Opposites attract, as they always say. But being in a relationship with someone whose personality differs from yours requires more than just mere attraction.
I tend to be introverted most of the time. I make few friends, spend little time with people, find it easier to express myself through writing and enjoy doing things on my own. I like to socialize too, but I can only do so for an hour or two, lest I’d be seeking a way out or worse, throwing tantrums.
My partner, on the other hand, is an ambivert. He knows how to deal with people, although he needs time for himself, too.
[ Conflict resolution ]
When we were just starting out, our biggest issue is resolving conflicts. We used to argue about petty things, which would escalate to huge fights, mainly because we deal with problems differently.
When I’m angry, I shut up and contemplate on the situation. I take time in pinpointing why I feel angry in the first place, and if my reason to be angry is valid from both parties’ point of view. As much as possible, I’d like to refrain from saying something I’d regret after making up.
Whereas my partner, being the more logical one, used to insist that we talk things out right away. Which didn’t sit well with me, as I wanted to cool down first before discussing the issue.
It took few months until we reached an agreement.
I have to tell my partner outright if I don’t want to talk at the moment and then, he will give me space. I have to let him know that I’m not ignoring him because I’m mad at him. Rather, I need time to sort my thoughts and evaluate my emotions. This takes off the guilt from my partner. After all, I am responsible for my own emotions.
It was tough for both of us since we couldn’t change who we are, but I guess, we care for each other so much, we were willing to compromise from the start. I was — and still am — impressed with how my partner tolerated the awkward silence after every argument and patiently waited for me to open up. He managed to find ways to distract himself and cool down at the same time.
So far, we’re getting better at it.