Dating when you’re an introvert? Ha! What a joke! What an oxymoron. If you’re an introvert, you might have found yourself wondering why we can’t just use men for procreation and all that, and just keep cats and dogs for actual company.
Seriously, though, being an introvert is hard enough. But when you throw dating in the mix? You might think it’s impossible. As an introvert, you don’t get that “charged” feeling from being around people—in fact, you find it draining. You have plenty on your mind, but you don’t feel the need (or even a remote desire) to let it all out. What is it, really, that makes dating as an introvert so hard?
- Number-one problem: you’re nervous around people, especially new ones
- Even when people show interest and directly ask you questions, you don’t know how to answer them past the bare minimum
- Anyone who wants to date you always, ALWAYS has to be the one to initiate
So, how do you manage?
Try online dating. Seriously, don’t worry about the stigma, because there hardly is one anymore for online dating. This concept needs some elaboration, though, because it might sound just as intimidating as in-person dating.
Online dating is seen as totally normal nowadays, and allows you to warm up to an interaction over messages, flirty “likes” and profile views. By the time you actually meet someone, it might not feel like you’re meeting a stranger anymore. Take all the time you need, because the ones who are worth it will wait. Be upfront that you’re an introvert, and if their answers and demeanor don’t piss you off or rub you the wrong way, you know there’s a real possibility.
You also have the unbeatable advantage of more easily weeding through jerks online. People actually feel bolder to show their ugly sides on the internet, so you’ll see it sooner. And, you can just delete or ignore messages, block people where necessary, and move on!
Do some introspection and recognize why this is hard. Really, this part should be easy for you. You’re already in your head, anyway, so give yourself a once-over to figure out where dating really starts to get hard for you. Is it saying “yes” to the dates you really want? Is it that first dinner? Is it the text banter? Once you know, you can be candid and talk to potential partners about it.
It’s important to be honest with your love interest as well as with yourself about your nature, but always say it with a smile! Be honest without being overdramatic. Really, plenty of introverted people have managed to date before.
Learn how to ask questions! One of the biggest hurdles for introverts is that we don’t know what to say. There’s plenty floating around your brain to choose from, but collecting thoughts to figure out what’s right to say at the right time, and to the right person, makes you uncomfortable. Asking questions that stimulate conversation is a skill, and it’s hard to do. But it’s also the best trick to get an introvert comfortable in a conversation, and to keep everyone engaged! You’re happy to listen, after all. Ask the questions that get your date talking for the two of you.
Talk to other introverts about what they’ve done, especially any introverts you know who are in relationships—or have dated enough to know a thing or two. Sure, any answer here that starts with “talk to someone” might turn you off, but you probably have at least one fellow introvert who’s made it into your trust circle.
Tips from other introverts will be the best expert tips you can get. Maybe you’ll find out that Grandma overcame her introvertedness by “working on friendship first” with Grandpa. Maybe it was even the limerick she said a million times a day to get by. Or maybe you’ll learn about finding a common hobby with the person you want to date, which was the trick your bestie used to get by.
It’s not impossible! According to Forbes, introverts make up as many as one half—but as few as one third—of the population. So, no matter how you look at it, we introverts are the minority. But there are also a ton of us who have made relationships work!
Dating is easier as an introvert once you’ve done some reflecting and identified what makes it hard for you. You don’t have to date only other introverts or search for the extroverts, just be honest with yourself and use the resources you have! And if you start with dabbling online…hey, no judgement! There are actually more tools today than ever before, so in no time you can be getting past the shy and enjoying that first date night in a LONG time!