How to Date an Introvert: A Guide For Extroverts
By Isabel Frank William
Dating can be an amazing experience full of fun meetings, sharing stories and falling in love. But the very first step of approaching someone you are really interested in can be daunting. You don't know how to approach them and what to say, and most of all – you don't know if they like you back. This can be hard enough if the other person is open, talkative and friendly, but if you get a crush on an introvert, you mind find it tricky to get to know them and talk to them, because they can seem distant and uncaring. Here's how to go around that:
Give them a lot of chances to express themselves
An introverted person will never come out and say something unless it's really important or if they are directly asked about it. So, they might never approach you, and even after you give them some signals, they might not give anything back. This doesn't mean they're not interested – it just means that they're shy. The way you can go around this is to give them plenty of open-ended opportunities to express themselves in a space that feels safe. Instead of just telling them that you like them and letting them make the next move, ask them to go out. If they say that they are too busy or that they can't ask them just one more time. It's important to keep in mind that introverts don't like conflict, and will sometimes say yes even to things they don't want to do, just to avoid a conflict. This is why it's important to have self-restraint and if they give a "soft no" twice, move on.
Find out what their interests are
And get ready to dive deep, because when introverted people like something, they like it. They spend so much time researching it and committing to it that superficial knowledge of it is just not gonna cut it – but it can be your opening. If you learn that they like a certain author, read one book from them and then ask them for a recommendation. If they have kids, ask them about them, tell them that you know a great kid-friendly restaurant that they can visit (maybe with you?) and if you hear their struggling in school, recommend english tutoring to help. Before you start to open yourself up and tell them about the things you like (and they will get interested in that, in time) you need to get to them, and the best way is through the things they like. And if you really like someone, learning more about them and the things they love should never feel like a chore.
Be understanding of boundaries
You go out on a date, everything is going amazing, and after dinner, you recommend going to a carnival nearby for some cotton candy and games. But they tell you they're tired and that they'd like to go home. This does not mean that they're not into you, or that they don't want to spend more time with you. It means that they are exhausted from being around all those people, and they just can't do any more at this moment. Understand and offer to walk them home. But boundaries can also be in the more nuanced things, like not pushing them to use words to express themselves. They might be more keen to open up if you're texting or show you affection not by telling you, but by showing you their favorite places in town, giving you something meaningful to them or pushing themselves to go to an event with you. Accept this joyfully and make sure you let them know that this is a valid expression of emotion and that you are perfectly fine with it.
Be prepared to sacrifice some experiences
If you really want to go to a party – for sure you should go, just don't expect them to go with you. And if you go to parties every weekend, you might soon end up not spending any time together. So make sure that you give your attention to your loving introvert sometimes, instead of going out. Believe me, they won't mind you going out with friends, and they will appreciate every time you invite them, even if they say no every time. But take a night in sometimes and spend quality time together, alone. After some time, they will introduce you to their friends, and that can be a good gateway to help you ease them into your type of social life, by going out with their friends all together. And when you are out with people together and they don't know anyone else – do not leave their side for any reason. The feeling of being alone in a room full of people is daunting, but being there without wanting to be there is even worse.
Dating an introvert can be the best thing that can ever happen to you. If you manage to break their shell and get into their lives, they will love you unlike anyone else, and you will share a trusting bond like you never thought possible. They are people who will never ask you to change, who will accept you for what you are and support you in your dreams, always being there for you. They are so passionate about the things they care about, and it will inspire you to go further and try harder.