she has helped me and they were stressful. She says many good things about me and I think she is faithful. She says she is not looking but I can be a little insecure because of people saying that to me in the past then they actually were lying. This blog is new to me so i am sure I am not getting all of my stuff out there but look forward to your answers or feedback and clarifying myself more. Thank you. So far your info has been helpful and on point.

      • You may be right about her not knowing what she wants. She may not know what she wants in several arenas of her life. Is she fulfilled being a stay at home mother? You say she has no ‘real’ duties except the kids, which I have to tell you was like nails on a chalkboard to read. There are so many obligatory and emotional duties connected to child rearing that it can be overwhelming. I sincerely suggest you help her feel valued for not only her maternal work but also the being she is beyond motherhood. What about her attracted you? I’m sure there was a physical attraction but go past that. What light does she shine? I know personally the partners I most enjoyed and wanted around were the ones who gave me energy. Introverts are always looking to gain energy. Being shown your gifts is energizing. Getting to use your gifts is energizing. I am sure her days are filled with household details and kid schedules. This is necessary but probably not what lights her up. If she feels that you are just one more pull on her apron strings she will flee. It’s too much to take on another dependent. Be her lover. Be her champion. Be her friend, support and biggest fan. Be mindful of how much she can juggle. If she is freed of some of her mentally mundane work she will have more to give to you and your relationship.
        Do you enjoy her children? Are you willing to be a part of their lives? Do they like you? These will be big questions she is pondering. She probably needs help with some of the child rearing duties/decisions but does not want to burden you or is not sure how much to let you in because she isn’t certain how long term your relationship is. But do be careful that she is not solely looking for help. That is not a loving relationship that is just convenient and a relief.
        I would’t worry about her seeing others. I doubt she has time or mental space to fit in another relationship. I think you two communicate well enough that she would tell you if there was someone else.
        This is all from my intuition, personal experience and reader feedback. Hope you find useful insight in it.

      • Thank you for the prompt reply. What she likes about me is that my children adore me, I am a good father and she sees that as do others, she likes that I do brighten her day with my cheerful personality. I am known as a very enlightening person to many. Yes she has been very guarded in the past about anyone having a connection. As to a point in her divorce papers that no man co habitates when the children are present(her request). Using your last advice, has given me big steps ahead and I see a big improvement. She has incorporated me in to her children’s life but she also feels very uncomfortable because of what people in her area may think of me in the picture. I am willing to be a part of their lives and do enjoy her children. I am also willing to take them on as a family as are my children being a part of the group or family unit. How can I create that need that she wants with her fear of me being in her world and her space? She is a very independent person and I think she values my child rearing advice but still has an ex to deal with (in her opinion is worthless). She is very involved with my children and advises me often on direction and loves my children. Also I understood that comment about the at home mom came across… I knew it after I sent it. LOL. How do i free her of the mundane stuff you speak of? How do I get her to accept me in her world and let her free herself of her circle of influence that has impacted her thinking and is her culture and let her accept us? I do give her the energy she wants and sometimes too much!! She says that I am like her dad. I cannot sit still she says. I can and if I were with her, I would not be flying all around and spending my time with the family. So she does get energy from me, she says I am her best friend as I am her. My biggest hurdle is the distance and just getting her to try and let me closer in her life with kids and her inner circle. Thanks for the comments. I am really getting good insight from you.

      • It sounds like her culture and environment influence her greatly regarding intimacy with you. Is it viewed as deeply improper for you to be in the home with her and her children? If so, this explains a lot about why she prefers to visit you. Is it a possibility that she could someday leave her community? I know how difficult it is to move children from their schools/friends but wondering if that is an option. Also, if you two were engaged would that make it acceptable? I know that is putting the cart before the horse but just thinking of all scenarios.

        Again, I believe if she feels confident and self-fulfilled I believe she won’t be as reluctant to let you into her space. She may have a fear of engulfment. Did you say her father was a strong presence in her childhood? Was her former husband dominant? Let her blossom. Help her blossom. What are her strengths? Suggest she try something outside of her comfort zone – art if she is more logical, getting on the board of an organization if she is more creative. Developing skills that previously challenged her can be very liberating and fulfilling. I ventured into guitar lessons after more than a decade of child-rearing and mainstream suburban living. They changed my life, even though I had no talent for it, I met the most incredible people who showed me different ways of thinking.
        I think her culture/environment and the worry about appearing proper is a key element to work on, then help her to not feel threatened by your presence. If she feels strong and energized she will have more to give your relationship. As an introvert, she will always need space to recharge. Kids take up a lot of our energy, especially because society makes sure we know kids must come first. It sounds like she is especially sensitive to what others think so I am sure she feels absolutely commanded to give her all to her children. This is important – of course – but also can inhibit her development and the development of your relationship. Baby steps for her to gain self-awareness and self-confidence, that’s what I recommend.
        Again, I want to say how caring and sensitive you are being regarding your relationship. That goes a long way. Kudos to you. Keep up the brilliant communication between you two.

      • Christmas has come and gone. I sent her gifts for her and the kids. I have been really thinking about your comments. I have been speaking with my girlfriend (who now is really starting to feel just like a friend) and she finished her family events, etc. I am beginning to wonder if I keep this going???? After reading all of the introverts ability to be alone, I question my efforts with my current girlfriend. Now I am wondering how and when we will be together and how to plan for it in the near future. How should I ask her when we can get together without her getting so pressured and stressed over it? Do I wait for her to establish the next visit? I feel it will put pressure on her. New Years is coming and I would like to go see her. I have not seen her since Thanksgiving. I know she cannot come see me. I know she has friends coming over New Years day but feel maybe I am not worthy of being in her circle. I have other people that would like to spend time with me but I want to be with her…. I am wondering if the other female company might be worth my effort but do not want to cheat. I am getting overwhelmed with not knowing her thoughts of the two of us being a couple… She did not even say I love you on christmas or xmas eve….. I am not sure if she is trying to not fall deeper for us or unsure. I do know she just wants to work on her and her kids. If so, why does she just not end the relationship? It feels so empty at this point and I cannot stand the vague no labels relationship. I also know I could go off and spend time with someone else and she may not even care if I do not call or connect but then I will need to explain myself for not being in contact, I guess???? I am really starting to get confused and wondering if I should just start dating again and find someone that really appreciates me and values what I have to offer??? I would feel so much better just knowing when we will be together again. Not knowing is like being in hell. I also read in your note, at what point do you do what makes you happy in the relationship. I feel something is better then nothing with her. Your assistance would be appreciated. Thanks.

