How to Deal When Your Partner’s an Extrovert (and You’re Not)
Your social life is likely entwined with your partner’s at this point, whether or not you’ve already tied the knot. But, oftentimes, couples have different ideas of what it means to be social and how often they might want to go out on the town.
In some cases, your partner may be more extroverted then you are—or at least be more inclined to say “yes” to last-minute plans to grab drinks with a big group or hit that friend of a friend’s house party on a Saturday night… both of which sound kind of terrible to you. (As the more introverted type, you prefer grabbing a drink with a friend or going to a party where you’re sure to know everyone.) If this describes your relationship—or even if you’re the extrovert and your partner is the intro—read on for tips on how to deal with your differing social desires.
1. Realize that you don’t have to do everything as a couple
Just because your partner is a social butterfly–and you’d rather be home in your pjs—that doesn’t mean you’re fundamentally incompatible. Partnership means standing beside each other, not being the same person. You two may live a joint life, but you’re still the awesome unique people you were before you even met. Sure, some couples do everything together and seem to be attached at the hip—but having that kind of relationship isn’t a requisite for having a meaningful, lifelong bond.
2. Go home solo when you need to
Maybe your partner likes to hang out until late into the night and you feel exhausted after making small talk for an hour. It’s totally fine to leave on your own (that’s what Uber is for!) so you can go home and recharge. More than likely, your partner will be happy to escort you, but know that it’s okay to go your own way from time to time.
3. Resist feeling weird about having an imbalance of friends
Your partner may have a ton of pals, while you may only have a few close BFFs. This can feel a little sad sometimes when he always seems to have someone to hang out with—especially in instances when all of your besties are busy or many live out of town. But don’t let it get you down: As an introvert, you tend to value select quality time with a few chosen people rather than frequent hangouts with acquaintances. Ain’t nothing wrong with that!
4. Work together to balance your needs
If you prefer intimate dinners with a few close friends and your partner prefers big group gatherings, for instance, make time for both. If this means you need to decline some engagements—or fly solo now and then—that’s totally fine. What matters most is that you both feel satisfied with your social time, both together and apart. It may take time to figure out what works for each of you.
5. Don’t overbook yourself
To keep yourself sane, resist the urge to keep up with your partner’s social calendar. Sometimes, you might just want to hang out at home with your dog rather than grab drinks with friends. Listen to your inner voice so you don’t get burnt out and can truly enjoy the time you do spend out and about, with or without your partner.