Dating for Introverts
Introverts are known for being shy, aloof loners, so it comes as no surprise that the prospect of dating is, at the very least, daunting. While not all introverts are actually shy and poor with communication, introverts do find socialization to be a draining activity, hence it is difficult for them to venture forth in the world and meet new people.
This does not mean that introverts to not deserve to date, have relationships, fall in love, and get married. They deserve, need, and benefit form love just as much as extroverts do! Dating for introverts is just a bit more difficult than it is for extroverts. Thankfully, it is not impossible, and there are many hacks introverts can employ to make dating less of a stressful, uncomfortable, and exhausting activity.
What follows is a complete guide to dating for introverts, covering not only how to cope with classic introvert 'weaknesses', but also the basics of getting started, going out on dates, and having fun to boot!
Before introverts can even begin to think of dating, they must find people to date, and seeing as many introverts don't get out much, this can be a real hurtle! Where does one find potential boyfriends or girlfriends if one is not regularly out at bars, clubs, shows, parties, and mixers? And even if an introvert were to force him/herself to go to these places, would they really get along well with those they met?
Though many introverts get along wonderfully with extrovert partners, it might help to look for fellow introverts as well- after all, they might undertand each other better. But again, where does one find these reclusive singles?
Traditionally, introverts found other introverts through one of five major channels: chance, history, proximity, work, and friends.
How Most Introvert Couples Meet
Chance: Two introverts might meet each other just by chance (e.g. at a party, on the street, or in a grocery store), and through serendipitous luck, begin a conversation and get to know each other from that point on.
History: Two introverts may have known each other for a long time - perhaps they grew up in the same neighborhood or attended the same school or summer camp. Years later, one might call up another and a romantic relationship could result.
Proximity: Two introverts may live or work in close proximity and may eventually strike up a conversation that could lead to eventual friendship or romance.
Work: Many introverts meet through the workplace, where their jobs require some level of regular interaction through which they get to know each other. Alternately, introverts may meet each other introverts while taking a class and doing classwork.
Friends: Finally, introverts may be introduced to each other through meddling and matchmaking friends who think they would make a cute couple.
Clearly most of these channels cannot be controlled - all an introvert can really do to encourage the chances of finding a fellow introvert to date this way is to keep an open mind and be willing to meet new people. If an introvert wants to make a more concerted effort to find another introvert to date, however, he or she may turn to online dating sites.
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Online Dating for Introverts
It should come as no surprise that there are online dating sites designed specifically for people with introverted personalities.
Shy Passions, for example, positions itself as a dating site for shy singles. While not all introverts are outwardly shy, chances are that most of the folks on this site have introverted personalities. The upside to Shy Passions is that it is 100% free. The downside is that it is a bit on the low tech side and doesn't have as extensive a userbase (or attractive a design) as larger alternatives.
Other larger dating sites, such as eHarmony and Match.com may not be designed specifically for introverts, however they do involve fairly detailed personality assessments that can ensure that you are only introduced to others with introverted tendencies. Essentially, the top online dating sites enable introverts to find other introverts without going out in public and figuring out who is who the hard way.
Dating for Introverts
When it comes to going out on an actual date, introverts need not stress or do anything particularly unusual- in fact, staying true to oneself is just about the best thing that one can do. The best thing an introvert can do is muster up the gumption to be open-minded and sociable and honest, while maintaining one's true personality.
The gist is this:
- Be honest
- Get out there
- Be as sociable as you can naturally be
- Be easy going and have fun!
- Get bombed
- Isolate yourself
- Over-think things
- Try to be someone else
- Be desperate (Avoid any sense of urgency. There's nothing less attractive)
And if dating is a daunting prospect, introverts can shave away stress by making the first meeting very short - just coffee at a cafe. If even that daunts one's introvert personality, one need simply think outside the box!
Think Outside the Box
One reason why introverts may find dating to be daunting is because traditional dating scenarios (e.g. hanging out at a bar, getting dinner, going to a show or party together) revolve around very extroverted activities. Does these scenarios work for everyone? No! Do they work for introverts? More often than not, no! Do introverts have to date this way? Absolutely not.
Instead of putting themselves in situations that make them inherently uncomfortable, introverts can opt instead for alternative dating activities - ones that are less socially stressful and draining. There are two major types of alternative dating formats to consider in this regard: one-on-one activities and projects.
Opt for One-On-One Activities
Instead of going on dates that involve exposure to large crowds or lots of people, consider opting for dates that are socially toned down. These include more solitary activies, such as...
- (Small, obscure) museum visits
- In-home meals and movies
By going on dates in environments that are less socially stimulating, introverts will be less likely to feel mentally drained, will be able to enjoy themselves more, and will feel better able to be themselves and really get to know the people they date.
Opt for Projects & Challenges
One great thing to distract introverts, as well as generally shy people, from the awkwardness or stressful nature of social gatherings is to give them something to do. Introverts can apply the principle of distracting activities to dates by turning them into small, albeit fun, projects. Instead of simply wandering aimlessly or seeking passive entertainment, introverts can make a date of...
- Taking a class
- Building something
- Teaching something to one's date
- Learning something from one's date
- Playing videogames or games in general
- Helping (or being helped by) one's date with something (e.g. moving, home repairs)
Though some of these actives may seem mundane or even downright unromantic, they can be a real saving grace for introverted personalities, who simply need something to occupy their minds so that they may be themselves and stop worrying about social dynamics.
Dating does not have to be a scary or draining activity. It can- and should- be fun!
Extroverts shouldn't be the only people who thrive in the world of dating. With a bit of perspective and creative thinking, Introverts can do very well indeed!
If you're an introvert, I wish you the very best of luck in the dating world, and hope that you find someone really special. Do you have an approach to dating that worked particularly well for you? Share it in the comments!