Is online dating a better option for introverts?
This is something I asked my Facebook followers a little while ago, with varying responses. Some prefer it because it allows them to shine through written communication. Others hate it for the very same reason – too much writing, and not enough action.
I recently reactivated my Plenty of Fish account after years of letting it sit dormant. I turned my nose up at online dating after a brief stint trying it out in 2009. Since then, I have discovered how easy it can be to find a date in the real world. A couple of years ago, I vowed that I would accept a date with anyone (provided I didn’t feel utterly repulsed or in danger) and have since gone on countless dates with many high quality gentlemen. So, why bother with online dating?
Well, if we’re being honest, it has a little to do with laziness and a lot to do with curiosity. I wanted to see for myself if online dating would really work for introverts. And, since I’ve been going through an introverting phase lately, I enjoyed that it didn’t involve actually leaving the house. Not yet, anyway.
Internet small talk
Women on POF typically receive a lot more messages than men. My inbox was quickly flooded with greetings from men who have profile pictures of them posing next to a giant fish, or flexing their bare abs in front of the bathroom mirror. I even received a solicitation for a “lucrative opportunity”. Yikes. The dating site that you choose is extremely important as it has a major impact on your chances of success. You should always spend a little time researching and find detailed reviews, like this review of the best dating sites for meeting an older woman online. Leverage the time of experience of others so you can be as successful as possible dating online.
Of course, there were a few decent prospects. But the instant messaging tango is not a dance I enjoy. Most introverts express themselves better in writing than in-person conversation. I am no different. That is, until it comes to making small talk over the Internet. This is quite possibly even more dreadful than engaging in real life fluffy banter. It takes longer, but still gets you nowhere. Plus, you can’t even see the person’s facial expression. You’re having a conversation with a picture of this guy and his adorable dog that was probably taken five years ago.
Can this really be better than just going out and roughing it in the real world of dating?
Awkward inbox moments
After exchanging a couple of pleasantries with one man, he sent me a lovely message saying that he enjoyed my blog and it has helped him understand and embrace his introversion. Hmm, that’s nice, but … how the heck do you know about my blog?! I’m not that Internet famous (as much as I wish it were so). Did we know each other? Were we long lost Facebook friends? Had I (gasp) already dated him the last time I was on POF five years ago. Sadly, I think I scared him off with my obsessive prodding about how he found my website. Sorry, StarGazer99 wherever you are. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
POF has this “Top Prospect” feature which shows you your super ultra match. Three of my top prospects were men I already knew, one of whom I had actually dated for a couple of months. Most of the other men could not write beyond a 6th grade level. So, again I must ask ….
Can this really be better than just going out and roughing it in the real world of dating!?
I’ll keep you posted
Having said all of that, I haven’t actually gone on any dates yet. I’m still in the annoyingly ambiguous territory of making small talk through POFs instant messaging app. I’m losing patience!
It has been three days.
But I will press forth, if for no other reason than to find amusing fodder for my blog posts (just kidding, I’m taking this very seriously … sort of). I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your innie online dating experiences. What say you on the matter? I’d love to hear from you!
My one and only experience with on line dating was a disaster.
I met my wife at work. I found out about her from a mutual friend who acted as our liaison.
Now my extroverted wife acts as my liaison.
Thanks for sharing your experience with this, Alan! Glad you managed to find someone the old-fashioned way. 😉
I am confused as to where this is.I don’t see anything but a picture of a enter sign on a keyboard.
I was on eharmony over the past year and met some really great guys. I like eharmony because the men on that site seemed to be more what I was looking for, even though there were a lot who weren’t. I recently shut down my profile due to dating over load haha! I am very very introverted and as much fun as it was being able to talk to people online, when I was in the mood, I also found it exhausting to go out and meet a man who, as far as I knew was still a stranger. It takes me a long time to warm up to people, to the point where I can actually be myself and I met a lot of guys who only gave it one date before they’d decided I was too quiet, not talketive or interesting. The unfortunate thing is …once you get to know me i’m very talketive and interesting….they just didnt wait long enough to see it. I felt like it was kind of cut throat, I’ve decided that I may just have to start hoping that a guy who is a part of my real life will slowly get to know me and suddenly realize that there’s an attraction. But who knows!
Hey Abi…. How is it going for you now? Sadly I’m an introvert, and exactly the same as you. It’s not easy. I actually find it hard to communicate with women in real life. It can be quite a daunting experience for me, hence it takes me a while before I can open up to a stranger the same way you described.
