If you’re an extrovert, you probably feed off the energy of other people, having them around you as much as possible. But what happens when you start dating an introvert? When an extrovert and introvert pair up, it can actually be the best of both worlds. However, some places are better than others when it comes to where to take an introvert on a date.
“In actuality, where to go really requires a conversation between the two of you as to what places fuel you both (beyond the more group setting for extroverts and quiet setting for introverts),” Susan Golicic, PhD, Certified Relationship Coach and co-founder of Uninhibited Wellness, tells Bustle. She says compromising is key — for instance, going to a quiet dinner first, then somewhere more extrovert-friendly. That way, you’ll both get what you need.
David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert with Double Trust Dating, agrees. “Introverts are going to feel more comfortable in lower-key settings where they can get to know their dates on a more one-on-one basis,” he tells Bustle. “They require less emotional and social energy and, this way, they won’t have the pressure of being around large groups or interacting with a lot of new people.”
All that said, if you’re looking for the best place to take an introvert on a date, look no further than what the experts below have to say.
1. Go See A Movie
While going to a movie may seem like an easy go-to date activity, your introvert date will thank you later. Jessica Cline, psychotherapist at Cline Counseling & Consulting, LLC, specializing in relationship therapy/coaching with experience working with introverts and HSPs, agrees. “Go to the movies, and ideally one that is lower arousal, such as a rom-com instead of something gory,” she tells Bustle. “A movie date is a good date for an introvert due to the side-by-side element and the less-pressure environment.”
2. Go To The Beach Or A Resort Town (But When They’re Not Crowded)
While everyone seems to be hitting up the beach these days, if you go at a time when it’s not crowded, your introvert date will love you. Adam C. Earnheardt, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of the Department of Communication at Youngstown State University, thinks so, too. He is an extrovert and has been with his introvert wife for more than 20 years, so he has a lot of first-hand experience when it comes to extrovert-introvert relationships.
He says beaches and resort towns are great places to go when they’re not crowded. “One of the coolest and most thoughtful places to take an introvert on a date is to a place that’s usually crawling with people, but less so at other times of day,” he tells Bustle. “This is because introverts will typically avoid these places when they know they’ll see crowds.”
3. Explore A Bookstore
Bookstores are great places to go with or without a date, but are perfect for extrovert-introvert dates. “Go to a bookstore, and hopefully one with a coffee shop,” Cline says. “Generally speaking, introverts do not look forward to small talk and do enjoy connecting over deeper topics. A bookstore, then, is a great bridge into those deeper topics.”
She also suggests asking your date to point out their favorite book(s) or taking them to the travel section to see what catches their eye. “Then, you can chat about your findings over coffee afterwards,” she says.
4. Have A Picnic
Picnics are high on the list when it comes to where to take your introverted date, and you can do them any time of day: sunrise, during the day, or at sunset. Or, get creative and have a night picnic, followed by stargazing (see #5). Plus, you can surprise your date with all their favorite foods and drinks.
“Having a picnic is a quiet, one-on-one environment, and it can be done as close to, or as away from, other people as needed,” David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert with Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle.
5. Go Stargazing
Stargazing is the perfect activity to do with your introverted date. Not only will it be just the two of you, but it’ll also be romantic (and a good excuse to get closer together when the temperature drops as the night goes on). There are even apps, such as SkyView, to help you identify stars and constellations.
“If you’re an extrovert, just remember to avoid talking too much about astronomy or any other randomness that comes into your head that you feel the need to express,” Bennett says. “Enjoy the moment and focus on the experience, and understand that your introverted date is enjoying your company even if you’re not talking the whole time.” He adds that if your head is going 100 miles per hour and you feel like you have to say something (since extroverts struggle with this), just comment on how nice it is to be with your date and how refreshing the quietness is.
6. Go To A Zoo
Spending time with animals is a good time with or without a date, so when you combine them, it’s a win-win for everybody. “Zoos and animal sanctuaries are ideal places to take your introvert date, either in the early morning or late afternoon when the the weather isn’t too harsh and the crowds are light,” Dr. Earnheardt says.
7. Take A Class
From cooking classes to painting ones, there are classes everywhere you look, and you can get deals on them through LivingSocial and Groupon, too. No doubt, you’re bound to find one that both you and your date will enjoy.
“Classes are really in right now and a great way to get to know a date without feeling like a game of 20 questions,” Cline says. “You get bonus points if the class is creative, such as a class on glass blowing or the ever-popular painting class.” She says these types of activities are perfect for introverts since they are typically creative types and enjoy learning.
8. Explore A Music Or Comic Book Store
Music and comic book stores also make for great extrovert-introvert date locations. “If you’re dating an introvert who’s really into music or comics, consider finding a store that collects and sells vinyl or comic books,” Dr. Earnheardt says. “Little romantic tip: You could find out what artist or comic your date likes, then call the shop and ask for ‘selections’ to examine to be ready when you arrive.”
He adds that if you and your date just want to walk, talk, and browse, you’ll usually find that these stores are less crowded than similar stores in the mall. “Plus, since introverts aren’t usually fans of small talk, the only small talk you’ll make is probably with the store owner.”
9. See Some Local Live Music
While going to a huge concert or music festival may be more of an extrovert’s thing, going to see live music in a smaller venue, or where you have more space, is perfect for your introvert date. “Introverts have a deep appreciation for music, but prefer something lower-arousal,” Cline says. “Acoustic music is often shown in studies to be lower-arousal and preferred by people with introverted qualities. And, there is still an opportunity for conversation in between songs and after the performance.”
10. Go Kayaking, Particularly At Sunset
Kayaking is a fun date idea for you and your introverted date, and if it’s not close to you, you can combine it with a day trip to a local town (see #2). In addition, you can kayak during the day or at sunset if you want to add a more romantic element to the date.
“Kayaking is a quiet, peaceful, low-key date setting that is active and engaging, but can be done away from big crowds,” Bennett says. “However, you can also invite a small group of friends to participate, based on the comfort level of the couple.”
11. Do Something Outdoors
Activity dates are wonderful ways to get to know your date while also doing something fun in the process. “Do something active outdoors,” Cline says. “The idea behind this is that it gives you two an opportunity to engage in something together.”
She recommends centering your date activity around the season — for instance, in the summer, go fly a kite, go geocaching, or go hiking or biking. “The outdoor activity should be something that is not centered around competition and is lower on the arousal scale,” she says.
As you can see, there are several date ideas you can do with your introverted date. “In the initial start of dating an introvert, it is best to pick a low-arousal setting until you know what the introvert’s arousal sweet spot is,” Cline says. “Introverts are sensitive to feeling like they are being judged or critiqued, which is often the environment for first dates. So, for the first few dates, I suggest that introverts have a date that is an environment side-by-side versus across from each other.” Of course, at the end of the day, it’s about spending quality time with the person you’re dating, introvert or not.