ONE NIGHT STANDS: Why Modern Dating Culture Works Against Introverts


Modern dating culture is not set up for introverts.

You see, we introverts need more time to establish trust and connection in a relationship. We’re pretty selective about who we let into our inner circle. We’re downright scrupulous about who we let into our heart.

And our bedroom …

We’d like to keep that a VIP sacred space, too. Studies have shown that introverts have fewer sexual partners than extroverts. I suspect that we’d have even fewer horizontal mambo partners if there weren’t so much pressure to have sex early on.

In our society there is this underlying belief that if a date is going well it should inevitably lead to sex. If not on the first date, at least by the third or fourth date.

For introverts, the idea of being sexually intimate with someone we just met can be stressful to say the least.

Of course, there are introverts who have one-night stands. If that floats your boat, all the more power to you. But for many introverts, this is too much, too soon.

Sexual assumptions

Female introverts, in particular, are frustrated by the pressure for early physical intimacy. I want to clarify that I’m not talking about rape, or even verbal pressure to have sex. I’m talking about unspoken assumptions about what is normal and expected.

The norms of dating are pretty backwards. Sexual intimacy often comes before emotional intimacy. Sometimes there is no emotional connection at all. Just sex.

Disney lied to us

As a 30-year old introverted female whose romantic ideals were largely influenced by The Little Mermaid, I find modern day courtship to be lacking.

Upon doing a little romantic audit, I realized that most of my intimate relationships were preceded by friendship, or at least a more drawn-out courtship.

Sure, I’ve had my whirlwind romances that peaked and fizzled within the span of one week. But overall, I prefer the slow bloom approach to romance over the wham-bam-let’s-get-naked-on-the –first-date approach.

What about you? What’s your preference when it comes to dating? Slow bloom or wham bam – or something in between? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.




  1. Totally agree. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand how it was so easy for others to jump into the sack so quickly. It didn’t help to stack on the wondering of “why am I so behind?” throughout high school and into early adulthood.

    I once almost went to Vegas with a cousin who’s the same age as me, and his recurring sentiment (masked as a joke) was about how we were going to find me some action. I tried to Google / research “how to have fun in a safe way” in case it did happen, even though I never felt congruent with it. I’m really glad I didn’t go on that trip, as I’ve since had *incredibly* meaningful & fulfilling experiences since then.

    I’d rather enjoy a single kiss that’s charged with emotion and connection than a one night stand with no foundation. For me, the richness of a meaningful and fulfilling connection is where the expression of physical intimacy comes from. It doesn’t make sense to go without.

  2. I enjoyed this post a lot. I’ve found I can warm to someone pretty quickly in the right mood and situation but, as far as determining who might be a potential partner, I’m more deliberate in deciding that.

    I also have a natural sexual curiosity and playfulness that shows in how much I enjoy teasing and flirting. That said, I still haven’t had a sexual partner and don’t seem personally motivated to find one.

    I’ve made… awkward attempts at dating while I was worrying about what people thought of me, but my romantic relationships have never lasted more than a year and that doesn’t cause me much distress anymore.

    My own audits often turn up nil that indicates I even want a romantic partner. And I’ve learned my lessons from dating just because. I might like a woman and get along with her, and sometimes there may actually be chemistry. However, I seem to be lacking any personal romantic drive or feeling that would lead me into the wonderful world of dating and courtship. I’m just more comfortable having close friends and accept the risk that the friendship might dissolve once they partner off.

    I’ve actually had a long and sort of sexually intimate relationship with one friend in particular. in the sense that we enjoy being in the presence of each other’s libidinous energy and teasing one another. It’s woven its way into our dynamic somehow. 😛 However, she knows and I know we’ll probably never consummate that with sex itself.

    She dates on her own because she does want a romantic partner, and I have no issue when she finds the right guy and that part of our friendship stops.

    Above all of this though: intimacy of any sort isn’t on the table until I get to know someone better and there is a mutual desire for that intimacy. For me, that takes a LOT longer than the average dating phase.

    And while emotional and physical intimacy may be there, because of the way I’m wired as a person, there’s really no guarantee of sexual intimacy or that I’ll even have a strong desire to do anything about it even if there is some. 😛

    In some ways, I can become frustrating to a woman if they happen to take a romantic interest in me. I’m upfront about how I am so they don’t waste time trying to date me. Haha

  3. My preference, when it comes to dating, is not to date. As an introvert I’ve long believed that I was “defective” in some way. Knowing differently now helps a great deal however today I find myself a 47 year old celibate man whose last relationship was in college – roughly 25 years ago. The idea of dating someone now is not one that I could seriously entertain. I do not believe that dating, relationships and marriage are in the best interest of modern men as the bias against men in the court and legal systems in the US have made relationships with modern women extremely unattractive for them (see: Helen Smith, PhD: Men On Strike). From a strictly introvert point of view it does not make sense to me to sacrifice my solitude and my privacy (both of which make me inordinately happy most of the time) for something that I’m usually quite happy to be without. It is far better for me to experience the longing of desire on rare occasions than to have to experience the longing for my solitude and my privacy on most days. The effort that I would need to invest in such a relationship is, simply stated, better invested elsewhere.

    • Well said. I feel the same way. I actually kept a log of the percentage of time I felt a strong longing to be with a romantic partner, and it was a very small percentage. Why mess up 97% of your life in order to accommodate a 3% desire? Better to spend your time, money and attention on your own interests, and with friends and family.

  4. I can totally relate to this article and the other commenters. I was a 29 year old virgin before my first time. I ended up marrying that woman and we had 25 (mostly) wonderful years together. That relationship ended recently and now I am alone.

    I’ve been trying to figure out whether or not to pursue another romantic relationship for the past several months. I’ve tried to just make “friends” with women, being upfront about my intentions. But they all want more. Those didn’t seem to last long. And I thought they would appreciate having a male friend who actually wasn’t after sex. I now realize that no matter what she says, most women want more than they say they want.

    I’ve also tried using I don’t write anyone asking for a date. I just use it to learn more about what women really want by reading and studying profiles.

    All of this is really just me trying to learn more about myself. What am I looking for? What do I want?

    The more time I spend doing this, the more I am reaching the conclusion that I am happiest by myself. My stress level is at its lowest in years. I am a more pleasant person to be around because I am now getting my needed alone time. My doctor has told me that my vitals are the best they have been in years.

    So, in conclusion, this particular introvert has concluded that he doesn’t want any more intimate relationships. I’m happiest when alone. I don’t really miss having a woman in my life. I don’t need sex. Sex was one of the biggest sources of stress for me. Now I don’t have that. It just isn’t worth it.

    Yes…. I have only had sex with just that one woman in my entire life. So I am a testament to the information included in this article.

  5. As a single introverted female, I agree with you. I hear stories from friends who’ve done all sorts of things in high school and still do and it just completely mind boggles me. Not much in our society today is set up to work for introverts but I think that’s why we make much more meaningful friendships and connections more often than our extroverted counterparts.

  6. Its important that introvert men contribute to this article if only to demonstrate that not all men use women for sex! Since thats what we appear to get accused of especially on dating sites. I am indeed the same as the previous comments suggest, I’d run a mile or 20 if I knew it was expected of me without a lot of ”preparation” first.


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