I’ve been on Match for almost 6 months now, and I have to say, I’m overall disappointed. Even so, I can’t totally blame the site; I’m just not able to find anyone I’m interested in enough to contact, and the few I have contacted never sent anything back. I find that I nitpick at profiles, which may be my introvert side’s way of keeping me in the house!
I don’t blame you, Jim. There are a lot of terrible profiles on online dating sites.
Hi Michaela, Being male, divorced at 50 and an introvert seems to be, from my experience, the kiss of death in terms of women. I was never into ‘dating’ when in my teens and 20s so the very thought is daunting in the first place. I thought online dating may be an answer. Wrong. I’ve experimented with OKCupid, PoF, Match and eHarmony, which, even with its humungous questionnaire and super-duper algorithm found zero matches for me. After some initial enthusiasm, I soon find out that it’s all a big waste of time. The vast majority of women on these sites seem to me to be clear extroverts – bubbly, vivacious, sociable, etc, etc – but when you look at what they want it’s certainly not not an introverted, reserved, thoughtful, sensitive man. Opposites don’t attract.
Yes,I’ve pretty much given up on it. Surely there are a lot of introverted females on online dating sites – they’re probably just pretending to be extroverted because they think that is what men want.
It’s always been easier for me to meet someone at work SLOWLY the online thing seems like I’m being rushed
Yeah not me so much. Personally I make it clear in my profile I’m a geek and ok with that but can’t seem to find many woman who claim the same. Usually it the standard: My family and friends are very important to me, I love you travel I’m a list of female adjectives you’ll find attractive and my pets are my fur babies, followed by pictures of you out with friends at a bar.I swear it feels like they are all trying to present as the same person. O well guess I’ll keep trying or maybe I’ll meet someone out elsewhere.
I don’t know to what extent it’s true. I went on a couple of sites which were touted to be for introverted/shy people, but they seemed to be flooded with women who appeared to be quite extroverted, which made those websites a bit redundant in my opinion.
Ah, Andy. Hi. Same problem here, only I’m female. It seems that most men want “outgoing” and “fun to be with” ladies. They want them “young”, too. So an introverted, reserved, 44 year old woman like me is pretty much out of the dating game. Wish there was a dating site that’s exclusive for older introverts. There must be a handful of introverted men out there who would date older women.
I have been on pof for about a month and had sime indecent proposals and a lot of interest from younger men .. Its as if you have to spell it out .. Not on here for a play date!!
Overall I have had 3 dates of which were varied. One looked nothing like hus profile picture, the other was a little controlling and went all huffy when I didnt text “enough” after our first meet. The third left me in a pub when his taxi arrived before mine !! Didnt even text to check I got home ok!!
Generally if they have an absurd/ rude user name, cant spell, write “just ask” or ” fill this in later” I ignore all. Those that select meet me but havent bothered to view my profile are ig ored too. Harsh but Im seeing results being choosy. I can spot false from 2 messages but do have a few irons in the fire sofingers crossed. Hoe difficult can it be???
Denise – Monkseaton
I’ve used online dating on and off for a while. To be honest I think I’d rather be able to just meet people in person.
With online dating you end up investing a lot in people before you’ve even seen if you connect in person. Most people don’t give you much to go on with their profiles. Of the people you meet, the people you do connect with it often doesn’t work out, so you just end up feeling worse for having tried.
Unfortunately I don’t readily meet single women. When your searching for someone of the same faith the dating pool shrinks considerably both online and off.
I agree, Peter. The good thing about being of a certain faith is there are usually dating sites and meetups specifically for your peeps – narrows things a bit.
Greetings! I’ve beewn reading your site for a while now and finally got
the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx!
Just wanted tto mention keep up the good work!
I think I’ve finally figured out what the “top prospects” section on POF means. It means more page clicks and more money for POF. Other than that, it’s a random collection of people you’ve emailed that have been shuffled like a deck of cards. I’ve gone out out with tons of women off POF, mostly wasting my time. I wish there was a better way than the internet to meet people, but… there isn’t.
Hello, I am 23 year old guy, I usually don’t be friend people easily. So in my post graduation I met this girls She was an Extroversion , slowly as time passed we came closer to each other, and I started having feeling for her. But things didn’t go well with party or outing with group ( I was only concerned for her, her health and all, cared for her ), but things didn’t go well and without a specific reason she ended that closeness level with me . *( I never forced her, or stopped her from doing anything, just told her I am comfortable with her only, not with others. ). She is just a friend, but do tell me what should I do to stop thinking about her? I just cannot go with any other Girl , feeling with me was like I’ve got my Love of life even though I might not be with her, still I’ll love her till my last breath . More over I am new so I don’t have much friends to hang out with, I try to keep busy but mornings are worst . I get all the moments shared with her, the memories make me so uncomfortable that I feel like Quitting life. I know I sound crazy, but I wish I could end up all my mental stress. Please help me looking forward for your support.
