8 Brilliant dating tips that all introverts should read
Dating can be a nerve-racking experience. You're trying to present the best version of yourself to a potential new partner and figure out whether you're interested in them, but you also want to be honest about who you are and have a good time. This is hard for a lot of people, but it's even harder for introverts.
Luckily, Dr. Susan Kraus Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, has some answers. Writing for Psychology Today, she has given plenty of advice on the subject, which can help anyone introverted get the most out of the dating scene.
1. Find the best environment for you
If you struggle opening up or getting conversations going with strangers, it might be best to set up the best situation for you to get chatting. Whitbourne explained:
"I think anything too noisy and distracting is just going to lead to you shutting down more. Your best foot forward is really capitalizing on your strengths, and it's being quiet and reflective. Some anxious introverts swear by attending an event, like a reading or a comedy show, because it provides a built-in topic of discussion afterwards."
2. Wear something comfortable
While you'll probably want to dress to impress, you shouldn't be dressing in a way that will make you too self-conscious.
"It’s the same as a job interview – you don’t want to wear a brand new outfit and not know if it’s too tight or too short," says Dr. Whitbourne. "Wear something you had good experiences with before and feel good about – and is appropriate for the occasion."
3. Prepare for conversation
If you know something about your future date, whether it's their interests or something from their Tinder bio, it's worth remembering so you have topics to chat about. "You can find out a little bit about the person ahead of time and have topics that won’t run into dead-ends," Whitbourne adds.
4. Have an escape plan
You never know what your date is going to be like in person, so it's worth having a reason to leave at a particular time. Making plans after the date is a sure-fire way of getting out if it's going badly, or leaving a good date on a high.
"It’s good to have a definite time you need it to be over with," says Dr. Whitbourne. "If you go on a Saturday afternoon date, there’s no commitment then to what happens next."
5. Find out whether it's introversion or social anxiety
There's a difference between social anxiety and being introverted, as the latter is a personality trait and a preference.
"With social anxiety, one of the biggest fears people have is meeting strangers," says Dr. Whitbourne. "If you think you have a lot of fears that cluster together, it might be good to seek counseling and find out where these fears of meeting new people are coming from."
6. Ditch the apps
"If you had a couple of bad experiences with apps, you’re going to be even more nervous about it," says Dr. Whitbourne. "If you don’t like an online app and you don’t want to go out, it’s going to make tough and put more pressure on you."
While it's all the rage at the moment, you don't have to use Tinder or Bumble to land a date - and it's worth ditching them all if they make you feel anxious. Finding dates through mutual friends may not be the quickest way to do it, but can be a lot easier for the introverted.
7. Get feedback
If things aren't going well in your love life, it might be best to get advice from the people who know you best. "If you’re insecure about your social skills, you could get feedback from close friends and find out how you’re coming across," says Dr. Whitbourne.
8. Go for someone who understands you
Introverts are notoriously hard on themselves, so you don't need someone else telling you what you're already thinking. Rather than forcing yourself to change, you should find someone who fits your personality type.
"I think when you’re comfortable with someone, you don’t need to explain your introversion," Whitbourne said. "You don’t need to apologize for who you are."
There's no reason that an introvert can't have a fulfilling love life like any extrovert, they just need to find their own way of doing things rather than looking to their extroverted peers. However, there are other dating pitfalls you should try your best to avoid the way. For instance, 'overdating' could be completely ruining your love life.