Introvert Dating: It Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Dating 101
06 May 2023
14 min read
Online Dating For Introverts: The Guide You Need

It’s probably not that surprising that many introverts, or people who are drained after interacting with others, need time to make a decision, prefer to be alone, are reflective and self-aware, struggle with dating. However, it’s very unfortunate. While you as a “quiet” person may not socialize in the same ways as your extroverted friends, you still want to make a romantic connection. The problem is that world feels as if it’s set up to work against your personality and instincts when it comes to dating.

Fortunately, romantic relationships aren’t out of your reach. You have it in you to navigate introvert dating and make long-lasting connections. Yes, it’s anxiety-inducing, but you can do it. Start the process with these tips and resources.

What Makes Introvert Dating So Hard?

Before looking for solutions, let’s go over some of the reasons why introverted people feel so uncomfortable with the dating process and find it challenging to make the first move.

Early Dating Means the Dreaded Small Talk

There are many myths about introverts, but this one is absolutely true. Small talk can be an absolute struggle for them, turning the very idea of online dating into a nightmare. Add to that the general awkwardness of a first date – and no surprise that dating as an introvert will make you feel extremely awkward.

It’s Hard to Come Up with the Perfect Opening Line

In the case of introvert dating, it’s harder for them to ask someone out for a one-on-one date. Just getting up the nerve to start talking to someone is hard enough. And imagine that you have to say something sexy or clever there! No way, introvert would rather stay home.

Introverts Are Overly Self-Aware

“Introverts have the tendency to keep it all in. The other person has to assess whether the introvert is a fit for them as well. This requires intentional sharing that may not come as naturally.”

Christine Olsen, MSW, a registered social worker and psychotherapist

Spending too much time alone can have some real drawbacks for introvert dating. In social settings, it’s as if you become hyper-aware of everything you say or do and feel awkward sharing something meaningful with a new person. This anxiety increases as you worry that everything you do is coming across as weird or awkward.

As a result, instead of enjoying oneself, an introvert will carefully hide any personality traits thinking they might bother the other person.

The Meaningful Conversations Quandary

Being an introvert means that you aren’t very good at small talk, but at times, it also means that you struggle with meaningful conversations. Introverts may not feel comfortable sharing personal details about themselves, especially on a first date. But such inability to open up will make it difficult to make a meaningful connection with this person later.

You Desire Deep Connections But Also Your Own Company

You’re an introvert, so you crave alone time. But, you also want the space to engage in romantic social situations. This creates a dilemma: you want to go as deep as possible in a meaningful conversation, but don’t want to go too deep so the other person won’t see how lonely and unconfident you feel inside.

Thus, it’s not rare that introverted people pull back and create various excuses not to show up and spend alone time instead.

Is Online Dating the Key to Happiness?

“Research shows introverts are more satisfied with online communication. Chatting with people online can be less tiresome and more exciting for introverts.”

Dr. Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, a tenured relational and sexual communication professor

Online dating is often presented as the ideal solution for introverts who want to find love. Indeed, this is good advice. By using the right dating apps, you can get the help you need with some of the first steps that make the dating world a bit scary. You just need to take the first step out of your shell and see how much attention and love you can receive just for being who you are!

Here are a few features that you might find helpful on a dating app to you find a potential match:

  • You can learn more about a person online to make an authentic connection
  • Many dating sites use a personality test for better compatibility
  • You can have interesting conversations via chat before meeting in real life
  • Rejection on a dating site just stings less
  • If you choose a dating app carefully, you will have constant attention and support

So, if you haven’t done so already, try online dating. You may get more first dates with people who are better matches for your personality. Even better, you won’t feel overwhelmed when you meet people online.

Many Introverts Use These 11 Dating Tips to Make a Connection

Do you have introverted friends who are able to start a romance without struggling too much? There’s a good chance that they are following these dating tips. They are helpful for introverts who want to find love but struggle with internal fears and discomfort.

