As an introvert, I know how hard it can be just to ask someone out, let alone have to figure out what you’re going to do– and say– on a date.
Introverts have a lot of wonderful strengths, many of which people are just now coming to appreciate, but interacting with people is definitely not one of them.
Being a bit socially awkward comes with introversion, but a date should be fun. With a little work and some dating tips, you’ll be able to have a great time– and you might just hit it off.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Here are seven dating tips to take the stress and awkwardness out of that first (or next) date:
1. Be yourself– stick with what works
This is a mistake I’ve made several times before, whether for a date or some other big event.
When something special is coming up, we want to make a big impression. However, our first inclination is often to buy new things or act in a different way, thinking that who we are now isn’t good enough.
It is good to want to clean yourself up a bit, but be careful not to swing too far the other way and end up presenting yourself as someone you’re not on your date.
Also, don’t forget– you don’t have to hide the fact that you’re an introvert. Whether they’re an introvert or not, opening up about yourself at the right time can be very endearing and shows the other person you’re willing to honest.
2. Pick something short and fun
Every introvert is different, however, one of the most common traits of introverts is exhaustion from long-term exposure to groups of people.
It’s not that we can’t hang out in groups, it’s just that we really start to lose our energy after a while of being around large groups of people. For that reason, you should pick somewhere– and something– that is short and punchy like dinner and laser tag or a comedy show.
Ultimately, you want the right combination of time to talk and get to know each other and time to just have fun with one another with little talking (in that order). That will not only allow you to keep your energy up, but it will also help you let loose during the second half of the date without having to worry about anything.
3. Choose something you’re familiar with
On the topic of picking the right kind of place (or places) to go on your date, aside from picking something short and fun, it’s also important to go with what you’re already familiar with.
Like the first point, we have a tendency to think we need to do something grandiose to impress our date.
But if you try to take them somewhere new and different, that place will represent who you are in their mind. If things turn out good? Great. If they don’t? Bad. And, if you pick somewhere new, there’s a much higher likelihood things won’t turn out great.
However, if they’re the right person for you, all you should need to do is show them who you are. By choosing something familiar to you, whether it’s a restaurant or activity you love, you know it will be good. And if they don’t like it? Well, that’s probably a pretty good indicator that they’re not right for you.
Plus, you as an introvert don’t have to travel anywhere new and potentially uncomfortable. You can go where you’re already comfortable and therefore will be likely to feel comfortable with being yourself around your date.
4. Visualize the date
Practice makes perfect in just about anything. And, while you can’t exactly predict what will happen on a date, by taking a few minutes before your date to visualize what might unfold, a few things will happen.
First, you’ll be far more comfortable because you’ll have run through everything in your head beforehand. Second, you’ll be less likely to get caught off-guard because you’ll have already thought ahead to each step of the date and what might happen.
And, thirdly, you’ll be able to catch potential issues ahead of time. What do you plan to do when the date is nearing its end? Are you dropping them off, are they dropping you off, or are you each driving separately? How will that change the date? And do you have an exit plan? How will it work?
5. Ask stimulating questions
The quality of your conversation is completely dependent upon your ability to ask great questions and then to listen closely as your date answers those questions. Your questions won’t just tell you what you want to know about the person, they’ll also get your date to open up and allow you both to hit it off, while simultaneously showing them that you really care about what they have to say.
When communicating, it’s really just about getting over the initial hump. If you can get over the awkward phase where both people are apprehensive, you can really start getting to know the other person (and having a lot of fun in the process).
This is also nice because it turns the pressure away from you as much. Once they’ve answered a few open-ended, stimulating questions you feel like you know them better and are then more comfortable with opening up yourself.
6. Shift your perspective
Both sides tend to be far too concerned with impressing the other on a date. As an introvert, you have a tendency to try a little too hard (or think you’re not trying enough, we often can’t decide which).
Let all of that go and instead shift your perspective to providing your date with a fun experience. Whether you planned it or not, just go in to the date thinking, “I’m going to give them an awesome time and have a blast in the process.”
Maintain that as your focal point and you’ll worry less about whether or not you’re impressing them and find it easier to let go and just have fun.
7. Absolutely, positively, do no ruminate
As an introvert, you have a tendency to ruminate. You have a keen memory and a often overthink and ruminate on things. And, more often than not, that rumination leads you to stress and anxiety.
Overthinking rarely has a benefit, and doing so after a date can only lead to bad conclusions. When your date is over, remind yourself that overthinking leads you to skew your perception of past events.
Review the good points of the date and don’t hang on the things that didn’t go so well. Sometimes, what you think didn’t go so well are aspects the other person actually enjoyed.