Tips for Dating an Extrovert

Don't be afraid to set boundaries

A couple together in a pub


Henrik Sorensen / Getty Images

If you're an introvert, you might find that you're attracted to extroverts. Maybe you love joining them on adventures and being a part of their inner circle because they make everything seem exciting and their energy motivates you to be more expressive and conversational. 

But dating an extrovert (as an introvert) is a challenge. 

Most extroverts thrive on engagement and enjoy being the center of attention in large crowds, which is an introvert’s nightmare. After being out in the world and engaging with others, most introverts want to go home, recharge their batteries, and avoid all social interaction. 

The benefits of dating an extrovert can far outweigh the disadvantages, but only when partners are willing to communicate their differences and recognize their partners’ needs. Here are some things to keep in mind, if your partner is a true extrovert.

What to Expect

Extroverts bring many wonderful qualities to their relationships. They are known for being assertive, sociable, and enthusiastic,. They often bring positivity to any room they enter.

“Extroverts tend to be very gregarious and people-oriented,” says Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist, speaker, and author of Date Smart. “[They] often exude ‘big energy’ and thrive in social settings.”

You know you’re dating an extrovert if they exude the following characteristics:

  • Prefer verbal communication over other forms
  • Generate ideas and inspiration from outside of themselves
  • Lead conversations and discussions
  • Exude confidence in public spaces
  • Make quick decisions and act upon thoughts quickly
  • Surround themselves with many different friends or friend groups
  • Adapt to changing situations with ease 

While extroverts tend to be engaging, talkative, and outgoing—all positive qualities—they can sometimes come across as aggressive, harsh, or conceited. 

There are different levels of extroversion and every human is different. Not all extroverts love to be the center of attention, for instance, though many do. Some extroverts tend to be adventurous, while others are more reserved. Your extroverted partner may or may not be the life of every party, but chances are they’ll want to stay until the very end. 

“Dating an extrovert can be really fun. They love engaging in conversations and desire a lot of social connection and activity,” says Meredith Prescott, LCSW, founder of Prescott Psychotherapy + Wellness LCSW, PLLC. “They often are well-connected, and bring people together.

If you’re an extrovert, you likely act the same way. Together, you and your extroverted partner are likely to bring double the energy and fun to social gatherings, which can be positive, but also problematic.

“When two extroverts unite, the partnership can be fantastic,” says Dr. Manly, “[But] like two tornadoes coming at once, the dynamic energy can be a bit overwhelming to others and even the relationship itself.”

If you’re an extrovert dating an extrovert, you’ll need to focus on balance, Dr. Manly explains, which includes healthy, intimate couple time, as well as sleep and relaxation. If balance isn’t achieved, the couple can exhaust themselves and their relationship.

How to Set Boundaries as an Introvert 

Unlike introverts, extroverts thrive on other peoples’ energy and often feel replenished after spending time with others. They don’t need much solitude and may even prefer to spend their down time hanging with their partner as opposed to being alone.

Communication is a critical factor in any relationship, but especially in introvert-extrovert relationships. If you’re an introvert, you’ll want to set boundaries with your partner and express your needs clearly so your partner can learn to accommodate them. 

You may not be willing to attend a large, crowded concert, for example, or you may prefer to stay at a hotel when visiting family so you can have your own space to decompress. 

Not every situation can be prepared for, so make sure you’re continuously communicating with your partner. You may have planned to meet up with your partner’s friends on Saturday morning, for example, but upon waking you decide you don’t have the energy for it. In this scenario, you might choose to stay home or go with the intention of only staying for an hour.

Respecting Your Partner’s Needs

“True extroverts need social time nearly as much as they need food; without regular fueling doses social interactions, they can be sad, cranky, depressed, and irritable,” says Dr. Manly.

You may not want to do everything that your partner does, but remember their needs are different than yours. Give them the space to recharge. This could result in a daily walk around the neighborhood with a friend, a weekly breakfast with coworkers, or meeting up with family members on weekday evenings. 

“An introvert might feel overwhelmed or threatened by the extrovert's social life and great desire for connection,” says Prescott.

As an introvert, it may seem strange, but social interaction is just as important for extroverts as solitude is for you. When talking to your partner, make sure you address any concerns you have. Make sure you’re open and honest with your partner about your feelings and don’t be afraid to ask them questions to better understand their preferences. 

“If approached mindfully, both the introvert and extrovert can benefit from their differences,” Dr. Manly explains. “The introvert can benefit by moving out of the normal comfort zone to enjoy novel experiences and social interactions. The extrovert can also benefit by discovering the joy of more one-on-one experiences and occasional social downtime.”

What This Means for You

When both an introvert and extrovert are considerate of each other, the differences in their social needs may be a non-issue, but if an introvert is dating a self-absorbed or inconsiderate extrovert, the introvert’s need for downtime may be ignored, Dr. Manly says. 

If boundaries are crossed, Dr. Manly explains, the introvert may become anxious and exhausted from the constant sense of being overwhelmed. 

In any relationship, it’s important to pay attention to your own needs. Self-care is different for everyone and while compromising is often a healthy aspect of a relationship, it shouldn’t result in changing yourself or your needs to suit your partner. 

If you want to better understand your partner and strategize healthy ways to navigate your differences, consider finding a couple’s therapist who can offer a knowledgeable third-party perspective.

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