      • Hello. My instincts say your girlfriend may need a lot of time before she is ready to commit to a longterm/consistently together physically relationship with you. You say she wants to work on herself and her kids. I know personally those are large undertakings and could use all the energy she has. That said, I do think it’s possible to love someone and have them be a part of your personal and familial growth. She may be hesitant to combine families because she may feel she will lose some of her new freedom and independence, although you say she loves your children. There is still a lot of responsibility that comes with blending families. I know that scares some introverts. They see their independence and alone time dwindling. I’m guessing your girlfriend does not get a lot of alone time as it is.
        As I re-read your words I get the feeling that you want more from your girlfriend than she can give. I know you have strong, deep feelings for her but how much more of this wondering and dissatisfaction can you take?
        It’s my opinion that a healthy relationship would allow you to ask when you will see each other again. The fact that you feel afraid to ask her is worrisome. I have been in your position. I know how it feels to want to be with someone but not want to push them away by asking for their time. In the end in my situation we got honest. He wanted more time to himself than I felt was good for the kind of relationship I wanted. Part of our issue was timing (he just started a new business, my kids were younger and needed me more). We are still close friends because we genuinely like (love?) each other but we have different versions of ideal togetherness.:) If you think you can reach a common ground with your relationship expectations, then get honest, be vulnerable and give the relationship a shot. If you don’t see meeting each other half way ever, then move on. You are important too. There may be a better match for you.

      • How can I help her fill those unknown arenas in her life? She does not know what she wants or how to proceed. I try to come up with ideas. I do know she might feel better about us once I move there but also it may create more distance as she may not be too available. I do know once I were there, I may be too busy relocating myself. Need some help on this one..

      • One other thing. Because of the distance, I am always wondering when we will see each other. This becomes a source of frustration for me. I feel like i cannot ask her when we will be together because it gets her stressed. I am free to come whenever I want but because the kids are there, she cannot at a whim just say come out. We have been seeing each other approx. every month sometimes other month. How do I deal with this and make her feel comfortable? I want her to want to come more but she just does not push it. She does not like it when I come there because she gets stressed and uncomfortable with me around her kids. She does not know what it is. She also feels better coming to me who when she is with me, it is just us. Her kids really overwhelm her at times with their schedules, school, etc At some point if we are going to be closer, I need to be more a part of her boys lives. We have had a couple of trips with the kids and I and both of our children. How do I bridge this gap to want her to see me more? I have been thinking of relocating and that way we would be near each other but wondering if I may still have the same problem where she still does not want to be with each other as much.

  33. Pingback: Ever Feel Like You Need an Extrovert? Why It’s Wonderful for Introverts to Have Extroverts in Their Lives | space2live

  34. The blog help me personally grow and understand my self, mostly understand my ex after a year of dating and over a month of breaking up we are still communicating he is amazed of how much i learned about him, he constantly makes remarks about us and how beautiful I am! He sends me funny jokes via emails, nothing direct saying he still cares for me although in the past he said he cared for me more than I did for him and sadly I showed no care because of his personality I thought he had other people while he had alone time. I want to continue being there for him but as time goes I’m getting confused of what he wants, I’m not sure how to approach him without making him feel smothered ? Also is it possible to be 50% intro 50% extrovert?

    • I am so glad you have learned about yourself and your former partner. It’s mature and kind to seek understanding about your ex’s temperament. Approach him slowly. Less is often more. Constant attention could be seen as interruptions or smothering. It may make him think you will never give him breathing space. Talk honestly with him. Figure out if you can bear to be away from him in order to give him space.

      An ambivert is someone who falls smack dab in the middle of the introvert and extrovert spectrum.

      Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I somehow skipped over your comment.

  35. I dated an Introvert for 5 months, broke up 3 weeks ago due to my constant request for time and nagging about his alone time! We never had honey moon time but the time we spent toguether were so intense in all areas, although at the end he thought we are not compatible. We are still comunicating He claims to have strong feelings for me (one of the reasons why we should end now) he flirts when we talk but no effort to see me on his spare time in case he wants to work things out again? Since e-mail is our best source to communicate, i sent him a message expressing my confusion with him being flirty, I received a short answer stating he is at work but nothing to be confused about?! He is not the type to promptly respond most of the time he has to analyze and reflect. Very sensitive and dislikes text messages or small talks, gets stressed out very quickly which causes him to shut down, at the same time thoughful and caring. After break up I been supportive understanding his needs and feeling mostly personal, family and financial struggles without demanding anthing, just giving. However I would like to know where Im standing, but how I do that without pushing him away?

    • Hmmmm, yes you have a classic introvert on your hands. I think email is your best way to reach him but I suggest giving him some time without you. I know that is not easy but let him come to you. If he is truly interested he will find you and may be more willing to talk about both of your needs. Your needs should be respected too. Consider what you are willing to contribute or go without in a relationship. At least you know he space. That won’t change. Would you be happy in a relationship where your partner needs more time alone than you do?

      Best of luck. I know we introverts are confusing sometimes. Understand that too much interaction drains him. Don’t take it personally.

  36. Coming across this forum has been a blessing with regards to having an insight to an introvert’s world.
    I am an extrovert in a 17 month relationship with an introvert, who is wonderful and has some qualities I would want in a man. He is definitely husband material; however, he has some qualities too that I am not such a huge fan of. When we were dating, he did everything I liked, he took me out lots, we went out to parties (though he never did mingle a lot and was comfortable watching from a distance), met some of my friends. He did a lot of chasing and was would do just about anything to impress me and win my heart. Now he has it…
    I find that he is not very comfortable with sharing his feelings and certainly with the 3 words. (Which he finally said recently when we had a huge fight and things were a bit shaky).
    I noticed some months back, he started to snap for no reason and he became quite abrupt too and would want to have his way all the time. I am of the mentality that being in a relationship means we do things together, share our stories, go places together and life would be bliss etc. We’ve had many many many arguments about all sorts of things: chores, finances, his aloofness and snappiness and his interesting way of doing and analysing things. He has said he just wants to be left alone and not sure he can deal with my constant requests for spending our spare moments together. He fared pretty well at the beginning which made me think we could have a good thing here. We are both scientists and he absolutely loves his field of science (I do too just not that obsessed) and says he wants to focus on that, his hobbies and his other things alone without any disturbance. When I asked him if other aspects of his life took priority, he said no, there was no particular order. He wants our relationship and wants things on a deeper level but doesn’t want the “superficial things” I do such as the going out occasionally, picnics with friends etc. He started to move our relationship forward a while back but things seem to be stagnating now. Of late (last 2wks), he has withdrawn and we don’t talk as much and when asked about it last night he said perhaps he’s to blame in a way as he hadn’t put in as much effort in the relationship due to work pressures. I love him very much and wouldn’t want us to break up. I am in a difficult position as I do not know how to relate to him and treat him the way he would like. I have never been in a relationship with an introvert and i’m really struggling. I am willing to adapt and let him have his space and time to recharge. However, I feel like I need his affection and attention most times when we are together, I find his presence comforting, which may come across as “not confident” or an attention seeker which he has mentioned before. He also mentioned that he’s not sure if we would be compatible in the long run as he’s not the going out, share-every-moment together type, doesn’t like to clean -would prefer me to do it, (he doesn’t mind cooking though) . Even if we do decide to have a family, he would want me to be responsible for this part and he would be there for his family financially and emotionally. This new revelation has led me to seek ways of dealing with our issues and him as an introvert. This is totally new territory for me and my past relationships have been different from what my current boyfriend’s needs are especially of space and not wanting to engage much with people.
    Any help would be IMMENSELY appreciated.

    • I think many introverts try to please their potential mates by matching their outgoing lifestyle (especially at first during the honeymoon phase). We feel we should be more outgoing so we push ourselves. No matter what though we have to decompress in quiet or downtime eventually. This will not change so be warned if you are considering marriage with this man. At least he is being honest up front. He knows himself.

