We all know that putting oneself out there on the dating scene can feel like a daunting task, but this is especially true for the introverted among us. Dating is an inherently social activity and what do introverts crave more than to spend time away from other people and the pressures of being on in the social arena.
But here’s where things get complicated… just because introverts enjoy being alone, it doesn’t mean they don’t get lonely and find themselves in need of human connection. I consider myself an introvert through and through, and yet I have been known to go out on dates and really enjoy myself! (Either that or I’ve found myself exhausted and waiting in agony for the evening to end.)
So what made the difference for me, and what things should you keep in mind if you’re thinking of dating an introvert?
Avoid Making a Ton of Small Talk
For many introverted people, small talk can feel a bit like an ice pick to the eyeball. “So, how are you enjoying this weather? What did you think about the latest episode of… blah, blah, blah, blah” UGGGHHH! While it’s obvious that getting to know a total stranger does require a certain amount of casual chatter, try to limit it as much as you can. Ask your date about her interests fairly early on in the evening and allow her to set the depth of the conversation. She might prefer to talk about more serious things sooner than you’re used to. Just go with it, but at the same time be honest with her if it makes you uncomfortable. The idea is to find a balance that allows you both to enjoy yourselves.
Don’t Plan a Big, Crazy Night Out
You might think that an evening consisting lots of people and noise and drinks is a fun, pressure-free way for you and your date to get to know one another, but to her, it’s more likely to feel like a nightmare. Consider planning a quiet night out at a restaurant or coffee shop that will allow for moments of contemplation, OR something with a shared external focus (like a play). This will allow your date to take the evening more at her own pace.
Don’t Take the Occasional Silence Personally
Because of your date’s (likely) aversion to small talk, you may find yourself faced with more gaps in your dinner conversation than you know what to do with. For many people, silence on a date just feels awkward and sometimes it is, but for an introverted person, silence can allow for the gathering of thoughts or a much needed break from the chit-chat. Try to set aside your expectations for constant communication and just enjoy yourself in your date’s company. Lots of sweet moments can be shared in few words.
Don’t Try to Push your Date to be More Outgoing
There seems to be a misconception floating around that introverted people are really just shy and need someone to bring them out of their shells. I’m telling you right now, don’t even try. If your date doesn’t seem interested in becoming a social butterfly, it’s probably because she’s happy with who she is. Besides, being an introvert (or an extr0vert) isn’t really a choice. It’s a core, and in some regards, genetically mediated aspect of one’s personality. If being with an introverted person is a real drag for you, try to find yourself a more outgoing lady.
Also read: 6 Myths about Introverts To Stop Believing