I’ve always been drawn to quiet guys who like to hang out at home because I’m the same way. I’d much rather curl up with a good book or the latest episode of Jane the Virgin than spend my Friday-nights-turned-Saturday-mornings at a nightclub. When I met my current boyfriend, I thought we were a match made in heaven because he’s just as introverted as I am. However, we’ve both become incredibly antisocial and I’m worried our relationship will fail as a result.
I’ve always valued an early bedtime and good night’s sleep. This is nothing new. I’m a naturally early riser and hate sleeping past 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning. That’s why I pride myself in going to bed at a reasonable hour most nights—between 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.—making late nights at the bar with friends a definite no-go. I’m glad I’ve found someone who doesn’t have to be tired, drunk, or both to have a good time.
I used to go out to meet guys. The rare times I did go out with friends, it was with the sole purpose of meeting a guy. Sure, I wanted to have fun with my girlfriends, but they all had boyfriends of their own at the time. Consequently, going out for drinks became synonymous with hooking up and leaving with a guy—or at least his number. Now that I’m with a great guy (who, I should mention, I met at a party), my motivation to go out past 9 p.m. is gone.
I think I was more outgoing before I got into a relationship. When I look back on the nights out before I met my boyfriend, I feel like I was a completely different person. My boyfriend even told me the day after we met for the first time that I was much quieter than he remembered. Call me Jamie Foxx, but you can blame it on the alcohol for making me much more social than sober me.
This isn’t a problem I saw coming. Well before my guy and I met, I was worried my next boyfriend might just be interested in me for sex or that his idea of fun would be chasing six shots with a hangover every weekend, not that he would prefer to be in bed by 11 p.m. And because being introverted isn’t a crime and is actually a really wonderful thing—I mean, look who’s talking—this problem is so much harder to address.
A big part of our relationship is bonding over TV shows. There’s no irony in my voice when I say we literally do Netflix and chill. But who doesn’t? (Again, I mean we literally watch a Netflix show from start to finish. We love binging series together and at the end of a long workday, that sounds much more appealing than getting dressed up and going out. Still, I’ve noticed that we’ve begun to get caught in a dangerously antisocial routine.
Living together hasn’t helped the situation. It would be one thing if we lived in separate apartments and could plan to meet up with friends for dinner, drinks, or a movie before splitting off to do our own thing. But since we live together, the temptation to stay in, cook pasta, and hang out before that early bedtime is that much stronger. It’s not that I don’t enjoy living with my boyfriend, but I’m worried it’s isolated us from our friends.
Maybe opposites really do attract. I can’t really picture myself with a wild party animal, but maybe there’s some truth to the old “opposites attract” adage. In a healthy relationship, both people should push each other to grow in ways that might not necessarily be within our original comfort zones. I’d like to think that my boyfriend is helping me to change for the better, but I feel myself slipping back into old habits.
I’m starting to get FOMO. Even though the thought of staying out late stresses me out way more than it should, I can’t help but feel left out when I see Snapchats and Instagrams of my friends going out together. Then when I do go out with friends, I can’t relate to their anecdotes or inside jokes created when I wasn’t there.
What happens if we break up? What was that the Beatles said about getting by? I’d be lost without “a little help from my friends” and don’t want to lose them. If my boyfriend and I do break up, who will I have to lean on or tell me to get drunk and get over it? I’m a big believer that girlfriends are just as important as a partner and a romantic relationship can’t thrive without their support.
I can’t fix this alone. Something’s gotta change and I think it’s gonna take a team effort. If it kills us, we’ve got to go out at least once a week and stop using work, school, and life in general as an excuse. We’ve got to hold each other accountable. We need to spend time apart with our respective friend groups and I’m confident that if we succeed, our downtime together will become that much more special.
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