So, feel free to use them too. You can do that too with just a bit of effort and investment of your free time.

1. Arm Yourself with Interesting Questions

Introverts often find themselves fumbling through conversations as they ask trite questions. Here’s some advice for that. Keep your dates interested by arming yourself with a few truly engaging questions that will truly spark a great conversation. These aren’t just useful during dates but in any social situation.

You may also like:
The Best Flirty Conversation Starters
How to Ask a Guy Out Even When You’re Totally Awkward
How to Keep a Conversation Going with a Girl

2. Learn to Tell an Interesting Story or Two

Even when you’re spending time with someone you really like, the conversation can drag. It sucks when nobody seems to have anything left to say. Fortunately, you can keep your date’s interest by telling a fun story or two.

Of course, storytelling isn’t just for entertainment. It’s a tool that introverts can use to share information about themselves with new people. Besides, most people appreciate a compelling story.

Introvert dating requires extreme sincerity

3. Be Straightforward and Sincere

Don’t spend too much time trying to be witty and clever. You would be surprised how much people appreciate the sincerity. That’s something most introverts have to offer.

Be a kind person. Spend a few moments learning about the other person and pay them a sincere compliment. Hone your listening skills for that. Trust our experience: all these dating tips will make you a catch whether you’re an introvert or not.

After a date, people end up focusing on their feelings. If you leave the people you date feeling good about themselves, your relationships are going to be successful.

4. Choose Spaces that Are Safe for Introverts

Don’t choose a space simply because it’s trendy or cool, especially if you’re going to feel overstimulated and miserable. Most introverts enjoy quiet environments.

However, you may also be happy in a place that allows you to zone out a bit and focus on an activity. So, that vintage arcade or board game cafe might be a better choice than a trendy nightclub. There’s enough going on to the place that is not so much noise or doesn’t offer a miserable activity. Also, a good idea is to invite your date share your hobby; make sure though, that you share the same interest.

“I always recommend connecting with people through shared hobbies where people are social. You are more likely to connect with people who have shared interests and values if you’re doing something that legitimately brings you joy because you are more likely to radiate positive energy.”

Dr. Stephanie Freitag, a licensed staff psychologist at Westchester CAPS

5. Develop an Interesting Personality

Here’s another fitting piece of dating advice for any introvert who is interested in finding love, or at least meeting the right person for a fun time. Make an effort to become an interesting person, and you will have a great time with any potential partner.

How do you create the kind of personality that makes you feel confident? Try this surefire process to become an introvert who just might be the most interesting person in the world:

  • Read a lot
  • Develop your own sense of humor
  • Expose yourself to a variety of art and music
  • Know current events
  • Get to know different cultures
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Do things that are creative
  • Learn to play a variety of games of all genres
  • Take free classes online

The best way to get a second date isn’t to hide the fact that you’re an introvert. It’s to be the most interesting person you can be, and that’s what your date will focus on.

6. Choose Something Fun to Do

Ultimately, introverts start great relationships the way any other person does. They meet someone great and do stuff together. Ideally, both of you enjoy what you have planned, and sparks fly.

Quite often, the moment when a person truly connects with someone is when they are both laughing over something silly. So, don’t overthink it too much; just embrace life with all its smartness and stupidity.

Take some rest during introvert dating

7. Get Some Rest

Don’t go on a date when you are already feeling drained. Some of the best advice for an introvert is to avoid too many social obligations for around one week prior to your date. This will ensure that you have the energy you need for talking, dancing, and socializing.

8. Don’t Communicate Too Much Before the First Date

Yes, you want to get to know your date a bit. That will help you ensure you are good potential partners for one another. You’ll also be able to learn some things to help plan a great date. However, there is such a thing as too much information.

The last thing an introvert wants to do is show up to a date without anything new to talk about. So, cut things off a bit a few days before your first date. Sure, send a text message or two a day to stay in touch, but leave something to discuss when you meet.

