21 December 2021
An Introvert’s Guide to Dating
Being an introvert these days comes with its own pros and cons. With global digitalization, life has seemingly become easier for us - first, no need to talk to people: delivery of everything in the world is at our fingertips, working remotely is the new lifestyle, and leaving your house is an event in and of itself. Second, meeting someone is simple as never before for an introvert: all you need is a couple of photos and good texting skills (and let’s be honest here, as an introvert, texting is something you’re great at. Just an observation).
What are the cons, you’re asking? Well, you’re still going to want to take things offline and connect with your newfound matches in real life at some point. Newsflash: introverts want to date, too. But how do you approach it when connecting with a living-breathing human feels like a chore? Or if you’re currently feeling particularly withdrawn? We decided it’s time to give our introverts love in the form of useful tips, as we usually do. So, dating without running your social battery dry - possible or not? Most definitely. Here we go.
I. Plan things in advance (and don't back out)
Oh, the sweet escape of your bedroom with all the essentials one may need for a comfortable life. We’ve got good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad: to connect with people in person, you’re actually going to have to leave your house. Even if it’s tempting to invite someone over right away, it’s not the safest thing to do. Good news: going out can be fun. Try to find a compromise: opt for your favorite cozy bar where you feel comfortable, a movie, or a long walk in nature. Simply try to think of an activity you like and would gladly do by yourself, and then invite your match to tag along!
And please, don’t cancel last minute out of sheer panic unless absolutely necessary: sticking to your plans is attractive.
II. Less self-reflection, more attention
The biggest difference between introverts and extroverts is the processing of the environment they’re in. Extroverts are energy-spending, introverts are energy-conserving. Have you ever noticed yourself drifting away during a conversation, as if you’re paying more attention to yourself and how you’re being perceived rather than the actual conversation taking place? And that’s exactly why you’re feeling so exhausted and somewhat anxious after a night out - your brain is overworked and oversaturated with trying to multitask several processes at once. Shifting the focus of your attention from yourself to the other person and staying present takes time and practice, but once you get there, communication will start to feel way more exciting and enjoyable - romantic and casual.
III. Speak your mind, not theirs
Introverts, on average, don’t seem to open up to people they don’t know very well - but with such an abundant inner world, sharing your thoughts can be an exciting venture.
Think about it: what’s the worst thing that can happen?
Misunderstanding? Disagreement? Well, that’s quite a small price to pay for a chance to connect with someone who actually does share your opinions, values, and interests. Or at least, genuinely wants to hear your perspective on things. All we’re saying is don’t knock it until you try. You might find people are way more interesting than you initially thought they were. What a pleasant surprise, isn’t it?
Ⅳ. Establish good boundaries
We know we mention this often - but honestly, you can’t go wrong with setting boundaries. If you happen to be going out with an extrovert, they might not understand your quiet and withdrawn nature - that’s where communication and honesty come into play.
It would be a great idea to mention to your date that you value your alone time, don’t like to be pressured to socialize, and what people refer to as small talk sometimes takes monumental effort on your part.
Maybe it’s all of the above, or maybe none of this applies to you in particular. Either way, telling your match how you really feel will not only strengthen the connection between you two but also ease you into the dating world by boosting your self-respect. Talk about two birds with one stone!
Ⅴ. Think of it as a personal achievement
Nothing motivates an introvert like self-development and noticeable personal progress. So, think of dating as part of it! Let’s put it this way: each new successful interaction is a level-up from where you used to be. Each time you made plans and showed up is a new badge of honor. Each time you made someone laugh is another pat on your shoulder. If you have to, you can even keep track of these little communication achievements. Soon enough you’ll be getting a PhD in dating. This isn’t about pressuring yourself, it’s about letting your motivation to connect with people win over your fear and desire to keep others at an arm’s length distance.
Ⅵ. Don’t go an extra mile
There’s hardly anything worse than an introvert pretending to be an extrovert for the sake of the game. Firstly, it doesn’t work: people can most likely see you’re faking it. Secondly, it’s just exhausting for you as your date is getting to know the overexaggerated version of you, and not the real you. So, don’t try to pretend. Rather embrace your withdrawn nature and everything that comes with it: your wit, intellect, observation skills, and an impressive number of interesting thoughts to share. Play on your strengths and don’t try to reject your perceived weaknesses. This way, you’re going to be proud of yourself for staying true to your character, and people will get an actual opportunity to get to know you. The you that exists, and not the role you’re playing in social settings.
We know, we know - it’s much easier to stay inside and choose comfort over connection. But sometimes, all you need is another person, and these tips with a little bit of practice can open up opportunities you didn’t know existed. Shoutout to all the introverts in our Pure community - you guys make the world go round.