My to-be husband and I are truly as different as night and day. In a lot of ways. I'm a planner, he's impulsive. He show's affection with words, I show them with actions. I'm quite the pessimist and he's usually more of an optimist. He's brave and I'm fearful. I mostly think creatively where as he thinks systematicly.
And the one difference that once really ruled (and maybe nearly ruined) our relationship: I'm an introvert and he's not.
Don't get me wrong. My hubby isn't an extreme extrovert or anything, but he's definately not as addicted to his time-alone as I am. In fact, not at all.
If, by any chance, you don't know what an introvert is, here's a short resume: an introvert is simply a person who loves their own company. A LOT. They do not get lonely as fast or as much as other people may, and time spent alone is recharging them, where as time spent socialising is eating their energy.
Most, if not in fact, all of my ex'es have been introverts like me, so I suppose I never questioned to mention to my current boyfriend that I am, indeed, an introvert. So I didn't. For quite some time, at least. It was a mixture of not feeling like I had to, and a hidden feeling of not wanting to, because I didn't want to make him sad. Because really....
how do you tell someone you'd rather be alone than be hanging out with them?
No matter what I felt caught because I hadn't been clear from the very beginning, and because I hadn't, my fears were plentyful. What if he thinks I'm lying and I don't like him anymore? What if he blames himself? What won't he think when I tell him I need alone-time? How will I say it in a non-hurtful way?
All those thoughts abselutely haunted me, and so, because I'm both fearful and hate the conflict, I said nothing. At least untill a couple months ago.
Like any other introvert, I reached a point where human contact just made me want to crawl under my blanket. I was living with a friend of mine (bless her heart, I'm grateful!) and so because I was under her roof, I was of course never alone. That was how I lived for 3 long months. In constant company with at least one more person, 24/7, sleeping on an airmadress with problems being thrown at me. And then I just downed.
I broke down completely, confessed to my boyfriend that I had thoughts about leaving him even though I loved him. The mixture of the distance, social pressure and my circumstances pushed me down a dark hole. But, quite obviously, we figured it out and I'm happy for that, now that I'm in a much better position.
But because I'm an introvert and I was always with people constantly demanding my attention - demanding as in, they, of course, expected me to listen and respons and be present - I didn't have the mental capacity for everyone. And so, as unfortunate as it is, the one I decided to "freeze out" was my boyfriend. Someone that I deeply loved and cared for. But he was always the last one to get to me after a tiring day of school, work and then instead of going home, I went to someone elses' flat and laid on my airmadras. More talking, less energy.
And then finally he'd come home, and want my attention too, and I just couldn't, and I'd hate myself for it. I hurt him and I hurt myself.
I came to the conclusion that I had to tell him sooner or later. And so I did.
Did it feel like I hurt him? Yes. But at least then he knew. And he understood.
So if I could give one tip to all introverts in relationship: Be clear from the beginning and TELL THEM! Explain your feelings to them, because most of the time we're met with understanding (or at least accepting), and if not... Then ask yourself if you would really want a significant other to never accept you for you, so that you'd always have to hide or push yourself? Only you can answer that one.
I still to this day push myself. I still feel like he get's a little sad every time I tell him I need me-time, even thought it's probably all in my head. My insecurities with being an introvert really get to me, because it's hardly ever a positive thing to not want to socialise. But it is regardless who I am.
The thing is I love spending time alone and in silence. Not the dead-silence, but the silence of the no-communication. But the "silent" sound of birds chirping, the sounds of nature, pages turning, a little background music or background talk with only one person speaking (where I don't engange myself - like a podcast), that kind of silence. That's how and when I recharge and I always return in a brighter, calmer mood.
I suppose we always try our best for our loved ones, which is why I try to spend as much time as I can with my boyfriend, even if at times I can feel myself thinking - I need a break - I'm still struggeling. Eventually I hope this fades.
More so, I remember an episode I mentioned to him when I said I was an introvert, where we together physically for 14 days straight. I had the best time, we were close and so happy. But I had a few times where I would just sit and try to silently watch videos or spend time doing whatever on my phone and cut myself off from the world, and not socialise. This understandibly so confused and saddened him, because he took it as if I didn't want to spend time with him, but nothing could be further from the truth. I just needed to de-socialise to re-socialise.
Truth be told, no matter how much I like to spend time with me, I'd still want to use whatever energy I have on those people that I love, and my significant other especially. He gives me a drive, passion, calmness, happiness and everything I want in a person. Because at the end of the day, I do not laugh or smile when I'm alone, but I always do whenever I'm with him.