      There should definitely be give and take in a relationship. He should honor your temperament as well. The real question is can you both keep that up forever. Are you compatible enough to communicate openly and respectfully about what you need forever? Will resentment build up. What does your inner voice or gut tell you? Please follow that. My gut tells me he is being honest with you about his socializing limitations and they sound fairly different than what you desire. Is the communication getting better between you two or more strained? Don’t settle.

      Keep us posted. Thank you for sharing your real life story. I hope others chime in with words of wisdom for you.

      • Thank you for your response Brenda.
        I accept that was the honeymoon phase and this is the real and true him. I do like some of his quirky habits and some of his ways of doing things. Since being with him, my mind has opened to a lot of things and think we can learn a lot from him each other. He says he loves me and i do love him too. Yes, if i’m honest i do think of the future and wonder what it would be like; though we may not be from the same worlds,perhaps it is possible to still make things work with love, respect and the necessary effort. To be forewarned is to be forearmed they say. He has mentioned these things therefore I know now to honour his requests and vice versa. Is it possible to have a happy marriage still? I could possibly take up some extra hobbies to fill the times when he would prefer to be alone etc. I’m beginning to think the less time we spend together, the better our relationship might be as absence would make our hearts grow fonder.
        Am i in denial and should I wake up and smell the coffee? Or can this actually be a happy ending and can something brilliant come out of this? (i would prefer the latter obviously)

        Anxiousblue.

      • It all depends on how much both of you are willing to work at understanding and respecting each other. It sounds like you are willing but is he? Observe his actions more than his words in order to tell if he has the desire to go all the way. Absence may make the heart grow fonder but how does that absence affect you? Are you truly OK with the separation? May you learn and evolve within this relationship. Hugs.*

      • I am not sure if you are still reading this, but he is not that difficult, lol. I want to say that I am not judging you, just trying to help. I am an introvert as well and I understand your husband. Ask him to teach you how to listen (to him), by listening I mean not hearing, but listening. Teach him how to be more clear and frank (in a nice way). You say your husband snaps, but it is not out of nowhere. Before an introvert snaps, they have quite often patiently told the typical extravert that what they are doing is bordering them. The classic extravert does not listen and continues. Do not offer your help, but ask if he needs help, do not assume things, but ask openly. Extraverts tend to think that they know whatever is on the mind of the other person, but that is super human stuff, isn’t it? So if one doesn’t know, just ask and be content with the answer you get, do not project! Introverts do always speak their minds, it’s just extraverts don’t want to hear it,they want to be confirmed in their assumptions. Introverts are actually easy, lol. Do go out with your friends, they will never take that away from you or be jealous or insecure. Rather they will be happy that you had a great time. Find some middle ground and ask him to meet you halfway, you meet him halfway. Hope it helped.

  37. Talk about a mind opener… I just hope I haven’t found this too late.

    I have been married to my amazing wife for four years now. She takes my breath away, both when I see her and when I have to leave her. It hasn’t been easy at all, challenge after challenge, stress after stress, to the edge and back again and back to the edge. We once again find ourselves at a crossroads, and reading your story has really helped me understand part of our struggles.

    She has understood herself to be an introvert for years, and I’ve always thought I knew what that meant, until today. I can hear in your words, the fears and pressures she must feel from me. The love and affection that I hope will bring her closer actually pushes her away. I must be an extrovert, who cannot get enough of her energy. I have always thought she just had issues with long term commitments, but it is me who has the issue of not understanding her needs.

    Thank you for writing and sharing your story! I plan on reading more, and trying to change my ways. I love her too much to not try and make it easier for her to stay.

    • Awesomeness! Love and affection are always good but knowing there is space between all that energy could make all the difference for her (and your relationship). We like to retreat and then re-kindle. I have been on the receiving end of an introvert’s need for space (I missed him terribly) and an extrovert’s need for my constant attention (I couldn’t keep up). It’s not easy to figure out the rhythms. Very, very open communication, trust and vulnerability are key. Best of luck. I can tell you are an awake and caring partner. Perfect.:)

      • I am waking up. It isn’t easy to figure out, especially since we’ve both been married before, and my ex cheated on me repeatedly. I’ve fought those demons and sometimes giving “space” is scary, but I felt the reason behind it in your words, and almost instantly realized what it means to be holding on too tight.

      • Brenda, thank you for your blog. I’ve understood myself for years as an introvert who really enjoys his own company. So much that I’ve been single for 4 years. Yesterday, a co-worker asked memif i could take her daughter out for a date (she’s 25. I’m 27). Well, most guys would be jumping at this prospect. But I felt like it was a big invasion of my space and time. And now, I’m supposed to contact her (admittedly attractive) daughter. I always wonder if I should be up front about who I am in this type of situation. Or…just say “screw it”, because 90% of my body can’t be bothered unless I know she’ll compliment my life somehow. Anyways, thanks for the blog!

      • If you feel like taking the co-worker’s daughter out is an invasion of your space then go with your gut and decline, perhaps letting the co-worker know it’s not that her daughter isn’t appealing it’s just you’re uncomfortable with this kind of setup and were looking forward to downtime over the weekend. If a small part of you is curious about the date then go out and see what happens. Don’t put any expectations on the date. See if she is an easy conversation or an effortful evening. If she is an open person with good listening skills then maybe you could share the more introspective facets of your temperament. Your co-worker may know you well enough to understand you like alone time. Her daughter may have similar desires/needs.

        I don’t want you to miss out on meaningful companionship but I also know how important it is to honor your temperament. Follow your energy. If you think about it, let me know what you decide and how it turns out.:)

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  42. Hello there, it’s me again, this time with an update. ^_^ I believe I posted a few months back about being engaged to an introvert gal, and learning to adjust to her needs.

    Well, the good news is: the adjustment has gone far better than I thought! It may just be that I’m in love, but I’ve been on a long term serious relationship before, so I’m not new to the highs that come in the really stages of love. Nah, she is a keeper. The most beautiful girl–no, woman, in all of existence, and I mean every word of that declaration! Beautiful in mind, body, heart, soul–all of it.

    Things are great. Communication is as good as ever. A few months after that initial pay, I found that because I was so conscientious of her alone time, she actually spent quite a lot more of her time with me than I thought! Turns out, she can get the same our similar effect of alone time with us time, thoughwhen she needs it, she takes time completely alone. I love this gal, I’m Gibbs sirens my whole life with her, and all of eternity to boot. We’re happily looking forward to our marriage in August (2014), and look forward to raising a family together.

    She is supportive of my endeavors to sing in the opera and compose film music, just as I am supportive of her continuing her education. It’s bliss and happiness, and I’m fairly certain on a hunch that it will continue to be happy if we work hard at it.

    You were right about my HSP element: it has paid and rewarded greatly. Turns out that she is also HSP, but I, as opposed to my E. But we’re like Yin and Yang, cliche as that may come off.

    The bad need: she had to move back home for a little while. (I am in Idaho, and home for her is Missouri). :( That was hard to see her go, but she took it quite well, and assured me we would be in regular communication. That is going well. We expect to see each other in December, though. Depends on how everything works out. I am okay, she’s okay. It really is a beautiful relationship where we are both working to meet each other’s needs. I am close to tears because I feel like the luckiest, most blessed man in all of existence to have won her love.

