Are you an introvert feeling awkward in Wild West that is today’s modern dating pool?
You’re not alone. As introverts ourselves, we get how tough it can be to put yourself out there, and constantly try to convince strangers to like you.
BUT it’s not impossible – dating can be just as fruitful and fun for introverts as for anyone else… but there are some special things you should keep in mind.
So, below you’ll find our top dating tips for introverts and shy people to help you conquer the wild world of dating. We hope you find them helpful!
1. Surround yourself with people of similar interests
Modern dating is already difficult as it is. Add introversion and confusing apps to the mix and that spells disaster for many introverts.
And while trying to meet people “organically” (i.e. not on an app) these days can feel like Mission Impossible, one key dating tip for introverts is to simply surround yourself with people who enjoy the same kinds of activities as you, whether that’s a certain sport, a certain game/fandom, etc.
Meeting people through activities gives you built-in icebreakers and conversation starters, along with a stronger likelihood that you have things in common.
Wondering where to meet fellow geeks? Read our guide on Where to Find Geeks to Date for more.
2. Give online dating a whirl
For many introverts, the prospect of trying to meet people in-person can seem daunting… and while dating apps come with their own sets of challenges, getting to interact via a screen rather than in-person can take a lot of the pressure off.
And we know what you’re thinking: aren’t dating apps just a dark void of shallow people and hookups?
They certainly can be, but the truth is – online dating is a lot more common and varied than you think. There are special apps and sites for almost every niche out there these days (including dating apps for geeks and nerds).
Plus, plenty of people have met their long term partners online, so definitely don’t count it out.
NOTE: Specialty dating apps can be fun, but don’t discount the mainstream ones either. For more info, read our article on why you might want to avoid geek-specific dating apps.
3. Build up your confidence by understanding what makes you likeable
We’re all likeable in some way. Sounds cocky, but it’s true.
People often say that there’s someone out there for everyone, and we firmly believe that. Knowing what you have to offer (and owning it) is a great way to confidently bring yourself out into the dating scene as an introvert.
So, how can you figure out what makes you likeable?
- Ask friends: If you have good friends in your circle, don’t be ashamed to ask what they like about you. Odds are you’ll learn about likeable qualities you didn’t even know you had!
- Do some introspection: Ask yourself what you like about yourself, what makes you confident.
Writing all these down can help a lot in terms of building your confidence and remembering all the great things you have to offer a potential date or partner.
Struggling with confidence? You might like these confidence lessons from famous DC heroes.
4. Be honest about being an introvert
The old adage of fake it til you make it is a bad one to follow when it comes with dating, and especially when it comes to faking being more of an extrovert than you are.
Honesty is the best policy, and these days introverts are increasingly taking pride in that label.
So, if you find yourself talking to someone new, don’t be afraid to drop in the fact that you are indeed introverted. Who knows, they might be one as well, or at the very least, they’ll be less likely to misunderstand or misinterpret you.
Emphasize to others that despite your introversion, you enjoy spending time with the people you like
There’s a common misconception out there that introverts are anti-social. This isn’t the case. We simply recharge our batteries in different ways than other people do.
This is why it’s important to let people know (i.e. your crush, the person you’re seeing, etc.) that you do enjoy spending time with them.
Even spinning it in a jokey way like “I usually hate people but I weirdly enjoy spending time with you. Is this what a human connection feels like?” might be a nice way to make them feel special.
5. Play to your strengths/what you know
Many introverts have a topic or two that they love to discuss, or are particularly passionate about.
Here’s a secret: people talking about the things that make them “tick” is tremendously attractive.
Trust us – your geekiness can easily come across as endearing so long as you approach the topic with enthusiasm and without any gatekeeping/talking down to the other person.
Granted, it’s sometimes a fine line, but a good rule of thumb is to ensure you’re still including the other person in the conversation rather than talking AT them for an extended period of time. Loop them in “have you ever done _____, have you heard about _____”, etc.
Most importantly, learn to read the conversation. If your date seems completely disinterested, move the conversation back to them for a while… but talking about your passions is a great way to let loose and also show all your cards on the table.
Curious about problematic behaviors to avoid on a date? Read our list of destructive geek behaviors to avoid on a date.
6. Pick fun activities for your dates
Dreading the idea of a dinner date where there’s nothing to do except stare at each other and talk?
