5 Ways to Successfully Date as a Socially Anxious Introvert
It’s time to profess something, especially to all my fellow socially anxious introverts out there:
For years, I used to sit at home, alone, on “date” nights in my red Forever 21 snowflake onesie pajamas, munching on Mrs. Fields cookies. Okay, fine, you caught me – I was trying to sound classy with my dessert choices! You’d actually find me eating McDonald’s baked apple pies my roomie would get me. My point remains the same though: I was home alone on “date” nights, while daydreaming about finding my soulmate.
I was paralyzed by fear at the thought of dating. Yup! There. I’ve said it! It scared the beejesus out of me!!
Most likely, you’ll either think I’m a complete loony for admitting this or a saint? Alright, alright, not a saint, but a “brave” soul perhaps?
In any case, I chose to spend my high school and college years binge watching The Bachelor and Bachelorette while living vicariously through the leads as they handed out roses to their potential suitors.
Eventually, profound loneliness FINALLY motivated me to step into the realm of dating.
And, so, my fellow introverts, I’ve got five ways for you to successfully approach dating.
1. Make Dating Apps Your Bestie
Potentially finding a match from the comfort of your home is a dream come true, especially for introverts. Take advantage of this golden opportunity!
As introverts, we tend to feel a heck of a lot more at ease when expressing ourselves through the written word over verbal communication. We are pretty darn good texters! Am I right?!
So, embrace dating apps as it allows you to get to know someone (at first) in your preferred mode of communication where your voice shines brightly.
In fact, communicating via dating apps before the initial in-person meetup allows you to get to know someone at a level where the awkwardness that comes with preliminary small talk can potentially be eliminated.
So, sign up to those dating apps and swipe away!
2. Be Upfront About Your Introversion from the Start
Let’s be real. We live in a world where extroverts are lauded and introverts are misunderstood. How many times have you been labeled as aloof, shy, rude, or disinterested? (This has happened countless times for yours truly!).
Although I do have to admit that in recent years there has been a positive shift. Shout out to Susan Cain for creating the Quiet Revolution movement. Hallelujah!
In any case, just be open about your introverted characteristics. It will show how confident, secure, and self-aware you are. Plus, it will help you avoid any of those ridiculously unfortunate misunderstandings mentioned above.
Oh, and, it will significantly help with assessing compatibility. Why do you wanna waste precious time on a date with a person who is looking for the talkative socialite? Boy (or girl) Bye! On to the next!
More importantly, once you are straight-up about your introversion, you can – and SHOULD – turn the question back to your date. Of course you can determine personality type once you’re spending quality time with your date, but it will help in getting a better initial picture.
For me, I realized that there’s no way I could end up being with a full-blown extrovert. Got mad love for y’all. But, this girl over here *pointing to myself* would be SUPER drained in a relationship with one of ya.
If you’re undecided what type of personality better suits you: no problem! Simply test the waters. Over time, you’ll learn and ultimately establish what type of personality best compliments yours when searching for your match!
3. Plan a Date That Puts You in YOUR Element
When it’s time to finally pencil in that date, its gotta either be somewhere you love going OR doing something you love. You feel me?
Maybe it’s going to your favorite coffee shop or bar? Or maybe you love going on a hike or taking your dog to the dog park (my personal fave).
I know this is stating this obvious. But, planning the date around something that uplifts you will reduce those nerves and instantly bring out your best and FIERCE self.
4. Be Honest When You’re Feeling Anxious
You’re shaking uncontrollably. Your heart’s pounding out of your chest. You’ve got a slew of thoughts running through your mind like “What if I say something stupid?” “What if my mind goes blank and I have nothing to say?”
Look, I get it. It’s completely normal to feel anxious on a date!
Instead of trying to hide the anxiety, acknowledge its existence. In fact, mention it to your date. You’ll be surprised how receptive he/she will be when you do so!
It’s refreshing to people when you’re honest about how you’re feeling in the moment. Most will find it endearing that you’re being genuine about how you’re feeling. Being vulnerable is your best option. Empathetic people exist!
Addressing the nerves may even get your date to admit that he/she is nervous too! Shocking, huh?! Now y’all got something in common and can ease each other’s nerves together and have a jolly good time!
5. Embrace the Awkward Silences
You’re at your favorite bar sipping your Mojito while listening and asking questions like a true introvert would do. But, suddenly, awkward silence ensues.
Your date’s silent. You’re silent. You’re desperately trying to figure out what to say or ask next.
You realize you’re now deep into the awkward silent phase. What do you do?
Silence doesn’t have to be awkward, right? You’re an introvert! You love silence. It’s golden! It’s freakin’ beautiful! So EMBRACE every single second of it.
So, my dear socially anxious introverts, YOU have the power to make dating as sweet as a McDonald’s apple pie!
Get out there or stay on your couch (I know that's what you prefer), download that dating app, and flaunt your introverted self with your mad-talented texting skills!