A little over two years ago, I decided that I would accept a date with anyone who asked.  Since then, I have gone on nearly fifty first dates, as well as plenty of second and third dates.  Introvert, extrovert, richvert, poorvert – I’ve been wined and dined by ‘em all.

So, what have I learned from my dating escapades? Well, for one, it’s not a good idea to accept a date with a 19 year-old unless you are also still in your teens (longest two hours of my life).  Secondly, I’ve come to recognize what it takes to woo an introvert. Read on to discover the fastest ways to an introvert’s heart.

1. Resist the urge to do all the talking

Most introverts are great listeners.  Because of this, we often find ourselves downstream from some poor sap pouring out his soul.  That’s all good and well, except that a first date is the time for both parties to get to know each other.  In order for this to happen, you must resist the temptation to highjack the discussion.

You might worry that if you don’t carry the conversation, there will be huge pockets of awkward silence.  Perhaps.  Or you could read on to find out how to get an introvert talking.

Warning: you might not be able to get us to shut up after implementing these tactics.

2. Tap into our passions

Introverts can talk at length about things we are passionate about.  The great thing is that it’s pretty easy to recognize our interests.  Do a little probing, and you might discover your introvert has an obsession with indie movies, ballroom dancing, post-modern art, travel, mystery novels- you name it.

Once you are wise to our passions, show a genuine interest in them and we’ll talk your ear off.

3. Be an active listener

Now that you have our lips flapping, keep the conversation going by truly listening.  Active listening is the best way to show anyone (not just introverts) that you’re really interested in what they have to say.

So, nod, smile, summarize, ask questions and give us time to spit out what we want to say.  And for the love of Pete, try not to interrupt!

4. Choose the right activity

I have no idea how going out to dinner became the standard first date activity.  There are far better options that will help an introvert loosen up, and hopefully, open up. Here are some ideas:

  • Do a physical activity
  • Spend time in nature
  • Learn something new together
  • Create something

These are all great date options that will be less intimidating than sitting face to face for two hours hoping you don’t dribble food all over yourself.

5. Be Authentic

I know I’ve said it before, but introverts really do like it when you drop the formalities and show your true colors.  Tell us how you truly feel and what you really think and we’ll be drawn to you like a fly to warm poop.

6. Keep the first couple of dates short and sweet

Even if a date is going really well, it’s best to keep it to two hours or less.  For introverts in particular, dating can be really exhausting.  It’s best to get us home before our energy levels are completely depleted.

7. Accept us for who we are

If you want to instantly turn off an introvert, judge us, criticize us, or make us feel like we need to change.  Introverts are very selective about who they let into their hearts.  We gravitate toward people who accept us for who we are.  If you want someone more outgoing, chatty, bubbly and extroverted … date an extrovert … duh.