When I was young I had a picture of the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. It wasn’t tall, dark and handsome but someone with a sense of humor, outgoing, fun with a lot of friends and an active social life. I laugh when I think of it now. Because I am married to someone quite the opposite and I wouldn’t want to change it at any cost.
I heard on the radio recently a team trying to help a girl trying to make a decision. Why? Because she is in a relationship with a guy who is awesome, great, amazing but only to her. He isn’t a fan of social interactions. While he struggles to accept invitations, she is anxious as to how people will perceive him. If he will make an impression, what if he doesn’t talk , what if they don’t like him. etc. I was able to relate only too much with this lady. So she was seriously contemplating on if she wants to go ahead with this relationship. Not because of love, because she was concerned if he was going to feel hurt or if their relationship might suffer in the coming years. My heart went out for this girl because I completely understood what she was going through.
The truth is I didn’t realize it until I was quite deep in the relationship. We bonded, spoke for hours, have pulled all-nighters just talking on the phone, he had a great sense of humor, extremely wise and knew the right things to say to a girl. As we grew closer I got to know the “dark side” as I call it. I realized he is a charmer with people he likes to spend time with, which at that time was just me (and also how much energy was sucked out of him to interact just with me).
I am an ambivert with more extrovert traits. And I love people. I like talking, spending time, introduce myself to strangers, know shopkeepers by their first name, keep finding ways to engage myself with more people. And here I have someone who has to be coaxed to interact with anyone other than the bare minimum. I used to be so anxious and doubtful as the woman on the radio. Worry about making impressions, what my friends or family would think of him. I did face awkward questions of how different he was from me. But what amazed me was he didn’t care about what anyone thought.
I also realized I didn’t really have (or understand) my introverted friends. So being my boyfriend as I observed more I was also as insensitive as many others. Questioning his solitude and silence. And so confused over how he can be happy being alone while I cribbed about it every chance I got. How staying home, quiet and low-key was better than going on a trip with friends. How someone can be rude and read at a restaurant instead of talking to the person right in front of him. Until I started reading more and discussing more about it.
We have grown to love and accept each other as who we are. I love being the center of attention and point of contact for everyone in both our lives while he is happy to be low-key and in the background with minimal interactions. I think we both have days where I am PO’ed because I hardly see him even though we live in the same house and he has a wife who is over-stimulated and active and talks more than he could handle and accepts invitations for social gatherings on his behalf (which he definitely isn’t happy about) but we are learning to live with each other 🙂
Do let me know your experiences and thoughts on this topic 🙂