'What Do You Want to Do This Weekend?' A Love Story
When Introverts Date Introverts
We've all heard the age-old adage: opposites attract. This might be true if your life is a Hollywood movie complete with cheesy tropes and witty one-liners. However, anyone who has actually tried dating in the real world will tell you that commonalities make for much more interesting conversations. Things like shared interested, similar political affiliations, religious ideology, and the same sense of humor often lead to much more fulfilling and less contentious relationships. That being said, too much similarity can also have its frustrations.
I remember sitting in a psych 101 class way back in my freshman year of college listening to my professor, a reformed hippie with an impressive list of credentials, talk about personality types. According to her lecture, individuals with similar personality traits made the best couples. With one exception: introversion and extroversion.
My professor stated that when it came to relationships, an extrovert and an introvert work best together. Ideally, the extrovert can get the introvert to go out by planning fun activities for them, while the introvert can get the extrovert to stay in some nights which creates a nice balance in the relationship, keeping the relationship fresh. It also made for some alone time in the relationship when the extrovert could go out and have fun with friends and the introvert could stay in an recharge in their own way, creating comfortable space when needed. I furiously took notes on this concept, it seemed to be the perfect scenario.
Of course, the universe has its own plans and I promptly fell in love with my exact personality match. We are both INFJ's on the MBTI personality index, meaning we are both introverts. This immediately seemed to topple the opposites attract narrative, replacing it with the beauty of feeling understood. But the question still remains, do I feel that it's difficult being in an 'introverts only' relationship? The short answer... it's complicated.
Let me give you a little taste of double introversion at work:
Him: What do you want to do this weekend?
Me: I don't know, what are you feeling like doing?
Him: We should get out of the house and do something.
Me: Okay, well here are some things we could do *lists three or four activities*
Him: *thoughtful silence* *researches some activities on his phone*
Me: *waiting expectantly*
Him: Maybe we could finally go to the top of Bunker Hill?
Me: Okay! Yeah, Bunker Hill! Let's go do that!
Him: *more silence and phone research*
*We sit and do nothing for like an hour or more*
Him: What time does Bunker Hill close?
Me: In 20 minutes.
*Later that night*
Him: Man, we didn't go anywhere today...
At the beginning of our relationship, this was really tough. We had several conversations about the relationship feeling a little boring because of the amount of time spent at home. This was certainly a hurdle that we were going to have to learn to jump over, or else we'd get stuck.
So, what did we do? We turned to our strengths to overcome this weakness. We might not be outwardly motivated or very spontaneous people, but we are organized and great at planning ahead. So we started to create monthly calendars where we planned out our weekends in advance. We charted out the movies we were looking forward too, pulled up all the home game schedules for our hockey teams, and yelped all the restaurants in our area. It became "what's on the schedule for this weekend?" instead of "What can we spend an hour and a half trying to get motivated to spontaneously do?"
Because of this willingness to get organized and use our other personality strengths, we are still going strong over three years later! Is it still tough at times when we are trying to motivate ourselves to leave the house, or when we forget to preplan some activities? Of course. But I wouldn't trade it for the world!