It may not feel like it now, but the feeling will get better. You don’t ever have to stop loving her, but you do need to let her go – it’s a grieving process, and sadly it’s a fact of life – but feeling it makes you human and shows your capacity for love. Turn it to the good: if you’re a praying man, pray that she meets someone she can love and pray for her happiness apart from you.
However, you’re only 23 – you have a whole lifetime to meet people. Don’t make the mistake (that I made) of holding out for someone who isn’t interested – your life, your time is precious, don’t waste it.
After the passing of my “significant other” who was very much an extrovert that made it easy for me, I very reluctantly tried online dating. There is a hole in my floor where my confidence plunged through. I would look for *some* physical attraction, thoroughly read their profiles to determine if I thought we had anything in common, and then send an honest, response, getting no reply from the vast majority, and having a very few dates that felt like job interviews for a job I was obviously unqualified for. The only one that dated me repeatedly recently quit saying I was too much of a “recluse” for her. I am so tired of being alone, yet just don’t have the inner strength for the constant rejection of dating. I’m through.
I’m so glad I found this blog- it’s made me feel for the first time in my life that I’m not strange. My OLD experiences have been mixed. I never seem to be into the men who contact me, and the ones I’m sure are the right never answer my messages… so, needless to say, dating is fraught with frustration.
But I’m interested in your vow to date whomever asked you out. If I chose to do that, I would be going on more dates…but…isn’t it exhausting for an introvert? Especially when you’re with extroverted men? Also, sorry if you talked about this elsewhere, but what made you choose to take that dating vow? Do you advise it for girls like me who just can’t be themselves around men they like?
Do you have any advice for dealing with a nasty comments? Online dating is really draining for me anyway and it’s almost overwhelming when some already creepy guy fires off something mean because you didn’t answer his stupid flirt, for example. In my mind I know that he’s lashing out, but I keep fixating on it. I really want to tell them off, but something in me says ‘don’t respond, you’ll just encourage him’. Any suggestions?
You’re right not to respond. Simply hit “delete” and move along to the next one. 🙂
I found this article a little late lol, but i have to say I agree with a lot of it. I thought online dating would be easier as an introvert, but like you said, you just end up in small talk that goes nowhere, and as a guy… I’m talking to women who are chatting with 100 dudes at the same time. Its nearly impossible to keep their attention long enough to actually set anything up. And maybe its just me.. maybe i suck at flirting. I’d even be inclined to think it’s because I’m not attractive, but these girls always say they think I’m cute, send a few messages and then disappear. The small talk is painful because its extremely forced, not natural, and like you said there’s no reactions or flow to it, its one step away from talking to a robot almost.
Over the period of about 2 weeks I met 2 girls who I talked to for more than one day, both of them about a week each, really getting to know each other, and when I decided to bring up actually going on a date, they once again disappeared. Almost as if they had no intention of actually dating but just wanted to talk to someone for an ego boost, or who knows..
I’m sort of out of ideas. I’m an introvert… I have some confidence and I’m not excessively shy, I just don’t want to go out and hit on girls to try to meet someone. I’m lonely and I want to be proactive about finding a date, but I’m at a loss for how to do that
They disappeared bc they weren’t ready to go on a date yet. Women need to feel
#1 comfortable #2 safe #3 ready. If you “bring up dating” before #1-3, they will react with fear, bc they feel pressure with you instead of feeling happy.
What Owl said. It’s really annoying when men think women do online dating for an “ego boost” just because those men didn’t get what they wanted from those women.
Hi. I too have discovered this post late. But it is still really helpful to see yours and other introverts’ reactions to online dating. After a few years on and off, I have found online dating to be on the whole neither good nor bad. Initially it was pretty bad. it made me think and see myself in ways that I’d never thought before. I became a lot more conscious of my age, my ethnicity, my height, and any other things that made me feel like an ‘outlier’. I became a lot more cynical, not so much frustrated but more like criticising people’s dating profiles (in my mind) and thinking oh here we go another picture of a man standing in his bathroom. My expectations of dating and the dating world went wayyy low. I used to be a hopeless romantic. Believing that something would happen even if I hadn’t gone on a date in months. After going online, dating became a ‘statistical likelihood’. Gone was the hopeless romantic and in came the cynic who would even see other people’s profiles and think of the chances of them meeting someone in terms of whatever factors they presented. Oh you’re this tall, this short, this old, this young, from this country, this ethnic background, and therefore… Which was pretty sad.
