Dating is hard when you gain energy from alone time, rather than socializing. But believe it or not, dating as an introvert can be fun and easy.
First of all, let’s banish the stereotype of introverts being hermits who hole up in their closet with a book. The fact is, as an introvert, you’re at your best when you have alone time to recharge. Relationships with family, friends, and colleagues can be straining enough on your energy reserves. Add onto that having to approach a perfect stranger and find something to talk about? Yikes.
If you’re not a social butterfly, how can you convince a special someone that you’re not anti-social, while avoiding boring yourself stiff with small talk?
Here are 4 tools you can use to make dating as an introvert feel natural and fun.
1. Prepare a list of topics
As an introvert, you hate small talk because it’s inconsequential, so you avoid it at all costs. Prepare a list of topics before you meet up with your date, so when imagination runs dry, you can throw in a new subject to keep things going. Flirt.com has a list of the best things to talk about on a first date to get you started. Whether your date is extroverted or introverted, they’ll find you more interesting if you skip over the mundane.
2. Think of it as a friendship first
Introverts are chronic over-thinkers. Rather than trying to decide whether your date will think you’re fat and cheat on you when you’re fifty-six, scale it back a bit and take the pressure off. Instead of putting them on the “boyfriend/girlfriend” pedestal, focus on trying to make a friendship with them, as if that’s all you’re there for. It’ll make you calm down and the conversation will flow more naturally. Plus, even if you’re not a great romantic match, you may have made yourself a friend.
3. Ask questions
If you don’t know what to say, go with the tried and true failsafe: ask questions. If you’re dealing with an extrovert, recognize that they love to talk – just give them a little nudging. If you’re on a date with another introvert, giving them a chance to open up about themselves will make you seem interested – and therefore interesting. Ask them about places they’ve been, why they went there, what their favorite memory is, what stood out the most to them. Splice in some stories about yourself so it doesn’t feel too much like an interrogation. The more questions you ask, the more you’ll learn, and the conversation will branch off into new topics.
4. Give yourselves something to do
What kills conversation? Staring in someone’s eyes for forty-five minutes straight. Instead, spice up the date by giving yourselves an activity, like going to the movies or a roller derby. This allows opportunities to talk, but if conversation is lacking, you still have fun things to keep you busy until a topic comes to mind or you both relax more. If the date still sucks, at least you got to see a movie!
Dating is rough for everyone, but especially those who can’t woo a crowd easily. Rather than giving up and sticking within your comfort zone, use these tips to expand your reach and find love in the process.
What about you?
What are your thoughts on dating as an introvert? Do you find it challenging? Share your comments below.
This is truly an wonderful article with great and insightful dating advice. 🙂 As for the dating part, in the past I found it challenging due to my INFJ nature. But the situation is completely different now. I don’t have the fear of dating anymore (despite the fact that it can be overwhelming sometimes). I approach it knowing that it’s going to be an relaxing date, and with a realization that there is no “worst case scenario”. The worst case would be that I made a new friend. 🙂
I need help! I have met a man who tells me he is introvert/extrovert. I am also introvert (my kids made me take the Myers Briggs last night becaues they think I should ask him out again)! So, we go out, we talk normally, then we kiss, and say NOTHING. We hold hands, we kiss, we hug, PDA not a problem, very shyish but definitely lots of affection, but NOTHING is said about these things, as if they didn’t happen. There’s an awkwardness when we hug or kiss or hold hands. He is not asking me out on further dates, but he texts me, goes out of his way to help me with, oh, for example, four hours helping me buy a car last week in the middle of his work day (I asked him for his help choosing a car, and he offered to help haggle), interviewing my son for an internship (he asked twice to see my son’s resume, not me asking him), calling me pet names, asking if my son wants a letter of reference to get into college, etc. He is a very successful businessman, and runs his own multi-million business, but I completely thrown off by the fact that he is not making plans to see me. I KNOW he likes me. I feel that I have already asked him out in a way by asking him to help with the car, already delivered my son to his office for the interview. i keep thinking, it’s his turn to ask me out. Surely, if he liked me, he would want to see me, right? We are not children. We are both 54. He has just come out of a miserable marriage two years ago where the wife wore the pants and almost destroyed him, and continues to try to ruin his life. I am the complete opposite. I do not like to cause waves or step on any toes. Any suggestions? I don’t want to lose him, but I feel like we are both drifting because we both seem to be too scared to get close to the other person by using words. Actions are good, they seem safer, but it’s much harder for me to express my feelings in words – i am afraid i am going to freak him out. Is he feeling the same way about me?
