You have to love an introvert differently.
You have to love us patiently. As an introvert, we like to take things slow. You have to accept that it is simply how we are wired — we reflect on every experience we have, we think things through, we take time to process how we are feeling. You cannot take offense to this. When you love an introvert you have to build a foundation with them, you have to give them the time to invite you in.
You have to open up to us in order to keep us interested. Introverts admire deep conversations. It is often difficult to date, because we don’t find validation in the fleeting attention that modern relationships provide. We don’t want to spend time talking about the weather, or hearing about your weekend plans. We want to know what inspires you, what sets your soul on fire. We want to talk to you about ideas, and goals; we want to immerse ourselves in your dreams and in your wild imagination.
You have to love us quietly. Introverts do not like loud relationships. We do not need our photo posted on Instagram all the time, and large displays of public affection can cause us to feel anxious. When you love an introvert, love them softly. Pull them away from the crowd and kiss them. Wrap a blanket around them when they fall asleep on the couch. Have a coffee waiting for them in the morning. Love them intimately, in a space that exists for just you two, and they will always feel nurtured.
You have to respect our reflection. Introverts have a raucous imagination. We have a very chaotic world inside of our head. We think, and overthink; we dream in hues and music, we create stories in our minds. Sometimes we get carried away in those stories, in those reveries. Don’t take this personally — we are not ignoring you. When we are quiet, we are stargazing in our own brains, we are in a completely different place. We are not sad, or depressed, or antisocial. We are exploring our thoughts.
You have to let us recharge. Introverts energize themselves differently than others. We stay in our rooms, reading books and getting lost in songs. We roam the city freely, sipping coffee slowly and taking the time to simply be with ourselves. We don’t need space because we want to break up, or because we don’t want to spend time with you. We need space because that is how we nourish ourselves, that is how we feed our souls.
You have to come to terms with how we love. Introverts have very small social circles, and it takes a lot for us to let people in. We may not always talk about our feelings, because words are too simple to express our deep emotions, but if we have made you a part of our life, know that we care for you. Know that you are special, for that is how we show our adoration; that is our highest form of intimacy and our most beloved gift.
For more writing like this, read Seeds Planted in Concrete by Bianca Sparacino.