5 Rules for Dating an Introvert

This has been on my mind for a while (and one of many unpublished posts) since I’ve seen a lot of traffic online made up of articles and lists like 23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert (why should it be a secret?), or Introvert v. Extrovert: Who’s Most Likely to Succeed?, and my personal favorite: How Not to be A Dick to an Introvert. While I completely identify with and own my introverted-ness, I don’t understand how it suddenly became “cool” to be an introvert. Seriously, Google “Introvert” right now and see how many articles have been posted about it within the past month. So what am I doing as a result? Why I am writing one of my own to add to the masses of course!
Part of me is annoyed with this outpour that seeks to tell me things about myself that I already know while also putting me in a box. Nothing causes me more frustration than when someone assumes that they have me “figured out.” At the same time I think it’s great that society is seeing the value in living a more internalized life when the tendency to over-share on social media is literally lingering at our fingertips. Yes, I really mean literally. As in our smart phones.

So how about dating? Dating an introvert can have its rewards and its frustrations. Believe me, people (a.k.a. men I’ve dated) have told me straight to my face how I’m “hard to read” or “it’s difficult to understand what hints are being dropped” (who says I am in the first place?). It goes without saying that relationships are two way streets and take work from both sides and part of this is knowing your partner’s weaknesses and strengths. Introverts’ strengths in particular, while awesome, are also a pain in the ass.

1. Be prepared to make the first moveWe’re cautious with our feelings and don’t open up to just anyone, so this goes for making the first move in a dating relationship. We aren’t typically the person in the bar that will just walk up to a total stranger of the opposite sex and strike up a conversation. We aren’t usually the one to go in for the first kiss or ask for a second date. Due to spending a lot of time on the sidelines thinking and digesting our surroundings, we aren’t one to stray into the field and into the endzone until we’ve thought through every possible outcome. Our biggest fear is this:

funny gifs

2. Be mindful of body language and facial expressions; these are the keys into our soul. For realsies. We hide behind a reserved manner and don’t usually verbalize our feelings outright because it can be difficult, and if we’re asked “What’s wrong” we will most likely become flustered and say “Nothing” until we can deliberate about it and then bring it up at a more opportune time. Timing is everything when an introvert is verbalizing their feelings, so if you can perceive a hint, it saves everyone time.  A certain coy smile or downturned/clenched mouth will be our tell that we are either pleased, or very much not amused. Also, the eyes; those bitches betray me all the time.

Beer and sunglasses are my only hope.

Beer and sunglasses are my only hope.

3. Be genuine. We see through that shit. Seriously, if you give off any hint of exaggerating a story, humble bragging, or worse yet, flat out lying, we will know and that’s that. Nothing is more repulsive to us than a fake smile or interest because we really really really really value the genuine. Introverts are very observant individuals and we notice a lot more than you may expect. If you seem false, you aren’t worth our time and you can forget about us opening up, let alone dating you.

I love you, Barney, but I would never ever ever ever ever date you.

I love you, Barney, but I would never ever ever ever ever sleep with you.

4. Be available. We don’t like to ask for help, because if we do, we tend to have this guilt complex that will cause us to feel like a gigantic burden. Yeah, it’s dumb. However, as a last result, and usually after some serious hand wringing and hair pulling (not the fun kind), we ask you to step up and help us with something important and you don’t try to make time for us, it will be a very long time before we can put ourselves in a position of depending on you again, if ever.

Analogy time: Fat guy = introverts. It would take about 20 minutes before he would ask those bitches for help.

Analogy time: This guy = Introverts. About 20 minutes would go by before he would ask those skinny bitches for help.

Awwww. I take it back. Look how nice they are.

Awwww. I take it back. Look how nice they are.

5. Be understanding about our need for solo time. Without it, we may become Manson-like psycho killers on a rampage for peace and quiet. This can include wanting to go home and sleep in our own bed, or if sharing, sleeping on our own side without your strait-jacket arms. Also, attending movies by ourselves, especially those cheap ones where you can sit in the back alone and gorge yourself on pizza and beer. While we love to be around people and socialize as much as the next extrovert, we need time in between engagements to recharge and gather ourselves. We will be so much more happy and enjoyable to be around if you give this to us. Clingy partners are every introverts’ worst nightmare.

overly-attached-girlfriend-memes-3

In conclusion, introverts as a rule are not entitled to special attention just because we are introverts. Introverts are assholes too. We aren’t some magical unicorn made of golden fleece that poops rainbows. Like I said earlier, relationships are giving and receiving, so if you give an introvert these things you will get a lot of awesomeness in return. Also, lots of blow jobs.

Sweater photo via trishwriter11.

Advertisements