Eventually I did come full circle, and grew to understand that it is just one of those things and I learned to block out all the bad and appreciate the good. The good messages. The interesting interactions. The variety. Or sometimes just being able to look at people I found attractive in a way that I wouldn’t do in real life. However the thing I have found with online dating is that the men I connect with always want to put me in the friend zone. I’ve never connected with a guy online who actually wanted to ‘date’ me, in the full romantic sense. There is often no sense of a romantic or even sexual desire. Even though I don’t go online to be ‘sexually desirable’, it is still part of the expectation that the man will find me physically as well as mentally attractive. He should want to kiss me as much as he wants to talk to me. And as much as I was flattered by the intellectual connection, it made me feel increasingly physically unattractive, like I wasn’t being ‘seen’. I know every woman wants to be respected for her brain, but I don’t want to be a ‘buddy’, and even less so when I’m actually attracted to the man, which often happens when we do connect mentally. So that’s been my experience with online dating.
I totally agree with all of you. Online dating for me has been a disaster as well. I just can’t get that connection that I can get with someone that I meet in the real world… the only problem in the real world is that where I live (in a small community) everybody is already married. I recently met somone in person, at work. He liked me, I liked him and we were seeing each other and as the relationship was going further, I was gonna meet his family soon (as we worked together I was really carefull to know what I wanted before to get into a this serious relationship and meet everybody) and he decided I didn’t make the move fast enough and he lost the feelings for me. We have been talking a lot and decided that maybe if I was gonna make the move and meet his family he would get his feelings for me back… but this is only a test.. I’m hoping that it will work but I feel like I’m gonna get hurt again… I didn»’t have a relationship for so long, I’m juste about 30 and apparently pretty attractive too, but for some reason, can’t find a guy to stick around me long enough to get to know me. I’m really introverted, and pretty intense too. Makes it sooooo hard to meet people even with all the efforts in the world. It seems like nobody likes introverted people like us. Now, I was thinking that meeting another introvert might help… but then, how can we start talking if none of us is able to warm up? Being introverted has been and is still something that I’m struggling with almost everyday. It is getting really exhausting, to be living 100% of the time alone. As I get older, I’m scared of never be able to find someone and the adaptation to different people with bagage is getting really hard to do. I get confortable in my house and the way I do my things, my little routine and it gets harder to have room for somebody else in my life as I always feel like I’m the one making effort in every relationship I had.
Basically, I have, like probably most of the introverted people, once in my life tried to change and become extroverted…. but it doesn’t work. I always come back as an introverted and it seems like I always come back as a stronger introverted. making it even harder to be expose to people again.
it is a big problem to be introverted. We suffer a lot even tho we enjoy lonely time, we are constanly looking for that other person that could complet us. We want to be love as well and love someone that we can care about.
You’re definitely not alone. I’m 33 and it’s come to a point in my life where I’ve concluded that I have enough trouble dealing with myself that I don’t want to have to deal with someone else, either. And likewise, I don’t want them to have to deal with someone as complicated as myself. Often I think of finding a great girl that would fit my personality, but I have yet to meet her. And if she exists, she’s probably on the other side of the planet! I’ve tried multiple dating sites in the past and just like I’ve read on this comment thread, most of the women say they’re adventurous and outgoing and they want to meet someone similar. You would think that plenty of introverted women (and men) could be found online, because they would find it easier to “ease into” a relationship. But, it does feel a little helpless when they can’t seem to be found. It makes me feel even worse, as if I’m all alone. The more I try to figure the puzzle out, the more it difficult it becomes. Forgive me if my comment seems so negative; I’m wanting to be honest.
You should write something like this on your profile. The women who appreciate honesty will adore you!
Hi! I found this while searching for dating sites for introverts. Look, if someone as good looking as you (not flirting, just saying) is having to go to pofs and what not, it tells me that average joes like me wont get much joy from online thingy. I have made a commitment to go up to ladies and just talk. Let’s see how that will pan out, but i am sure i will learn and get results there, rather than sitting behind a screen hoping someone will like my profile. just my 2 cents.
For an average joe to to look attractive. perhaps work on those muscles. work on having a pure and kind heart and work on your self confidence and you’ll look attractive to women :).
