Frank and I have been together for two years. We’re your typical extrovert/introvert couple. He’s gregarious. I occasionally make eye contact with my cat. I prefer to socialize with a few friends – by few I mean in numbers from zero to Frank. Frank prefers rubbing shoulders with the Mormon Tabernacle choir.
Last week I made reservations at a small intimate restaurant à deux. Frank invited a pack of cousins, five of whom belong to a “Deliverance” renenactors club. I’ve never been a devotee of one-tooth banjo players, but I couldn’t bring myself to say no.
This happens all the time. Frank always insists we socialize as part of a mob. (I’ll save our evening with the Gambino family for another question.) I love him dearly and want this relationship to work. How can I convince him to respect my need for solitude and shorter conga lines?
Mobbed in Manhasset
Introvert/extrovert relationships can be a mixed blessing. I once dated an extrovert who wanted to have a three-way with me and my inner voice. This same extrovert introduced me to the amazing world of group rates.
A loving and thoughtful extrovert can help you emerge from your shell and broaden your world. But stand up for yourself. Just because you’re an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t be an introvert princess warrior. Frank sounds like a keeper. Tell him how you feel and tell him to keep his friends at a distance.
Mindy Menorah, Ph.D., LCSW, PDF is a licensed, bonded, and insured couples therapist. For 23 years she was the official Osmond family mediator.