If you’re an introvert you’ll know better than most how difficult it is to approach others, and how daunting the simplest of tasks can seem. If the thought of entering a bar, nightclub, or social club is enough to send you running and screaming, you may be wondering how you’re supposed to meet, and bond, with potential partners. Indeed, the world of dating is confusing, and scary enough as it is, without the added bonus of being shy. Online dating, then, seems a natural solution to such a problem; how hard can it be to get to know people when you don’t actually have to meet anyone at all?
As it turns out, it’s not that easy; indeed, some introverts can find sending messages and initiating conversations impossible, regardless of whether they’re sat in front of a screen, on their phone, or across the table from someone new. So, how can introverts make the most of online dating?
Stick to what you know and love
Many introverts find the simple act of striking up a conversation almost impossible; introductions are not an introvert’s forte. If you’re worried about making small talk stick to topics you know a lot about, including your hobbies, subjects that you’re passionate about, and activities that interest you. If you’re invested in your conversation you’re far more likely to blossom. You’re also more likely to meet like-minded matches if you’re open about what you like and dislike. Oh, and don’t be tempted to tell people what a social butterfly you are; if you prefer nights in to hanging out, be honest. It’ll save you a world of trouble when it comes to organising that first date.
Look out for like-minded souls
Introverts have a great eye for detail, and for seeking out those that may share their feelings about large get-togethers and social events. It’s no different when you begin online dating; does that person have a profile picture obviously taken at a party? Do they list their hobbies as going to clubs, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people? You may be looking for a person to bring you out of your shell, and to introduce you to new people. On the other hand, you may prefer someone who’s a whole lot like you. Keep an eye out for the clues, including enthusiastic emailing, a seeming reluctance to meet, and hobbies that sound like your cup of tea. Remember, though, that it’s sometimes good to look for your polar opposite.
Just go for it
Of course, the best piece of advice we can offer any introvert is to go for it. Really, what have you got to lose? It’s incredibly difficult for introverts to break the habit of a lifetime, and we understand how patronising it must sound when people tell you to, ‘just get over it’. However, online dating is the perfect opportunity to try out a new, more confident you, and to step out of your comfort zone just once. Who knows, you may just enjoy being the one to make the first move – or at least meet potential partners halfway. Relationships are all about the give and take, so take a deep breath, send that message, and be prepared to take the plunge.
Remember, you get out of online dating what you put in. You may love communicating via long emails and, eventually, text and private messages, but sooner or later you’re going to have to go on that first date. We know that you’ve got what it takes, so go for it.