Hi, Carolyn: I'm a borderline extrovert married to a definite introvert. I used to enjoy hosting parties/social events before we got together, but I know he's not a fan and haven't done anything for ages. I also didn't try because we lacked space when we moved in together.
Still, I'd like to host something occasionally. Any advice on how to organize something that doesn't completely stress him out or cause him to check out midway through? I'm looking for ways to discuss this with him — not to spring a party on him, just to be clear.
Host: Wait — you can’t even say to him, “I’d love to have people over sometime. I know that’s not your thing, but I’m wondering if we can find a way to make it work for both of us”? Introversion isn’t the problem, if that’s true — it’s something else. Bigger.
As it always is if you don’t feel you can even talk about certain subjects with your own life partner.
And once you do suggest a party, don’t be so quick to rule out the “check out midway through” plan. One way an extro can host without overtaxing an intro is for the intro to hang out as long as it’s comfortable to, and then steal off to bed. You just have to let go of the idea of both of you standing on the stoop and waving goodbye to the last few guests. As long as one host is still graciously hosting to the end, there’s no need to apologize for the other one who snuck off to get some sleep. Put it under the eccentricity umbrella and forget about it.
Re: Hosting: I am an introvert with an extroverted spouse and together we have found a way to enjoy hosting events, which I typically like in theory and then start to dread as they get closer. Some things that have helped me: taking on active and specific hosting roles, which keep me moving, checking ice, clearing cups so I'm not stuck with the chitchat; it's way better than being a partygoer and not having anything else to do. I like events in the 15-25 person range, not a group of six having a single conversation. I also make sure I've got time earlier in the day or weekend to myself.
I've made it work for me because I do want to host events in my home. If your spouse is not a fan of entertaining in general, then this won't make it better, but I hope this helps if your spouse is willing to give it a try.
— Keep Me Moving
Re: Introvert/Extrovert: This is my wife and me. She's the extrovert. She'll often host her friends at our house. I'll hang out for a bit, say hi, catch up with everyone, then after a little while I either head out to the gym or go to the basement to watch TV. It works for us.
Anonymous: There are few problems that can’t be solved by a loving willingness to accommodate and a basement TV. Thanks.