Most dating advice on the internet is bad, that’s no secret. The advice about introverts is just plain terrible though. It’s glaringly obvious that the people giving this advice aren’t introverts themselves and don’t have the slightest clue about introversion.
The dead giveaway is that they assume all introverts are shy and that being shy is the only significant distinction of introverts. So most advice will show you how to break your poor little introverted girlfriend/boyfriend out of their shell. Well, you won’t find that garbage here.
There’s only two things you need to learn to successfully date an introvert and neither one of them have to do with training your partner to be less shy.
1) Seek Balance
Balance is ideal in relationships.
When an introvert and extrovert are dating, balance is not just ideal – it’s a requirement.
Introverts Need Space
You need to balance the time you spend with your introverted partner and the time you allow them to spend alone.
Introverts need alone time to recharge. Life as an introvert is different than life as an extrovert. It helps if you understand that. Some introverts work to build a social life, while others prefer to ride solo most of the time.
You shouldn’t take offense when your significant other wants to spend some time alone. Remember, they need alone time the same way you need socialization.
There’s a simple solution for this. Try to schedule a time block where you can go be social and they can have some quiet time. Then when you’re both recharged you can spend time together doing whatever.
I can’t tell you how to do this, you just need to talk to the person you’re dating. Find out when they like to be alone and respect that time.
Don’t Expect Them to ALWAYS Tag-Along
I know you want them to go with you everywhere, but the relationship won’t work if you expect them to always want to tag-along.
It’s best to ease them into social situations. Instead of meeting all 20 of your friends at once, try to find activities to introduce them to smaller groups at a time. They’ll appreciate this greatly!
Introverts like to get to know people individually and it’s very overwhelming to try to get to know 20 new people in one evening.
Once they’ve become closer with your friends and family, you still shouldn’t expect them to always join you at social gatherings. This goes back to finding balance. Just because they don’t want to hang out every chance they get doesn’t mean they don’t like your friends or family.
However, if they refuse to hang out with your friends or family ever than they are being selfish. There needs to be an effort to find balance from both sides.
Find Common Ground
Introverts and extroverts are drawn to completely different activities.
However, you likely share some similar interests or you wouldn’t be dating. How did you meet? How do you spend most of your time together?
You need to figure out where you guys have common ground and build a foundation on that. It’s not going to be very fun if one of you has to compromise in every situation. It’s important to find hobbies or interests that you two share so both of you are having a great time together.
Whatever your common interest is, keep this between the two of you. I don’t mean keep it a secret – unless it’s something you guys don’t want to share. I mean, try to do that activity exclusively with each other. It’s ok to share common hobbies with friends, but introverts love to have a hobby that they only share with one special person.
It could be anything from taking walks, to cooking on Sunday afternoons, to watching a particular show… anything.
They say opposites attract and I’ve found that to be true. However, when you are dating someone who is very different from yourself, it helps to emphasize the common ground.
Over time those differences that seem interesting often become annoying. That’s why you need to make a point to find common ground and make the most of those similar interests.
2) Make a Genuine Connection
Introverts are deep thinkers. They do not care much for small talk, they want meaningful communication. While extroverts tend to seek communication in high quantity, introverts are more concerned with the quality of communication.
Drop the Act
Cut the bullshit. Putting on an act will not work on an introvert – unless you put on an extremely convincing act. They have spent too much time observing people to fall for any of the typical tricks or games that get played.
Introverts want to get to know the real you. They will not open up to you if you aren’t being yourself, period.
Why people put on an act in relationships is beyond me. Do you really want to date someone who is only attracted to an act and not really attracted to the real you? Yet, it’s so common that I have to bring it up here.
This is not just advice, it is a warning. Your introverted significant other WILL call you out if you are fake or play childish games. Introverts are great at spotting liars and it is probably the least attractive quality to an introvert.
That’s one of the best things about dating an introvert – they are interested in getting to know the real you! If that scares you, well, then who’s the shy one now?
Introverts love deep conversation. They love to ask broad questions that open a gaping hole into your mind and soul.
Introverts find intelligence sexy.
By intelligence, I don’t mean good grades. Doing well in school requires hard work and is very respectable, but it essentially shows that you are good at memorizing ideas other people have created.
What is intelligence to an introvert?
- The ability to understand and apply new ideas and concepts
- The ability to create new ideas and concepts
- The ability to tie ideas and concepts together to discern between the quality and relevance of each
Any dummy can read a book and memorize the facts. Do you understand the big picture of the book? Have you spotted the underlying themes of the book? Can you compare it to similar books to determine if the information is high quality or garbage? Can you find relevance in the book to your own life?
That’s what an introvert wants to ask you about. A lack of intelligence is a deal breaker for introverts, most of the time.
You don’t have to be the smartest person to date an introvert, you just have to be willing to learn. Introverts make great teachers so they will help you learn more about yourself than you ever have – through deep conversation.
I know plenty of extroverts who love deep conversation. The primary difference is that while extroverts typically enjoy ALL conversation, introverts highly prefer deep conversation over small talk.
Introverts Want to be Understood
Introverts spend much of their life observing and trying to understand others. It’s just part of our nature. In return, we want you to want to understand us as well.
Giving an introvert more space isn’t about dealing with our special needs. Our need to be alone is no more valuable than your need to socialize. We want you to understand our needs.
It’s all about respect. You should want to understand the person you’re dating. You should want to give them some space, just as they should want for you to get your needed social activity.
If you simply put up with them not always wanting to tag-along, you are approaching this with the wrong attitude.
People often complain that introverts are hard to read. However, that’s because the majority of people do not even know the difference between introverts and extroverts.
Introverts want you to understand them. They want a genuine connection. However, they won’t open up to you if you’re just trying to figure them out. They are looking to connect with someone who wants to understand them. Do you see the difference?
Introverts don’t want to be a checklist of qualities for you to tell your friends about and they don’t want to just figure you out. Chances are they’ve figured you out before the first date is even over. They are looking to genuinely understand you and to be genuinely understood.
These two requirements are all that are needed to successfully date an introvert – seek balance and make a genuine connection. Introverts don’t need special treatment, they just need you to be thoughtful and respectful. A novel concept, I know, but this seems to get overlooked.
Do yourself (or someone else) a favor and share this article with someone in need. Most extrovert/introvert relationships fail because there is a lack of understanding of their core differences. With all the nonsense advice out there, information like this needs to get more exposure.
Until Next Time,
P.S. If you enjoyed this article, you will likely enjoy the book Quiet by Susan Cain. Whether you’re an introvert that wants to explore deeper or you’re an extrovert that wants to understand introverts better, Quiet is solid primer and interesting read.
99 Habits For Those Who Want it All
This FREE guide includes 99 action steps to get in shape, feel excited to start the day, and accomplish more in less time!
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
Never miss out on new posts like this by subscribing to my newsletter!