    Thank you introverts for being the amazing people you are. This is from an extrovert. Thank you…thank you…

    • Awww thank you for the update. Your joy and enthusiasm is palpable. I am so glad your awareness and respect for her temperament paid off. It sounds like she is respecting your needs as well. Keep the communication honest and open. Time apart may deepen your relationship. Introverts love to reflect and revel in thoughts and experiences. Stay as connected as possible without being obnoxiously text happy. We love connection but phones ringing and beeping too much can feel like disruptions to our thinking/being.

      Much more happiness to you and your sweetheart.:)

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  46. i go back to this blog posting all the time. I find myself in a season of introversion. This writing is soothing to me and allows me to find words for my feelings. I honestly think this is the most important writing I have read in a long long time. Thank you again Brenda for this transparency into your “world”.

    • I’m so happy my words and story are soothing your spirit. In expressing myself and connecting with you, I am learning about myself as well. Therapy for everyone!;)

  47. I’m glad I found this one. Shared experiences like these help me in my struggle to keep my humongous Ego down and appreciate the loved one more.
    This issue is not a recent discovery to me. This introvert-extrovert antagonism has been a number one issue in our complicated relationship with my wonderful girlfriend. She’s the one who is introverted, and I am her polar opposite in many aspects. For the past few months I have been researching on this topic as much as my limited extrovert’s attention span can allow. The information I got helped me a lot to understand and appreciate introverts. Most importantly, it helped me understand my girlfriend and be more patient with her. But generally, this struggle to make peace with her occasional lack of emotion, attention, visible affection and her need to disappear out of the blue once in a while has turned to be a major failure to me. We’ve have been literally battling for every inch of our interests in this relationship. It’s ironic: I know exactly what’s going on with her and why, and I know why I shouldn’t get frustrated and take it personally, but it doesn’t help. Every time is just like the first time. I crave for her attention, caress and most of all – her physical presence in my life. I NEED it as much as she needs her downtime. And sometimes I get it all. She can make me feel like the most cherished person on the planet, then Boom! All of it is gone in a New York minute. She becomes like a completely different person, who doesn’t care a bit about me. Yes, I am exaggerating, but sometimes it does feel that way on my end. So, we’ve been pointlessly fighting and fighting and fighting for months.
    This is a pretty young relationship. Although, I am quite experienced in this realm, having gone through one unhappy marriage already, but I’ve never dealt with a real introvert before in the romantic relationship. I do want us to get old together, but this “Jungian type” difference of ours can make it a bit of a challenge. So, all I wanted to say is that it gives me a great relief when I see both sides share their experience. I see I’m not alone in my struggle and on the other hand I can understand her better.

    • You are definitely not alone in the challenge to meld an introvert/extrovert relationship into something mutually satisfying and glorious. This subject has been the most popular arena on space2live. Awareness helps. I applaud you for striving to understand and relate to your girlfriend. Do you feel she has done the same as far as learning about your nature and respecting it?
      Even though I am an introvert I can relate to your desire to having more of your girlfriend’s physical presence and attention. While dating another introvert, I have found it difficult to honor their need for space sometimes because the intimacy we share (emotional and sexual) is so satisfying and rich that I don’t want to go without. I feel I expand in their presence which is addictive. At the same time, I realize if we don’t get our separate time alone we won’t have as much to offer or give each each other and ourselves. All I can say is you are on the right track in that you are heightening your awareness and understanding. You will have to decide if what she can offer is enough.

      Best of luck. Try to see each other’s gifts and cherish them.

      • My girlfriend is the most giving and altruistic person I know. And she has done a great deal of work trying to understand my ways and giving me what I want. I know she’s doing her best, struggling with her lack of energy and socially awkward behavior. Well, she wasn’t ‘struggling’ with it until I came into her life and all of a sudden it became a problem. Generally, she feels pretty content and self-sufficient being the way she is, as most introverts who realize who they are. But we definitely started spending more time together after it turned out to be important and that was her sacrifice to me. That drains her, so sometimes she suddenly goes out like a light bulb and stays that way for a while. Well, who am I telling this, we all know exactly what happens.

        The time we spend together is my source of vital force. That is addicting. My emotional attachment to her is huge. When she’s gone it feels like a withdrawal. Don’t want it to sound like an obsession. Perhaps, when we start living together we can figure something out that works for both of us.

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and keep up the good work!

    • I can fully understand you. I have an introvert girlfriend as well and had a very hard time understanding her reactions and her “shutting down” and “Pulling away” for the longest time, until I started doing some research and discovered that introverts need this space to recharge. Posts like this one helped me realize what is going on, understand her reactions and not take things personal. After every period of “withdrawal” follows some time with unbelievable affection and it is always a great relief… I do know understand her much better!

    • I can totally relate to your post. I, too, am in a relatively young relationship with an introvert. I have never dated an introvert before and it is a completely new experience. She has spent nearly every day with me. Being an extrovert, I have consumed this wholeheartedly. There have been days where the depletion in her has been more than physically, mentally, and emotionally visible. Recently, there has been talk of needed space. I am trying my best to be understanding, but I know I could do better. We have discussed the real connection and authenticity of our feelings for each other and the very real possibility of longevity. I want to be able to give her the space she needs and still feel ok about the security of the relationship. What do you do that helps you feel ok?

      • Unfortunately, there are no ready-made solutions I know of. We had almost broken up a couple of times because of that issue. There have been hours of amicable discussions and mutual agreements, but every time she distances herself I feel almost offended, just like the first time. And then we fight, and it takes at least one more day until she is ready for reconciliation and so on. A cycle repeats in a familiar pattern. As a result, you don’t get what you want either way and you both suffer. So, knowing what’s going on doesn’t necessarily help you. It’s nearly impossible to reeducate a full-fledged adult. So, I’d suggest you pray that you don’t do or say something stupid next time around and instead force yourself to go somewhere and do something else, even if you don’t want to. There’s a chance you will get used to each other more or less. Her bad mood out of the blue is guaranteed and there’s nothing you can do about it but leave her alone. You’ll get upset too and feel that she doesn’t treat you right. That’s when a fight comes in. And if you don’t develop an emergency plan for such a bad day, you are in a world of trouble. Go work out, fish, walk, read, whatever. She knows that you hate it and you miss her and she feels guilty, which is the root of all evil in this type of relationship. I think, loving someone is accepting them the way they are. Therefore, we need to grow some balls to take such responsibility.
        Don’t give up!
        The truth is that since we moved in together and moved out of our hometown, things started looking a little bit better.

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  49. I only knew yesterday that introverts have special needs. I thought that there must be something wrong w/ me why I am not like others. You said that introverts form deep relationships; well, I do occasionally. For several years now, the closest relationship I have is w/ an extrovert friend who I have been in love with for several years, w/o anything being said on this between us. Contrary to what you said about needing space, I dont have such compunction w/ people I love. I am most happy in his presence. I jaz withdraw when he hurts me or has shaken my self perception, or when I am jealous and insecure, coz I couldnt tell him that I love him. I think, and others do too, that he does not feel the same about me, coz we’ve been hanging out as friends for several years now. In fact, i feel that our friendship has deteriorated from being very close, going out/being out often to seeing ea other once a week though we work in the same bldg. I feel that I should definitely move on (I have difficulty you see coz I couldnt seem to get over him though I tried several times), coz I couldnt imagine it working between us bec he does not feel the same and I am so tired of my situation. I honestly dont think I can really find anyone who could really love me the way I am.

