Nowadays more and more people are self identifying as introverts. What does this really mean? I can tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t necessary mean they are shy.
Introverts recharge with quiet time, often spent alone, while extroverts recharge with social time spent with people. Introvert brains also respond to stimulation differently, so a little bit of excitement is usually enough for an introvert; you will probably find them heading home from the event earlier than the rest of the crowd.
Shyness and introversion for the longest time were confused, leaving many introverts feeling as if they were somehow lacking the socialization gene that everyone else seemed to be blessed with. You see, introverts really don’t like the phone, small talk can be a drag and networking can feel fake. But introverts do like to meet like-minded folks in environments they find supportive.
So what’s an introvert to do if they are single and looking to meet someone?
Dating can feel like a job interview. You are trying to show your best self to someone and be “on.” Introverts are not known to be people who can turn it on at the drop of a hat. Introverts are also selectively social creatures. They prefer to be in familiar surroundings with people they know than out and about looking for a lively party to attend every weekend. But introverts are also known to be excellent listeners that can maintain close and deep relationships for a lifetime. They crave authenticity. So, how can an introvert find authenticity in the online dating world?
Many introverts might prefer to stay on their own before even considering dating or online dating. This itself can be a shame as introverts can be excellent life partners and introvert/extrovert relationships have been proven to be beneficial on both ends. These two types can balance each other out. Introverts give the extrovert a sense of calm and the extrovert nudges the introvert to be a bit more social than they might normally be on their own.
So how can the gentle introvert dip his toe into the dating world and still feel safe? Following a few simple guidelines may help.
1.) Quality over quantity: When assembling an online profile go for honesty and clarity.
The goal isn’t to get a million “hey babys,” the goal is to get a few quality responses. Being too general or following the trend could get you more hits from from the wrong people. This will ultimately be a discouraging energy drain when you have to go through them all and pick a needle out of a haystack.
2.) Pick a place that is familiar to meet for a first date.
You will feel comfortable there and can be more relaxed allowing your sparking introvert wit to shine.
3.) Set a time for the date to end.
Meet for coffee mid day when you know you have a yoga class to get to three hours later. Let your date know you need to leave at a certain time. This way you feel more in control of the situation. Nothing worse then a bad date that drags on for too long. And if it is good, the anticipation leading up to the next meeting will be all the sweeter.
4.) Be well fed.
Nothing worse than a hungry, light-headed introvert. Eat well even if you are going to a place that serves food. You may be too nervous to eat there—don’t take a chance, eat in advance.
5.) Don’t meet someone after you’ve had a really busy day.
Introverts just need to be home to recharge after days like this. Scheduling something like a date on a busy day guarantees you will already be on the low energy side. Save it for a calmer day.
6.) Don’t let phone conversations go on too long.
Introverts are known for being a bit phone phobic, but you will probably want to have a chat with your potential match before meeting. Schedule it the way you do a date—with a time you stick to to end the call. Nothing worse than feeling trapped on the phone with someone droning on about nothing. Introvert hell.
7.) Meet sooner.
Cut to the chase. If you think there is chemistry set a time to meet, the sooner the better. Endless emails, texts and phone conversations end up feeling like wasted time if you meet and it just isn’t there.
8.) Be well rested.
Being tired can leave an introvert feeling more sensitive. Make sure to get enough sleep the night before the date.
9.) Let your potential date know you are an introvert.
There is no shame in this. Letting them know and seeing how they respond is a good indicator of the future. If they aren’t down with a quieter person, better to know before you’ve invested the time.
10.) Smile and be positive.
Dating can be hard for introverts, but it isn’t necessarily easy for anyone. Bear this in mind when you meet your potential date. They are probably feeling just as vulnerable as you. Treat them the way you wish to be treated.
11.) Have no expectations.
Having no expectations means you will never be disappointed.
12.) Have fun.
Even if it isn’t a love match you may find some common ground to chat about. Enjoy it for what it is.
Following these simple guidelines may make an introvert, or anyone for that matter, interested in finding a loving relationship not feel as overwhelmed. Ultimately we all want the same thing, to find a person who “gets us.” Introverts are no different. They just do it a little more quietly. But you know what they say, quiet people have the loudest minds.