Do you often enjoy or even prefer spending time by yourself? Are you more content stepping back and letting those loud and more gregarious friends take center stage. Do you prefer quiet one-on-one social situations to intense and overstimulating ones? Chances are, you’re an introvert or have some major characteristics of one. And guess what–you’re not alone. Studies show that introverts make up nearly half the population!  However, It can be an extremely misunderstood personality type. Introversion has nothing to do with a lack in social skills or trouble developing relationships. They actually make rather exceptional partners due to their deep connection with their inner selves and ability to actually stop and ponder before speaking or acting. But there are important actions to take if you want your romantic life to be successful and enjoyable. Here are 5 dating tips for introverts.
1. Write it down
Sometimes for introverts, it’s the first step that’s the hardest. Venturing into an intimidatingly crowded bar scene may not be ideal for your more low-key self. Instead, try to focus on activities you truly enjoy. Not only will it get you out of your head and make you more personally fulfilled, it’s also a natural opportunity to meet people with the same interests as you. I suggest you take out your journal and write down the activities that you enjoy. Then replace the outdated bar scene with those activities and watch the connections start to materialize right before your eyes. I’m not saying you have to go skydiving, even the smallest thing like going to your local bookstore to browse and read will put you in an environment full of other like-minded individuals. Or maybe you love coffee. Instead of using your beloved french press at home, venture out to that trendy new coffee shop. You never know who you’ll make eyes with over your macchiato.
2. Stick with What You Know
Introverts often feel most comfortable in bars and restaurants that they’re already familiar with. Feeling lost or disoriented can stir up anxiety. So choose a bar or restaurant you’re familiar with for a first date. But if you’re forced to pick a new place, make sure you stick with what you already know works for you. Cute and kitchy over intense and trendy. Low-key and quiet lounges as opposed to crowded clubs with the music blaring. It’s important that you’re able to have a conversation without having to shout and have enough personal space to feel at ease.
3. Grab a Wingman
Having a wingman/woman (preferably an extroverted one) can make all the difference in the world when approaching people in social situations. Make sure that before heading out, you’ve clearly communicated to them what you need from them and what you’re comfortable with. The last thing you need is to be pressured into making out with some random you just met. Gee thanks, friend! Find someone who knows your low-key style and will help facilitate those first exchanges, and then promptly exiting when a real connection is made and you feel comfortable proceeding solo.
4. Be Transparent
Sometimes people misinterpret an introvert’s quiet and more standoffish nature to seem cold, snobby, or just simply uninterested. This could dangerously prevent a potentially great relationship from ever even getting off the ground. That’s why it’s really important that you be upfront about your personality, whether it’s in your dating profile, in that first phone call or even in-person. Explain to them that it may take you a while to open up. Being transparent may seem scary, but you’ll come off as genuine and endearing.
5. Find out What Works for You
Sometimes the most successful couples are comprised of completely opposing personality types. But this all depends on your unique needs. Maybe dating another introvert will make you feel extremely comfortable and safe. The pressure to constantly talk is eliminated, and you both enjoy more subdued activities. But perhaps you thrive around energetic, intense and highly emotive people. Maybe you’re the Yin to their Yang, and you both balance the other out perfectly. This is exactly why you must know yourself and what personality type you work best with. Experiment. Date a ton of people. Maybe even write down your gut reactions after each new encounter. You’ll just know when the right fit comes along.