If there’s something most of us single ladies know to be true, it’s that dating is far from easy. Maybe our man’s lost his roadmap, or he’s simply taking his sweet time making his way to us, but we just can’t pin him down. When you throw in being an introvert to the mix, matters get even tougher. I know this firsthand, being one myself.
Despite what some might think, introverts aren’t all incredibly quiet people who shy away from others. Characteristic of introverts vary, but we generally value having our regular “alone time” and find it difficult to open up to strangers, especially when it comes to large groups. Those alone make dating a daunting challenge—that is, unless the guy you’re dating has been your friend for a long time.
I asked a couple of my fellow introverts about their experiences with dating, and I found that we shared many similar sentiments. In true hugot fashion, I’ve listed ten of our dating pains. Read on and see if you agree with any—or perhaps all—of them!
1. Going on a first date and not knowing if we’re talking enough…
Whenever we go on a first date, our friends tell us to relax. “Just be yourself,” they say. “Act natural.” But for us, natural means being more of a listener than a talker. Dating’s all about getting to know each other better, and we can hardly do that if we stay in our heads and keep quiet, can we? So we try to talk more than we normally would, in the hopes that we don’t end up boring our date, but then comes that moment of silence that just screams awkward.
2. …Or if we’re talking too much
Sometimes, we get so worried about not saying enough that we end up babbling to fill that awkward silence. We call it verbal diarrhea—you know, when you want to stop talking, but words just keep pouring out of your mouths. It gets to the point where we wish we could press rewind and decide to not go out of the house.
3. Giving in and trying online dating only to realize that it isn’t any better than real-life dating
On paper, dating in the virtual world should be easier. There’s no pressure to answer questions on the spot, and we can be more like ourselves without worrying about being judged. But then we start swiping and notice that majority of our matches aren’t interested in making conversation. The few who are, on the other hand, may not always have share our idea of appropriate getting-t0-know-you topics—if you know what we mean.
4. Finally hitting off with a guy online but going into SOS mode when we meet IRL
So we lucked out on a guy who isn’t only decent-looking but is also pretty fun to talk to. He has us thinking, “Okay, this might just work out.” But then he pops the question: “Want to meet up?” We worry that he’ll find us weird in real life, but we go anyway only to find it to be every bit as awkward as we’d imagined. (See #1 and #2.)
5. Having that guy we’d been eyeing talk to us only to freeze in the moment
You know how they say that you should give a guy some hint that we’re open to his advances? Yep, that’s hardly ever going to happen, because we’re far from used to initiating contact. But when the stars align and that guy we’d been checking out from afar actually strikes up a conversation with us, we shut down. It’s after he walks away that reality sinks in, and we’re left mentally face-palming ourselves.[crp]
6. Going to a party with a guy and worrying that his friends will think we’re weird and/or antisocial
Being around too many people drains us, and being the center of attention too? That’s completely out of our comfort zone. We do our best to be sociable, but we can’t match an extrovert’s energy levels. At a certain point, we’ll run out of small-talk ideas and revert to standard responses.
7. …Worse, worrying that they’ll think we’re snobs
Although we’ve accepted that some people may peg us as snobs due to our tendency to be reserved, we’d hate for our significant other’s friends to think that. We know how their opinions matter to our guy, and really, we do want to get to know them. We just prefer to do so in smaller batches and in quieter, more intimate settings.
8. …Even worse, being introduced to his family and trying to put on your “social” face
This is the grandaddy of our anxieties, because is there really anyone who wants their significant other’s family not to like them? This meeting could make or break a relationship, so we try extra hard to be perky and engaging and hope that we don’t embarrass our guy or come across as fake or insincere.
9. Trying to fake enjoyment during an outing, because our guy’s obviously having a blast
Sharing the other person’s interests is an important factor in any relationship, so we agree to watch a sports game or go to a club with him even if it’s not our thing. As much as we try to tune into what’s happening, more often than not, we end up zoning out. Then when our guy asks, “Are you okay?,” we feel guilty because he might think he has to babysit us instead of having a good time.
10. Having a guy disappear on us, because he mistakes our silence for disinterest
Cue the “it’s not you, it’s me” cliché—because really, that’s what it is. It’s in our nature to need our alone time and to have the tendency to live in our head. Sometimes, we blame ourselves and wish we could be different, but at the end of the day, we know that we need someone who understands and accepts our quirks.
Identify with any of these problems? We’re here for you! And remember that dating should be fun and an opportunity to meet someone new who could become a great friend (or perhaps something more). So try not to stress yourself out too much. And when nerves threaten to get the better of you, just fake it ’til you make it!
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Marian is an interior designer turned freelance writer who loves exploring the world on her feet and through her Kindle. Her favorite things to write about? Travel, lifestyle, coffee, and happily ever afters.