I never liked the definition used to describe an introvert found in the dictionary. It says something about a “shy and reticent person” or “a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.”
While I think some of these descriptors of an introvert may hold some truth, I’m of the opinion that introverts are simply more reflective. They care less about what others say or do and value self-discovery and doing a deeper level of thinking. Introverts are, by nature, highly introspective. It’s easy to see how some of these characteristics can be misconstrued in dating.
Now, I’m not saying extroverts aren’t or can’t be these things too! But, what I am saying is that extroverts, in my humble opinion aren’t necessarily more well adjusted than introverts. You are probably familiar with all the terminology around self-love, self-care, understanding thyself, etc.
Introverts get this completely. They always have. They are very in tune with themselves, almost scarily so. It is why when it comes to finding love, the introvert’s path to doing so looks different.
Let me explain further.
Being an introvert is excellent in so many ways because you find a lot of joy and happiness in solitude and quiet moments. A trip to the museum, the coffee shop, a movie, or library can be fun without the company of others because you are content in your own skin. You enjoy being with yourself because it re-energizes you.
But, introverts are human too. And it’s normal for introverts to want to find companionship. But they also want a relationship that is genuinely substantive.
If you are an introvert and you are reading this article, I’ve come up with some survival tips to help you date smarter. These tips are designed for you using your strongest attributes.
Combine your excellent listening skills with the right dating experience. Pick out dating activities where you get a chance to get to know the other person. Date ideas for you might include taking a long walk through a trail, visiting a new art exhibit, doing a day camping event, or participating in a cooking class.
These type of dating excursions give you quality time to get to know the other person. It also provides some background activities to keep you and your date occupied taking some pressure off too much socialization out the gate.
Keep your options limited. Less is more. As an introvert, you want to get to know the person you are dating and do so on a deeper level. Dating a few people at a time allows you more time and a better way to ensure you are building a more meaningful relationship.
Knowing oneself is an innate and great quality of an introvert. Because of being in touch with who you are, you realize what you like and don’t like in another person fairly quickly. You can assess someone else and understand if they are complimentary or unfit. I’m just kidding on the unfit part. But, yes, you do get it when someone isn’t the right match for you.
Date at your own pace. It’s tough for an introvert these days. There is so much going on in the dating world, so having focus is vital. There are dating apps, meetups, dating events, friends wanting to hook you up and even with all of these options; love is still challenging to find. There is a lot of noise in the dating space. And some of this noise can make you want to just pull out of dating altogether.
This is why it is important you do the following:
Date in the way that is most comfortable for you. Want to go on several dates one week, go for it. Want to go on one date for the month? That is ok too. Mix it up in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you. And if you start to feel too overwhelmed with dating, it’s ok to take a break.
Do want works best for you. Go at your pace. After all, no one knows themselves better or their needs better than you do. Use smaller group settings. If you don’t like the bar or club scene which isn’t usually conducive to meeting someone here are some options. Find smaller more intimate settings to connect with others. There are great cafes, restaurants, lounges which are smaller and less intimidating environments in which you can spend time getting to know someone else.
Aww, yes let’s talk about that tool called technology. Here’s some useful advice for you. Use technology in a way that benefits you. If you don’t like swiping to the left and you are not an app or social media fan of meeting others, this is how I suggest you can use technology to your advantage. Use the internet to come up with creative dating ideas specifically geared towards introverts. There are so many out there!
Use MeetUp or similar tools like it to find activities that suit your interests. When you go to the event target at least 1–3 people that you plan to meet. Introduce yourself, use your savvy listening skills and ease into a conversation. Narrowing who you talk to will take away the uneasiness of feeling the pressure to mingle with everyone. It will also help you become more at comfortable opening up your dating options.
Extra Introvert Dating Tip: If you don’t want to go alone, bring a wingman (woman) along to help you navigate and make the process a little bit easier.
Hopefully, now that you have some Introvert Dating Tips, it will help you change the way you approach dating.
Introverts have so much to offer in love and add a great dynamic to any relationship. Using these introvert dating survival techniques will help you in your quest to find someone who is the right fit for you!
For more tips on dating, check out my website.
Originally published on Thought Catalog.
Originally published at elizabethoverstreet.com