    • Introverts are generally better at forming longterm meaningful relationships than making 100s of light friendships or acquaintances. Do you believe you are an introvert? Where do you get energy? In solitude or from social interaction? Introverts are not necessarily anti-social. We just prefer selective socializing usually in small groups or one on one.

      I don’t need as much space when I am with people who fuel me – i.e. have similar passions, know how to go deeply into conversations, are good listeners.

      Only you can make yourself happy. Look inward (which should be easy for an introvert because we have rich inner worlds) and see your own light. You are absolutely lovable the way you are. See my post, There’s Nothing Wrong with You. You’re an Introvert, for a list of all the gifts an introvert has to offer.

      Best of luck moving forward from this day on. You are obviously introspective and considerate. Pay attention to where you feel your best. Follow that energy.:)

  50. Such a great blog! Thank you. Only recently realising I am an introvert, after many many years of “I don’t fit in” or am “just socially awkward” and general introspection. My husband and all my (2) close friends are extrovert, and they understand how I operate which coupled with my politeness, empathy and the fact that I work from home, alone, in silence, means it works out well. Mostly. :)

    I have recently been forging a friendship with another who is more introverted than me and found that I am craving time with them – we seem to understand each other, we don’t fight for domination of the conversation, we can both open up, him more than me. And we can just be. I am now finding that I am the one chasing them for contact! It is all by text, no phone calls as he wouldn’t pick up, but then again neither would I usually! But I am finding it difficult to back off.

    I know that sometimes I need a nudge. I have told my other friends to please keep inviting me and contacting me. If I decline it is not personal it is just that I can’t be around others at that time. So I have adopted the same approach with this other friend, never pressuring him, just the odd invite to catch up. However most of the time I don’t even get a reply, period, other than when we do see each other – usually because he has phoned me – then he will say “oh I got your text 2 weeks ago”. But I do find it tough, to have found a friend who is like me, that doesn’t drain me. I seem to have latched on! I need to remember who I am and then appreciate he is more introverted. Omg, it must be so tough for extroverts to care for us sometimes!! Hats off to those that do.

    • I had a very similar experience. I finally found someone who did not drain me and actually fed me in a way that no one else ever had but he needed space more than I do (and that’s saying something;). My introverted ideal companion had many emotionally meaningful relationships so I sometimes had to wait my turn. He was not extroverted and outwardly social but he drew people to him with his way of being. I felt very at home and relaxed with him and so did others. In between one-on-one conversations he spent a lot of time alone.

      I understand your desire for more time/attention/interaction with this person. It’s very nourishing. Ultimately, I decided to just be grateful that person existed and that we could connect as deeply as we did. He is still my friend and I met a few other very cool people through him. I still consider him to be one of the people who knows me the best.

      Cherish the relationship you have. And yes, I can see where extroverts could get frustrated with us innies and our penchant for alone time.

      Thank you so much for sharing. It brought back some memories for me. I’m thrilled you found someone who gives you the freedom to “just be”.

      • Thank you brennagee! A little distance and perspective is great to stop the spiral sometimes and actually notice and cherish what you do have.

  51. What a wonderful find! Thank you for the comments and insights. I am an extravert (small e) dating an introvert for the first time in my 54 years on this blue marble. I am intrigued, baffled, warmed, puzzled, surprised and dozens of other verbs by my introvert. We went to HS together but don’t remember each other and connected via an online dating site. We hit it off immediately – he is a gentle, soft, philosophical soul that has been hurt immensely. I am a gentle, soft, philosophical soul that has been hurt immensely.

    Being an empath, I’ve conceded the ‘driving’ to him as I understand our differences and his need for space. I’m very independent and he is quite happy about that. It took 3 months to elevate our relationship to a physical, intimate level but it is pure bliss. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a spiritual physical relationship.

    To be honest I find it hard to deal with the lack of a ‘regular’ once or twice a week presence in each others’ lives. He is moving 7 miles away from me this coming week so I hope the contact will be a bit more frequent. I am also of the mindset that no matter how close the relationship, I would like to maintain a separate residence. I have friends in that situation and it is desireable for me and for my beau. Our relationship is taking more time to get off the ground than my others but because it’s so different I am willing to invest the time and effort. It is a challenge for this extravert – I will not lie. I am not a demanding, dramatic, intrusive person but I crave a bit more physical presence. I have needs too and hopefully we can strike a balance. I feel he is worth my time and effort. I have never met anyone like him and am completely smitten. He’s expressed to me that no woman in his life has ever made him feel so in touch with his masculinity as I have.

    Crossing my fingers…. thank you again for the invaluable advice.

    • Hurray for you and your beau!! You sound like you enjoy each other immensely. In my short (one year) post-divorce dating experience I have found that it is most gratifying when you take it slow. Savor every nuance and new observation. You will learn from your introvert and he from you. I’m sure he does appreciate that you are independent. I have found that a key attribute. Revel in your intimacy. Good things are worth waiting for and worth the effort.

      I know it is difficult for e’s to be away from their i’s. I hear from extroverted readers all the time how hard it is to give their space-loving partners time away. Focus on the high quality relationship you have when you are together. See if you can be alone-together (in the same space but doing different activities). Sometimes that works if the extrovert can give the introvert uninterrupted time.

      Best of luck! Thank you for sharing your wonderful relationship. You sound like two lovely people. Have fun reveling in each other.:)

    • Run don’t walk. He will never work on being more present. This is how they are. He is interested now, but in 2,3,5 yeatrs he will loose interest in being communicative and sexual. I was were you are and because I was so in love I thought I would change him a little. Wrong! They love differently than we do. We will need a little more than they can offer and at that point they will say ” Take me as I am or leave me”. They refuse to maybe seek help to be able to give more and by more I mean 10% more than what they’re giving. My introvert told me that I saved his life and that I made him the happiest men alive.
      At the beginning he will come out of his comfort zone and do amazing things with you. That is because of the “in love factor” but when that dies down a little he will change. You will be in pain! Better to look for someone more compatible. I would do things differently knowing what I know now. We are married, we are still together but it is very complicated… If I could go back in time, I would and believe me I would not be married now…
      This is my two cents.

      • Thanks Daydreamer. Well with my ‘luck’ or lack thereof with previous relationships – even my 20+ year marriage, I am trying the opposite of what I normally do. With this person my gut is completely calm. Also in the past my gut was churning, even with the extravert (Uppercase E) that pursued me aggressively and promised me the moon. My beau is an attorney and has a voice. He is into many of the metaphysical pursuits that I am as well. I have never been with a man this ‘different’ and it intrigues me right now.

