1. Fess up. Don’t pretend to be a social butterfly. There is nothing wrong with being introverted. Tell your date if you are someone who seeks friendship first or needs time to fall in love. You may scare away a few flakes, and instead attract people who will really appreciate you.
2. Meet at places where you feel confortable. If you don’t like loud bars, don’t go there. Often introverts are also pleasers, and they will do what they think is asked of them even if they suffer. Find a place that makes you feel comfortable: a laid back coffeeshop perhaps, or a park. Take your date out for a walk with your dog. You’ll have an ally who will be there for you whatever happens.
3. Avoid smooth talkers. In a relationship, you need to be heard. If your date won’t allow you to get a word in edgewise, it’s not the right person for you.
4. Look for subtle connections. Sometimes we get so flooded by first impressions and things to look out for, it’s difficult to just feel what it’s like to sit with this person. Do you like being there? Or does it feel crowded, overwhelming, or make you nervous? Make sure you actually enjoy hanging out with your date.
5. Beware of takers. Introverts are often givers. We listen, pay attention, and want to be there for the other. Make sure you get to be on the receiving end of the equation. If you have to ask repeatetly for romantic gestures or to be included, this is what you sign up for down the road.
Gerti Schoen is a writer and psychotherapist. In her spare time she enjoys learning, being in nature and around animals.