10 Essential Dating Tips Every Introvert Needs To Know

3 February 2017, 22:35 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 15:10

Two young people smiling and holding hands
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Dating isn't easy no matter who you are.

Dating as an introvert takes practice. It can require some understanding on both ends and a bit of careful maneuvering. Even though relationships can be awkward about 99% of the time, introvert dating is bound to require a little bit of extra care.

1) If you’re a shy person who finds it hard to talk to strangers, try opening with a compliment.

When I was in university I once saw a guy at a party who I thought was cute. I can be pretty shy, so my opening line to him was literally “I like your t-shirt”. We’re married now, so sometimes a compliment is all you need if you’re unsure how to overcome sudden onset shyness.

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2) Be upfront about being an introvert.

The last thing you want to do is pretend to be someone you're not and get burnt out early in your relationship. Explain that you tend to be reserved and like taking time for yourself. Anyone worth dating will completely understand. 

Young couple

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3) Learn to do different activities even when you’re together.

Another relationship misconception is that if you’re in a room with someone you like, you have to be making intense contact at all times, doing the same activity, and constantly be in conversation. Because introverts tend to retreat into themselves even when they’re with others, letting your partner know that you like a bit of “me” time within your “us” time is a positive way of being honest about your needs.

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4) Try unconventional dates.

Think along the lines of something that isn’t just you sitting across from a stranger for 2 hours nervously covering all the usual subjects. Love games? Go bowling! C’mon, seriously. When is the last time you went on a bowling date?

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5) Avoid people who say their mission is to "bring you out of your shell"

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to introduce people to new things. But it is not cool when someone harps on about how “shy” you are and how you’re “young and should be out there”. Those people are fixated on the wrong aspect of your personality. Be wary of people who talk endlessly about how they’re going to change you.

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6) Don’t be embarrassed to meet people your own way. 

There are no rules that say you have to meet someone at a bar, on Tinder, or at your school. People meet on Twitter and Tumblr, at cosplay conventions, and on internet forums all the time. You don’t have to force yourself to go into huge uncomfortable crowds because you feel like that’s the “normal” thing to do.

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7) Don’t be afraid to lean on your extrovert friends.

We all have that friend who can navigate any social situation. Even though you’re an introvert, you get along with them like a house on fire. They’ve even managed to figure out exactly how your introvert mind works. Dating sometimes calls for a great deal of social prowess, so inviting a talkative, extroverted pal to help drive the conversation and loosen some tongues is a great way of easing the tension when it comes to a new crush.

8) Plan an activity where you get to show off your skills.

Dating is actually super hard. Introvert or not. But, you know what makes it less difficult? A random burst of confidence. It might sound like cheating, but don't be afraid to suggest an activity that you know you're good at. An art class if you're artsy, a little hike if you're sporty. There's nothing quite like getting the opportunity to be impressive. 

9) Find someone who is worthy of your time.

Let me guess. You consider your time to be very precious. You hate wasting a single minute at boring parties or on awful dates at bars. While it can be hard to tell the trash from the treasure, do your best to suss out the people who make you feel just as excited to be with them as you are to be alone.  

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10) Don't sweat the small stuff.

Introverts tend to overthink things. While we are usually slow to speak, introverts can have minds that race and overanalyze for days. If someone takes ages to respond to a text, don't retreat within yourself and assume the worst. Dating is a weird and unsettling game. Don't stress yourself out more by thinking you can read minds. 

via giphy