Here is something you should know about me: I hate dating – everything about it. I hate meeting new people with my big, optimistic expectations, unsure if they will meet them. I hate the anxiety of having someone get to know me, wondering if I’m meeting their big, optimistic expectations. And I hate growing feelings for someone who may ultimately not like me, ghost me, disrespect me, or break my heart. In my 6 years of dating, I have experienced one disappointing and frustrating dating situation after another, to the point that I was close to quitting – just sitting back and letting “fate” take it’s course.
One of the reasons why I was so frustrated time and time again was because I couldn’t find someone who understood me and my introversion. My dream man would have to understand my quiet nature, my introspectiveness, and my need for alone time. He would be a lot of things, but mainly someone who would take the time to understand me at my core. I got to the point where I thought that dream man would remain just that, a dream.
Fortunately, that turned out to be a pessimistic passing thought. I have been in a relationship with someone who has proven those thoughts to be untrue. He is patient, kind, and actually interested in my introversion! But, this isn’t a love letter to him (sorry, Tyler), this is a love letter to you single introverts who are losing hope in finding the right one, or completely lost when it comes to dating. I have gained a good amount of experience being on the dating scene, so here are some of my biggest relationship and dating tips for introverts!
Be yourself from the start
A lesson I have learned not only in dating, but in my life in general is that your introverted underpants will always show. I say this in regards to introverts often having a tendency to pretend that they aren’t introverted, always putting on their “extrovert mask.” This may work for short social encounters, but if you are trying to date someone, even short-term, your introverted nature will always make it’s way to the surface!
You are better off being yourself from the beginning and seeing what happens. If someone is willing or interested in dating an introvert then you being yourself won’t be an issue. If you pretend to be extroverted, that person will think they’re dating an extrovert until they discover otherwise – and I can’t guarantee what will happen after that!
Be open about your behavior
Introverts are often misunderstood for being uninterested or stuck up. Some of this stems from our disdain for small talk or mindless conversations. We would rather sit silently than talk about something useless, but that can come off in the wrong way to someone who doesn’t know us yet. Therefore, it is good to explain this to your partner so they know that you aren’t being quiet because you are angry or not listening.
This also helps to improve the quality of conversations you will have as a couple! I love that intellectual and in-depth conversations come naturally to Tyler and I. We have more fun talking and get to know each other on a much deeper level.
Be open about your need for alone time
It wasn’t until I overdid myself at a social event that I realized my need for social breaks and alone time. And it wasn’t until I read about that topic in The Irresistible Introvert* that I realized why solitude is so important for introverts. We harness our energy through alone time and introspection, contrary to extroverts. This is why going to parties is exhausting for us and why we always hunt down a dog to play with at social gatherings, a classic introvert move.
When you’re dating someone new, you often want to hang out with this person all the time but as introverts, that presents us with an issue. How do we spend time with this amazing new person without overdoing ourselves? That is up to you to figure out what your limits are, but letting the other person know is the best thing you can start with. Don’t be ashamed to explain this to them! You wouldn’t want them to be insulted when you want to go home or spend some time apart.
Don’t settle for anything less than complete infatuation
Part of the reason why my past relationships have failed is because the other person was either confused by my introversion or totally turned off by it. Their feelings were also coupled with a complete refusal to even try to understand how I am. That’s a pretty bad combination that is destined for failure.
Whether it’s introversion, stubbornness, or an addiction to pizza (I’m talking to you, Tyler), if someone is unwilling to at least respect an aspect of you, then get out now! If you find yourself dating someone who seems bothered by your introversion, then that should serve as a big, bright red flag. Here are some common signs that the person you’re dating has an issue with the way you are:
- They constantly try to get you to talk more, despite you not wanting to.
- They insult or mock your need for solitude and alone time.
- They accuse you of not caring about going out with them or spending time with their friends and family.
- They pressure you to do things they know make you feel uncomfortable.
- They make it their “mission” to get you to go out more, talk more, or break you out of your introversion.
- They make you feel bad about being the way you are.
- They blame issues in the relationship on your introversion.
- They don’t take the word “introvert” seriously and/or would rather label you as other things like “rude” or “antisocial.”
Basically, if you are with anyone that makes you feel bad about yourself or who makes you question yourself, you should no longer give them the satisfaction of making you feel that way. You do not deserve that!
Don’t think you can only date other introverts
I’m not a total believer in the whole “opposites attract” thing but I also don’t think introverts should feel as if they can only connect with other introverts. If you find yourself with an amazing introvert that loves every part of you, then wonderful! But, don’t be intimidated by the thought of dating an extrovert either. The important part is that you enjoy being in the other person’s company and you are both positive, uplifting people. Focus on what makes you attracted to that person and how they make you feel – not on whether they are introverted or extroverted.
I never saw myself dating an extrovert, but here I am with Tyler, who is mostly extroverted. He can talk to people much better than I can, which is great because I never feel pressured to show off my horrible conversation skills!
The journey to finding love is a hard one for everyone, but especially us introverts. It’s a struggle for us to learn to love ourselves, let alone someone else (and hope that person loves us too!). But, I can guarantee you that waiting for someone who loves everything about you is worth it. I wish with all my heart that you find the kind of love that you deserve. Don’t give up!
* The Irresistible Introvert is a book by Michaela Chung all about how introverts can harness their ultimate power and attract others to their authentic selves. It’s a great read that I recommend all introverts or friends/family of introverts read. Here are more books that are perfect for the introverted glamour girl.
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