The problem I most see on both okcupid and plenty of fish, is that men who are interested in me who want to get me to talk to them, don’t ask me and questions, nor do they tell me abt themselves, and yet they expect me to respond to them! *Hey, what’s up? And then, Where did you go? (When I didn’t respond to ‘what’s up’). * Another one said, Why are you up so late? (That’s private information.) What ever happened to, “hi, I like music, dancing, Scrabble, fishing, and pizza….Do you like Scrabble? Do you prefer pizza or steak?” You know, why dont men START a real conversation? This is the worst, so I don’t even answer them Then they wonder why no one answers! 🙁
I would love to talk. I like fishing, scrabble and pizza. Not good with the dancing part.
Why does the “bashing” have to be aimed at either men or women??? I am a 45 year old woman who was left by my husband to raise our reignites on my own. This does not make me think men are inherently bad or selfish, but that some people are imperfect and selfish. As far as online dating, it’s the dark as meeting and dating someone in person. You have to watch for red flags, be smart, and stick to what you want, whatever that may be. And if you’re not meeting your match, there’s more to life than having a husband or wife. No other person should “complete” you. You should feel complete already for who you are. Love your kids, friends, family, job, God. Just be happy with what life has given you. And let go of anger from past relationships- it holds you back. That’s my take, for what it’s worth.
Yes, you can find love, acceptance, and comfort within friends and family but it is not the same love that is given and taken from a mate. And I find it a bit ironic that you mention to find love in your kids… as if these kids were not created with some sort of intent to have a wife or husband… sounds to me like a jaded person’s take on the matter honestly. How are you to even have the chance to share love with your kids if you haven’t had the chance to even find a person to create them to begin with?
There is nothing wrong with feeling incomplete without a lover. This does not mean that you are a flawed, weak, unhealthy, or physiologically damaged. We by nature long for a mate. And if you are longing for something as life impacting as a husband or wife then you will feel incomplete without it. We long for an intimate conversation and connection that only a mate can give. And if you are feeling incomplete because of this lack of relationship there is NOTHING wrong with you.
I also tried several dating sites and I find them very useful in terms of practice. You can experiment with different approaches and find some winning patterns in flirting with a woman even if you’re an introvert. Just recently on https://www.flirt.com/ my good friend(he isn’t very sociable guy) found a girlfriend and I couldn’t be more happy for him. He was able to adjust his behavior a little bit, which gave him the edge to succeed in it. You can be a little bit different out there and with the help of dating site he now dating, which is a great news(cause its his first girlfriend)
I have just now realized that my failure at online dating is likely related to being introverted. I get all excited, go onto the dating website knowing that I have tons of messages waiting for me, I tell myself that now I have time so I can dedicate myself to meeting some men. I respond to my messages, and I am exhausted… Then I avoid the site for weeks because men have already responded way too quickly, and I freak out about dealing with small talk for long enough to respond back. I go back on, make excuses about why I didn’t write back more quickly, only to find myself soon after feeling socially exhausted again and hiding from online dating again.
I’ve had a similar issue. I respond to a bunch of potentials then get exhausted and/or frustrated and disappear… then feel horribly guilty for disappearing. I have hit it off with another introvert on okcupid, but we haven’t met in person yet. I have my concerns because we’re both introverts, but I’ve really enjoyed our conversations so far so I’m hopeful!
I’m so happy it’s not just me!!! I recently joined a *dating site* and tried to reply to every person who’d taken the time to message me, but I’m drowning!! I have no idea what the etiquette is, if you don’t reply fast enough you get another 10msgs saying “hey” with increasing frequency, leaving you feeling like you’re somehow to blame, now I’m scared to log in as I’ve 100+ messages waiting and it just become all encompassing typing one word responses or being relatively curt or taking hours to reply to the ppl you do like because you’re trying to be nice to everybody and inadvertantly hurting the feelings you’re trying to protect initially! It’s a vicious circle :/
I am on pof, paid for Zoosk and on tinder.
I have met up with several guys but no spark at all from my side.
Why do guys tell lies on their profiles, why do they say they are 5ft 10 when Infact they are 5ft 7 ? Why do they put pics up of themselves from 10 years ago ? Why put their children on the sites ? SERiOUSLY ?
Not a good start hey……
I am found myself single at 52 through my husband of 10 years, but with him for 25 years. He was a compulsive dater and I found out about him having four affairs. I’m done with it all now, worth more.
Hence why I have put myself on these very seedy sites. All very scary out there.
Please assure me there are some nice single guys out there looking for more than just a shag….,
Loosing hope xx
I’m an introvert woman and think you have a better chance at eating pizza at home and watching Big Bang Theory than online dating.
In case you all didn’t know, there’s a new dating website for introverts called IntrovertsOnly.com.