While some of us can't keep our mouths shut to save our lives and find nothing more delightful than being the center of attention, our quieter, more introverted counterparts often balk at the idea of having to be in the company of more than a few people at a time. While there is most definitely nothing wrong with dating someone who's more introverted, or vice versa, depending on what you're looking for in a relationship, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for red flags when dating an introvert that could spell trouble.
Introverts are some of the most amazing people. I've always respected the observant, thoughtful, and somewhat delicate way more reserved people express themselves. It's no wonder why many of the mysterious, brooding types seem to be just as, if not more, intriguing than more overtly outgoing peeps. But of course, every rose has its thorns, and dating someone very different from you if you're on the more extroverted side can put up some obstacles in your relationship that might not be obvious from the get-go. Elite Daily asked dating and etiquette expert April Masini, of Relationship Advice Forum, to shed some light on red flags when dating an introvert. (As a disclaimer, these red flags in no way mean you shouldn't date an introvert, or that introverts are harder to date than other types of people.)
1. They May Be Hard To Read
One thing that can cause conflict between extroverts and introverts is that many people assume those who are more reserved are mean or disinterested (which obviously couldn't be further from the truth). But even though this is often not the case, it can be a source of drama.
"For instance, if your family thinks your introverted partner doesn’t like them because they never join family rituals or make conversation or extend themselves for family, this can create a relationship problem," says Masini.
2. You May Disagree On Your Ideas Of Fun
"The extrovert’s idea of fun — or even obligation when it comes to work, family and friends — is going to pose a real challenge for an introvert," says Masini, "Especially [for extreme introverts] who would rather not be involved in those activities because they involve so much being out there."
The truth is that, sometimes, regardless of how much you love someone, there is a fundamental compatibility issue. That is not to say that these can't be overcome, but it's going to require compromise on both sides that, for some people, could feel like they are just too big to make.
3. You May Feel Your Freedom Is Hindered
"When introversion creates stumbling blocks for going to parties, negotiating reservations at restaurants or hotels, or navigating a social life as part of a couple, then introversion is going to be challenge for any relationship," explains Masini.
While it should definitely be noted that not all introverts have social anxiety, there are some that do. If someone has social anxiety, it is their (and only their) choice as to whether or not they work to deal with this and at what pace they do so. And their partner should be understanding of this. For a partner who really thrives in larger social situations, this may present a challenge. But with conversation, understanding, and compromise, it's totally manageable.
4. It May Take A While To Become Aware Of Their True Feelings
In more extreme cases, where a person is so introverted that they are constantly struggling to assert and express themselves, even getting to the point where you are actually in a relationship with them and are aware of their feelings about you could end up being an uphill battle.
"If an introvert doesn’t ask you out because they’re too [consumed] by their introversion and risking rejection in what they may perceive as the spotlight, the relationship will stall," warns Masini.
And though none of these red flags definitely mean that things are doomed to fail, it's important to be somewhat realistic when it comes to managing your expectations. Masini points out that, just as an extrovert shouldn't feel like they have to change to make a more reserved parter happy, the same courtesy should be extended to introverts. If you're not happy with who your partner is in this moment, even if they're different from you, then riding on the hopes that they will change isn't the wisest decision.
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