According to a 1998 National Representative Sample by the Myers-Briggs organization, 50% of the population identifies as an introvert. This means that you have likely encountered your fair share of introverts in your life, and might even identify as one yourself. Unfortunately, introverts have been widely misunderstood for some time now, and can easily feel overwhelmed in just a fast-paced, chaotic world.

When it comes to relationships, introverts make wonderful, caring, attentive partners. Introverts gain their energy from within, which means they’ve spent plenty of time cultivating a healthy relationship with themselves (or at least trying to). Because of their absolute need for solitude and contemplation, they have the opportunity to get to know themselves on an intimate level, which can deepen the bond between them and their lover.

However, introverts can also become drained in relationships if they don’t remember the following tips. So, fellow introverts, pay attention to this advice, as it can help greatly in your personal life.

Here are 7 things introverts need to know about relationships:

Related article: 5 Reasons Introverts Make the Best Relationship Partners

1. Remember to take time for you.

Introverts can easily become overwhelmed and feel trapped in relationships. Remember to always schedule some “me” time throughout the week to recharge and cultivate a loving, healthy relationship with yourself. After all, you have to spend all your life with yourself, so you need to remember to always put yourself at the top of your priorities. You can’t possibly keep up a positive relationship with your partner if you don’t keep your cup full, so no matter how long you have each week to dedicate to yourself, make the most of it.

Go to yoga classes, meditate, walk in nature, go sit in the sunshine, or whatever makes you feel like the most whole version of yourself.

2. Be honest with your partner about your feelings.

Don’t hesitate to tell your partner exactly how you feel. You can’t have a healthy, open relationship with your lover if you hold back, so even if it feels uncomfortable at first, remember to always remain honest. We live in a world very much isolated from one another, and a lot of us have forgotten how to truly open up and let someone inside the depths of our soul. However, in order to have a deep, intimate bond with someone, this is a necessary aspect of a relationship.

3. Don’t freak yourself out about awkward silences.

This applies more to the beginning of your relationship when you still haven’t worked out all the kinks and gotten to know each other on a deeper level. So, remember to embrace those silences and not even bother labeling them as “awkward.” After all, no one can talk non-stop; lulls in conversation just happen naturally, so don’t freak yourself out. Not every silence needs to be filled – if you can feel comfortable in silence with your partner, this shows that you have a great connection even without needing to use words, anyway.

4. Remember to stop being so hard on yourself.

Introverts tend to look within more and criticize themselves more harshly than their extroverted counterparts. Therefore, they can often speculate so much that they start to make up stories in their heads and believe every negative thought that enters their mind. They live inside themselves much of the time, which invites a lot of self-analyzing and time to critique themselves. Introverts, don’t do this to yourself. You have amazing qualities, and should embrace your true nature rather than fighting it.

Related article: 15 Things Introverts Do Best

5. Respect your partner’s boundaries as well.

Some introverts, particularly those who identify as highly sensitive, can easily become clingy and overly needy in relationships. Remember to honor your partner’s boundaries and wishes as much as your own. After all, every healthy relationship must include some time apart to work. You can’t spend every waking moment together, because then you would have no time to devote to yourself. Your partner needs their own alone time, so allow them to have it.

6. Don’t feel like you have to do things outside your comfort zone.

Introverts can easily get stuck in their ways, and not want to step outside their comfort zone. However, you also shouldn’t commit to going on dates or participating in activities that you know you wouldn’t enjoy. For example, if your partner suggests going out dancing at a club on Friday night, and you’d rather go to a movie or enjoy a candlelit dinner, let them know your feelings. You don’t have to always agree with your partner, so don’t hesitate to suggest something else that you feel you could both enjoy.

7. Open your heart and let your partner in.

Introverts, we know that opening up isn’t easy. You spend so much time with your own thoughts that sharing them with others seems downright scary and exhausting. However, the only way to get close to others is to let them into the darkest parts of your soul. You don’t have to share everything at once, but connecting on a deep level will ensure a healthy, beautiful bond between you and your partner in the long run.