Introverts are an interesting bunch. While often overlooked as quiet or shy—we are so much more than that. Our natural introspection often makes us deeply empathetic, insightful, and great communicators with those willing to listen. Since we don’t socialize with everyone, we tend to take relationships very seriously. When we do make friends, they are friends for life.
Yet, despite our ability to form deep and lasting connections, introverts often struggle when it comes to romantic relationships. Since introverts gain energy by being alone, going out to socialize and meet new people often feels exhausting and pointless.
For introverts looking for love, finding ‘The One’ might seem like an impossible task. Thankfully, though, just a few adjustments to your everyday routine can make a big difference to your dating success. Here are our top dating tips for introverts.
One major reason dating is so hard for introverts is that it’s just not natural for us to approach strangers. In fact, most introverts probably find the idea itself terrifying.
No matter how we feel about talking to strangers, the reality of the situation is this: your future romantic partner will either be 1.) someone you already know, or 2.) someone you’ve yet to meet.
If you’re tired of trying with your ex and there are no other options in your existing circle, that can only mean one thing: the love of your life is currently a stranger.
In order to prepare for the day you and this special stranger meet, it’s important to start small. As introverts, we crave deep, intimate, and stimulating conversations. It is often difficult for us to approach strangers and strike up some small talk. Yet, however pointlessly exhausting small talk might seem, it is actually a great tool for making connections.
Introverts can benefit by practicing small talk with low-stakes people we interact with every day. The next time you go out for a coffee, make an effort to compliment the barista on her latte-making skills. Instead of snacking alone in your office, ask a co-worker if they’d like to go out with you for lunch. Day by day, little steps like these will make socializing come more naturally. That way, when you finally meet your special stranger, striking up some conversation will be a breeze.
Being introverted in a world that praises extroversion can be isolating at times. The sensation of being an outsider is something lifelong introverts know all too well. Sometimes that loneliness forces us to pretend to be something we’re not in order to finally feel like we “fit in.”
Don’t feel the need to “compensate” for your introversion with some sort of impossibly impressive or unique attribute. Navigating the nuances of dating is hard enough—don’t make it harder by trying to pretend to be someone you’re not.
Before you go out on a date, remember—you are worthy of love just the way you are. By just being yourself, dating becomes much less stressful and much more fun! Instead of worrying about what the other person might think of you, you can focus on whether or not there is a real connection. Plus, authenticity is always attractive.
Wear comfortable clothing.
While it’s great to spruce up a bit before a date, avoid wearing clothing that makes you feel insecure or uncomfortable. A first date is not a time to try out a new fashion trend—or any new clothing for that matter.
When getting ready for a date, opt for an outfit that’s simple, elegant, and familiar. It might sound silly, but wearing clothes that you’re used to will help you to feel more comfortable and ‘at home’ in your body.
Equally important is that your clothes fit well, too. Otherwise, the constant adjusting will distract both you and your date. Whether too loose, too tight, or too bright, wearing clothing that isn’t ‘you’ will not do any good for your nerves.
Don’t overdo the drinks.
Speaking of nerves, avoid soothing any pre-date jitters with alcohol or other intoxicating substances. While a martini (or three) before going out might seem like a good way to get in the mood, showing up with the scent of Smirnoff on your breath probably won’t make for a great first impression.
As an introvert, it can be tempting to indulge in a little liquid courage to get the conversation flowing. Remember that nerves are normal—in fact, take comfort in the thought that your date is probably feeling the same way.
When it comes to date one, avoid numbing your sensations with substances. Instead, harness the power of your excitement and let your feelings lead to a fantastic first date.
Even in small amounts, alcohol lowers inhibitions. It is best reserved for people with whom you share some level of trust. If you do choose to drink, date three seems to be a sweet spot for partaking in alcoholic drinks. By then, you and your date have gotten to know each other, seen each other in a few different settings, and will have probably built some basic rapport, making it an appropriate time to partake.
Accept inevitable awkwardness
We all know that movies aren’t like real life. Yet, for some reason, we all are guilty of fantasizing about the perfect date, just like the ones from our favorite films. Leading up to the big day, you can see it all—there will be instant chemistry, you laugh at each other’s jokes, and conversation flows easily. Most importantly of it all—there are no awkward moments!
However, rarely does a first date go like this. For introverts, we have a tendency to let our imaginations run wild. Sometimes that gets the best of us and leads to disappointment when the reality was much less smooth than we imagined it in our heads.
It’s important to remember that just because a date didn’t go “perfectly” doesn’t mean we failed or that they aren’t the one for us. Even the most smooth-talking extroverts bump into an awkward lull in conversation from time to time.
The truth is that dating can be embarrassing. It involves being vulnerable, letting down your guard, and being your true self with someone you hardly know. However, the risk of potential dating awkwardness is always well worth the reward—which is the possibility of finding lasting love and companionship.
Understand that a little bit of awkwardness is perfectly normal. In fact, it’s part of the fun! Don’t be afraid of a few faux pas. By learning to let go of control and go with the flow, an unexpected moment won’t feel awkward—just exciting.
Be honest with yourself (and with your date)
Social events can be exhausting for introverts. It can take an incredible amount of energy just to conjure up the strength to show up for a date. For that reason, it’s best to be realistic before starting your dating routine.
Before going out with someone new, ask yourself: “If we both decide we’d like to see each other again, at what point will my social battery be full enough for another date?”
While it’s nice to get out of your comfort zone sometimes, It’s also important that you go out only when you’ll have enough energy to actually enjoy yourself. After a date, give yourself time to relax, reset, and process the experience before going out again.
Also, don’t be afraid to share your feelings with your date. It’s perfectly ok to say: “I’m quite shy in nature so, I’m not going to lie, dating has been hard for me.” Feeling nervous about getting out in the dating market is something most everyone can relate to—no matter your sociability type.