Dating and putting yourself out there requires a level of vulnerability that can be very difficult for those who identify as introverts.
In this stream, sex educator Q Wilson offers a few suggestions on how to make dating more comfortable for introverted people.
Q begins by suggesting two ways to make dating more manageable: flirt with intent and establish lines of communication. If you set intention for how you want to flirt and what you want your outcome to be — perhaps your intent is to get a date, or just to make a person feel good — you can manage expectations about what you’re getting into. Opening lines of communication to tell a person your intent is difficult for introverts and extroverts alike, but try embracing the awkwardness of it all.
Q describes five stages for dating as an introvert: Stage one is the awkward silence of just looking at someone you’re interested in, hoping they talk to you. Stage two is awkward encounters, when said attractive human runs into you, or you're around or near that person and you hope they talk to you. The third is when you attempt to make an actual effort to interact, but get too nervous and walk away, and the fourth is when you get serious about it, stop, and actually engage the person in conversation. This process could totally work for you, but if not, Q. suggests some other practical ways to approach someone and flirt.
Plan how you’re going to flirt. Have some conversation-starters in mind before approaching that person. Q suggests asking about areas of their life you can relate to, like if they have a pet or kids. Remember to ask follow-up questions, but that you don’t have to do all the talking. There’s no shame in practicing these conversation-starters when you’re alone so you can first get comfortable actually hearing yourself say the words. If you have trouble starting a conversation, try wearing an outfit that makes you feel good, gets you noticed, and elicits conversation — even if it’s just an extra colorful shirt.
Another strategy to meet people outside dating apps is to curate your spaces. Go to places you know people will share your interests, or where other introverts gather — whether that be a Meetup group, a convention like Comic-Con, joining in on a board game night, etc.
No matter how you dice it, dating can be intimidating for anyone. But employing some of Q’s strategies — curating your environment, having conversation-starters, communicating your intent — can make dating as an introvert a bit more manageable.