Meeting new people can be really anxiety provoking. Add in the hope of making a love match and the stress level can go through the roof. If you’re introverted, this can feel impossible. Hang on. Here are some tips for dating while introverted.
Don’t Date Strangers
Small talk and getting-to-know-you chatter can be an energy drainer for an introvert. What questions do you ask? How do you get comfortable talking about yourself? How much information is too much? How much is not enough? You can avoid all that by not dating strangers. How can you do that? Date only people that you know through friends, family, work, church, or your social activities. If you see prospects in some other environment first, especially if there are other people around, you can find out a lot about them that can help you avoid that getting-to-know-you awkwardness. This is a perfect strategy for introverts because they are often slow to warm up.
Make Your First Dates Group Dates
The typical first date usually involves a meal or drinks. That puts the attention squarely on the two of you. Yikes! Talk about intimidating. If you chose an activity that allows you to focus on something else, you may feel less pressure and way more comfort. Things like dinner parties, movies, rollerblading, tennis, or hiking are good examples. If you get into periods of silence, they don’t tend to feel awkward because nobody is expecting you to talk while dancing or bowling.
Pick an Activity That You Really Enjoy
If you are in your element, you won’t have to worry about being proficient at something new or something you aren’t great at. That’s one less thing to worry about. Laughter is contagious. Confidence is sexy. Feeling joy makes you beautiful. So doing something you enjoy is makes it easier to laugh, feel confident, and share your joy.
Sometimes single people feel can feel like they have to say yes to every opportunity. You don’t. If you are like most introverts, social activity drains you. People drain you. If you are doing too much, you’re not likely to be stimulating company. Pace yourself. Take care of yourself first.
Be yourself. If you meet someone you really like and go out three times a week, your partner is going to come to believe that that is normal. This can be a problem later if you really only have energy for once a week. If you make an effort to wear make up and heels when you go out, but you are a jeans and t-shirt girl at home, you may be setting up false expectations. Show only one face. You don’t want your partner to fall in love with a false one. You have stunning talents and gifts. Show them.
Pay Attention to How You Feel
If you feel drained and worn out at the end of a date, your partner is probably not a match. We’re not all our shining best on a first date, but if you’re still feeling this way after the second or third date, it’s probably time to pack it in. I am not saying that you can only date another introvert. I am saying that some people are better energetic matches for us than others. This isn’t something that usually changes – regardless of how good looking or charming a person is.
If you feel uneasy during the date, trust your gut. Introverts tend to have good intuition. If you are a people pleasing introvert, don’t say yes to things out of obligation or a desire to not hurt someone’s feelings. You don’t owe anyone anything. If you say yes to things you don’t want, you will just prolong the inevitable breakup or put yourself in the path of a relationship that is not fulfilling.
Focus on Your Strengths
Some introverts feel awkward and anxious in social situations. This can make dating feel like something to be avoided at all costs. If this is you, focus on your strengths. Introverts are good at making others feel comfortable, listening, creating intimacy, and having deep, meaningful conversations. Poke around with questions until you find something that lights the other person up. Once you have done that, they will take the lead. They will talk about their joy, and you can get information about them that will help you decide whether it’s someone you want to see more of or not. Once the ice is broken, the anxiety tends to go away.
Do Things That You Love
One of the complaints I often hear is that there are no good available men/women out there. If no one is asking you out, and you aren’t asking anyone else out, spend your time doing something that you love. It will fill your heart and your time and may put you in the path of someone who loves what you love. Prince Charming is not going to find you if you work all the time or stayed holed up at home with a book. You have to get out there and live.
Let Go of Expectations
Some dates are bombs. Some are a blast. Some are just meh. If you let go of expectations, every encounter can be enjoyed for what it is. If it ends up being something that your friends make jokes about later, well, it was good for something. If all you get out of it is a good meal, that was an experience too. Maybe you learn what you don’t want in a date and can use that information to say no to what you don’t want. Maybe you have a fabulous time. Whatever. It’s one date. It’s not the end of the world or the beginning. It’s just one date. So enjoy it. Attitude is everything.
Introverts can get a bad rap when it comes to any type of social situation. This doesn’t have to be your life. Any situation can be improved upon with a little preparation and practice. Dating while introverted doesn’t have to be a disaster. If you play to your strengths, it can be fun and productive.