Well, not all dates are created equal. If you’re an introvert looking for a fun date idea that doesn’t require chatting the entire time, consider doing something activity based and fast-paced so you have some things to distract your date/things to talk about. Here are some ideas:
- Fun activities like laser tag, paintball or an amusement park
- Laugh-guaranteed activities like improv or a comedy show
- Hands-on activities like a wine and paint night or some kind of class
7. Plan dates that minimize ‘unknowns’ and anxiety
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but many people forget this…
One of the best dating tips for introverts we rarely see is to simply minimize situations that would make you anxious! Meeting someone new in a romantic context is already nerve-racking enough already, so no need to add a new cuisine, new restaurant, new outfit, new neighbourhood, etc. into the mix.
Instead, propose a date somewhere doing something that you’re familiar with. Even knowing where the washrooms are in a restaurant can help minimize the anxiety you feel around the date. Never underestimate the power of familiarity – even when it comes to choosing a good outfit.
8. Prepare before your dates
This sounds tremendously nerdy, but it can help a lot.
One dating tip for introverts that we love is to simply envision a few common questions that your date might ask, and think about your response, or about any related anecdotes you can bust out.
We don’t want you to prepare a full speech by any means, but having just a few answers in your back pocket can help a lot to avoid awkward silences and stumbles.
Likewise, think of a few conversation starters to ask your date in case there’s a silent lull. Your future self will thank you!
9. Let your quirks shine
Odds are, you have quirks.
I mean… we all do! Whether it’s that one thing we’re super geeky and nerdy about, or whatever else.
And while it’s often tempting to hide our quirks and put our best foot forward in the dating scene, one of the best dating tips for introverts we can offer is to let your quirks shine ASAP.
The ideal partner for you will be someone who likes your quirks, so let them shine through. Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, any quirk can be endearing so long as they like you enough, so be sure to throw hints out there about your quirks, or simply playfully “confess” them in the form of embarrassing anecdotes, a ‘truth or dare’ game, or however else you need to get it out.
NOTE: We don’t need you to lay out ALL your quirkiness right away. Don’t go straight to showing them your 5000 piece Funko Pop collection within 5 minutes of meeting them, but definitely don’t actively try to hide your quirks either. A pinch of confidence and shamelessness can go a long way in turning your quirk into an endearing quality.
10. Work on becoming a great active listener
Often introverts don’t like being at the center of attention too much or talking more than is required. That’s absolutely fine, so long as you ensure you’re still an active participant in the conversation when it comes to dates.
What does this mean when you’re not talking? Well, work on being a great listener!
Simple cues like nodding, laughs at the appropriate time, etc. can work wonders in showing your interest and making the other person feel like you’re actively engaged, even if you’re not saying a whole lot. Remember to maintain eye contact, and give them your full attention. Avoid any cues that seem as if you’re disinterested, so don’t look around the room, don’t look at your phone, etc.
11. Focus on having a good time above all else
There tends to be a lot of pressure on dates to “impress” the other person. Remember, your goal isn’t necessarily to impress them, it’s simply to build a connection and have fun.
Once you get it out of your head that your job is to impress and dazzle your mate, you’re more likely to be relaxed and focus on what matters: good conversation and laughs.
12. Don’t beat yourself up over awkwardness
An important thing to remember for introverts when dating is that dating is in itself VERY AWKWARD.
We know – if you have an awkward date, it’s second nature to blame yourself for being awkward, for being too introverted, etc. but let’s face it: even the most social and confident people can have bad dates…
So, if the vibe isn’t there, remember it’s not you. You two just weren’t a great fit… and dating is awkward in and of itself. Don’t blame yourself for it!
13. Don’t overthink it
Last but not least, this is a tip likely easier said than done, but we introverts have a tendency to completely overthink things.
Are they not texting back because they hate us? Did that one joke me make not land well? Etc. etc.
But here’s the truth: overthinking things will not help the situation. If someone doesn’t text you back or seems withdrawn, there are a million and one reasons behind why that could be.
So, try to relax a bit. Think about it this way: if someone completely ghosts you in an immature way or leaves you hanging, that’s not the kind of person you want in your life anyways. Similarly, you don’t want to be dating someone who’s not that into you, so look at any rejections/setbacks as a positive step forward, and move on.
… Again, easier said than done… but try!
We hope this list of dating tips for introverts was helpful!
Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions or have any more tips to add. Best of luck, fellow introvert. You got this!