        That said – my needs have to be met as it’s a two way street. I’ve been reading on some introvert blogs that we extraverts (well I’m really an ambivert) mindlessly chatter, never stop talking, are exhausting. That is an unfair stereotype. I am a very giving, kind, private, compassionate and passionate person. I need more of a physical presence than he’s been able to give – he just bought a home and the process was ridiculously complicated. Now that he’s in his new home and 8 miles away instead of 40 I expect weekly visits and to have the frequency of those visits increase over time. I have a wide circle of friends and activities and will not give them up for anyone. He appreciates my independence. But I cannot live on ideas and talk of the future. I’m going to be 55 in a few weeks and do not have the luxury of being 40. I want a partner that I can share my life with. I am willing to give this a few more months but if my needs are not being met I’ll have to make some decisions. My ex-husband was a depressive/borderline and my life was miserable and numb. My current beau and I connected on an emotional level – something I’ve never had but some adjustments need to be made in other realms.

        I will consider your advice and thank you very much for your input.

      • Hello again Daydreamer – well it winds up that the introvert is no different than the extroverts in the romance dept. If men (of any personality type) don’t want to be in relationships than why do they pursue you and declare that you are the love of their life? Oh well… being an extrovert I bounce back easily. I guess there’s a reason why my ex-beau (who I had to cut loose because he didn’t have the stones) is still a bachelor after 13 years. Hope he’s happy with his new home and his 2 puppies that will anchor him safely in his anti-social cocoon. Yes I’m angry but it’s because my time was wasted and I could have been out having fun and meeting people instead of waiting around for a frail, delicate flower to gain his strength back and make a decision.

  52. I got engaged to my cousin 3 months ago, and life has not been the same since. Every day I think of a thousand ways of how to end this relationship. It seems to me that everyone related, including my parents and my fiance’s family, are overjoyed at this union. Me, it has made me delve deeper in to depression and has left me incapable of having any sort of happy thoughts for a considerable period of time. It’s not that I hate him or anything, I just don’t want to have a relationship and marriage seems like hell, or worse, to me. Up till the moment that I read up on ‘Introversion’, I thought that my mom was right when she said that I have a serious problem because I don’t like being with people and sharing. Everyone had me convinced that I am arrogant, rude and just plain crazy for wanting too much solitude and having the time of time locked up in my room. Now I know that I’m not abnormal and I don’t need to be institutionalized. I love, love love being on my own. And the fact that I have a history of disastrous relationships, which I always thought were because of me because I’m the common denominator, has always added to the fact that people perceive me as weird. I studied Medicine for 5 years because my father wanted me to become a doctor. And I got through it by the grace of God. And I had this dream of being by myself and doing things for myself after I got over with Medicine. And lo and behold, my parents got me engaged. Now I feel like I’m constantly depressed and chronically thinking of ways to run away and be a fugitive. Recently, I even concocted a story in which my fiance got lost in some far off land and was declared dead because he was missing for a really long time, and thus I did not have to get married to him. The smallest and most innocent demands from either my fiance or my in laws renders me on the verge of panic attacks and I end up shutting myself in my room for hours on end. My fiance and I thankfully don’t share time zones so I don’t have to talk to him that much. My heart starts racing when he calls and the only way I get through an online chat is by plugging my ears with songs while I”m chatting with him. I really don’t want to get married, but I feel like I really don’t have a choice. How do I control my introversion and is that even possible? I’m extremely scared of the life that lies ahead.

    • Wow, I feel your anxiety and stress in your words. You are in a very difficult situation. I am not a doctor or expert on psychological conditions. I can only speak from my own experience. I saw that you have a blog and use it to express your side of the story. Writing can be very therapeutic so I am glad you found that outlet. Have you ever talked to a therapist of any kind? Your depression and panic attacks are serious signs that you may not be able to do this on your own. I know towards the end of my marriage I found myself with the same symptoms you have. I did work my way out of and through them. I went to counseling and tried more non-traditional therapy. Art and writing therapy are wonderful ways to absolve anxiety.

      I do think you may benefit greatly from time away. You need space (outside of the house) to mend frayed nerves.

      Do you have relationships that give you energy and make you feel content? Nurture those.

      I also think you may want to check out Elaine Aron’s books on Highly Sensitive people. I have read them all. I am highly sensitive. You may be too.

      Introversion isn’t something you need to control. It has gifts and drawbacks but for the most part it is just different from extroversion in that energy is derived internally and from solitude. I hope you come to see the beautiful traits of introversion (good listeners, appreciate beauty, good advisors, rich inner life, empathic, able to concentrate for long periods, etc.).

      Best of luck to you. Find your peace. Don’t be afraid to seek help from friends, therapists, family.

      Thank you for your brave and honest sharing.

      • I Love to write. And yes, this blog has been my one source of true and pure happiness when everything else seems turned on it’s head. Unfortunately I live in a society carrying really heavy taboos when it comes to therapy and counselling. These things are considered as a leisurely activity for the rich and mighty. Acceptance of personality issues and problems is a rarity. Thankfully I do have a friend, just the one, in whom I can confide and she has helped me and I cherish my relationship with her! Reading through your blog is such an eye opener and it certainly made me feel less ‘alone’. Hopefully I can, and more importantly, others can find ways to appreciate my introvert self!

      • I understand the cultural taboo of counseling. I’m thankful here in the U.S. it is a more accepted practice, although no one is exactly shouting at the top of their lungs if their mental health is wavering or troubling them. Embrace your close relationship with your friend. Community was a key component for me to find my bearings and go forward with confidence. I’m glad you feel a sense of belonging here at space2live. You are definitely not alone.:)

  53. I see a lot of comments on here where the girl is extroverted and the guy is introverted. In my case, it’s the opposite, gender-wise. I am a HSP-Extrovert, and so down time is not surprising to me. But there are times where she needs to be alone, and my heart is wanting her presence. Those times are very hard. I do my best to not be demanding of her time, because the last thing I want to do is drive her away. She is such an amazing gal, and our personalities, interests, values, etc. mesh so well. I mean, her and I aren’t engaged to be married for nothing. :P Perhaps some counsel on those times when she needs to reflect by herself, and my heart desires her company what I can do to feel a bit better. During those times, I feel lonely and depressed. When we’re both “being alone together,” there is no problem, and I find a lot of joy in my own creative (musical) pursuits. The times where she needs alone time, and I am wanting her around are few and far between…I suppose one could say I’m being overly sensitive about all this, but I am a highly sensitive person, after all.

    Any counsel?

    • First, I want to say your HSP traits are serving you and your fiancé well. You seem very in tune with your feelings and her need for alone time. You express yourself well so I’m sure the communication between you two is excellent. So important.
      Secondly, I want to say that you should not take her craving for space personally. I know when I need solitude I don’t want anyone even in the house. In another room is not good enough. I recently heard a radio DJ (very social job) say the same thing. That said, I’m glad you guys thrive in “alone together” time.
      I know Laurie Helgoe, author of Introvert Power, said that her extrovert husband said it’s like she takes away a light when she pulls away from him and needs time alone. I love that you have other passions, music, to keep your heart and soul engaged. I think creating something helps fill everyone up. I know it’s not the same as a partner but it’s a worthwhile endeavor nonetheless. Is there some good you could do in the world? Someone you could help while your fiance is soaking up her internal world? Do you have close friends to turn to for listening and fun? I would think the worst thing you could do would be to be idle and stew in the emptiness you feel without her present. If your girlfriend is like me, she will appreciate not having to be the one to make you happy. She will want you to be full and complete on your own and ready to share all your awesomeness with her when she is full as well (solitude required for that).
      I’m sorry I don’t have beautifully perfected answers. Maybe you could help me by telling me what seems to work best when you are missing your fiancé. What keeps the loneliness at bay?

