Introverts and Polyamory: Dating & Relationship Truths

If you or someone you love is a polyamorous introvert, you may find unique challenges when it comes to dating, socializing, and sex. But introverts and polyamory can fit very well together.

Taking some extra time to understand your introvert personality and attend to those specific needs in polyamory makes all the difference.

What Is an Introvert?

A really outdated definition of introvert from Oxford Languages is “a shy, reticent person.” Some introverts are shy and reticent, sure, but this is just plain wrong.

Introverts are simply people who enjoy and value solitude and like their own company. They are less socially inclined than extroverts and don’t enjoy as many social events or community affairs. They generally prefer limited company with one or a few meaningful friends rather than crowds or many people they don’t know.

Unfairly, the world is made for extroverts with extroversion considered the “norm.” About three-quarters or more of people have extrovert qualities, leaving a minority of people as introverts. Introverts are often considered deficient in some way socially.

In fact, introverts prefer meaningful deep connections or their own company over connecting with crowds of people.

Read: 4 Ways to Deepen Your Poly Connections

In psychology, one way to define introversion versus extroversion is that introverts get their energy from being alone or connecting deeply with one or a few at a time. Extroverts get their energy from people.

We all know someone who hates being alone. The moment they get in after work they pick up the phone just to chat about their day. They talk to everyone when they’re out grocery shopping and on weekends go out and mingle at parties and ballgames.

We all know introverts, too—the friend who seldom answers the phone, declines invitations when there are large groups she doesn’t know, and says she is “busy” on Friday night. You all try to get her out and dating but she seems to prefer staying home to read poetry. If she has a busy social week at work, she wants to spend the weekend alone and may even choose to dine or go to movies alone, despite having offers to connect.

Read: 4 Stay-at-Home Date Ideas for a Polycule

Extroverts and introverts don’t really understand each other. Introverts are never bored when they are alone and bored often when with others. Extroverts feel down or disconnected when they aren’t around people. Introverts need time to recover after social events and want to go home early to have down time before starting work the next day. Extroverts feel the more the merrier and see no reason to leave the dinner or party early, and if they do, they end up on social media chatting with friends.

Read: Double Dating Guide: The Best Double Date Ideas

Do introverts like people?

It is a misconception that introverts are socially inept, shy, hard up, unlikeable, or that they dislike people. They don’t need validation from people they barely know and prefer thoughtful, introspective activities by themselves over seeking approval from everyone else.

Introverts often like and love more intensely. They value the ones they love deeply. They are not hermits, they simply need less social connect. Fewer connections that are deeper in nature. They don’t care as much for small talk or for large groups. They would rather connect with one of two people and really go deep into conversations that matter. They need less social time but they still need and value those in their life.

Read: Tips for Maintaining Communication in Poly Relationships

Do introverts even want love and sex?

Just because someone enjoys their own company and find too much socializing overwhelming doesn’t mean they don’t want love and sex. They need love and sex as much as anyone else. They may choose quality over quantity.

Read: Polyamory Is More than Sex

Do polyamorous introverts exist?

Yes, polyamorous introverts exist. There are many introverts in the polyamorous community. Polyamory is a belief in consensual non-monogamy and some feel it is an orientation. Introverts can believe in the philosophy of loving more than one person at a time or feel that they are wired to be polyamorous.

Read: 24 Polyamory and Non-Monogamy Terms and Definitions

Many polyamorous introverts practice solo polyamory.

Living with other people or the social expectations of society can be overwhelming to a polyamorous introvert. Many introverts are independent and have relationships with many lovers that are ongoing, but do not have the obligations of a polycule or frequent, consistent connections.

Read: What Is Solo Polyamory and Is It for You?

Polyamorous introverts can be in a primary relationship.

Poly introverts may also connect deeply with a long-term partner and enjoy the profound intimacy of the primary relationship while also dating other people. They may have a few intimate relationships and stick with those people they love, while maintaining time and space for their own company and pursuits.

The deep connections a primary lover and one or two other partners that are stable over time may resonate with a polyamorous introvert’s need to connect intimately with a few people.

Read: Primary Partners vs. Egalitarian Poly Relationships

Poly introverts may be part of throuples or polycules.

Just as monogamous dating means looking for people you connect with who get you, a poly introvert may find acceptance and love with two or more lovers in a polycule.

If the other partners can make space for the introvert’s need for solitude and independence, and the poly introvert can accept that their lovers may want to go for dinners and dances without them, then, the more the merrier!

Read: How to Put Your Needs First in Your Polycule

Polyamorous introverts may enjoy casual sex.

Introverts may have a high sex drive and enjoy hooking up with a variety of people, just like extroverts. They may want a no-strings-attached or casual connection to simply enjoy the pleasures of sex, without the expectation of hanging out and spending the night.

Polyamorous introverts may have just as much sex drive and need for variety as anyone else, and find that non-monogamy is suited to them because they aren’t expected to enter into a lengthy relationship with everyone they enjoy sex with.

Read: What Women are Looking for in Casual Relationships

Polyamory is diverse.

Polyamory is a diverse and welcoming community that practices acceptance of differences and opens its hearts to more love. This includes different people who are like us and different people who are not like us.

Understanding the needs of others means we create relationships based on our differences, designing our dating and our commitments in ways that encompass the needs and desires of each other.

If someone in our throuple is an introvert, they may not want to do Sunday dinners with all of their spouse’s families every week, for example, but enjoy staying home while the rest of us make merry.

Read: 4 Tips for Carving Out “Me Time” in Your Poly Life

Believe what a polyamorous introvert tells you.

The best way to care for the poly introvert in your life is to believe what they tell you. Extroverts who thrive in cars full of friends and crowds at big concerts may assume there is “something wrong” if an introvert wants to leave the dinner party early.

Our instinct is to feel that someone should join a social event so that they aren’t “left out,” and it can be hard to understand how someone would prefer to skip the office party. We may feel sorry for someone who goes out to eat or enjoy a martini “all by themselves.” An introvert often has no lack for company options but literally desires to go for lunch alone or opt for a visit to the museum solo.

Introverts enjoy traveling alone, dining alone, and quiet evenings working on their own projects. They enjoy social events, but fewer of them, and often prefer them with fewer people rather than more.

Read: How to Be a Better Listener in Your Relationships

Dating a Poly Introvert

If you are dating an introvert, find a balance between socializing together and enjoying one-on-one events. Once you understand that they may prefer an evening together with you listening to jazz or playing chess, while skipping the big crowd events, they will feel a relief.

Poly introverts feel like they are pulled in many directions by well meaning extroverts. Don’t conclude they don’t care for you if they don’t want to connect every single night! Of course a poly introvert has to make the same efforts to accommodate your need for a wider circle of friends.

Introverts and extroverts can really enjoy balanced relationships that complement each other profoundly, but it starts by understanding the deep, genuine needs of each other.

Read: Tips for Dating an Introvert

Are you an introvert? Are you dating or in a relationship with an introvert? Please share your experience and tips!

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