Stop overthinking and ask him. Either your both on the same track & he can confirm, (Maybe he’s a little gun shy, abusive relationship are very damaging.)
Or he’s not romantically interested. You still have a friend and you can quit agonizing and start enjoying the company of someone special either way. I’d bet he’s taking his time checking you out to be sure you won’t abuse him, that’s what I did after an abusive relationship. I fell for this woman long before I asked her out. Sometimes we (INFJ’S) have to protect ourselves. Plus as INFJ & strong empath I picked up on her feeling of betrayal & mistrust that were directed at another but I assumed me. (Still learning to be an INFJ). This made me wait longer than needed till I realized what I was doing.
Great points! My trick was always have an unusual activity.
The second date, with my now girlfriend, we went ‘glow in the dark midget golfing’, such an offbeat activity made me tick of point 1. 2. and 4. in one fell swoop!
The ideas about what to do on the date and how to talk to them are good. However I find the whole ‘dating’ thing rather forced. I was never the very pretty girl who had lots of men wanting to take her out anyway. Even if I had been, I wouldn’t have liked the idea of going out with lots of different men for the sake of dating, if there wasn’t something abut them that I liked. Bearing in mind how many people are ‘ghosted’ by people they have dated, why bother if you don’t particularly ‘like’ them.
I am actually married, so dating doesn’t apply to me now. I have had 3 significant men in my lifetime. They all kind of grew on me, rather than going on a date with them. The first was a boy I met at Youth Club when I was 16. I knew him in all for 6 years. I think he liked me, though not sure if it was like that. I was very shy, so it never came to anything. Marko knows all about it, as I have commented on it recently on the forum.
I met my husband through work. We had been talking during lunchtimes. We had the thing in common that we both helped out Dads with DIY, so would pass screws and hold the ends of planks of wood sort of thing. The first sign that something was going on was when Alan came in with a bunch of flowers for me. I was a bit taken aback and when I got home I went and told my neighbour Dorothy about it. She said “Ah, he likes you.” He used to do gardening for an elderly friend Eileen. Then one day he said he was going to be doing some work in her garden at the weekend, so would I like to go and help him. I said “Yes, ok.” So we spent that Saturday building a rustic garden wall for Eileen. I mixed cement and Alan put the rocks in place. How romantic! Then we went to the local pub for lunch. I had a basket of chips and was so nervous that I could only eat about 8 of them! We saw each other during the evenings and also at work, which was rather distracting! But it all turned out well in the end, as we have been married now for 17 years. 🙂
The 3rd one was a work friend. He wasn’t a romantic interest as such, but was a friend and we got along nicely in our quiet way.
I prefer to get to know people gradually through regular contact, rather than being dropped in the deep end of a ‘date’ the first time you meet them.
I agree with Snookie, spending time as in quality time together is way better than a conventional date. I always have a plan when it comes to spending time with someone and an alternative backup plan yet my plans are still flexible, anything could happen. I prefer activities as opposed to just sitting there talking, I’m more actionable, I like the outdoors more than indoors however indoors can be nice, like cooking for others or just staying in and watching a movie together. The roller derby sounds good, however a commercial movie doesn’t allow for talking or connection. The points here are spot on, questions are great especially thoughtful ones that help to discover the other person.
In introvert dating, I think we prefer the one person at a time route, to fully explore the other and uncover all of them as opposed to the extrovert style of looking for superficial chemistry at first meet, many of an introvert has been passed over due to social awkwardness or shyness, when they most likely were right for the other person but due to the others haste of easy dismissal and not digging deeper, they passed on a great opportunity.
Everyone has a love map, in each of us there are specific sub-conscious cues based on the past that lead us to fall for others these are not always healthy as this can lead to us being in bad relationships however, once we get clear on these repeat things that made us fall for others we can clearly see what works for us or not. The challenge here is to find everything positive and forego all the toxic stuff to find more fulfilling experiences with others and with love.
It’s key to remember that opposites attract and keep the flames of passion going while the similarities make up for the friendship we set on fire when in love.
Introverts touch the mind and set the soul on fire…
Remember that some of the greatest books out there have some of the most plain covers on them, don’t judge a book by it’s cover when it comes to people, dating an introvert can be one of the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have happen to them.
Great insights, James! I especially like how you describe how each of us has a “love map”. Thanks for sharing!
I personally haven’t spoken to anyone in a meaningful way since 1976 .i am now 51.in fact posting this comment is overwhelming me .ill have to stop now
This is such a real, accurate and practical list.