I assume you’re an introvert—because you are reading this—and currently cocooned from the overly gregarious world of social hummingbirds, loud talkers, and silence ruiners. While interacting with close friends and family in meaningful discussion is most desirable, having to meet new people and engage in contrived conversations about the weather is unfortunately unavoidable. And the possibility of facing such conversations when first meeting a potential love interest is far worse, especially when the butt groove in your couch, favourite sweatpants, and Netflix are shouting your name from the rooftops.
Sure that scenario sounds better than free pizza but it doesn’t mean you, as an introvert, hate other people, it just means you gain energy from spending time alone. And that’s totes fine. So how does one navigate the dating scene when all one wants to do is build the adult version of a blanket fort* and fall down the rabbit hole of Dostoyevsky or Reddit or whatever? Read on…
Get out of your head. Your inner voice is louder than that bachelorette party at the bar you never go to—constantly analyzing and interpreting the facts of the day. At times we get wrapped up in that voice and forget to take in new experiences; exciting new things that lead to other great exciting new things etc. etc, you get what I mean.
It’s easy for you to get distracted. People watching is our favourite pass time and there are soooooo many interesting people coming in and out of the coffee shop where you’re having your first date. While your date is talking, even while you’re talking, try to keep eye contact. First, it’s rude not to. Second, you both took the time to meet each other, why not give each other a chance? Nothing says “everything-else-that’s-happening-around-me-is-much-more-interesting-than-any-of-the-words-coming-out-of-your-face” like not keeping eye contact. Unless your date is being a dick. Then feign illness and leave promptly.
All of us introverts will agree that small talk is…horrifying. It feels forced. It feels phony, fake, inauthentic, imposing—an all around uncomfortable experience. But being as quiet as a mouse doesn’t work on a date either. Awkward silences are very, very real. So speak up! You may think you sound insincere but here’s the deal: you’re date doesn’t think so. You both agreed to meet up for a reason! Besides the small talk really only lasts for a quarter-hour anyway. Don’t be afraid to share your story, if you feel safe to do so, and you may find you both have some common interests. Everybody wins.
In summation, these tips are oh-so-obviously meant to be taken with a shipping container of salt. The best tip you could ever receive, have probably already heard, and I just told you, is to simply be who you are. The people who are supposed to be in your life eventually find you. Same goes for your future significantly awesome other. So go ahead, be your significantly awesome self.
Have any tips of your own to add? Are you an extrovert with dating advice for an introvert? Tell me, tell me, tell me!
*An adult blanket fort is you sitting on the floor, propped up with a couple of throw pillows, and a blanket wrapped around your body and over your head. According to me.
Photo: Dating in public transport… by Thomas Leuthard