Despite what Internet quizzes have been telling you, not all introverts are socially inept, painfully shy recluses. Yes introverts are known to feel some social discomfort at times but that’s only because too much “small talk” feels insincere, and large groups of people are physically draining on our systems. (I say “our” because like so many writers content to sit in solitude, alone with their thoughts, I too, am on the introvert spectrum.)
Although personality labels have been assigned to both camp, introverts and extroverts have one specific difference: The extrovert is energized by large groups of people, while the introvert feels drained, in need of solitary recharging. An extrovert might feel suffocated with too much alone time, while an introvert needs it in order to function like a normal human being. (Ps: Not sure if you’re an introvert or an extrovert? You might be an extroverted introvert!)
And yet even the most outgoing extrovert — someone who craves constant social interaction and thrives on other people’s energy — can find some benefits to settling down with an introvert (who would really like some peace and quiet already). Based on the most recent research (as well as the decades I’ve spent living as an introvert), we just might make awesome spouses. Here’s why:
1. We actually listen to you.
In spite of common cultural assumptions, “introvert” isn’t another word for social dysfunction. It’s not that we’re poor communicators, it’s just that we communicate differently. We often need time to process, to articulate, to THINK (because we’re always thinking!). While an extrovert might speak before she thinks, an introvert is more likely to observe, analyze, and take it all in. Sure we might get lost in our thoughts from time to time, but we’re paying attention. We’re listening to you. And when it comes to a life-long partner, “good listener” is suddenly way more attractive.
2. We’re all about the Netflix and sweatpants game.
When your body gives in and you need to relax, you have a permanent couch partner. Netflix binge-watching and comfy pants are our love language. This bodes well for the long-haul relationship.
3. One-on-one relationships are in our comfort zone.
Introverts crave less people, more connection, and more intimacy. We might not be the best chit-chatters at the office and the thought of large group presentations might cause heart palpitations, but just the two of you, one-on-one building a sincere bond? That’s where she shines.
4. You won’t be stuck in 50 awkward conversations just to get through the grocery store.
She’ll be the one ducking behind the paper towel display, pretending she doesn’t see anyone. Think of the time you’ll save!
5. We’re thoughtful.
Introverts are known to be introspective, self-aware, and sensitive — meaning we’re more likely to really see our partners and pay attention to the little details. Because we think so deeply, we tend to be more thoughtful and intentional in our relationships.
6. You’ll be afforded your freedom.
Introverts almost always require some alone time in order to be sane, calm, functioning people. If your introverted spouse has been especially social and busy, she’ll need some space to recharge — space away from anyone, including you. So yes, go out with your buddies and get a few beers; she needs the quiet anyway. Separate friends and social activities can be healthy in a long-term relationship.
7. She’s less likely to make a huge, embarrassing public scene or get you in trouble by running her mouth.
Unless she’s had a psychotic break from constant noise and overstimulation, then all bets are off.
8. She’s probably a decent homemaker.
Maybe this isn’t true across the board but it’s usually hard for introverts to function in a highly cluttered, messy environment. I haven’t met a single one. As long as you can respect her sensitivity to clutter and do your part, you’ll have a nice and tidy home to call your own. It’s better than signing up for a lifetime of slobbery.
9. She thrives on honesty.
Because introverts are known to crave authenticity and sincerity, an introverted spouse is usually a straight shooter. No malarkey will be tolerated. And when it comes to marriage, honesty and trust are pretty high on the must-have list.
10. She’ll show you another way.
If you have extroverted tendencies, entangling your life with an introvert can show you the value in slowing down, thinking before you speak, and being thoughtful and sensitive to the stimuli around us. And it also gives you an opportunity to draw her out of her shell, away from her comfort zone, while also respecting another person’s unique needs and quirks.
Of course not everyone fits into perfectly constructed boxes and there’s much more to us than the way we absorb and use energy. That being said, there are some perks to having an introverted partner who can remind you to shhh, please.