So, you are in a relationship with your introvert/extrovert and you want this relationship to last.
One of the ways to keep the spark alive is to find activities to do that you both can engage with, without feeling awkward or ill at ease. It might be a useful starting point to work out what type of introvert and extrovert you are.
Let’s look at introverts first
According to psychologist Jonathan Cheek there are different types of introverts. He found that the way introverts defined the trait was different from those in academia studying the phenomenon.
When you survey a person on the street, asking them to define introversion, what comes up as the prototypical characteristics … are things like thoughtful or introspective,” said Cheek, a psychology professor at Wellesley College.
Yet neither of these things are part of the definition of the trait according to the scientific literature. So Cheek introduced four levels of introversion.
1. Social Introvert
These types of introverts represent the common understanding of introversion. Social introverts prefer to be alone or socialize in small groups. However, they are not shy and don’t have feelings of anxiety around others.
2. Thinking Introverts
Are introspective, thoughtful and can come across as dreamy.
3. Anxious Introverts
These guys seek out solitude as they feel awkward and anxious around others.
They tend to consider and dwell on things that might have gone wrong.
4. Restrained Introverts
Tend to think things through before they act. Every action is thought through and deliberate.
So, before you embark on activities together it might be worth trying to work out where you sit on the Cheek classifications.
So what of the extrovert?
Yes, you guessed it, there are also differences in the types of extrovert. According to a study published in the Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience:
There are two differing types of extrovert; Agentic extrovert and Affiliate Extrovert.
Agentic Extroverts are go getters. They are usually driven by success and are persistent and assertive.
They like being in the limelight and in leadership positions.
Affiliate Extroverts are your social butterflies.
They are warm and friendly and have the ability to make people feel included and at ease. They like close relationships and tend to have large groups of friends.
If you are in a relationship with an extrovert can you point to which side of the fence they sit?
Therefore taking these aspects into account what activities can you both embark on without interrupting the other’s psyche?
Let us start with activities for your introvert male/female partner
Introverts usually have hobbies that revolve around themselves. They enjoy things like reading, painting, web-coding. They enjoy relying on their hobbies that just involve them.
Try to find out what drives them to take these activities. Learn about how you can relate to them, take interest in their hobbies. You will be surprised at the impact of how valued they will feel about you if you show an interest in their passion.
Another great activity that introverts enjoy are trips to a museum or art gallery. Introverts tend to love these environments as this is where a respect of knowledge comes in as introverts love the thought of being part of a wide body of knowledge.
The thought of going to a cinema might actually scare an introvert. Being in a theatre full of people might feel intimidating.
Snuggling up on the sofa though and watching a movie with you though is a completely different idea and will definitely appeal to them.
Don’t rule out physical activities
Not all introverts shy away from competition. However, they mostly enjoy individual sports like racquet sports, golf, tennis – sports where their performances are judged individually.
Travel is also something to consider. Try different parts of your locality you have not been too before. Introverts love the traveling time it lets them go in their head before getting to the destination.
So what of your extrovert partner, what activities might float their boat without sinking your’s?
Let’s face it, extroverts love to talk.
Extroverts feel energized when they are around other people. Most of the time extroverts thrive off the company of others and love to have conversations, sometimes even with total strangers.
Given a choice they will always choose being around others, so it might be something you might have to get used to. It doesn’t have to be every Friday down at the local bar but you might have to let your extrovert partner have some time down there.
As an introvert if you don’t want to socialize as much, then your extrovert partner is surely entitled to socialize solo, with no guilt trips.
Another thing you might have to get used to is your extrovert partner loves being the center of attention.
They love being in the limelight.
So you might have to put up with them hogging the microphone at the local karaoke.
However, there is a common misconception about extroverts, they also like their downtime.
They don’t always have to be surrounded by people 24/7
Also, don’t despair.
As your extrovert partner ages he will become more introverted.
People tend to become more emotionally stable and agreeable as they leave their youth behind.
They also become quieter and more self-contained, needing less socializing and excitement to be happy.
If you think about it makes sense.
In your married with children years, just think how difficult it would be to raise a family and love the one your with if you are constantly popping into the next party.
Final thoughts on introvert and extrovert activities
So to conclude, an introvert/extrovert can enjoy each other’s leisure activities, like in any relationship, you just have to be mindful of a few things.
1. Remember your way is not always the right way. One is no better than the other they are just different.
2. Embrace the differences between you. The extrovert can bring new people into your lives, the introvert can create peaceful spaces in your home.
3. Set guidelines for socializing. Don’t make the other do something they don’t want to do.
4. Negotiate quiet time. Some solitude is important for both introverts and extrovert, so work out who’s is when and where.