Why Introverts And Extroverts Attract Each Other

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Why Introverts And Extroverts Attract Each Other
Love, Self

Finding someone like yourself may not be such a good idea.

If you're one personality type, either an introvert or extrovert, and you're dating or married to your opposite, then you know the different issues that can arise in your relationship. While it's absolutely true that opposites attract, it doesn't mean that the relationship will be without problems. And while any relationship will have its issues, there are entirely new problems that come up when you're an introvert and extrovert couple.

Introvert vs. extrovert

Ted is a musician. He’s kind of a quiet with a great sense of humor. He enjoys getting together with friends, but not too many at a time, and his fuse is pretty short when it comes to being with large groups of people.

He’s the guy that disappears from a party all of a sudden. One minute he’s there, the next minute he’s gone. Ted doesn’t dislike people at all, but his tolerance for being around them is pretty limited, and when he maxes out, he’s done, and then he’s gone.

Suzanne’s a high school teacher and a real firecracker. She’s loud, energetic, fun-loving, opinionated, (and not afraid to express her opinions), and she’s a talker. And she’s married to Ted.

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You’d think that a pair like that would be a match made in somewhere other than heaven, and if you did, you’d be right. Ted and Suzanne have been married for sixteen years and except for the first several months, things have been shall we say … intense.

A typical introvert, Ted tends to seek solitude and time for introspection when his battery needs recharging. When he’s under stress, he values no one’s company more than his own and finds clarity, comfort, and relief in being solitary. Yet he’s not a loner or a hermit. Once Ted is refueled, he’s ready to re-engage and connect with other people. But not until then.

Suzanne, on the other hand, gets recharged by being withpeople. When she’s stressed out, her initial impulse is always to get with people, preferably in person. If that’s not possible, then at least by phone.

Emails and texts don’t do it. She wants connection.

Introverts (like Ted) and extroverts (like Suzanne) have opposite — or “complementary” — means of dealing with stress and meeting their emotional needs. Introverts tend to be self-reflective and seek out spaces where they can access their inner experiences freely. Extroverts on the other hand are predisposed to seek out others with whom they can engage and find the answers to their questions in the dialogue that the interactive process provides.

It might seem counter-intuitive for these two very different introvert or extrovert personality types to get together, but it actually makes perfect sense from a relationship standpoint.

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Left to their own devices or paired with a partner whose inclination is the same as theirs, each of their lives would be unbalanced in one direction or the other. Two extroverts would run the risk of burning out without sufficient down-time for rest and reflection. Things could also get heated between the two of them as their tendencies might cause them to run the risk of overloading their system possibly amplifying rather than reducing the stress level of their lives.

The potential danger of a relationship with two introverts is pretty obvious. Insufficient stimulation and inadequate external input. The net result of this is that the relationship and the passion level could flatline. More marriages die as a result of neglect than unresolved differences, so a two-introvert relationship carries its own set of risks as well.

This does not by any means suggest that marriages shared by two similar types are doomed. There are also a great many couples that are in two-introvert or two-extrovert marriages that are ecstatically happy. All relationships have their unique challenges, and the predispositions that both partners bring are not the most important variable in the process.

The great challenge of all committed partnerships is to commit to the fulfillment of the relationship and the needs of one’s partner without losing or neglecting one’s own needs in the process.

As many people have found out, this is quite a bit easier said than done. It is, however do-able, given a commitment to do the work. Both introverts and extroverts are challenged to reframe their view of their partner from judgment and resentment for not being more like they would like them to be, to gratitude for the value that they do bring into their lives.

As this process evolves, appreciation replaces criticism and acceptance replaces judgment. It does take work and it does take time, but as countless couples know from their experience, the payoffs more than justify the effort.

RELATED: Science Says Introverts Should Date Extroverts (And Vice-Versa)

Linda and Charlie Bloom are trained psychotherapists and relationships counselors who work with individuals and couples to create better intimacy and happiness in relationships. For more information, contact them through their website to see how they can help you.

This article was originally published at PsychCentral. Reprinted with permission from the author.