Some Brilliant Dating Tips For Introverts

Introverted Lovers!

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…

Be open.
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.

Be Present.
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.

Be Mouthy. 
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.

Be Yourself. 
Duh.

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

Don’t Call It A Comeback

If you remember from this post, Not Identifying As Black, I spoke of transitioning to natural hair…among other things. My new ‘do is merely a road marker along that journey. My pants would burst into flames if I told you I wasn’t smitten with the braids; I heart them in fact. That is all.

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Not Identifying As Black

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The big chop, transitioning, pre-poo, co-washing, protective styles, twist-out, bantu knots, jojoba oil…there’s an entire vocabulary and untapped community of young, black women dedicated to the pursuit of caring for and keeping their natural, curly, kinky locks. I came across the hidden city of natural hair a few weeks ago, when I made the decision to jump the chemical-straightened-societal-pressure-ship and grow my mane naturally. The pursuit of naturalness has oddly brought some feelings to the surface that I didn’t realize existed. And I find them confusing, so let’s talk it out…

I grew up in rural Canada. My brother and I were the only black rugrats on the block, in our elementary and high schools, and among our extended Canadian family. I had no black friends growing up and wouldn’t land any until late into university. My experiences with black people only involved what I saw on TV and visits to the hairdresser’s. The latter made me MOST uncomfortable. I didn’t identify as black and all the black people at the salon knew it. I was a fraud. Thumbing through the hair style magazines while waiting for my appointment, an abundance of wigs, weaves and braids…oh my! The “natural” hairstyles consisted of dreads entwined with puka shells—their models wore African tribal prints and deep burgundy lipstick. As a 12-year-old growing up in rural Ottawa, Canada, I didn’t identify with these people. These people didn’t look like me and I sure as heck didn’t want to look like them. I wanted straight hair; like my friends, like the better-dressed women and black celebrities in the hairstyle magazines. Long, bone-straight hair. I didn’t know any different.

Earlier I said, “I didn’t identify as black”, let’s revisit that shall we? Actress Zoe Saldana took a heaping pile of flak last year for expressing her distaste in people’s obsession with race. In an interview with BET she stated “…all of a sudden you leave your household and have people always ask you, ‘What are you, what are you’ it is the most uncomfortable question…”. Growing up where I did, in the family that I grew-up in, I agree. It is uncomfortable and everybody wants to know. The need to remind me that I am black seemed fruitless; unless you’re blind. And don’t even get me started on online dating (do I have to be a certain kind of black before you can speak to me?)! Those times spent at the hairdresser, I didn’t wear tight-fighting clothes, have manicured nails or big hooped earrings. I didn’t speak with an ebonics-gangsta-don’t-mess-wit-me-tilt or hissed my teeth in derision. I wore boys’ Adidas, hated earrings, spoke quietly, and played hockey.

Recently, I’ve begun to actively seek more role models in fashion who are of colour. Because, why not? We all wanted to play with the Barbie doll that looked like us. Julia Sarr-Jamois. Solange. Robin Givhan. Shala Monroque. Tamu McPherson. Most recently, Lupita Nyong’o. While I still don’t identify as black, I am a lot of other things; mainly myself, Amoi.

Hi, good ta meet ya.

This post doesn’t nearly scratch the surface when it comes to race, but please, weigh-in. Comment below.

I’m Sorry. I Can’t. Don’t Hate Me.

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Cardigan—Joe Fresh / Skirt—Zara / Booties—Aldo

I scribbled this post’s title on a Post-It and left it outside in the wee hours of the morning before disappearing to work as dawn approached. My note would be found in the gelid light of day, inducing the utmost rage; such fury would befall all of us. I had to do it, we were heading in opposite directions, existing separately in futures that didn’t include one another. Things changed immediately after Yuletide, the New Year on the horizon. The obsession with snow and cold became too much. Before long, thoughts of balmy temperatures, forever-green grass, and perpetually sunny skies filled my head—I wasn’t present and it wasn’t fair. Be that as it may, Winter is most often a wicked, cold-hearted bitch. For reals. And with that, I’m over it.

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Tell me, you’re over Winter too, right?

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