Is This Relationship Worth Saving?

Posted by in breaking up with grace, dating a dangerous man, love after 40, self-esteem in dating | 2 comments

dating an introvertDear Sandy,

I was dating this guy for 9 months, and he was four years younger than me. We had a lot of fun together, were happy most of the time, and people were surprised at how affectionate and loving we were together. His biggest issue is that he likes to have a lot of people around him. I am a classic introvert and would get overwhelmed by his loud friends. I tended to sit on the sidelines watching people talk and occasionally joining in.

A month ago, he broke up with me, stating that he had been frustrated for a while and always felt like I didn’t want to be at parties. We agreed to talk at the end of the month to assess whether we could fix things, and so he could figure out if he was just frustrated with how things were going or if it was the relationship that just was not working.

I do want him back–there was a lot of happiness in our relationship, and we always had fun together, but I feel like we never tried to compromise on our differences. I was always willing to be patient with his youth. I am working on my social skills and on my issues of self-worth.

We’ve kept in minimal contact and had some good conversations (and a little flirting) and he has shown that he still loves me very much, even while pulling back. He was pretty torn up about hurting me, so I don’t know if he’s trying to keep from causing further pain or if he’s trying to distance himself. Would this relationship be worth saving?


Dear Erica,

Your age difference seems to be the least of your problems.

The main issue here, Erica, is that he doesn’t respect that as an introvert, your social needs are different from his. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, describes introverts as people who are drained from a lot of social stimulus. I should know ~ I am an introvert. I recharge my batteries by getting some alone time.

In a healthy relationship, you BOTH respect each other’s differences. Not just you being ‘patient with his youth’ and tolerating his loud friends, when all you wanted to do was find a quiet place to hide out.

What did he do to try and understand or support you? It sounds like you were doing all the heavy lifting in the relationship, often looking within to see what YOU could do better.

It takes two to make a relationship work. If he wasn’t willing to do the work then, if he made you wrong for not being an extrovert like him, where can this relationship possibly go in the future?

Is this relationship worth saving?

Sounds like it’s time to move on. But before you do, please make sure you love yourself more than you do now.

Your self-esteem chooses your mate, as my colleague Evan Marc Katz says.

So, make sure your self-esteem gets a big boost. Work on not taking everything personally in relationships. And learn to accept who you are ~ introvert or extrovert, tall, fat, thin, blonde, brilliant, or anything in between. Because you are perfect just as you are. You just need to uncover more of your brilliance, and knock a few saboteurs out of the way!

Check out Susan Cain’s book. In it, she describes how introverts and extroverts often make for great love partners. They just need to understand and respect each other’s needs.

Stay strong, Erica, and move on to find an extrovert who loves you because of your introversion, not in spite of it.

And remember, if you want to immediately turn around your online dating success, sign up here for my FREE report. Happy dating!





  1. Thank you for answering my question! That was always a point of frustration on my end, that he never seemed to believe my introversion, just that I was shy and needed a boost of self-confidence. Which was true, but it would never mean I’d become a social butterfly. I have read Quiet, and I tried to pull some stuff from there into our relationship, but it never seemed to stick, and I think it freaked him out. But thank you for your insight, and I have been practicing loving myself more!

  2. Hey Erica,

    A good guy loves you for YOU. Why would you want to be with a man who can’t honor that you’re an introvert? That’s who you are. Introverts rock! You shouldn’t have to change your core essence for anyone. Please remember that. Do keep loving yourself more. You sound like a lovely woman. And if I can help you with anything else, I’m here.

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