Dating is and always has been a stressful process for most people, but dating as an introvert presents unique challenges that must be confronted or overcome.
Introverts can become quickly overwhelmed by the dating process, suffering from overthinking, social fatigue, and anxiety that can take an emotional toll on a person seeking a romantic connection.
By adopting dating strategies that serve to compliment your personality rather than combat and suppress it, you may find yourself not only enjoying the process much more but achieving more success and eventually forming a cherished relationship that lasts a lifetime. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your dating adventures:
Tips for Dating as an Introvert
Don’t try to be an Extrovert
When seeking tips on how to date as an introvert, the advice many people will offer amounts to “just don’t be one.” Being transparent about who you are is key to avoiding some of the common dating pitfalls. Take the “fake it ‘till ya make it” attitude and throw it out the window. Pretending to be someone you aren’t may get you more dates, but it will become a massive barrier to forming the personal connections that you are ultimately looking to achieve.
Instead, be honest with yourself and others about what you value. If your ideal Saturday involves playing video games or catching up on House of Cards, make that clear. It is essential to communicate that you are an introvert so that your dates understand that you need to have time for yourself instead of feeling rejected or thinking you are disinterested.
However, don’t make a fort out of your introvertedness and stubbornly hold it. Dating by its very nature requires us to get out of our comfort zone, meet new people, and spend time with them. Don’t hesitate to put yourself out there, have new experiences, and toe the line around your comfort zone.
Don’t Neglect Your Me-Time
Taking time to recharge after putting yourself out there may be the most defining characteristic of being an introvert. When dating, there’s no reason to treat it differently than any other social activity.
Set personal boundaries and follow them. It won’t do you any good to spend all week at work and fill your weekend with dates, leaving you exhausted and fatigued for the upcoming week. Come up with a schedule that allows you to indulge in the alone time that you value while pursuing your romantic interests. Be honest with yourself and don’t commit to a date if you know you won’t be at your best.
Even if your schedule isn’t flooded with potential dates, limit the time you spend actively looking to meet people. Whether you are dating online or joining in on more social events, the process of looking for a date is just as exhausting as going on one. Putting yourself first will have a significant impact on your dating potential.
Find Dates Online
Introverts are naturally more comfortable expressing themselves through writing and excel in spaces where they feel comfortable. Online dating provides the opportunity to take control of your dating life and filter out potential dates that are frankly, not worth the effort. Giving yourself the chance to make connections in a comfortable place will allow you to ditch the anxiety and stress, and focus on putting your best foot forward.
Choose the Right Date Activities
At some point, you’ve got to get out there in the real world and go on a date with someone. Once again, exercise your control over the situation and make sure it’s an environment where you have set yourself up for success.
It never hurts to choose a place that you’ve been before and already know you like. If you have a favorite café or restaurant, you can at least take some of the anxiety out of the first-date experience. Without having to worry if it will be too crowded, have loud music, and so on, you can concentrate on the person in front of you and find out if you are genuinely interested in them.
Alternatively, skip the restaurant entirely and plan a date based on an activity that you have a mutual interest in. This allows you to make conversation around the activity and put off getting too personal too fast. There are plenty of date ideas that are well-suited to this.
Be Prepared for Small Talk
Small talk is a necessary evil when it comes to dating as an introvert. It may feel tedious, impersonal, and even robotic, but to broach deeper, more meaningful topics you’ve gotta start somewhere. You need to dip a toe in and test the water before doing a cannonball off the high-dive.
When you engage in small talk, try to steer the conversation into deeper waters by giving out small pieces of information that your date can latch onto and explore with you. If you begin to grow tired of being in the spotlight, turn the tables around and ask questions that reveal the things they are passionate about and then follow up on them.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Introverts tend to overthink and dwell on the past. If you have a date that is a total disaster, don’t waste any time thinking about what you should have or could have done. Just leave it behind and move forward looking for the next opportunity to connect with someone.
Beating yourself up about what you should have done or said differently will only have a negative impact on your confidence and attitude going forward. Virtually everybody has been on a date that was an absolute nightmare; it comes with the territory. You are putting yourself in a situation where you are attempting to create chemistry with a person that may simply not be there. Write it off and move along.