You fell in love with your one-and-only because they’re friendly, energetic and magnetic. But they’re a textbook extrovert, and you’re the total opposite. What happens when your partner’s life-of-the-party personality gets in the way of your need for quality time with your new book? Here’s how to deal.
1. Make a shared calendar…with limits. For your social butterfly spouse, no amount of after-dinner drinks and marathon brunches is too many. For you, a looming coffee date with your old college roommate has been giving you jitters for weeks. Set a limit on how many social events you feel comfortable attending per week without feeling stressed—let’s say three—and make sure your S.O. is clued in. If they’ve invited you to five dinners next week, pick the top three you’re most interested in and calmly remind them of your new rule. (It might take a bit for you both to get into the groove, but it’ll stick.)
2. Work with, not against, your spouse’s friends. Your S.O. invited you to their law school buddy’s birthday, but you’re not feeling it tonight. Instead of sulking until your partner finally agrees to stay home with you and binge Ugly Delicious, encourage them to go solo—your partner’s friends are extremely useful introvert tools. While you get some much-needed recharging time, they’ll get to socialize and won’t be irked that you stood in the way. Oh, and the best way to bail, but still get bonus points? Send a nice birthday email to the law school friend. He’ll be impressed you made the effort, and let’s face it—three drinks in, he probably won’t remember who was there anyway.
3. Get really comfortable with saying ‘no.’ Some introverts are soft-spoken and don’t want to rock the boat, so we totally understand if this is a tough one for you. But chances are, your extroverted spouse is inviting you to a ton of social stuff that isn’t life-or-death important to them, just things they thought could be fun. So don’t sweat turning down a Saturday full of activities when you desperately need some self-care. Tell your S.O. what you need, and work to figure out a compromise that makes you both happy.