So you’ve met this amazing love interest at a party and you really clicked. You talked for hours and they listened. Now you’re trying to set up a second date. But they’ve gone quiet. Or worse still they keep putting you off. Your friends have told you that this person is an introvert. What should you do?
Or maybe you are the introvert and you’ve just started dating this amazing person but it’s obvious that they’re a bit of a social butterfly? They say the opposites attract and this is true. Just think of yin and yang. Two sides perfectly balance one another.
Whether you are an introvert or your partner is, understanding each personality and their character traits will help when it comes to dating an introvert.
There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. Just as there is nothing wrong with being an extrovert. Being introverted simply means you focus more on internal feelings and thoughts. You have a small group of close friends and are very self-aware.
Extroverts tend to direct their energies outwards and are socially active. They have a wide circle of acquaintances and are open and friendly.
Introversion and extroversion are rooted in our genetic makeup. It’s all to do with survival. How much information our body receives, how it reacts to our environment, and how high or low our arousal levels are set.
There is an area in the brain that sets these parameters so that we can be ready for danger. In introverts, the levels are chronically high and in extroverts, they are exceptionally low. This means introverts get overloaded with information and are easily overstimulated.
As a result, they need quiet activities or some space to recover.
One misconception about introverts is that they are all shy. Just because a person prefers smaller groups of people to large crowds doesn’t mean they are shy.
Introverts prefer one-on-one talk. They like discussing interesting topics. They make really good listeners. They will usually have some interesting things to share with you.
That big stadium gig you’ve just scored tickets for that sold out in minutes and is standing room only? That’s an introvert’s worst nightmare. It overwhelms all of their senses.
The noise, the sights, the smells, people touching and pressing up against them. It will be too much. If you do want to go to a concert or a theatre or play, ask in advance and get tickets for the back or an aisle seat where they can easily escape if they need to.
However, that small dinner party you want to plan with a few good friends is right up their street. Extroverts like to go out to meet new people. On the other hand, introverts prefer to spend time talking to their close friends.
They love to catch up with old mates and chew the fat. In fact, there’s nothing better for an introvert than some good food, flowing drinks, and great banter with old friends.
Spending time with people actually increases an extrovert’s energy levels. It recharges their batteries and they feel rejuvenated. It has the opposite effect on introverts.
Extroverts go out to increase their energy. Actually, spending time alone can seriously deplete an extrovert’s energy. For introverts, all that stimulation and extra information overload are simply too draining. It takes all their energy to socialize.
So how do introverts recharge their batteries? By having some time on their own to recover. To give you an example, I know two sisters; one is outgoing and gregarious, the other is very introverted. When the third sister visits from Australia the outgoing sister will have her stay with her for weeks. The introverted one will see her for lunch for a few hours.
They both love their sister very much. It is just that for the introverted sister spending time with anyone is exhausting.
It is easy to categorize someone as ‘all or nothing’. In other words, we like to label a person as an introvert or an extrovert. But I have a friend who would define herself as an introvert and yet, when she does go out, is the center of attention. She rules the room. She’s funny, engaging and people flock to her.
She’ll probably not go out again for 6 months to recover but it’s an example that people exist on a spectrum. So don’t assume things for your date. Let your introverted partner tell you what they like and don’t like.
Many introverts will start to wind down at the end of a long, drawn-out date. They can only be sociable for a certain length of time. Then they need to go away and recharge. So short dates are best.
I have an introverted friend who would only stay at any event, no matter how important, for a couple of hours. He would get up to leave and say ‘Right, I’m getting rather spiteful now so I need my alone time.’ We all knew what he meant and nobody took it personally.
I know it took a long time for the visiting sister I’ve mentioned to understand the needs and choices of the introverted one. At first, it was very easy to take it personally. The sister that was visiting felt as if she was not wanted or valued.
But after a while, she began to understand. It wasn’t that her sister didn’t want to see her. It was about what she could manage. Just like my male friend. He put in the effort to attend these events for as long as he could manage. It’s never personal with an introvert.
As I said previously, just because you have an introverted partner doesn’t mean they don’t ever go out to a party. It just means that their tolerance level for socializing is lower than yours.
If you are dating an introvert, have a word or phrase that each other knows in advance so that you can both leave without causing a scene. For example, ‘Don’t forget I have that early morning meeting tomorrow’ or ‘We should go now, your mother is babysitting and she doesn’t like driving home in the dark.’
Avoid social events where you have to introduce and potentially leave your date with lots of strangers. While you might love the chance to flit from person to person at a social gathering chattering away, your introverted partner will not.
This is something to keep in mind if you really have to drag them out to a party or social event. If you do end up at such an event, try to match them with someone you know is also introverted.
You’ve heard the saying the squeakiest wheel gets the grease? We automatically assume that the loudest person in the room is the most confident, or the most macho. But this is not the case.
Introverts have a lot to say, they just prefer saying it to one or two people in a more intimate setting. In fact, some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time are introverts.
You can always tell who the extrovert in a room is, they are usually the ones doing all the talking. In fact, introverts can sometimes get a bad reputation for being aloof or standoffish because they don’t talk much.
But this is because they are more of a listener than a talker. We can’t have everyone talking and nobody listening. Introverts like to observe and gather facts before they speak. They ponder ideas and thoughts in their head before delivering their opinions.
For some introverts, just the thought of getting dressed up and clubbing with loud music until 3:00 AM is enough to bring them out in hives. If this is really something you love doing why not go with your best clubbing friend?
That holiday abroad in Ibiza with 20 of your mates partying every night? Don’t expect your introverted date to come with you. You’ll have much more fun than having to check in with each other every 5 minutes to see how your data is coping.
You might be open and chatty and forthcoming and that’s great for you. Your date could well be the quiet type who likes to think or spend time alone. They may not answer a text straight away or return a call.
Don’t assume their silence is a personal dig at you. It doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong or that they are thinking of ending the relationship. They are simply being quiet and having some alone time.
Dating an introvert doesn’t have to be difficult if you learn to compromise on things. If you are heading to a party why not take two cars? Then the introvert can leave when they have had enough.
Allocate some alone time in the day or week so that your introvert date has more energy during the time they are with you. Agree to spend a certain amount of time at an event and then leave.
Many introverts date other introverts because they are drawn to the same personality traits. It doesn’t mean the relationship is going to be dull or boring. It simply means they prefer spending time with a few close friends and that they find large social gatherings tiring.
Introverts are no better or worse at relationships than extroverts are. It all depends on their partner and the level of understanding and commitment. If you are dating someone who is introverted try and understand that they may need some quiet time to recharge their batteries.
An introvert will prefer dates where they can talk and get to know their potential love interest. Things like a trip to the movies or an intimate dinner out at a restaurant. Not a crowded bar or club with loud music full of strangers.
Introverts spend more time in their heads thinking and weighing up the pros and cons of a potential partner. They are not quite as open as extroverts so you could say that they need more time to fall in love. But once they feel like they can trust their partner then they can come out of their comfort zone.
As an introvert is less likely to be sociable and open to meeting strangers you could say they are also less likely to cheat. They also do not really care what other people think of them. Once they fall in love and trust their partner they are typically loyal and do not cheat.
Have you had experience dating an introvert? Are you an extrovert with an introverted partner? Do you agree with my tips or can you offer some alternative suggestions on dating an introvert? I’d love to hear your thoughts.