      Thank you so much for sharing. It easier for us introverts to empathize with extroverts if we hear the other perspective.

      • It’s not something I should take personally, yes, you are right. Of that I am aware, and wish very much to not do so. As I mentioned, it doesn’t happen often–very occasionally–and those few times it does, it’s no fun. As for keeping the loneliness at bay, my brother and his wife (who is a really good friend of mine, like a little sister) are close contacts that I can reach immediately. However, both are busy (he with schooling and she with working), and I don’t know many others on a “close friend” basis up here. I, myself, am getting ready to start a career in opera singing, and so I may be away from them awhile. My fiancé and I have no problems with distance, and it wouldn’t be too far, anyway. We’ve been together long enough that to be apart now wouldn’t spell doom on the relationship, especially for the few months of the opera season.

        Anyway, you didn’t ask me questions to hear about my career exploits. :P So what does keep the loneliness at bay? I am still trying to figure that one out. The remainder of this reply might be a bit long, but I’ll try to keep it brief as I can. I think it is important that you understand a bit of my background so that you get a clearer view as to who I am now. I pray that this doesn’t come off as too strange. In 2006, I went to serve a mission for my church. 8 months into it, I somehow developed symptoms of bipolar and schizoaffective disorder, or some mix of the two. Two years prior to the mission, I met my ex girlfriend (her and I were together for four years before she broke it off in 2008). Needless to say, I was thrown down into a huuuge funk where I was blown back to the mental capacities of a child who couldn’t take care of himself. From 2006 till early last year (2012), I was battling this thing. In 2008, my ex broke it off, going on a mission herself, and not wanting to deal with my illness anymore. Phew. That was devastating, whether it was well-meaning or not. I spiraled down and down until I wanted to end it all in 2009, but because of a very miraculous realization at the end of that year, I didn’t. I wouldn’t be here if not for that, I think. :P In the years after 2009, I improved greatly, moving from psychiatric meds to more natural stuff. By mid 2012, I was off all my old medications, had dropped over 100 lbs, and was mentally capable, more so than I had ever been.

        Now, during all that time of trying to heal, especially after my ex left, I was wanting very much to date and find love again. Heh, funny how that works. It’s like thee proverbial kid who wants the cake now, but it’s still baking. At the end of 2012, I met my now-fiancé, and boy did we click and work magically together! As you guessed, our communication has been nothing short of flawless and easy, very open, honest, non-judgmental, non-accusatory. It’s a dream come true. Gosh, I dunno why I’m even griping over a few instances where she wants to be alone and my heart desires her presence!

        But such is the case. So, now that you have a (brief) backstory, I’m thinking that it has been hard to “keep the loneliness at bay,” among other, littler psychological issues (that are definitely within my ability to overcome, just need to figure out exactly how now that my mind is free) because I only really just have been able to focus on some of these things when the symptoms of some pretty nasty mental/psychological disorders are no longer present. So the answer: I’m still trying to figure out what keeps it at bay. It’s a journey, to be sure, and it isn’t easy, but I can tell you that it is far preferable to where I was just a few years ago.

        Because I live in a dorm with my roommates at this time, I could make their lives a bit better while my lovely fiancé is on her time, and it’s during a time where I desire her company (for, as I mentioned, most of the time, it’s not a big deal…it’s just those few times). I could, while they’re out at school, or at work, tidy up the living room/kitchen area. I’m sure they’d appreciate that. ^_^ Or I could continue to keep up on my vocal training (I’ve been singing with classical training for over nine years now), and prepare for my audition. I’m sure there are a number of things I could do. All I know is that no matter what, my love always returns with this huuuuge smile on her face from her alone time to throw her arms about my shoulders and greet my with the happiest eyes I’ve ever seen. I suppose the only other thing besides that would be my own future children doing the same when I walk through the–that’d be the only other thing, I think, that’d give me so much joy.

        It’s worth mentioning, though, that Esther tells me that often during her alone times, she thinks about me, about us, and “misses [her] Aaron,” as she says. She’ll text me periodically during those times, and on the days where I am feeling particularly lonely, one of those is like a gift from God.

        I hope I have not digressed too much here. I hope you are able to gain some clearer insights and understanding into my world a bit. To sum up: because of the stressful lifestyle of the mission, and being HSP (which I had no idea of at the time), I began to develop over-methylation in the form of symptoms of bipolar/schizoaffective disorders, and took a few years to overcome that. A program was found where all that was re-balanced, and I am mentally healthy again. However, there are still some residual little “thorns” that have been with me since childhood, and so I’ve been trying to identify the triggers and reform the cognitive behaviors accordingly. Now that my mind is free to do so from the symptoms that caused me to regress, it’s easier than before, but still a challenge at times. And ongoing. Included in some of those “thorns” are the feelings of abandonment when my ex left five years ago. It was that bad… But it’s mending with Esther’s love and my own for myself.

        So your question: “What keeps the loneliness at bay?” Well, I don’t know yet. I’m working on it though, and have made some serious progress. Usually confiding in others these most personal and serious things (as in with my sister-in-law and brother, etc.) has been helpful. And I’ve done my best to try and meet Esther’s needs, even though I don’t always understand.

        Hope that helps, and that it’s not so long and drawn-out as to be an eyesore. ^^’

      • You have done some very hard work and you sound very healthy Aaron. You have a passion and close relationships outside of your relationship with Esther. I am especially glad that you know you have to have love for yourself. That will sustain you no matter what. Again, I’ll mention that your communication with your fiancé sounds refreshingly open and transparent. She feels free to express her need for space and you are honest about your mental health and desire to be with her. It seems that hitting bottom is often a precursor to clarity. You’ve learned much about yourself and connecting with others because of your struggles. Bravo! Use that knowledge for your benefit and others’.

        Thank you so much for being so candid about your last seven years. Vulnerability opens doors. It gives others permission to be imperfect.

        Keep doing what you’re doing! I’m fascinated by your career path. I imagine it’s a rich and beautiful field although competitive no doubt. You have an amazing personal story to draw from when you need strength and emotion.

        All my best, Brenna

      • Thank you for the reply. ^_^ Going through hardship and rising from it again does provide clarity to life. Of course, there’s always a bit of baggage that resides, but that can be worked through, right? I spoke with my fiancé last night, and we had a meaningful conversation about each others’ needs. It is still astonishing how equally we love one another, and are willing to sacrifice for each other.

        Bad or otherwise negative experiences can make or break folks, and I chose make. Even though part of my young life was lost as a result, I’m glad the lessons were learned earlier in my life, rather than later. I’m glad I found this article. It has been real helpful and informative about introverts and how to care for them. I love mine with all my heart. ^_^

  54. A week ago my partner of just over 1 year and I had a rare argument it was out of the blue and we were both to blame, although he doesn’t see it that way, he’s blaming me entirely. he has gone quiet on me he doesn’t want to talk or contact me in any way, i am devastated as we had a really loving relationship right up to the argument. he has only just been able to admit he loves me after all this time. i don’t know how to get him back i am desperate to do so and him forgive me. i know he is still grieving for his mother who died this year. i have read this page and cant believe so much of it is exactly his personality type. what should i do now?, i’ve text and tried ringing and not surprisingly, having read this page, to no avail.