9. Learn How to Ground Yourself During a Date

You’ve found a good match, and want to have a great time with this person. How do you keep it together during your date? What you will want to do is be aware of your emotions, and use a few techniques to manage your feelings.

Start by identifying a few familiar objects or even a person to focus on during your date. If you start to feel uneasy, look for something you recognize to recenter yourself.

Next, take some deep breaths. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Exhale just as slowly through your mouth. Pay attention to the sensations you feel, but be objective about them. You are simply acknowledging what you are experiencing, and talking yourself through it.

10. Consider a Group Date

A relationship expert might advise an introvert to consider a group date. It can take the pressure off of a situation when there are other people to carry the conversation. The problem for some introverts is that large groups of people can be quite intimidating for them. So, know your dating limits. If you think a big group will help you feel better during the dating process, then plan to invite some friends. Otherwise, stick to dates that are small groups or just one guy and one girl.

11. Take Your Time

There’s no need to rush. Consider your potential matches carefully. There’s no rush to date the first willing person. You aren’t being stuck up or too picky. It’s just that you know that introverts put a lot of emotional energy into their dates. Make sure it’s worth your while.

4 Common Mistakes Introverts Make on Their Dates

Bad news, introverts don’t always have the best track records when it comes to planning and executing amazing dates. These common mistakes can help us all understand the inner world and thoughts of the average introvert navigating the dating scene.

Being Too Niche

Yes, the ideal date for an introvert is one that is based on interest or a low pressure activity. However, it is possible to choose a dating activity that is too niche. Ensure that you are picking something both of you will enjoy, at least for the first few dates.

Lacking Confidence

“The basic truth here is that the road to your dream relationship starts with you. It starts inside you, and all of it starts with what you believe about yourself, about men, about life, about relationships, about who you are and what you deserve. Our lives almost never turn out all the scary ways we imagine they will.”

Rori Raye, a relationship coach

Because you aren’t used to seeking out positive feedback, you may not have developed as healthy a self-esteem as you should have. This lack of confidence can make dating even harder. You may not know how to give or receive compliments, for example. If this sounds like you, try a bit of practice.

First, try giving at least one person a day a simple, sincere compliment. It should be specific and meaningful, but not overly personal. “I think you’re knowledge about Marine Biology is really admirable.” is perfect. Next, remember that the best way to accept a compliment is to simply say “thank you” or “I appreciate that”. Don’t deflect or deny. Someone is trying to make you feel good.

Waiting Too Long

A freelance writer knows that they can’t wait too long to write about a topic. If they do, passion subsides, and everybody moves on. The same thing can be said for dating. Sure, you should get to know the other person and do some planning. However, it’s just as important to make your move in a timely manner. Otherwise, someone else could happen to come between you and a potential date.

Letting Your Anti-Extrovert Show

We think it’s great that introverts have been getting a lot of validation online, and elsewhere. It’s no longer shameful to be quiet and reflective. That said, it is just as important to acknowledge that it’s valid to be an extrovert too. Don’t assume that an extrovert isn’t also smart, sensitive, and insightful. They simply process the world in a different way than you.

Dating from the Other Side: How Extroverts Can Date Introverts

What can you do if you’re an extrovert who has connected with an introvert on the dating scene? These tips will help you and your introvert partner have fun together while both of you can still be yourselves:

  • Don’t pressure them to stop being “shy”
  • Give them time to answer questions
  • Invite them to things – but understand that they may not be up to saying yes always, including the time you’ve set for a second date

Finally, feel free to enjoy your other friends. It isn’t just okay for you to do that, it’s an absolute must. By having a healthy social life, you take the pressure off of your introvert partner to always be available and “on”.

Relationships Author
Geoffrey Williams
After taking a required Intro to Psychology course as an undergrad, I have never looked back. Since my doctoral program, I have specialized in adult relationship therapy. Through my studies and clinicals, I wrote several articles for professional journals and currently in the midst of writing a book.
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