If you get nervous around new people or you totally feel drained after social situations — dating as an introvert can sometimes feel a little intimidating. Whether you'd rather read a book in bed than hit that pub crawl all of your friends are going to (me), or first dates make you totally nervous, hearing dating advice for introverts can be a super helpful tool in getting yourself out there.
Whether you're super anxious for that blind date that your coworker begged you to go on or you just downloaded a dating app and are blindly heading into your first Bumble date, you don't need to feel sheepish about feeling, well, sheepish. In fact, relationship experts say that when it comes to dating as an introvert, it can actually be helpful to be open about your nerves.
"When you’re able to acknowledge it, your date, who is likely also feeling shy or nervous, will appreciate the openness and begin to connect with you," Thomas Edwards Jr., founder of The Professional Wingman, tells Elite Daily. "Being shy about someone you’re attracted to is a very normal experience. It is always OK to express vulnerability." According to Edwards, being open about your nerves can be a litmus test to see if your date is empathetic and caring. If your date can't seem to hold space for your emotions, you may realize that you don't want to take things any further. But if they can open up and share their nerves with you as well, it may lay the foundation for some deeper connection down the road. As Edwards attests, introverts generally do better with smaller, more personal interactions, which means that first dates can actually be their place to shine. "If you are an introvert, remember your 'superpower' is connecting on a one-on-one level, not with large groups," Edwards says.
According to Relationship Coach Nina Rubin, another great tip for dating as an introvert is to remember what your ultimate intentions are. "Don’t overthink the date — you’re doing great," Rubin says. "Focus on your date but remember the big picture. If you’re dating to get into a relationship, keep your eyes open and remind yourself that going out with various people is part of the process."
First dates can be awkward for everyone. But getting to know someone is an important first step in building a relationship. Whether you're looking for a partner or you're just trying to casually date for a while, remembering why you're going out can help you quell your fears and get you out of your comfort zone. Of course, when it comes to dating as an introvert, Rubin also suggests going on active dates that don't put too much pressure on talking.
"Plan dates with activities like miniature golf or a hike, so you can just as readily focus on the fun task as much as on talking," Rubin says. "Listen well and reply honestly. Ask questions that you really want to know about your date. If your date plans a loud or crowded place, suggest another spot that’s a little quieter so you don’t have to shout. Express your true needs so you can be your best."
If your date lives for the nightlife and you'd rather walk your dog than go to a club, finding this out early can help you both get the types of relationships you're looking for. Suggesting a restaurant or coffee place that you go to a lot can also be a great way to gain a sense of comfort. Regardless of how the date goes, you know you can rely on that friendly bartender you always see.
For Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, relationship coach and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, when it comes to dating as an introvert, the most important thing you can do is to try and shake off any embarrassing moments that may have happened during your date. "Introverts tend to relive every single moment and replay all of the moments that they think went wrong," Silva says. "When you replay those moments you are recalling what you perceive as bad and may not be the reason it didn’t work out. Focus on the positives of the date and that you felt comfortable enough to take a chance with someone."
If you goofed the punchline to a joke or you pronounced your entree wrong, it can be easy to overthink it for the next 10 years. Of course, everyone gets nervous when they're out with a new cutie — and if your date is the right fit for you, they definitely weren't weirded out by whatever "embarrassing" thing you think you said or did. They probably though it was cute!
According to Silva, a good way to let the small things go after the date is to ensure your comfort heading into the date. "Don’t over stress yourself about making your best first impression," Silva says. "Find an outfit, hairstyle and makeup application that you are comfortable with so that you can enjoy getting to know the person instead of being self-conscious about your appearance the entire date." Wearing something comfy and doing your usual getting-ready routine can make it easier to talk to your date, rather than worrying about how your hair looks or if your shirt is see-through (been there). Going through your normal routine can settle any first date jitters you are feeling before the night starts.
Dating as an introvert can feel totally overwhelming. If flirting with a new cutie or planning a date makes you nervous, you're not alone. Being able to express your nerves can be a great first step and can help suss out if your date is meant for you. Picking an activity-based date can help take the pressure off talking, while wearing comfy clothes can settle any pre-date nerves. Of course, introvert, extrovert, or whatever's in between — you are a super star, who anyone would be lucky to date. And that is nothing to be shy about.