Relationships are never easy – even when both people have much in common. Ask any Siamese twin.
Relationships between introverts and extroverts pose unique challenges. But it can be rewarding if both people want to make it work.
Just ask Susanne, an introvert and Jeremy, an extrovert:
Jeremy: Growing up, my family frowned upon introverts. My father used to say, “I have no respect for a man who won’t bring attention to himself in large gatherings of strangers.”
Susanne: My family felt the same way about extroverts. My uncle was shunned after he asked a stranger for directions.
Jeremy: Susanne and I met at a party. I was high-fiving 15 or 20 friends after telling a joke. I saw her across the room. She was sitting alone reading the instructional manual for the host’s DVD player.
Susanne: I was halfway through the troubleshooting section when I sensed someone was watching me. I looked up and it was Jeremy.
Jeremy: We talked for a while. At that point, I didn’t realize she was an introvert. I thought she worked for the cable company.
Susanne: He asked me out. I thought it would be a quiet evening for two but we met a large group of his friends at a sports bar. I almost made it through the night but collapsed from conversation exhaustion.
Jeremy: I realized Susanne was an introvert as I watched the EMTs loading her into the ambulance. After giving her a few months to recuperate, I asked her out again. This time I suggested we meet in an empty parking lot where I knew we’d be alone.
Susanne: I was so touched when Jeremy invited me to my favorite empty parking lot. The night was magical! We’ve since bonded. I am now, with proper medication, able to spend short periods of time with him and his throngs of acquaintances.
Jeremy: I’ve learned to sit with Susanne in silence for hours. Hint: When dating an introvert, never go ANYWHERE without a smartphone and three days of podcasts.
Susanne: It’s corny but true; when you meet the right person, love – and separate apartments – will keep you together.