    • I am not a relationship expert but if I had to guess I would say he may need some space to process how he feels about you. The one year mark is a milestone. He may feel like this is time to consider exactly where your relationship is going. If his mind is full (mother’s death to process, your relationship, work, stress?), your argument may have been the last straw. He may need a breather to recharge. Your calls and texts have let him know you are still there. You could try emailing him. I prefer email to phone calls and texts sometimes – so I can read and respond at my own leisure. Emails feel less urgent and persistent too. Keep them brief.

      Go softly with him. Don’t pepper him with requests for his attention. It could be overwhelming (even irritating) if he really needs time to think and recharge.

      I hope all works out. Remember introverts like to have time to daydream about and miss the ones they love. It’s part of the fun – the anticipation of pleasure. ;)

      Thanks for reading and leaving a thoughtful comment.

      • Thank you so much, i’ll give him space and time to think about the special relationship we had. i’ll also send the occasional text to remind him i’m thinking about him. fingers crossed he’ll want to make amends in time.

  55. I randomly stumbled upon your blog, and this post in particular has been really eye-opening, thank you! I’m a total Type A go-go-go extrovert, while my boyfriend’s pretty much exactly the type of introvert you describe. It’s certainly been challenging, but I’m learning a lot in the process. I need to talk everything through, particularly if it’s a (real or perceived) relationship issue; he recently told me that “if I don’t say anything [about XYZ], it means everything’s fine”. This is exquisite emotional torture for someone like me, really, because the line of reasoning I gravitate towards naturally is “he’s not talking – something’s wrong – he won’t tell me what’s wrong – it must concern me – there’s something wrong with me – he wants to end it”, whereas he’s just watching a movie by himself in his mancave. I’d love to read more on what I can do iron these wrinkles out – would you recommend any articles or books on the subject?

    • My best advice is to not take his need to be alone or not talk personally. Sometimes we just crave a lack of stimulation. It’s great that you are aware and open to understanding a temperament so different from yours. You both can learn from each other. It’s nice to have someone in your life who has different energy as long as you respect your differences.

      Here are a few books I have found helpful: Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Introverts at Ease by Nancy Okerlund and a very special endorsement for Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

      Please check out There’s Nothing Wrong With You. You’re an Introvert. on this site as well.

      Thanks so much for commenting and reading. Best of luck to you in your relationship. I believe introverts and extroverts can co-exist (date, marry) with understanding and respect for their different temperaments.

  56. “Introverts are not into small talk. We want to share emotions, feelings and ideas.”

    I dated an introvert for 3 1/2 years for whom this was NOT the case. He did not want to share his emotions at all, and would only do so if I very carefully, gently suggested it. Even so, it was perhaps one time in 10 that he would open up even slightly. He much preferred small talk — chatting about food/wine/travel/light politics. I know he’s a wonderful person, but his inexperience and discomfort with discussing the bigger things in life ultimately ended our relationship. He deeply wants children, but simply would not (or could not) discuss any aspect of parenthood.

    I always wonder what I could have done differently. I used to write letters to give him time to process things and respond, but even that had limited results. I’m still greatly attracted to introverts, but I don’t want a repeat of this very happy but nonetheless failed relationship. Any advice for me?

    • Hmmm. We are all on an introvert/extrovert continuum so he may have recharged in solitude but enjoyed the ease of simple small talk. Did he enjoy parties with lots of people and plenty of opportunity for surface conversations?
      Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Does he open up with anyone? I love the idea of letter writing in order to give him time to process and respond. I’ve known men who never showed much emotion until they were “cracked open” by a trauma of some sort. Once the gates were open and they received unconditional support (or they hit bottom and turned inward for strength) they felt more comfortable being vulnerable.
      Perhaps I misspoke when I included emotions in the list of introvert favorites to share. Ideas and concepts are usually energizing for introverts because they come from within and are exciting but perhaps your man was overwhelmed by emotions. I can see introverted logical types (think engineers, scientists) finding it difficult to emote outwardly. It may require too much energy.

      Love is a mysterious thing. We learn from every relationship. I believe your intuition will guide you to a more “big picture” or expressive mate the next time around.

      Best of luck and thank you for reading and commenting.

      • yes, tis true that introverted logical types find it extremely difficult to emote outwardly. i’ve been married to an introverted philosopher for 12 years.

        thanks for sharing your unique perspective with all of us inquisitive extroverts who simply want to better understand and love our introverts well. :)

      • So interesting. I’m a less logical, very emotive introvert. There is huge spectrum within each personality trait. How do you draw him out or do you leave him to his inwardness? Thanks for sharing.
        It’s so good and right to learn and understand each temperament’s perspective. We are all in this together.;)

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  60. “If we are going to put ourselves out there it has to be magnificent. Better than solitude.” ohhh, how I relate to this. I have said to others that for time with them to trump my time with me, they must be pretty sensational! I sometimes forget that not everyone is so joyful in their inner wonderland, and it’s comforting to read your insightful and lovely words. Thank you for putting your inner world out here for us to see…it’s beautiful.

    • Yes! As I venture out into the social and dating world again I am highly aware of how my companions affect my energy levels. I always try to build solitude cushion into my schedule. I know myself. I need that slow breathing space that makes me hum and glow.:) Thank you, thank you for reading and commenting. I so appreciate your insight.

  61. Pingback: Introvert Relationships: Love Me or Leave Me But Please Don’t Need Me (Too Much) | Introverts Life and Business Guide | Scoop.it

  62. I was thrown out of my extrovert (him) / introvert (me) relationship though no choice. It was difficult at first. Now I recognize that over the past 40 years I have not been able to be my true myself due to trying to keep up with the extrovert husband. I have not had time for that quiet time required for an introvert to re-charge. So, at this point in time, I have absolutely NO desire whatsoever of entering into ANY intimate relationship. I am learning being myself is OK. I am learning all about solitude. It is OK. It is more than OK. I am revelling in it. At this point in time, I do not want another relationship to impinge on the relationship I am enjoying with myself.

    • You go introvert girl! I completely understand where you are coming from. I felt lost in the hustle and bustle of my life and marriage – always worried about keeping up or disappointing someone who needed me. I now am working on a balance of some sorts. I go go go then I retreat to solitude or find a companion who gives me energy. I’m still happy to have alone time as well. That’s what’s great about introverts we don’t see being alone as lonely.

      Best of luck Elizabeth revealing the true you! Enjoy and savor.:)

    • yes it is okay to be yourself. So many times women in general get lost when they get married. They forget what they like because we pay so much attention to our children and our career and husband. If you are a chistrian like myself we are taught to put everyones need before ours. Then one day we wake up and realize its time for us to enjoy ourselves again. So, God bless you while you take time to enjoy whats left of your life. I’m the opposite from you. I’m an extrovert married to an introvert. My husband has taught me how to slow down and relax. He gives me the balance I need.

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