By Johnny P.
Though most introverts thoroughly enjoy being by ourselves, there will undoubtedly be times where you will kind of wish someone was there to sit around and relax with you. Human connection is something we all need, whether we think so or not. Connecting to someone else, be it a platonic or romantic relationship, gives us a sense of acceptance. It’s nice knowing that people like your company. Being able to converse freely and spend time with someone you trust can encompass feelings of satisfying fulfillment, exempting oneself from the void of loneliness.
Romance can be hard for an introvert because of our nature. We don’t go out a lot, which makes it difficult to meet new people. Even if we do go out, a lot of us aren’t big fans of small talk and would prefer to try and seek out someone we can have a genuine conversation with, another difficulty in this digital age. People just don’t talk face to face like they used to.
That being said, not all is lost. Finding people who you relate to can be a lot easier than you think as long as you keep an open mind and step a little out of your comfort zone. Discomfort sucks, but if you expect to get anywhere in life you have to explore the unknown in order to grow as a person, especially when it comes to your dating life.
So what is an introvert to do in terms of finding that special someone to lounge around the house with? Here are a few tips:
- Online Dating
Online dating is both a blessing and a curse. For home-bodies like us, it would seem like the perfect place to connect with those who share our love for staying in and catching up on the latest season of Bojack Horseman. Apps like Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish and OKCupid have made it easier than ever for two people to make an immediate judgement of one-another, admit their attraction with ease and breakout into conversation; all from the comfort of their own home (or toilet.)
Unfortunately, these dating apps have quickly been infected with predators, flakes and fuckbois which makes it incredibly difficult to find someone with any romantic potential. If you’re attracted to males, you have to meticulously weed out douchebags who will open conversation with charming lines like “You’re hot,” and “DTF?”
On the opposite end of that spectrum, if you’re trying to find yourself a special lady, you’re going to have to go above and beyond to catch their attention. Much like how the male peacock will flock it’s feathers to capture the attention of a female mate, you will have to break the ice with a message that will separate you from the pact. Something interesting, something unique, but also something that is genuinely you. You’d be surprised how easily people will catch on to someone who isn’t being their true self, even if it’s through text messaging.
It’s a struggle, but it’s possible. Also make sure to mention your wants in your bio, it’ll heighten your chances of finding someone you’ll actually vibe with, rather than a loser you don’t like or someone who won’t respond after the first two exchanged messages. If you do happen to find yourself in a nicely moving conversation with someone you’re interested in, strike while that iron’s hot. If you take too long to ask someone on a date, they can lose interest fast, especially when it comes to online dating apps. Don’t be scared, what’s the worse that can happen? It’s not like you ever really met in the first place.
- Go Outside
“You mean… outside outside? Like, in the sun? Ew!” No, not ew. I know what you’re thinking: “I’m an introvert, what good is being an introvert if you can’t stay inside?” Going out is probably one of the most daunting tasks for introverts at times, but can also be one of the most rewarding. As much as staying inside can be much needed after a long week, too much time by yourself can also have negative effects if loneliness becomes a habit.
You don’t have to go to every party or event, but you should pick and choose which events you will have a high chance of interacting with people while comfortably being yourself. A friend’s house party, a work event, a gathering at the local watering hole. You’ll see that sometimes going out can be just as relaxing as staying in. To top that, you’ll never know who else will be at these events. I’m a firm believer that there’s someone out there for everyone, that perfect match. Does everyone necessarily find that person? Not at all. In fact, it’s extremely hard to find that one person on this planet of 6 billion. But the cold hard truth is that you’re never going to find that person sitting on the couch everyday.
Another thing to note is nobody is going to go on a first date with you at your home. So start getting used to going out once in awhile, even if it’s familiarizing yourself with a quiet coffee shop or friendly bar. Once you get used to certain environments, you will begin to feel similar comforts to home.
- Engage in Conversation with Strangers, Even One’s You’re Not Romantically Interested In. Explore Your Extroverted Side, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Here’s another one that might make some of you cringe, but honestly, it’s one of the most beneficial to expanding your character, if so you wish. Being a sociable person is often seen as an attractive trait by many people, as it shows confidence. You don’t have to be an extrovert, but you definitely can’t be scared of communication.
The best way to practice being a conversationalist is talking to no-pressure strangers. Old people are a good starting ground. Some of them might even be able to drop some wisdom on you. Most old people aren’t scared to talk to anybody, unless they’re crabby. In which case, whatever, let them be a grumpy geezer.
I guess no matter what, there always still is a little bit of pressure when trying to chat up random people. Many of us have anxieties about talking to strangers, as you don’t how the other person is going to react. They could either welcome you with open arms or shut you out completely. But realistically, who cares? If you don’t vibe with each other, you don’t vibe, end of story, you never have to talk to them again. But the fact that you at least tried to engage another person in conversation as a way to break out of your own shy habits already makes you a better person than you were 5 minutes ago. Even if there isn’t a romantic link, you might make a friend and that is equally as cool. Don’t let getting in a romantic relationship be your only goal.
But how to start a conversation? I think commenting on someone’s clothing is always a good start, especially if they’re wearing something related to what you like. It could be a band shirt, a comic-book character, anything. Engage them about it, and if they don’t want to talk to you, don’t take it personally. Maybe they’ve had a long day? Maybe they have social anxieties greater than your own? There are many variables at play when you talk to strangers, you don’t always have to jump straight to the assumption that they just don’t want to talk to you.
Every once in awhile, whether you’re on the bus or walking along a busy street you might see someone that catches your eye. You aren’t sure what it is, but you’ll feel this urge to want to talk to them. You can’t explain it, but they look your way and there’s something in your gut saying “say something.” Do it! Don’t even think about it! Just do it! Say hello, ask for their name and everything else will come out naturally. Remember: everything plays out the way it’s supposed to in your life. Successes, failures. The more you try, the more opportunities will land at your feet when you least expect it and the universe will guide you. Pay attention to the energy.
Breaking out of your comfort zone is one of the hardest things to do, but once you have spent some time outside of that box, you will see how comfortable things can become.
Remember, just because you’re an introvert doesn’t mean you have to be shy. And you don’t have to be a certain way forever. You don’t have to change yourself into someone you’re not to find romance, but in order to heighten your chances, you might need to make minor adjustments.
That’s what growth is, minor adjustments made periodically over time. With failure comes experience, and with experience comes knowledge, and with knowledge comes, you guessed it, growth. The more you grow, the more you’ll be able to figure yourself out and find comfortable ways of doing things that best fit you and your personality. Only then will attraction come to you naturally. When the time is right, you’ll know what to do.