There is nothing simple about dating, especially when you’re dating as an introvert. Endless back-and-forth Tinder messages, escape plans from a bad date, and forced getting-to-know-you questions make dating an exhausting, yet necessary, evil. For introverts, it takes a little extra effort to date — to come out of your comfort zone and share yourself with another person while also finding time to be alone and recharge.
Whether it’s online or in person, any introvert can be easily overwhelmed by the prospect, especially when faced with dating an extrovert. Introverts aren't inherently antisocial — just in tune with themselves. So, once they finally get past the trials of dating and enter a relationship, introverts tend to thrive. According to Mic, introverts are great in relationships because they don’t have to compete for attention and tend to have deeper, more meaningful conversations and connections.
“Many times, people confuse introversion with being anxious, depressed, antisocial, or not fun, and that is not at all true," Tyler Turk, CEO and Founder of Crated With Love, tells Bustle. "One of the biggest challenges with being an introvert is trying to control other people's perception, which isn't always easy, especially when dating."
People crave connections in a relationship — even introverts who thoroughly enjoy alone time and would rather do most things solo. So here's how you can make the most of dating as an introvert, according to experts.
1. Get Comfortable
“Some of the ways to feel more comfortable instantly is by making sure you are first comfortable with your surroundings. Pick a location that is familiar to you, that you already like and know, so that you're setting yourself up for success," Love Life TBD dating and relationships coach Ravid Yosef tells Bustle. "Get comfortable with sharing yourself and ask questions that allow for a deeper and more meaningful connection since that's where you excel."
2. Know It’s OK To Step Back And Recharge
“It's important for introverts to make sure they have lots of alone time to recharge between dates. Especially if they have socially demanding jobs, introverts need to make sure that they give themselves the alone time they need to have the energy to be present and engaged on dates," Psychotherapist and Dating Coach Pella Weisman tells Bustle.
But you shouldn't let your time alone prevent you from dating. "Don't wait for the enthusiasm that may never come. Get support, make a plan, reach out and respond and get yourself out on dates even if you don't always feel like it," she says.
3. If You’re Quiet, Use Body Language
“A big problem for introverts can be what to say when you first start speaking or meet up. Introverts often like to go deep (with the right person), but don't excel as much with chit-chat. You may want to give their profile and messages another read before meeting up so those commonalities are fresh in your mind," Online Dating Expert at eFlirt Laurie Davis Edwards tells Bustle. "Push yourself to speak up a little more, but also, use your body language to do the talking for you. If you know you have a quieter attitude on a first date, create chemistry through being slightly more overt with your body language."
4. Put Yourself In A Position to Thrive
"Communication is so important and where being proud of who you are comes into play. Suggest activities for your date that allow you to let all your wonderful qualities shine,” Turk says.
5. Take It Slow
“Don't heed the advice that you need to talk to 10 girls (or guys) a day to get over your introverted ways," Life Coach Nina Rubin tells Bustle. "Rather, embrace yourself and focus on meaningful conversations with a potential partner. If this feels too advanced, concentrate on the topics and things that support your growth. You don't have to be the most outgoing person to give these social cues,” she says.
6. Don’t Waste Time
“Introverts should decide if they prefer other introverts or extroverts," New-York based relationship expert April Masini tells Bustle. "That’s an excellent filter to keep from wasting time dating. When you know what works best for you, you should pay attention” she says.
7. It’s OK To Be Vulnerable
“Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, if you’re shy or nervous about your date, it can work in your favor to admit it," Psychiatrist specializing in women's issues Susan Edelman tells Bustle. "Showing a little vulnerability can make you seem more approachable and likable. It also can be reassuring to your date. You’re telling them that, even though you might be a little quiet, the problem isn’t that you don’t like them," she says.
8. Be Your (Introverted) Self
“Don’t assume everyone wants a gregarious personality. Believe in yourself and that you have a lot to offer, and don’t compare yourself to extroverts," Dating and Relationships Expert Anita Chlipala tells Bustle. "You may inadvertently sabotage dating someone or not even take a chance because you think that you’re not good enough."
9. Try Side-By-Side Activities
“Choose dates where you are not face-to-face with the person. Sitting at the dinner table opposite someone you are on a date with can be daunting for anyone especially an introvert. Try and choose activities where you are side-by-side working on something and there are things to talk about," Sexologist and Relationship Expert Nikki Goldstein tells Bustle. "Physical and outdoor activities are good as you might need to discuss what it is you are doing and how you are doing it rather than talking about what you both ate for breakfast."
Above all, don't be afraid to be yourself — that's what's going to attract the right person for you.
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