I confess…I’m an introvert. As such, I need a lot of things: I need at least 2 hours of “me” time for every 1 hour I spend socializing. When I do socialize, it had better be in a relatively quiet, laid back bar, lounge or other venue that has a relaxed ambience, and not some noisy club with blaring house or techno music so loud, you can’t hear yourself speak. When making plans, I need to work out when and where things will happen, and of course, the aforementioned “me” time needs to be accounted for in those plans as well.
When referring to the type of person just described, you might think that it would be crazy to expect someone like that to be a successful dater. After all, dating is hard enough, even when your personality does fit within the commonly accepted high levels of extraversion, gregariousness, cheerfulness, and spontaneity. But what if those words don’t describe you? What if you’re someone who is a bit more reserved, a bit quieter, a bit more methodical with your life? Is that it, then? Are you completely screwed out of having a successful dating life? Should we just accept our fate and sit around our apartments, collecting dust (and cats), playing video games/binge watching Netflix/reading/daydreaming for the rest of our lives?
While at first it can seem doubly tough for introverts to be successful at dating, due to significantly lower levels of social energy seemingly required to have a fun date, it does not mean that introverts are necessarily destined to be dateless hermits. On the contrary, introverts can oftentimes make for the best potential dates of all, provided that a) the introvert knows their strengths and who they are as a person and b) are willing to be flexible and adaptable around certain social expectations while dating. In this post, I will show you how introverts can take control of their dating destiny and dominate the dating market, regardless of whether or not society at large often paints our personality types in a less than flattering light. Let’s go!
- NEVER Apologize for Who You Are
Oftentimes when I speak to some of my newer introverted clients about what they expect their dating experiences to be like, they often tell me that they feel they must change who they are fundamentally, in order to seem more extroverted, boisterous, and outgoing than they truly are. After all, the messages these men get from society is that introverted guys are somehow “boring,” with no energy, nothing really important to say, and that they do nothing but sit in their rooms all day. While it’s true that there are some pretty dull guys out there, it would be a mistake to think that introverted men somehow have a monopoly on being uninteresting. I have seen (and you probably have too) plenty of examples of loud, obnoxious, extroverted guys who may seem charming and fascinating at first glance, but when you try to dig deeper, you find a whole lot of nothing. Conversely, some of the most interesting people on Earth are of the more introverted persuasion. I don’t think anybody will accuse Michael Jordan, President Obama, or Elon Musk (who many call the “Real Life Iron Man”) of being “boring.” The point is, if you are healthy, have a decent job, keep fit, take care of your fashion, grooming and appearance, have hobbies, and actually do get out of your house more than 3-4 times per week, then you are no less interesting than the majority of guys out there today. If you have goals and desires and are working toward living your best life, striving to get more out of your limited time on this planet, you are by default more interesting than most, because you now have reasons to live that don’t only include counting down the clock on the work week until 5PM Friday so you can spend the weekend in bed catching up on Stranger Things (not that there’s anything wrong with that show). None of these qualities have any bearing on whether or not you tend towards extraversion or introversion.
Furthermore, by feeling that you are inadequate because of how you choose to utilize your social energy, and by feeling that you have to change that in order to be more socially acceptable, you are, in essence coming across as inauthentic on your dates. Women are experts at sensing when a man is not being his true self, and let me tell you that women, particularly ones of high value, hate that. After all, if the guy she is meeting is being spurious about this, what else could he be deceiving her about? Authenticity is a quality that is grossly underrated in human interaction. If you’re introverted, don’t succumb to the pressure to be an extrovert. Embrace who you are, work within your strengths, and don’t apologize for it. You can learn better social skills, you can learn the right body language, you can learn to become funnier, but how you manage your social energy is largely hard-wired and, according to many studies, not possible to change to any significant degree. If you’re struggling with coming to terms with being an introvert, then I suggest reading the “Bible” of the subject, Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking. If you don’t have time for reading, then go to YouTube and listen to her TED talk, it’s well worth the 15 minutes. Her book was an incredible resource that helped me come to terms with and embrace my personality and behaviors, and as a result, helped me tremendously with my own dating life.
2) Don’t Become a Hermit- Mingle, in Moderation Of Course
Introverts like me tend to zero in on the nearest corner of the room, snack table, or balcony when going to a party. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, in fact, it’s a whole lot better, socially speaking, than not going at all and staying home. The mistake with parties is that we tend to think we need to stay there the whole time and interact with every single person there. Leave that task to the extroverts. One thing that I’ve always done to make big parties more bearable is to have a target goal in mind, for example, talking to three or four people there during the first hour, and then politely excusing myself to leave. Doing this gives you the best of both worlds: For one, you’re not acting like a standoffish blowhard by not showing up, yet at the same time, you are partying on your terms by engaging with a few key people and then leaving at an acceptable time. I have found that in my life, no one has ever given me a hard time for doing this, as long as I showed up, was visible, and interacted with people.
3) Be Open to Conversations in Unlikely Places
One thing that held me back quite a bit before going on my self-development journey was when I would go about my day acting completely oblivious to the people and activities going on around me. After all,I would tell myself, I am out here for a specific purpose. I’m going shopping/getting food/taking the subway or bus, and I’m not here to waste time in pointless conversation talking to anyone. At one point in my 20s, I was so caught up in my desire to not be disturbed that I would put in my earphones and listen to music whenever I would go out, partly because I liked my music, but also because I didn’t want any strangers coming up to me to start randomly chit-chatting with me. I had “better things to do.” Fortunately, I have since come to realize just how foolish this was, and how many opportunities, including opportunities for potential dates, that I missed because I was so stuck in my own head and attached to my own story. By being a little bit more receptive to the talking, conversation, and the mere presence of the people around me, I have since gained many more opportunities, for both business-related ventures as well as dating. The next time you see someone who you find attractive in a coffee shop, subway, convenience store, grocery store, etc, try starting conversation with them. It will help to push you outside your comfort zone, and also help you to flex those social muscles with people you find interesting. I have had several very strong dating prospects come from these chance encounters in these seemingly random places. It’s simple logic: The more open you are to opportunities, the more opportunities you’ll recognize, and the more opportunities you’ll ultimately get!
4) Focus on Building Your Social Circle Through Hobbies/Interests and Everything You Do
I will be doing plenty more entries on this topic, because in my personal view, developing, nurturing and expanding your social circle organically is hands down the most sure-fire way to bring the quality and the types of women you are seeking into your life. Whatever hobbies you enjoy, whatever games, books, sports, and activities you love to do, whatever fuels your passion in your job or career, take those things and “social-ize” them. Find a group, a Meetup, a club or an organization related to your interests, attend the meetings, hell, organize the meetings, get active and participate. Since these things are things you enjoy and are passionate about, you should have no problems, even as an introvert, with opening up and speaking to what you love. Chances are, there are females out there who share those interests of yours, and they will be at these events as well. Talk to everyone, build up your network, and use people in that network to introduce you to more people, etc, etc. rinse and repeat. You don’t have to be a boisterous extrovert in order to take advantage of this. Think of it more as a targeted search to do more socializing with people who will help fill your cup, a mission to find your tribe. Chances are you will meet a lot of compatible women in that tribe as well.
Practice with these the next time you are thinking about dating or finding people to date. As always, I hope you have found value from this post, and of course, I will re-visit this topic in future posts to give additional strategies and techniques for how introverts can take charge of their dating lives.
Are you an Introverted Man who is having trouble dating and forming relationships? Now that you know it’s possible to be a successful introverted dater, why not learn to unleash your full potential. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free coaching session!