Dating as an introvert has its own unique challenges. You have different needs than extroverts, and nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to romance and dating. As an introvert, you function best in intimate environments, as a lack of solitude can drain you. Meanwhile, extroverts flourish in highly-stimulating social settings, like parties.
But don’t allow the mere thought of dating a more outgoing person scare you away from even trying. Everyone has different emotional and intimate needs, no one more right or wrong than the other. So here’s how to not only survive but thrive in the romance department when you’re very much an introvert:
Success in any relationship relies on the ability to communicate your thoughts, feelings, needs, and expectations. As an introvert, you are selective when it comes to socializing, which may lead your date to mistake you as shy or awkward.
To avoid misunderstandings, it’s important to express yourself and explain that being with people for long periods drains your energy. Explain what types of environments you’re comfortable in, perhaps how you prefer an intimate coffee date over going to a loud bar. Expressing what you need can seem uncomfortable, especially when your needs don’t seem to fit the societal norm. But doing so prevents energy drain and conflict.
Be open from the get-go.
While not every dating scenario leads to sex, it’s always a good idea to talk about your expectations for physical intimacy up front. An introvert may associate sex with commitment, while an extrovert may not share the same views.
Many introverts require emotional intimacy before taking part in physical intimacy, so casual sex just doesn’t do it for them. However, there are many ways for introverts to have a satisfying sex life.
For starters, waiting to have sex until you’re in a committed relationship can create the deeper connection that an introvert craves, igniting sexual attraction. Additionally, professional guidance such as therapy can help you work through any emotional or social roadblocks to sex, and even address other treatments to remedy a low sex drive.
Know your limits.
At the time, it may seem like a great idea to agree to be a certain someone’s date to a dinner party over the upcoming weekend. But when Friday arrives the mere thought of making small talk over hors d’oeuvres for hours with strangers is already exhausting you.
Instead of desperately searching for any excuse in the book to get out of your plans, be honest and upfront. Dating an extrovert when you’re an introvert can be challenging, and vice versa.
“If you’re an introvert, it’s OK to say to your partner, ‘I am overstimulated and need some quiet time,’” explains Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Dan Neuharth. This way your attempts to back out of plans won’t offend your partner. In the long run, the best thing to do when dating is to avoid saying you’ll attend if you have no intention of doing so.
Find ways to compromise.
Balance and compromising in a relationship is what allows two vastly diverse personalities to blend together successfully. As much as your partner may honor your preferences and avoid taking you on a date in a highly-stimulating social gathering, it’s not always avoidable. Nor is it fair to their preferences.
However, there are easy ways to compromise with your partner while still keeping your introverted self comfortable. Consider taking two cars to your outing, or using ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft. This will allow you to honor your date’s wishes to have you there, while also allowing an escape when you feel your energy levels are depleting.
The same idea applies to physical intimacy. Spending a night together might seem romantic for some, but for introverts, sleeping over at someone else’s place can be overwhelming. If leaving isn’t an option, find a temporary escape by going outside for some fresh air or to the bathroom for a few moments of quiet to recharge.
From introverts to extroverts, we are all in search of that romantic connection. Although dating while introverted might appear to be taxing, introverts make for some of the best lovers. Introverts are in tune with their self, they know what they want and need, and are capable of a connection more profound than we ever imagined.