An Introvert’s Guide to Navigating the Dating World

The amount of energy involved in dating may seem daunting if you are an introvert. You may prefer being curled up with a good book on a Friday night rather than going on a blind date with someone your friend swears is “the one.”

Introverts recharge by spending time alone, while extroverts recharge by being around other people.

Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, says:

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”

This advice applies to dating too. It shouldn’t take up all your time or energy. There are many ways you can give yourself the time and space that you need to recharge and think deeply.

Dating can take you outside your comfort zone, but it can also be a lot of fun too and it certainly shouldn’t leave you feeling burnt out. Here are a few tips to make the dating process enjoyable.

It’s Okay To Date An Extrovert

There are more extroverts—three extroverts to one introvert—and they are easier to meet. While introverts may be surfing the Internet, taking a solo bike ride, or snuggled up reading at home, extroverts are out there mingling—at parties, sports clubs, or professional organizations. - Marti Olsen Laney, The Introvert Advantage

You’ve heard the saying “opposites attract” and it’s true in this case as well. It is really common for introverts and extroverts end up in relationships together.

By dating an extrovert, you are opening up your chances.

According to Marti Olsen Laney, the author of The Introvert Advantage, says:

“There are more extroverts—three extroverts to one introvert—and they are easier to meet. While introverts may be surfing the Internet, taking a solo bike ride, or snuggled up reading at home, extroverts are out there mingling—at parties, sports clubs, or professional organizations.”

There’s no need to be afraid to date an extrovert. You’ll certainly have differences but what’s important is how you handle those differences. There are many creative ways to make sure that you both find ways to recharge and it’s good to be aware of this dynamic early on.

Figure It Out:  Are They An Introvert or Extrovert?

There are many outgoing introverts, so even if they appear to be super-outgoing, don’t assume they are extroverted.  When you date someone discover how they like to spend their free time. At the end of a hard day would they recharge by being around other people or would they prefer to be alone?

How to understand an introvert
Source: Roman Jones

Online Dating

This is a great avenue for you to meet someone to date without the added pressure of initiating things in person. Online dating gives you the time to respond when you like, and have time to think about the things you’d like to express. It also gives you plenty of time to keep doing the things that help your interior life thrive.

In your profile, you can hint at the fact that you like quieter evenings, and that your idea of a great night is spent at home. This will prevent the people interested in you from being surprised when they discover you don’t like going out to socialize at every opportunity.

It will also let them know that while they may prefer dates involving lots of people time and stimulating environments, that they should also consider going on quieter dates that you might enjoy as well.

Going Out on Dates

It’s time to go on a date, and your nerves might be getting the best of you. Remember that as an introvert you have a lot of strengths that can shine here.

You can observe and listen well; this will really help you get through a first date. In the long term, you value deep relationships and conversations. Although it may take some time to develop that deep romantic relationship, you’ll find being in a relationship very rewarding.


Set Up a Plan Ahead of Time

The good news is that a lot of dates, like going out to eat together, are one-on-one. If you are going on a group date, to a trivia night, or to a party, then you can communicate ahead of time that you’d like to leave a little early so you have time to recharge afterward. It’s good to have self-awareness and be able to communicate your needs.

If you’re in an introvert/extrovert relationship you can choose dates that balance some one-on-one time with a more social activity. You can also trade off the types of dates you go on together and mentally prepare ahead of time for the more social ones.


Give Yourself The Time to Recharge

After going on a date you may need extra time to process everything that happened. Set aside extra time the next day or that evening. Do whatever helps you to recharge, whether that’s going on a walk, having a cup of tea, journaling, or catching up on some good articles.

Only go on the dates that you really want to. You don’t have to go on multiple dates during a week if that seems like too much. Even if it’s a person you really like, if they are really interested in you they will respect the pace at which you want to date.


Find The Right Person

There’s no need to go speed dating or rush into a relationship. Take the time you need to get to know the person you are dating and evaluate if you want to invest more of your time and energy into a relationship with them. The sooner you figure this out, the better for both of you.

If the person is right then dating them won’t feel draining. It will take some of your energy because relationships take effort but you’ll feel that it’s worthwhile. Hopefully you’ll find someone to develop a deep relationship with. The right person will respect and value the many gifts that you have as an introvert.