The Introvert Vs. The Extrovert

By: Jess Downey |

Photo credit: mikecogh (Flickr)

Photo credit: mikecogh (Flickr)

The other day I received a tweet from a pal/reader. He asked if I had ever written anything about introverts and extroverts. It’s weird because I actually haven’t. Though it’s something I often thought about when I was a single gal. So that brings the questions – is it better to date an Introvert when you’re and extrovert? Or should you date the same? And if you decide to date your opposite, how do you do it? Can it work?

My personal opinion is that Paula Abdul had it right, opposites attract. I don’t care what anyone says. Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying you should be polar opposites. Obviously if you’re a homebody that likes to hibernate, you probably won’t mesh well with someone who’s a social butterfly. I’m also not saying that two extroverts can’t get married or that an introvert shouldn’t date another introvert. I just believe that you have to have difference so you don’t clash and commonalities so you’ll have things to share. It’s all a part of complementing each other. And I think that’s a key element in compatibility.

When you date someone who has differences, you both balance each other out. Where one of you is weak the other can be strong and you can push each other to step out of your comfort zone. For instance, let’s say you’re the kind of person who’s always wanted to try something (an open mic night, karaoke, etc.) or you tend to shy away from big gatherings where you don’t know someone. If you date an extrovert they will likely encourage you to do all of that and they will help you along the way because they are an extrovert so that’s just second nature to them.  But, if you date someone who’s not willing to do any of that, you probably won’t ever either.

My fiancé and I are a prime example of this theory of mine. I’m an extrovert and he is an extrovert as well. Oddly enough, I had a tendency to date introverts before I was engaged. I dated extroverts from time to time, but it never really seemed to work because it was too much of a battle. Let’s be honest here, two attention whores in the same room together isn’t a great thing. We annoyed each other and people around us. Fights always seemed to go unsolved. So I just figured I would mesh better with someone who was less like me. I took that whole opposites attract thing too literal and assumed that meant I needed an introvert.

Then I met my fiancé who is an extrovert like me. At first it worried me, but the more we spent time together the more I felt like we fit together. We’ve never had issues with it, but that’s because we’re extroverts in a different way. He’s friendly, will talk to anyone, isn’t shy about anything, and doesn’t really care about being the center of attention. I like being around people, am not shy or embarrassed about much, and love being the center of attention. We’re still opposite about things, but we totally complement each other.

So, the bottom line is, it’s not a matter of introvert versus extrovert. It’s just a matter of finding someone who complements who you are. Two introverts can date. Two extroverts can date. An introvert and an extrovert can date. As long as you make sure you’re balancing each other out and neither of you is compromising who you are (that’s really something you should do with any aspect of a relationship).