If you’re a single introvert you know how hard it can be to avoid the sharp sting of isolation. Even if you have no desire to be in a relationship, being a single introvert has its own unique challenges. Because here’s the thing.
As human beings, introverts need love and connection just like everyone else. But we are also drained by socializing, particularly shallow interactions.
We’re not like extroverts who can be out mixing and mingling every night with different friends. We thrive on a few close, meaningful relationships.
Is it easier for extroverts to be single?
It can seem so much easier for extroverts to be single. If they feel lonely, they can simply go out more and keep themselves busy with constant socializing.
Too much shallow socializing only drains introverts and leaves us feeling lonelier than ever.
A good male friend of mine has never had a serious relationship. And he doesn’t particularly want one. He is one of the few people who can say “I’d be happy being single forever” and I believe him.
A bubbly extrovert with many friends and a tight knit family, I doubt he’s ever experienced a day of loneliness in his life.
At times I have been envious that this friend can thrive on such a packed schedule. Meanwhile, I get grumpy after too much socializing. I am at my best when I spend most of my time with my best friends, or family, or by myself.
In her book Eat Pray Love, author Elizabeth Gilbert, who is an extrovert, talks about her introverted sister’s tendency toward isolation:
“Her solitary nature means she needs a family to keep her from loneliness; my gregarious nature means I will never have to worry about being alone, even when I am single.”
As an introvert who has a habit of buying one-way tickets to foreign countries, I know how easy it is for single introverts to isolate ourselves.
When close friends get busy, or we are simply too exhausted to reach out to them, the days of solitude can slip into weeks of loneliness. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
It is possible for introverts to be single and happy. Here are some tips to do just that.
Prioritize REAL connection
Everything begins with a decision. Make a decision to prioritize connection no matter what. What does that look like exactly?
I let my desire for true connection inform my decisions big and small: where I live, how I travel, what kind of social activities I participate in.
If there’s no opportunity to have a real conversation with someone I genuinely like, why bother?
As I mentioned, I am an avid traveller, but over the past few years I have changed the way I approach travelling. Now, I try to only visit places where I have good friends, or where I can meet likeminded people in an introvert friendly setting.
For example, my dear friend Melissa Renzi runs Introvert Retreats in exotic destinations. I’ve gone to two so far. Each time I felt an ease and natural connection with the other participants that I would never have found in a non-introvert retreat.
Speaking of which, Melissa is doing an introvert retreat to Peru March 27th to April 4th, 2020, and I believe there are still a few spots left. If you’d like to participate, be sure to find out if the Introvert retreat in Peru is right for you.
Spaces for Peru fill up FAST, so be sure to reserve your spot ASAP. Use the code INTROSPRING50 for $50 off.
Do activities YOU enjoy
Many introverts get stuck in an endless cycle of shoulds. We do the activities we think we should like, instead of giving ourselves permission to do what we actually enjoy.
I personally love being in nature, having intimate dinners with close friends, writing in artsy cafes, doing yoga, and going for long walks.
I don’t care if what I do in my spare time seems impressive or productive. Building a joyful life that is truly my own is my priority.
Have you ever been so tightly swaddled in the dark folds of loneliness that you have zero motivation to do anything?
When you’re already feeling down, you won’t have the desire or confidence to reach out. That’s why making plans BEFORE you’re lonely is key.
Pay attention to what days of the week you usually have the most social stamina and schedule social activities on those days.
If all you want to do on Fridays is make a blanket cocoon, don’t make plans on that night. Use that time to recharge so you can be fresh and present when you do socialize.
Accept where you are
We live in a culture in which coupling up is the norm. It’s easy to feel guilty when you don’t meet the status quo.
You start to wonder if there’s something wrong with you. Your singleness becomes a fixation, as you desperately try to fix whatever is broken in you that pushes pushes love away.
As an introvert coach who helps clients to uncover and transform hidden blocks to love, confidence, and success, I know the importance of working on yourself.
But it’s equally important to do so with gentleness and acceptance of who and where you are now.
Roommates can really suck. But having the right roommate can make being a single introvert a lot easier. After all, introverts tend to be homebodies. It’s nice when connection comes to us, instead of constantly having to put ourselves out there.
Before you go looking for a housemate, make a list of everything you’d want in an ideal roommate and living situation. I’ve done this many times, and often got everything on my list.
Over to you
Are you a single introvert? How do you stay happy? Please feel free to share your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
P.S. If you’re new to the blog, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michaela Chung, author of The Irresistible Introvert and creator of this amazing innie community we have here. For several years, I’ve been building up a labyrinth of introvert resources that will take you on a magical journey toward more confidence, connection, and self-love. Start the journey with my free Introvert Connection Guide.